Tag Archives: working with editors

A Low-Fat Essay With One Third Fewer Calories

Val B22

Yesterday I posted a political satire in which I accused Rand Paul and Chris Christie of being the reincarnation of Laurel and Hardy.  I may have also suggested that Republican Presidential candidates are mostly possessed by the spirits of old comedy teams who share the bully and the idiot style of comedy made famous by Stan and Ollie.  That post had about 380 calories from empty carbohydrates and the saturated fat was off the charts.  If I am to provide a healthy diet of low-quality purple paisley prose to those who ready my pretentiously faux-literary blog, then I need to alternate in some high-fiber, low calorie fare.  After all, this is a place where people come to sample my ideas and my so-called humor.  Any and all fat that they get from here goes straight to their head.  It can clog the arteries of the thinking organ.  So, let me offer something light and fibrous today.

Yesterday I finished the first-pass edit of my novel Snow Babies.  I also got it sent to my editor at PDMI, Jessie Cornwell.  Her edits caused serious pain and minor bleeding, but that is merely an indicator that she is very professional and does the job well.  And on occasion, she makes me laugh.  She identified and corrected my creepy fascination with the word “penis” and cut it out of my novel.  I am sure you can imagine how painful something like that can be.  But I deserved it.  A writer has to be aware that there are quirks in his thinking that interfere with communicating ideas to the reader.  And the nutritional value of the ideas and thinking in a book are not only what makes it worth reading, but worth writing in the first place.


It is a little odd to be working on a novel about a blizzard in Iowa in deep December when it is August in Texas and we are undergoing 100-degree plus weather during the yearly heat wave and drought.  It is hard to imagine deadly cold and Christmas-wish thinking when you have to sit naked by the air conditioner and you still sweat out gallons.  (Notice I did not use the word “penis” even once in this paragraph, Jessie.)  (Oops!  Okay, don’t count the parenthetic expression, please.)

But I love these characters.20150813_113902

Valerie Clarke, the main character, is an eleven-year-old girl trying to make her way in a cold world after the death of her father.  She finds and latches onto a mysterious old hobo who goes by the name Catbird.  The man wears a coat which is a crazy quilt of colorful patches.  He carries around a dog-eared copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and quotes from it as if it is his Bible.  She gives him a place to stay, with her and her grieving mother in the nick of time before the blizzard hits her little Iowa town.  Valerie is based in part on my own daughter.

A bus gets stranded in the rural farming community and the bus contains four boys who are not only passengers, but runaway orphans escaping from the Illinois foster care system.  The youngest boy is crippled.

So, I am for the moment only posting something light that you really don’t have to work too hard to consume.  The main idea is simply that I have finished another step in the process of publishing my long-delayed novel.  And hopefully this post isn’t needlessly fattening, like many of my posts are.


Filed under humor, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney