Archive for May, 2012

A matter of metal

May 31, 2012

In the long, sad slog that has been my “adult braces experience,” today marks a turning point: It’s the last day I am required to wear my retainers full-time. My glee is tempered by the knowledge that I am not free to burn or flush said retainers — instead I’ve been advised to wear them nightly for the rest of my life.

I refuse to think about that right this minute. Instead, I am concentrating on how great it’s going to be to cruise through the days with no metal in my mouth — something I haven’t done since July 27, 2010, not that anyone’s keeping track. No more awkward removal of top and bottom appliances just to accept a fellow cyclist’s offer of an energy gel. No more constant refusal of snacks (which just aren’t worth the dental annoyance). No more incessant exploration of the alien metal in my mouth with a constantly worried tongue.

Come to think of it, I bet my number of migraines drops once I get to remove this perpetual source of irritation from my daylight hours.

In preparation for tomorrow’s unveiling, I have been practicing with the whole naked teeth idea for a few hours at a time. I went snorkeling this week, and opted to avoid having snorkel mouthpiece meet dental apparatus. And a couple of parties have seen me sans retainers as well.

I also chose not to wear them to my first gym workout since, um … December. I thought it would be hard enough getting back into the swing of weight lifting without that annoyance.

As to the reason for my long absence from the gym, let me hasten to explain. Strictly speaking, it was not my fault. (So few things are, I’ve discovered.)

My trainer, you see, opted to pursue different opportunities. (How dare he, right?) Anyway, his decision, coupled with a severe lack of funds on my part, led an extended couch potato session. It’s hard to see how I could have done anything differently in that situation.

In summary, June will see me back at the gym on a regular basis sporting a metal-less mouth that will undoubtedly be more inclined toward smiling. I’m betting the changes will ensure a great summer, one in which I finish the book.

Count on it!

A little help here, please

May 27, 2012

The solitariness required to write a book is a given, and I’ve learned to be content with the alone time necessary to make that happen. But as I embark on the final chapter, I find myself looking forward to a point in the near future when I can begin working with an editor to make this exciting book the best it can be.

I’m eager to dig into the structure, find the flaws, rearrange whole chunks of content if need be, polish the prose, make my voice consistent. I have both specific questions and more general concerns I’m ready to discuss with an editor, someone who’s really passionate about this material like Dr. Mo and I are. Someone I trust.

I actually have someone in mind and I’ll of course name her if our relationship becomes official. Meantime, you might be wondering why we’re looking to hire our own editor instead of waiting for a publishing house to assign one. If you read about the process of signing with an agent, you know we contracted with someone in New York who’s been sending out the ‘Kiss and Tell’ proposal for a couple of months now.

But we’ve had a snag and a bit of disinterest, so rather than stewing in any disappointment, we’ve decided to push ahead on a couple of self-publishing fronts, in case that turns out to be the path we take. So at last week’s work meeting, (after which I polished off the health chapter!!) we split up tasks to accomplish in the next couple of weeks. Dr. Mo is researching a loan to cover the cost of self-publishing while I gather exact estimates for what those costs will be.

Fortunately, I know people who’ve written books, and early on I got a recommendation for a very experienced editor who has worked with both fiction and non-fiction. I like her flexibility because, although the book is non-fiction, it’s written in story fashion and utilizes many fiction-like touches to increase its appeal.

I emailed the editor and she got back to me quickly (despite being out of her office), which I took as a good sign. She had heard about ‘Kiss and Tell’ from a mutual friend and finds the concept intriguing. Woo hoo! First hurdle overcome; no prudes need apply.

Like some others I saw online, this editor offers a free edit of 1,000 words of your book, so you can see how she works and whether you’re a good fit. I think this is an excellent practice, because anyone will tell you that finding a person who gets what you want to do and helps you say it in the best possible way is a writer’s dream. Serious writers all long for the partnership of a caring editor.

I perused my decades chapters and decided to submit the first 1,000 words of my chapter on the 80s Ladies. Remember them? I adored those gals and also felt they brought out some of my best writing, so I’m curious to see how much this editor wants to change up what I’ve done. Good editors don’t rewrite everything a writer creates in a bid to insert their own voice; instead they make the writer’s voice truer and stronger.

That’s what I’m holding out for.

Naturally we wouldn’t move definitively to hire an editor until we formally sever ties with our agent. And it may not come to that. In the world of publishing, something unexpected can always happen.

We’re just trying to stay smart, stay flexible and make the best decisions possible for ‘Kiss and Tell’s’ success. Fingers and toes crossed!