Tag Archives: editor Susan

Susan Speaks: Cool Kinds of Kudos

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This is a rare gem that I gotta share with you guys.

I’d been talking to a potential client, like I often do. And unlike I often do, I wound up wishing him well with his writing endeavors, as he chose a different editor.

But he dropped back into my inbox a few days ago to ask if he could write nice things about me on his blog.

I appreciated that he thought to ask. And especially that he wanted to say nice things. Who doesn’t like receiving public kudos for their passions?

I’ll let you go over there and read them for yourself. If you have nice things to say about me, too, I’d love to hear them. I’m told time and again I need a client testimonial page on this here site, but I continue to resist. Why? A lot of reasons, including that I have a lot of clients who, wisely, use multiple editors in their quest to make the best book possible.

If you guys flood my inbox, though, with the sorts of kudos that I can’t resist — and more importantly, that’ll help other writers realize how amazing I am — I could change my mind and have my amazing web designer get your words on my site.

I kind of like that idea. Because it makes me happy when you guys tell the world how much you love me. Even when you (the horror) hire someone else.

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Susan Speaks: Teeter Totter

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Nine weeks since the fall. Eight weeks since the first retinal repair.

I say first because I still don’t believe there won’t be a second one. And that’s got me on the world’s cruelest teeter totter. Will I need surgery? Won’t I? Am I okay? Is my vision worse? Can I live with this? Do I need to? Do I want to? If I have surgery, will I get more scar tissue and have to go through this again? Will I lose any, or more, vision? Have I even lost vision?

I don’t know if I’ll be having another major surgery or not. I’m trying not to dwell on it, I really am. But my best and favorite distraction — work — hasn’t been going so well.

Look, I get it. This is big, major stuff. Clients don’t know if I’ll be here, if I can see, if my usual eagle eye is still operational. And I’ve been blogging almost exclusively about the injury and the ordeal that recovery has turned into. Am I really in this upbeat mindset you are reading about?

Well, yes, I actually am. Until the word of the latest detachment and the vigil I’ve been forced to keep, anyway. I’ve actually had a few anxiety attacks, or the beginnings of some. I’ve never had one in my life, reminding me why I force myself to be upbeat and happy most of the time. Life is easier with a smile. I can say that for certain now that I’ve had a few cycles where thoughts just get more and more negative, as they swirl faster and faster until I feel like I’m drowning.

Yes, it’s better to stop dwelling on what might be and focus instead on work. I’m left-eye dominant and it’s my right eye that I hurt, so my vision isn’t as badly impaired as if I’d hurt my dominant eye. That’s been the magic of this accident. I may prefer my friends to stand on my right, but my left eye leads the charge.

I was cleared to work seven weeks ago. I have been working… some. And I love what I do. I’m good at it. And it’s been such a blessed distraction, making me feel in control at a time when I’m at the mercy of a healing body. I’ve needed to work. And yes, it helps me remain positive.

So it kills me when I get this message from clients and others I’ve made commitments to: You have a lot on your plate right now and don’t me adding to it.

Yes, I do!!!

Like I said: work is stress relief. It makes me happy. It fills my bank account, and that in turn makes me happy, too. Working distracts me from myself, and I’m on such a teeter totter of emotions that work helps keep me either upbeat or even. No more of this downer stuff; I don’t like it!

None of us have a crystal ball. We don’t know what’s going to happen with my eye.

But we DO know I’m good at what I do. We know I’m pretty much homebound. I’ve got the time. My dominant eye is fine and carrying the load.

And if you take a step back and think, you’ll remember something: a bored Susan gets into trouble. And just wait until you guys see what I’ve been up to…

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#SaysTheEditor The Lengths to Which I’ll Go

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So I’ve got a client, right? And she’s got a new book in the works. You with me so far?

We’ll call her Stevie ’cause I’m on a Fleetwood Mac kick (as Lacuna Coil blares from my speakers). And Stevie’s written a good twenty or thirty books, most before we teamed up. She insists she’s a better writer since she found me, and I have certainly seen her grow in the 10 or so books we’ve worked on together.

Like ambitious writers everywhere, Stevie doesn’t want to rest on her laurels. She wanted to push herself, stretch, see how far she can grow as a writer. So she wrote something new. Something that for her, is a definite stretch.

Still with me? See where this is going? It did require more from her than either of us were prepared for. And so even though I finished the edit, we’re still talking, still brainstorming. How to make it better, more authentic. And can she do what she wants with her characters while still succeeding in the genre she’s chosen for the book? (That sounds wrong, but to say  much more will reveal too  much, so trust me when I say it’s not like she’s way off base. She’s not.)

This led me to do what all good editors do: I put a call out on Twitter to see if anyone had book recommendations for me. Yes, I’ll read and study how others have done it so that Stevie (and I, to a lesser degree) can get it right.

It’s a tricky thing I’m looking for. Romances where the loss of the first spouse is still new, still raw. How appropriate is it, Stevie wonders, for the female lead to fall in love with another man so soon after the loss of a husband she loved? Even if he’s a man she’s known forever and yes, there’s a romantic — albeit unresolved or explored — past between the two.

I picked up one of the books last night at my library, but I’m hardly done yet. If you’ve got what you think is a great example of a romance where a seriously grieving widow is able to move on and find love again, leave ’em in my comments. I’ll read as many of them as I can while Stevie and I work. And then, who knows? Maybe I’ll keep reading. I love to read, after all…

Oh, the things I do for my clients… and the worst part of it all is that it’s delightful fun, every step of the way.

 

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