The long struggle with the fifth revision of book one has finally come to an end. Several chapters were rewritten along with the beginning of the book. I managed to whittle off almost four thousand words which brings my total word count down to 110,000. I feel that more could be cut but I’m not in a place where I can do that without some outside help. I’ve also edited the synopsis so that it reads a little better. I’m still not happy with it but at least I’ve managed to keep it at two pages. I am relieved to be done with it for now. I feel like I should know the novel word for word by now but that’s not the case. I still had to read back to remember plot twists when I worked on the last few chapters. Afterwards, I managed to get three more queries off to agents. Now it’s back to the waiting game. I’ll try to send out a few more today. At least I can return to working on book two. I am looking forward to that.
My friend Amanda and I finalized our plans for a trip to Nasca with Aaron this past week. We’re all paid up and very grateful to him for the excellent work he’s done in making the arrangements. Amanda wants to do a fly over of the famous lines and I want to visit the ruins of the temples they built. On the return trip, we will stop in Ica for one night. We will stay in the oasis called Huacachina just outside of town and take a dune buggy ride through the desert. It should be a fun trip. I’m just not looking forward to the 7½ hour bus ride to get to Nasca. Amanda and Katrina will be leaving Peru in June. I’m going to miss them both tremendously.
The writers’ group met last Thursday. We critiqued an excerpt from Katrina’s book, as yet untitled. I love her writing. She manages to bring back memories from my childhood and growing up on a farm. In the excerpt she had a scene at the kitchen table with the family gathered in for the evening meal. Mac and cheese hot from the oven, it made my mouth water just reading it. A little tit for tat between brother and sister reminded me of times with my own sister. It was a nice session. This week we will be working on a piece of fiction by Kathy. I’ll be glad when I have time to spend on short stories again.
Friday, you guessed it, was coffee with Larry day. He’s still looking to find more students and feeling underutilized at the university. We talked about our progress with writing. Larry hasn’t been able to find time to work on his novel. He’s taken to making a list of things he needs to accomplish each day and that seems to be helping him. Not a bad idea. I may steal it from him. He continues to submit articles one a week to Living in Peru, which are quite popular with the readers. Afterwards I had a nice lunch with Kathy at a restaurant near her apartment. We also talked about writing as well as the progress of things happening in Kathy’s life. Things happen slowly here in Peru; at least it appears that way to us expats. I’m not sure that’s always a bad thing though.
I watched a movie this week that I missed at the theaters here. “John Carter,” adapted from a book titled “A Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs bombed at the theaters. I think that’s a real shame because it was a great Sci Fi/Fantasy film. The special effects were incredible and the acting above par. I give it 4 Llamas on my rating scale and recommend you rent it if possible. Here in Peru it was only available in 3D which made for interesting watching on my TV. Have a great week everyone and keep that brain active.