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.
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!
EDITING ON THE FLY
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.
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!