Blog #14The Writing of LilyAn Unedited Journal(Blog #1

Blog #14

The Writing of Lily

An Unedited Journal

(Blog #1 Starts in January with the Introduction)

The trial chapter still needs work of rearranging the scenes before it is completed.  I’m seeing an end to the first draft after all these years, probably over 20 years now.  What a project!  I really hope it’s good when it’s finished and that it sees publication. 

I received my only royalty check of $37.53 for Amigos from Kid’s in Between (publisher).  The money in this business is the pits.

I had a piece on the Godinho family—“The Humboldt County Blue Ribbon Family” for The Beacon.  I wrote my 2003 proposed Children’s Ministry budget and my August 2002 church board report.  Now I must set everything aside and get ready for Melanie and my precious grandsons to arrive for a visit on Monday, I’m so excited!

August 17, 2002

Enjoyed the Humboldt County Fair one day and Swimmer’s Delight (The Eel River) another day.  Melanie and the boys left yesterday morning and Ed and I went to work.  I had Deanna Enos (friend) over for lunch today.  Tomorrow is work and then Monday—oh Monday—will I be able to write?

August 20, 2002

I can’t believe it!  After over 20 years, I have just finished the first draft of Lily.  I thought I’d feel elated, but I can’t really say I’m elated.  I think I’m more concerned if it’s good enough, and if it will ever see publication.  I guess I should be thankful I’ve come this far. The end really came faster than I originally thought it would.  I thought I’d have about 300 (double spaced) pages and I only have 229.

August 22, 2002

I did one more minor edit before sending copies to Evergreen members for their comments.

I decided to do some freelance features for the Times-Standard newspaper in Eureka.  I’ll be paid $25 for each feature, plus $20 for each photo.  Ugh!  What am I doing?  I feel I have to make enough with my writing to pay my expenses. Or is there another reason?  Is it to see my name in print?  It’s a sickness.  It really is a sickness.  It took five hours to write the first piece on Abe and Lisa Cho. I wonder—have I made a big mistake?

This has been a fantastic month for my writing.  I’ve done more this month than I’ve done all year.

September 4, 2002

I’m tired tonight.  I worked at my Children’s Ministry job for eight hours today and my mind is not functioning as I’d like, but I want to get things ready for the writer’s conference in Crescent City (California) this weekend. 

I submitted the 911 Dr. Asti article to The Humboldt Beacon.

I’m going to try to revise the Lily synopsis tonight for the conference, and hopefully, finish it to my satisfaction tomorrow.  I’m also doing an interview for another piece for the Times-Standard about the new track and field at Town School (Fortuna, California).

September 18, 2002

I never rewrote the Lily synopsis. 

The conference was fantastic.  Although I see that Lily needs a lot of work.  I think I’ll have to read several books before I tackle the revision.

Jean, Christine, and Sharon gave good input on the last 25 pages of Lily.  Although Sharon says it isn’t too much work, I don’t agree. I think it needs a great deal of work.  I’m trying to find all the books recommended at the conference.  I checked, used book stores, and the library.  I checked out a good book at the library, plus one on revision and one on editing.  I’m serious about making Lily better.

I’m also working on three newspaper articles—one for The Humboldt Beacon on Andre Kole, and two for the Times-Standard; one on the Fortuna Depot Museum and a $30,000 gift from Frank Rohner for the Rohner Room of the museum and another on the Apple Harvest Festival. (All the features written for the Times-Standard are from Fortuna, California.)

I still haven’t cleaned off my desk.  What is taking me so long?  Am I afraid that if I have a neat desk, I’ll have to go to work?  That’s crazy, because I am working.

January 4, 2003

Wow!  I can’t believe it has been so long since I worked on Lily.  In November I got my children’s writing projects ready for the children’s writer’s workshop at Big Sur, California.  At first I thought the workshop was excellent. After more thought, I was disappointed that the person (another author) did not read the synopsis of Lindsey’s Choice (middle-grade novel) and didn’t read the complete manuscript.  I wasn’t sure how she could critique the book without reading it in its entirety.

I cleaned off my desk (a major accomplishment) and bought a four drawer file cabinet, for writer’s guidelines.  Still have so many more boxes to sort.  I’ve decided instead of having manuscripts in boxes to resubmit, I will make a list of the projects and file them alphabetically; I think it’s a much better idea.  I’m really getting organized.

Read revised first chapter of Lily to Evergreen writers.  Although they think the writing is good, they think I should start the book later (not at Lily’s birth). They think chapter one could be a prologue.

January 31, 2003

Not one thing done on Lily all month.  I wrote four newspaper features and one long press release.  The press release was never published; also a short feature on St. Luke Manor was rejected by The Humboldt Beacon. 

I did get a go-ahead on my “How to be an Unforgettable Teacher” for Children’s Ministry Magazine as well as favorable comments about my piece on Tiffany Beltz for the Times-Standard.

It’s been a stressful month with my Children’s Ministry job—preparations for several meetings, especially the Sunday school meeting with a disappointing turn out.

February is a new month.  I hope to spend a couple of days next month just relaxing and not working at any job.

February 28, 2003

I’ve written nothing on Lily this month.  I wrote four articles and submitted them, sold two to the Times-Standard and one to the Humboldt Beacon.  I’m waiting to hear from the Children’s Ministry magazine, about my article. 

Kathy (daughter) visited this month and I was sick with a cold for a week.

I’m too tired tonight to get anything accomplished on Lily.  I’ll try to do some sorting instead.

April 5, 2003

I worked on four writing projects during the month of March—two for the Times-Standard and two tests for Harcourt Brace.  Gave two presentations of “How to be an Unforgettable Teacher” at the Christian Education conference at Faith Center and participated in the Fortuna Library Day at a book signing.  (I signed four copies of My Time with God and two copies of Amigos.)  It was a very good month, although nothing much done on Lily.

May 8, 2003

            I feel discouraged and stressed. Rain! Rain! Rain! Although I had a lovely birthday and spent two nights at the Benbow Inn, Royal Family Kids’ Camp, Children’s Ministry, the Christian Education Appreciation Dinner and writing assignments are too much. The house is a mess.

Published in: on April 29, 2013 at 7:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Blog #13

The Writing of Lily

An Unedited Journal

(Blog #1 Starts in January with the Introduction)

November 27-2001

The outline and 1st chapter of Leonardo DiCaprio biography are in the mail to the editor. 

I spent a couple of hours working on Lily and emailed it to members of Evergreen Writers.  We plan to meet for lunch at Curlys (a restaurant in Ferndale, California) on December 8, and discuss it. 

December 12, 2001

There is still no word on the Leonardo DiCaprio project.  AWANA (a non-denominational ministry for children) was tonight and I’m too tired to work on Lily.

December 15, 2001

The last weekend before our family arrives to celebrate Christmas with us.  I want to clean the house and get ready without stress, and I feel really good about that. 

I’m starting to evaluate my writing year to see how much I’ve accomplished on Lily this year.  I read this journal and calculate approximately how many pages I’ve written on Lily.

I wrote about ten chapters on Lily this year, plus some other projects; I wish it had been more.  My goal was to complete the first draft of Lily, but it didn’t happen.  I’m still happy with what I did accomplish.

February 14, 2002

Happy Valentine’s Day.

After putting Lily on the back burner to concentrate on the Leonardo DiCaprio project, I can now return to my most favorite of all writing projects, Lily.  The Leonardo DiCaprio biography I was writing for Lucent Books was rejected after a requested revision of the outline and 1st chapter.  (I never received a contract.)

I was so relieved when my revision was rejected because it would have been a lot of work for the money ($2,500.)  I have a lot of stress with my Children’s Ministry job and organizing the Royal Family Kids’ Camp that I didn’t need a writing deadline hanging over my head.  So I picked Lily back up again today.  Not a lot accomplished on it, but it’s a start. 

Everything is cardboard.  Think, think, think. It’s Lily’s story. She must be in control.  So, how is she going to pull off getting Luke away from Harold?

Will she sneak a secret meeting?

Harold will divorce Lily for the good of the child.  Harold is self-righteous and judgmental and thinks Lily’s lack of morals will harm Luke.

March 4, 2002

February was some month.  I was sick with what I thought was a reoccurring cold most of the month.  I’d start to feel good for a few days and then it would come back.  (It turned out to be a sinus infection which needed antibiotics.) 

I did do some sorting and pitching of some personal papers.

I taught “How to Become an Unforgettable Teacher” twice at the Faith Center Conference (Eureka, California); I spent a lot of hours preparing for it.

Also, Royal Family Kids’ Camp requires a lot of time, so Lily is put on the back burner.

I’m having trouble deciding who will ask for the divorce.  I think it will be Lily.  I did a little revision of scenes with Lily, Harold, Sven, White Dove and Agatha at White Dove’s studio and one of Luke in Judge Moore’s chambers. Lily, your father was my friend even before you were born, and I would do anything in my power for his daughter, except this. I grant custody of Luke Dawson to Harold Dawson. (Lily pg. 148)

March 11, 2002

I received a good critique from Evergreen Writers on Saturday.  Just entered the suggested corrections and printed a copy of the last 25 pages of Lily—some pages only have a paragraph of what will happen in the chapter.  I’m excited about taking it with me on our trip south (Costa Mesa, California) to attend a Royal Family Kids Camp banquet and seminar and then to grandson Brock’s sixth birthday party.

Ed (my husband) drove and I wrote while traveling to southern California, and I’m really happy with what I’ve accomplished. I’ve found that writing long hand in the car while traveling is some of my best writing. I wonder why that is?

March 26, 2002

I spent hours researching divorce in 1928 without any luck.  I’m frustrated.  Later in the afternoon Sharon Brown came by with pages of research for me.  It is just what I needed to write the divorce chapter (32).

March 29, 2002

Writing and rewriting divorce, custody, and shooting scenes.  I’m pleased with what I’ve been able to do.  If only I could stick with it, and it would flow onto the page, but that isn’t how it happens for me. 

Still have to do my Children’s Ministry job and Royal Family Kids Camp.

Tomorrow is Easter, a day to celebrate.

April 15, 2002

I’m pleased with what I read to the Evergreen Writers, on divorce and custody chapters, at our April 7th meeting.  Now I’m at work on lion or lamb chapter when Sven is sweet when he’s sober and mean when he’s drunk. 

I still need a few happy scenes and a couple of scenes showing Sven drunk before I can write the shooting scene.

Other things like CM (Children’s Ministry) and RFKC (Royal Family Kids Camp) are taking up my time.  I spent a lovely weekend with my daughters, Dawn and Kathy, and our friend Tina, at the Women of Faith Conference in Sacramento.  I’m so disappointed Melanie (daughter) didn’t make it.

May 27, 2002 — Memorial Day Weekend

I’m disappointed that I have had to leave Lily while working on Royal Family Kids Camp and my Children’s Ministry job.  I long to concentrate on Lily, but no.  I’m also suffering with sciatica, so I’m in pain, yet it’s better than it was for a while. 

Rain today, breakfast at Denny’s with Ed, and I made a potato salad for dinner.


June 12, 2002

            I’m on a high today. Sharon Brown called and said her students took Amigos home over the weekend. It was a first for some of her students to take a book home. They liked the book; one girl cried at the end of it. Wow! That’s what it’s all about—to make the reader feel.

June 13, 2002

I spoke to Sharon Brown’s classand answered their questions about the writing of Amigos—a great ego booster. I loved it!

June 17, 2002

Royal Family Kids Camp has taken all of my time.  I am looking forward to having my life back when camp is over. 

Treatments with Dr. Asti (chiropractor) on my back.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Dad.  It’s been two years since his death.

July 14, 2002 (Sunday)

Read chapter 34 (the chapter before Lily accidently shoots Sven).  It still needs work.  I need to see if I have enough sober/happy scenes and enough drunken scenes for the reader to see how Sven is a lamb when sober and a lion when drunk.  And I don’t know if I have that yet.

I’m looking forward to a vacation to Oregon and Reno with Ed.  A time away from responsibilities, work, demands, and stress.  We leave this Thursday.  Lily will travel with us, of course, and I hope I can accomplish a lot.  I so want to finish the book this year.

July 28, 2002

We just returned from a nine day vacation to Oregon and Lake Tahoe.  It was wonderful!  The first four or five days I did not write a word; then I wrote some every day after that. I was able to write about 28 pages on Lily (that’s a lot for me). 

We went up the Oregon coast and stayed the first night in Florence after having lunch at Gold Beach.  The following day traveled on Hwy 126 and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.  We had a lovely lunch outdoors at The Log Cabin Inn, on the McKensie River.  We explored the grounds and checked out the cabins.  We want to go back someday.  It’s a heavenly place for a writer to work.  Next, we’re on to Dick and Leoma’s (brother-in-law and sister-in-law) in Redmond. 

After a couple of days in Reno with Dawn (daughter) we drove to Lake Tahoe.  I had always wanted to stay at a casino hotel, and we did.  I found a nickel machine that kept me entertained for hours, swam, read, and relaxed for two days at the Lakeside Inn.

Today, Sunday, I played hooky from church, not really—it was the last day of my vacation.  I’ll start to enter what I wrote on vacation into the computer.  Then tomorrow it’s back to work.  I’m not sure I want to go back to the stress of my job, but I must.

It’s beautiful today.  I’ll probably do some work in the yard too.

Thank you notes to write to Dick and Leoma and to Dawn.  They really showed us a nice time—yummy food, lots of cards (Hearts, Black Jack, and Poker for pennies).  While we were in Reno Dawn spoiled us as usual with a pedicure, dining out (Mexican and Italian), swimming at her friend Tim’s place, reading, shopping, and relaxing.

Before I begin to enter what I wrote on vacation into the computer, Lily is 215 pages.  It was always my plan that the completed novel would be about 300 pages. 


I invited Mother over for a visit.  She sat on the deck while I worked in the yard all afternoon.  Now it’s back to entering more of Lily into the computer.

August 10, 2002

It took longer than I thought it would to put all of my handwritten scenes I wrote on vacation into the computer.  After it was all done, with some changes, I ended up with a total of 230 pages, so I really only did 15 type written pages on vacation.  Well, that’s better than nothing. 

I read the revised murder chapter and the preceding chapter to the Evergreen Writers.  The officer held Luke gently yet firmly as Lily was taken away. Nell yelled, “Murderer!”(Lily pg. 156)

Published in: on April 22, 2013 at 7:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Blog #12

The Writing of Lily

An Unedited Journal

(Blog #1 Starts in January with the Introduction) 

August 13, 2001

I read chapters 24, Lily depressed after Willy’s death, and chapter 25, Lily caring for William after his stroke, to the Evergreen Writers on Saturday.  They liked them.  I entered their editing suggestions and did a rewrite on the grieving chapter, when Lily decides to go to the Bradford Inn.

August 18, 2001

Had lunch with Deanna and Jean at Round Table Pizza and read chapter 26, the- grief chapter and Lily’s decision to go to the Bradford Inn.  I received good feedback.  I’m progressing. “Inch by inch everything is a cinch,” as Dr. Schuller would say.

September 4, 2001

I did a lot of rewriting on the Bradford Inn chapter.  I’ll probably make it two chapters.  There is too much tragedy.  I need to have some happy scenes or chapters.

Ideas:  James will have a relationship with Luke.  Luke goes over to the blind school to play with the other children.  Luke will go fishing with James during the last chapter when Lily prepares dinner for the new minister (at the end of the book).

Now I need to concentrate on writing a chapter of Lily and Sven (the man she meets at the Bradford Inn) having some fun.

September 17, 2001

So much has happened in my country since my last journal entry with the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11.  I’ve mourned for all the deaths of innocent Americans and for the loss of our way of life as I’ve known it.

As so many are saying, “It’s time to get back to life,” yet sometimes I just want to stay in bed and cover up my head, or sit and watch TV.  I am also feeling the stress of my job at Hydesville Community Church with so many needs for Sunday school teachers and people not willing to commit. Today I am at home doing what I want to do.  I thought about going to the Benbow Inn (my favorite place), but changed my mind.  I am still in my bathrobe, have watched a couple of great speeches on TV from the House of Representatives and did some editing on Lily from the Evergreen Writer’s suggestions, from our last meeting.  Now I’ll try to do some work on the Bradford Inn scene.

September 20, 2001

I completed the Bradford Inn chapter (27) today.  I’m happy with it for now.  I’ll probably need to do some revision later.

And a good start on the chapter 28.  Lily has moved in with Sven and they plan to pick up Luke in Laurel Springs and return to the Bradford Inn with him to live with them.  They are in for a fight from Harold.

September 24, 2001

I wrote chapter 31 (pre-divorce). When Lily and Sven go to Laurel Springs to pick up Luke and bring him to live with them.  They are confronted by Harold and Agatha.

If you think I’ll let my son live with you and that man, you’re wrong. . . . I’ll see you in court. Harold. (Lily pg. 144)

October 16, 2001

I must put Lily on hold for a while.  I need to work on a possible work-for-hire for Lucent Books, a biography on Leonardo DiCaprio.  I’m so excited.

I read two chapters of Lily to Evergreen Writers last Saturday, the Bradford Inn scene and the pre-divorce chapter (31).  I just entered their comments into the manuscript.  It takes a while to do it, but it is worth the effort as I feel they are making my book a better one because of their input.  Now I’ll go forward with the research and writing of the DiCaprio book.  Yippee!

Published in: on April 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Blog #11

The Writing of Lily

An Unedited Journal

(Blog #1 Starts in January with the Introduction)

May 10, 2001

I finished the devotion assignment for Standard.  I have one more read through. 

Now I hope to get a good bead on what I want to do with the next chapter of Lily.  I know it will be difficult with only one character (Lily) able to talk in the scenes with her father. I must be creative in how I’m going to pull it off.  I can bring other characters into this part of the book like Agatha, White Dove, Harold, and Luke.

May 12, 2001

I read a short scene, between Lily and White Dove, to Evergreen Writers today; Lily wants to know why God hates her.

May 14, 2001

I forgot something very important; after the house burns, where are Lily and Harold going to live?  The Blair Boarding House? Laurel Springs? Lily can’t stand the sight of Langdon (the company owned lumber mill town where Willy perished in the fire) anymore. 

After the fire Lily will be given a sedative to sleep.  They will go to the Blair house.

June 1, 2001

I wrote about 600 words of James asking Tess to marry him.  The chapter still needs work.  It moves too fast.

June 7, 2001

I’m doing a lot of rewrites on several chapters—James and Tess’ honeymoon, their return to Laurel Springs and after.  It’s so much work. 

June 9, 2001

I attended meetings at church last night and today and arrived late to Evergreen Writers.  Read the chapter of James and Tess’ wedding, etc.  Still needs work, but may just make notes and put it aside to do rewrites on other chapters and move forward.

July 1, 2001

After a long break—what to do?  What to do?  Help!

July 2, 2001

I spent the last two weeks away from home.  The first week was training for Royal Family Kids Camp in Canby, Oregon and the second week at Lake Tahoe with the family.  Having the Stouts and Brazils (friends) here for 4th of July and housing several teenagers from a musical group who will perform Sunday at church.  So . . . I don’t know when I’ll get back to Lily.  I hope soon.  I’m disappointed that not much is happening with my writing. Darn.

July 10, 2001

Now, after spending two hours cleaning off my messy desk, I was able to spend an hour and a half on the deck reviewing Lily revising and brain storming.  I’ve come up with some ideas to continue with the writing of Lily.

I think I’ll try to work on the chapter where Lily nurses William after his stroke.  Here goes!

July 17, 2001

I had a good writing day yesterday.  I wrote a scene with Luke and Lily when Luke was six-years-old, and a scene with Luke and White Dove.  Now, if I could only keep up the momentum.  But I always seem to have long lulls between good writing days—like days, months, even years sometimes—at least in the beginning. 

I have an idea for a future scene:  In her will Anna will leave her house to Agatha and William.  Upon either of their deaths the house will go to the surviving sibling.  Lily will never want to take charity from Agatha. This will also force her to run away to the Bradford Inn.  She will not go to Langdon either; it holds a horrible memory for her. 

Now, to go outside in the sunshine and do some gardening and hopefully think of scenes to write the next chapter—William’s stroke and Lily nursing him.  SHOW, DON’T TELL.

I find my first draft is almost all telling and little showing.  

August 6, 2001

I sent two proposals to Royal Family Kids’ Camps founder, Wayne Tesch.  One was for a kid’s devotional book and the other was Lindsey’s Choice as a serial.  It felt good getting them into the mail.

Now I must get back to Lily.

Later: I wrote a scene with Agatha after William’s stroke.  I feel better about this chapter now.  Thank God for some time to create what I hope will be a book worth reading.

August 7, 2001

I worked on chapter 25—Lily carrying for William after his stroke. She sat down and opened the newspaper . . . “Oh look, Papa, there’s an article on White Dove?” . . . “White Dove Ramsey, local artist and owner of White Dove’s Indian Art Studio at 900 Main Street in Laurel Springs, has recently been commissioned for a painting to hang in the Indian section of the newly built Franklin Library . . . . Isn’t that wonderful, Papa? Our very own White Dove will have one of her paintings hanging in the new library in Franklin.”

August 8, 2001

I’m still putting all the writing and rewrites into the computer that were done in long hand while at the Benbow Inn yesterday.

New idea:  No one, that has read the manuscript, likes Lily dying in the last chapter.  What if I have Lily have a near death experience where she sees her mother, father, Anna, and Willy?  She is brought back to life at a much younger age and there is a different reunion—not in heaven, but with Luke?  White Dove? James? Or maybe someone new in her life—possibly the lawyer who saved her?

Published in: on April 9, 2013 at 4:26 am  Leave a Comment