As much as I lamented last week about the time it was taking me to turn my editor’s comments and suggestions into changes in the manuscript, that process continues. After another week, I’m only on page 15 of the 152-page manuscript. The majority of the time is taken up in thought. What attributes can I add to flesh out a character in a manner that makes the story better? How to I fill in scenes with action or dialog that help move the story forward? How will this change/addition affect characters and plots further along in the story? There are so many questions that must be considered before putting fingers to keyboard. Handwritten notes on my thoughts are placed in a separate notebook to refresh the memory as I move further into the book. It is a time-consuming process, a process that needs to be fitted into one’s life and the other activities that make it up.
The writer/author has the final say as to what does or does not need changing. It is the editor’s job to bring those possible changes to the attention of that person. A thrilling but sometimes frustrating experience.
I’ve made it out with the camera and the cell phone solely for the purpose of taking photos again this past week. My back now seems to be fully recovered and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to get behind the lens again free from pain. Photo-walks are one of my favorite things to do. I also did a little project with doodads around the apartment. Some turned out better than others. We are in the sunny days of fall here in Lima, Peru and the roses are in bloom again. Perfect for a man who loves to take pictures of flowers.
Three billion dollars in damage to infrastructure, over 700,000 homeless, and over 100 dead here in Peru after the floods and mudslides have subsided. Many are living in tent cities now trying to figure out how they will recover from this. It will be many years before things return to normal in the northern half of Peru. Lots of the blame can be spread to previous governments here. Corruption is at the head of the problems for this country. Substandard building techniques for roads and bridges, little thought to where buildings should and should not be built, bribes accepted in every level, and more are all parts of the problem. How will this new administration and future ones correct this behavior and ensure as much as possible the safety of their citizens? What does this event tell them about the damage that a new major quake in the Lima area will do to the capital?
On a personal note as an expat, the internet here at my apartment has sucked for the past week. It has been down for over that period for a total of twenty hours. Sour grapes, I know and probably sounds a little whiny after the last paragraph. Still, this is my major form of communication with the world and I miss it when it’s gone.
Friday evening cocktails with Mona and Kelly was a hoot as usual. It was funny listening to them argue about buying a thirty-dollar umbrella for the patio, one for and one against. Saturday’s meeting at the BV was a real blast. Our normal group expanded by one as our good friend Bob Lowry joined Dario, Mahlon, Larry, Carlo and me. It only expanded our normally incredible conversations to new levels. I was amazed at the changes they had made to the BV in our absence. They had built a new bar and expanded the area behind it for the workers, a new patio at the entrance and some subtle changes to the outdoor table areas all added to make it a better place. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to meet up with Kathy on Sunday. She had a sudden appointment with her lawyer. Now she is off to Ayacucho in the mountains for a visit with a friend of hers. All other friends and family are doing well.
Another post comes to an end. I hope it didn’t bore you too much. Remember to get up and get out – use it or lose it. I am still making progress on my efforts to get into better shape and staying active and off the couch are two important ingredients. They can be for you too.