Friends and followers of my Blog, Tonight I am sitting in my comfy little office at Patricia’s Place (that’s what I have named my new home). Right now I am feeling pretty smug! I have finished the last edit on the first chapter of the first book of the Shiloh Trilogy. Well, I can hear ya’ll laughing. The first chapter of the first book of a trilogy. Big Deal!
I didn’t know what a big deal it is to edit a book. In April of last year when I wrote the last word of the book I started the year before I retired, I thought I’d nearly reached the finished line. HAHAHAHAHA. I have learned so much in these last several months about what it you have to do to a story to turn it into a novel. Publishers are real picky about what they will put into print. Who would have thought? Readers are real picky about what they will read. Who would have thought? Even an author, when she starts the rewriting process gets tied into a whirlpool of trying to say everything better, clearer, more expressively,….you could rewrite a book forever. So I decided that this is the last edit. Tonight, I took all the critiques I’ve had and reread and changed the things I thought fit my story and left the things I liked and I finished the first chapter. If I do one chapter a day for the entire month of April, the book, which I have called In Search of Shiloh: A Journey Through Arkansas, will be complete.
My protagonists Laurel and Mac will have made the perilous journey from Washington County, Arkansas, to Greene County, Arkansas, in a mule-drawn wagon across our wilderness roads, paths through forests, log-raft ferries, roads to nowhere, and by horseback and on foot covering more than three hundred miles. At the close of the story they will drive a stake in the ground at their homestead to mark the corner of the cabin they will build into their home at Shiloh. That story will be told in the second book, The Dream of Shiloh.
Yes, The Dream of Shiloh is already written too, but not edited. I still have lots of work to do. When I get Dream done, I have to edit, ‘Til Shiloh Come, which is also written, but not edited. If I can live long enough I would like to write the last book called the Fate of Shiloh to talk about how Arkansas frontier folks dealt with the Civil War, being a state that was very ambivalent about secession. Lord, help me! Any way…just wanted to let ya’ll know what I’ve been up to lately, even though I’ve not been able to go much or do much because of the vertigo. I’m trying to be at least a little bit productive.