Do you read your manuscript backwards?

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As your grow in your writing you learn tricks of the trade. These are invaluable for they help save you time and also improve your manuscript. Than there are the tips you might hear about from other writers when they share what they have heard used.

When someone said that they read their works backup my head immediately looked up to turn to look at her. This was at my critique group. I was surprised. I was even more surprised when I saw some of the other members nod their head.

What the heck? Read your manuscript backwards? According to them when you read your manuscript forwards your mind tricks you into believing you have read every word but what happens is your mind skims over words especially if you have read your WIP to heck and back. When you read backwards your mind is not able to do this as readily because after all who reads a book backwards. By doing so you catch errors that might have been missed and errors that were big that could have made your manuscript tank.

Reading online about this shortly after the meeting I found out this was an actual thing. It is not something I had done at this point. Yes I have read a page or two but nothing significant. I keep telling myself I will do it. If it is another tool to make your work pop I need to make an honest effort to try it for myself. Thank goodness my children series are not so long. But oh man when and if I do the novels that are in the 50k. It will take me convincing myself a lot to give this a go.

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Has your journey as a writer been great?

 

I been spring cleaning my office. It is something I have been avoiding for way too long. With it came two full cabinets stuffed with papers that I had to go through one by one. Joy, right? The bookcases were not bad. The roll cart that is dedicated to writing and etc was easy peasy. But the file cabinets not so much

But as I sorted through sheet after sheet of paper I found some awesome stuff. Cards from years and years from my husband with his message inside each one. I came across some old pictures that made me pause and smile as the memories came back alive. I came across stacks and stacks of papers concerning writing whether it was an article, an old notebook from classes I have taken, notes from a conference, pictures from conferences I been to and so on.

I have been doing this a while now, writing. It really has flown. People have asked me, “Hey, are you still writing?” I get why and yes I am. In fact one book has been ready since March of last year but life gets in the way at times.

It was awesome to find photocopies of quotes I have received or made myself. I saw an old calendar of my events, programs and speaking engagements I have done over the years. It has truly gone by so fast. But it has been a great experience for me for this is something I never expected to be doing when I was younger. Heck, even years ago.

So while it took me a number of trash bags, a lot of shredding, a lot of filing and finding room for everything my office is now in order and there is a place for everything so I am better organized. That alone was worth it. But the journey to get here was hard work but so much fun as I scanned visually the last few years as an author. It has been really great, I have met some amazing people, I have formed long-lasting friendships that go beyond writing, and I have come to be happy with this.

I hope those who are writers who follow me can say the same that the journey has been worth it,

I live with my main character to my children’s series

 

It is this big guy’s anniversary of coming home to his forever home. Well, actually it was in October 18 years ago when our youngest child came to his forever home. In 1999 we rescued/adopted a five-year old yellow cheek Amazon parrot and life has never been the same.

His first owner was an Army soldier. She either didn’t do the research, thought it was cute to have an exotic animal or she was casual about the whole thing for she had him in a cage made for a cockatiel. Jasper could not stretch out his wings for the first five years of his life.

Upon coming home to our small apartment he would not come out of his open cage for the first six months with us. Nothing I could do to entice him worked. I also know to this day anytime I use a broom or mop around him he gets very skittish and very upset. I can only speculate what that means.

Jasper is an amazing animal who is smarter than some people I personally know. He shows us love and compassion and a lot of laughs. To those who have told me birds can’t be pets I say two things. First of all if you can say that then you have never had the privilege of having one in your home. Second you are right for Jasper is not our pet he is our family. He is now 23 years old and in bird years he is still considered young. He hates and loves me sometimes at the same time. But he knows he is loved and cared for and knows, and this is the important part, that he will never be harmed while he is with us. This is his forever home, period. We wouldn’t want it any other way. I still to this day would slap the woman who thought this was okay.

I have had many different kind of pets over the years and have always enjoyed the bond formed with them. But rescuing birds since 1998 has been one of the best experiences I have enjoyed. Especially one who talks back, knows what he is saying, knows when to use it and is constantly learning and improving himself.

And by observing him all these years he has become my main character to my children’s series. A majority of the mannerisms that one reads I have seen him do.

So Happy Anniversary Jasper, may we enjoy many more years with you.