Editing On The Fly, by Lisa M. Buske

A man enters a convenience store early Easter Sunday, April 3, 1994, in the small town of New Haven, NY.

He wants to pay for his purchase, but no one is at the register to take his money. “Hello?”

There’s no answer. He writes a note, leaves the money, and drives off.

Several other customers come into the store and search for the cashier. There isn’t one.

Lisa is asleep a few blocks away. The phone rings. She wakes from a dream and reaches for her cell.

Heidi’s missing.       

Lisa throws herself out of bed. “What? I don’t understand. She’s at work, at the convenience store.”

Little sister Heidi, the one who volunteered to work the early shift so coworkers could spend time with their families, the compassionate sister who worked with kids in the Banana Split program, She’s gone. 

Where did she go? Why would someone take her?

Please welcome LISA M. BUSKE as our guest author today. I “met” Lisa online at a FB site and my skin prickled when I heard her story. Kidnappings don’t happen in real life, do they? How does someone cope with the loss of a sibling when that person suddenly vanishes? This only happens in movies, right? Wrong. Not for Lisa.

I don’t know Lisa or her sister, Heidi, but I want to. I want to hear more about the story, what happened, and how Lisa coped with the hole in her life when Heidi vanished. Lisa’s book will be released in April, and I can’t wait to read it. I hope you’ll find time to read it, too.

We’ll have an interview with Lisa in April when her book launches, but today she’s agreed to share writing tips with you on how she edited her book.

Thank you, Lisa!


I know some writers enjoy the process of editing, but I was not a member of this club.

In the beginning, I was positive there wouldn’t be a hair left on my head until someone shared a different outlook with me.

What helped

Instead of editing, I told myself it was a refining process. To write was a joy. To share my writing was a hope. To have a perfected piece worthy of sharing required a healthy refining. Most of my refining was done on the fly so it required creativity too.

Like most of you, I have a family and work full-time to support my writing and speaking. In order to keep a “family first” mentality, I needed to find ways to utilize each available moment.

Are you thinking, “A free moment? I don’t have any of those?” Before you close this page, I want to encourage you because we all have wasted moments in our day. Instead of viewing them as wasted moments, start to view them as opportunities.

Examples of opportunities in my day

·        On the bus in route to work or when stuck in the carpool lane

·        Standing over the copier at work while 100+ copies run

·        Sitting in the break room during lunch

·        Warming the bleachers during your child’s sport’s practice

·        Sitting in the car outside the school waiting for the kids to come out

·        Riding (not driving) in the car en route to your next destination

I am sure you can think of wasted moments in your day, too, now that you see what I’m talking about. We all have time in our day when we want to expose our “I’d rather be writing!” T-shirt from under our professional attire, but we can’t.

BUT, guess what? You can.

Here’s how YOU can turn wasted time into editing time

Of course, this requires a little creativity on your part. Instead of carrying your binder, multiple notebooks, laptop, and research notes with you in a backpack – you need to downsize. You might be thinking this isn’t possible, that you need these tools, but slow down, I understand. Thanks to modern technology there are other ways to bring everything with you and not need the fix of a chiropractor at the end of the day.

Here are a couple ways I maximize refining moments:

  • Before closing my current wip (work in progress) at night I email it to myself at work with “lunch time” in the subject box. The following morning when I check my mail, my inbox contains the file to work on during my breaks. At the end of my break, I email it to myself at home, sometimes with a “Productive day!” or some goofy note of encouragement to myself.
  • Save my manuscript, upcoming speaking engagements, and wips as a PDF and then email them to my Kindle: This allows me to have the various projects I’m working on at my fingertips, but instead of the weight of a backpack, I only have my Kindle Fire, notebook, and pen. When I get to a computer, I make the changes and resend the documents to my Kindle. (Be warned, your family might grumble at all the different files—that look the same—downloaded to their Kindle.)
  • I seem to get my best ideas while driving, so when they strike, I call from my cellphone to my home number (of course, after pulling to the side of the road and putting the car in park) and leave myself a message on the answering machine: The idea isn’t lost, and I’m that much closer to finishing that project.

So, whether you are a traditional editor with a designated time secluded at your desk and computer, or a bit eclectic like myself, I pray you recognize the beauty in revision. If you need to, feel free to think like I do. Instead of editing or revising ~ dedicate time to refining the piece of writing you created. All good refining takes time, work, bruises, and change – but in the end, it is a more beautiful piece of work than the first draft. One someone else might even want to read. Go figure!



About the Author:
Lisa M. Buske’s sister, Heidi M. Allen was kidnapped on April 3, 1994 never to be seen or heard from again. God has taken a tragic instance of her life and transformed it into a life-saving occurrence. She writes with passion and out of obedience for the God who saved her knowing others need to hear her story. Lisa’s relationship with Jesus opened the door to a hope and healing she didn’t think was possible.
Lisa’s husband, Ed, daughter, Mary, and her parents serve as Lisa’s team as she writes and speaks. Lisa’s faith in God and dedication to family motivate and inspire her to do and be the best woman, wife, mother, and sister she can be. Her life proves it is possible to survive when God is part of the equation.
In addition to writing and speaking, Lisa works as a teacher’s assistant for her local school district and serves at different capacities within her church.
Book Synopsis:
In 1994, my only sister was abducted while working alone at a local convenience store. The book opens with an early morning phone call then details the emotions, grief, and confusion felt in those first moments while transitioning through the days, months, and years to follow.
A sibling’s journey is different from that of a parent. Our role and feelings cannot compare yet they are just as important. Parents experience the greatest loss of their lives through the loss of their child. The emotional loss of the missing child’s siblings, has a similar and traumatic effect in their lives too.
I lost more than my sister on April 3, 1994 I lost my faith. Thanks to the bold faith of one child I have hope and a story to share. There is no one person or thing here on earth to replace Heidi or the friendship we had together yet after ten years of searching, I realized there is Someone who can, God.
“Mrs. Buske, you need Jesus.” Words that changed my life for the better.
My name is Lisa M. Buske and Heidi Allen is my sister. She remains missing but never forgotten. Our journeys after loss may vary yet the pain, grief, and need for hope are similar. This is my story of discovery, healing, and hope from the moment I learn of Heidi’s kidnapping until today.
Life after loss is a rollercoaster ride of memories and emotions.
Will you take this ride with me?
Purchasing Information:
Where’s Heidi? One Sister’s Journey will be released, April 3, 2013. Lisa’s book will be available at Amazon.com for your convenience. Additional bookstores and locations will be posted on her website once confirmed.
Lisa will be hosting a “scavenger hunt” as part of her TOP’S Tuesday blog series in the month of March to reveal a mystery location and book signing on April 3, 2013. There will be a limited number of books available at this location but more will be available at the book release party at The River’s End Bookstore in Oswego, New York later this same day.
More information will be posted as it’s determined.
 Contact Information:
To learn more about Lisa M. Buske or to follow her writing and speaking:
Facebook: “Where’s Heidi?” book page and “Lisa M Buske” author page
Twitter: @LisaBuske
AIM: Lbuskewriter
Writing for Him…to keep Heidi’s memory alive with prayers to heal those affected by abduction.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1 -2 (NIV)

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  1. Eclectic is a great way to describe Lisa Buske. She is the real deal with a real story. I was blessed to receive a review copy of Where’s Heidi. Lisa turns tragedy into triumph! I commend her for her obedience to write her journey. Buring her thoughts in a tear-streaked pillow would have been easier than bearing her soul to a world that needs to hear there is a Savior.

    Lisa’s diligence and determination to write and rewrite and write again is rewarded by the Masterpiece produced in Where’s Heidi. I hope all writers will take a lesson and take time for edits that make their work the best it can be for the Master. Writing is hard work. Rewriting and editing makes the work worth reading!

    You can read my review of Where’s Heidi next Thursday, Jan. 17 on my blog, http://www.SplashesofSerenity.com.

    • Thanks for your comments, Elaine! Amen to all of that. I’ll be sure to post your Thursday link at my FB and tweet about it. I’m looking forward to reading your review, too!

    • Elaine,

      I love that word “eclectic”, thank you. I liked the sneak peak into your review for next week too. Blessed to have you traveling this part of the journey with me. The mentoring and recommendations are cherries on top of a great Sundanese in life. Thank you!

      Looking forward to next week,
      Lisa M. Buske

  2. Lisa sounds like an amazing woman, and she has great tips to help in editing. I’d like to add one. I use a voice recorder when I’m driving, set on voice activation, for those times I have a thought I don’t want to lose. Great post. Look forward to Where’d Heidi”

    • Patricia,

      Thank you. I like the idea of traveling with an actual voice recorder. I was given a Smolensk one but itdi didn’t work and I didn’t try again. I think it is going back on the wish list. Thank you.

      Lisa M Buske

  3. Vie says:

    I too was blessed to read Lisa’s pre-publication story of Heidi’s abduction and assumed murder. When I held the advanced reader copy of her finished book in my hands, I was overwhelmed with the love and dedication that Lisa had put into her book. God’s healing grace continues in Heidi’s family, and her sister’s book will help others facing adversity see God’s hand in their situation.

    Thanks, Michelle, for hosting Lisa on your blog! I loved reading about her writing/editing minutes. I especially loved her LUNCHTIME emails.

    • Vie,

      Thank you for joining me on this journey and your role to model the refining process in editing versus the need to visit my hairdresser to Colorado the grey. Lol You words and walking with me are a blessing. Your thoughts above leave me humbled.

      Lisa M Buske

  4. Robin says:

    I can’t wait to read this book when it comes out, it sounds incredible. And I love the editing tips. I can’t wait to try some of them.

    • Robin,

      I am glad you liked the editing tips, will pray they ease the notion of work required to refine your writing. The book wads a journey in itself. Thank you for the kind words about the book. I pray it touched your heart when you read it.

  5. Hi Pat – Thanks for the tip on the voice recorder. What brand do you use? I need one that’s easy to work and understand. I taped an interview once with Cec Murphy for over an hour and nothing recorded. That was embarrassing! (He let me record the interview again.)
    Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hi Vie – thanks for stoping by today. I can’t wait to read Lisa’s book. I’m amazed at how people who work full time can find time to write, too. Every minute counts, doesn’t it?

    • Michelle,

      Thank YOU, every minute does count but when we write for Him, it seems to stay relaxed and time works out when the focus is on Him. My heart is encouraged today, thanks to you and your readers.

      Lisa M Buske

  7. Wow, you nailed you Lisa. It is so easy to get overwhelemed with the editing process, which allows frustration set in. Balancing family, work, and writing is a fine line. I’m glad you found little ways to make yourself more efficient and still improve your writing. Where’s Heidi will be a huge success and will help many!

    • Amy,

      Thanks for stopping over – there has to be a balance in life, this is for sure. Thanks for your encouragement.

      Lisa 😉

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