My memoir revision process

Since I’ve been on the topic of revision, I thought I’d share the revision process I followed while getting my memoir ready for publication. I eagerly took on the task of editing and revising my memoir manuscript. I had spent many years editing and rewriting proposals to the U.S. Government, and I used much of this experience to revise my book. One of the first lessons I learned on that job was to plan before doing, and that was the first thing I did before embarking on my rounds of revisions. Here’s my process. 1. Create a revision plan. I created a revision plan based on my publisher’s and first reader’s notes. Once I buy-in from my publisher to this plan, I was ready to get to work. 2. Don’t edit as you write. Write, wait a while, then edit: Leave your work alone for as long a time as you can before sitting down to edit it. While I spent over two years querying agents and small presses, my manuscript laid dormant. So when I finally got my book contract, I read it … [Read more...]

Logo shirts and prickly cacti

I just came back from a retirement party for Gibby Gilbert, a graphic artist whom I had worked with for years at Northrop Grumman. He is a true character. He always did a great job even though he complained a lot and worried that we’d never get our work done on time for our proposal deadline. He was an incredible asset to any proposal he worked. And when he wasn’t very busy he would walk up and down the halls, and if he had any news or gossip, he always stop by my office to clue me in. He also bought old logo shirts at thrift shops and wore a different one every day. At holiday time, his shirt was always very appropriate. So today we were asked to wear a logo shirt or a Hawaiian shirt, his second favorite kind of attire, in his honor. (I wore a bowling shirt I bought to wear to a fifties bowling party a few years ago - the team logo is on the back and the name of the bowler, Frank, is on the front.) Gibby says now that he’s retiring he’s going to give them all back to the thr … [Read more...]