Done. Again?


Seriously? Do I mean I’m done with Shrapnel? Isn’t that what I said last week? And the week before? Why should you even believe me this time? Well, let me tell you…

I’m a perfectionist and a worrywart, so I was bound to give it another pass. And I still hated that the manuscript was too long. I mean I’ll never get it to “normal” length, but what was ever “normal” about me? However, I still needed to cut a little more before I tortured Lisa with editing it. So now it’s 175 and a half thousand words. That is a LOT. But that was as low as I could go – with a couple of 1000-2000 word chapters in there that don’t absolutely need to be there (they are just about boys) and sorry to say, unimportant. So it could be about 172,000-ish, though, I want Lisa to edit those so I have the option of keeping them in. Hopefully, she’ll just talk me into throwing way more out than just conquests.

I spent my last pass just “spot checking,” which was just giving it a kind of Evelyn Wood-speed read to make sure the story paced well with all the information (and I stayed consistent in my most honest voice possible), while I threw in a few extra comments here and there, cracking a few jokes, and adding some deeper feelings. All in all that added about 600 words to the entire manuscript. Not’s not too bad – I wasn’t too unhappy with that.

Once that was done, I closed the program and ran to mjp to tell him I was finished! I don’t think he believed it though, and I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t. He’s had to live with so much anxiety from me with all of this – and he has not even read one word. But as I said, I closed the program, and told him I was “done.”

Then, later that night, I decided I needed to format it into a Word.docx for Lisa eventually anyway, so I reopened it to see how to do that. I know I probably should have just read the Scrivener Help files, or Googled it, but instead I tried to figure it out on my own and kind of wrecked the file completely. I was able to make the Word file all right, but it took about an hour and a half to go back to a previous back-up file so it would look right in Scrivener again. Duh! For a while there, I was afraid I would have to reformat all the chapters one at a time by hand, even re-doing all the italics, etc. (And there’s 70 chapters!) Thank God I did not have to.

Now I’m trying to think of a subtitle for the book. And I’m trying to avoid the word “survivor.” I don’t mind “memoir” anymore. That’s fine. I’m over it.  It’s still much better than “autobiography.” Yuck!  The subtitle has to at least give some explanation of what the book might be about, especially since Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley leaves a little to be desired, and I really don’t want to change that title unless someone with a check tells me I have to. I got attached to that title, but it may not make sense anymore. I may be attached to it for very wrong reasons. The whole book was originally formatted around place. I basically grew up in (many) various neighborhoods in the Valley, so when the book was 300,000 words long, I detailed where everything took place, complete with landmarks and such. It’s not really that way anymore. I talk about the Valley a lot, and the worst shit happened there, but I don’t know, It’s not the same. We’ll see.

Anyway, now that I’m done, I’m very anxious to know what in the world I have! Is it a book? Is it a ream of scrap? Four hundred paper airplanes?

In the meantime, I guess painting is waiting for me.



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