My weekend off from writing, editing and (mostly) thinking about Kindred was refreshing. So nice to dust off those rusty far-right-brained skills with 6-7 hours of pencil drawing, the preliminary step for a painting.

Our frequent hikes around Lost Creek Lake have inspired me to do a series of intimate wildlife portraits–birds, small mammals, maybe an owl or two, nestled in settings richly carpeted in lichen and moss, so typical of the wetter west sides of our Oregon mountains. I’ve got Manzanita Stump and Deer Mouse underway. It’s a tiny corner of the outdoors. Years ago I painted sweeping landscapes and large dramatic animals–wolves, bears, cougars, coyotes. These days I’m drawn to songbirds and small rodents. Wonder what that says? Humbled ambitions, maybe?

Since the weekend I’ve completed a synopsis and query letter, back cover copy and a few one liners (or promotional sentences) for Kindred. It’s good to have a working template for the query and synopsis. I’m letting them sit now, and will look at them again, and polish them, when I’m ready to start submitting proposals and queries.

The manuscript needs more attention first. It’s still too long at 206,000 words, and there are some content issues that need addressing. I’ve made a careful list of threads and themes that need beefing up in order to earn the pay off in the second half of the book.

My plan: a hard copy edit next. I tend to see things in hard copy that I miss while reading from the computer.

I’m letting the story cool off this week. I’ll start the next edit on Monday. I’ll still look for places to trim back, but I’m also going to add where needed, too. Not anticipating a lot of adding, though–or else I’ll just pray that sufficient cuts can still be made to counter it!

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