What comes after THE END?

I’ve been absent.  At the end of writing a book, when my creative energy is focused on climactic scenes and tying up loose ends, it’s hard to think about writing anything else.  So my blog takes a hit.  I apologize.

But Sweet Salt Air is now done – at least, the heavy-duty, mind-drain part of it is.  All 408 pages have gone off to my editor in New York, who will now read it and suggest revisions.  I take as many of those as I’m comfortable with and type in my changes.  Assuming she approves them, she then line-edits the manuscript, which doesn’t involve substantive changes, simply changes in form.  For instance, she may delete a repetitive sentence or smoothe out wording that trips her up.  Once we’ve agreed on these small changes, the book goes into production.

The next I hear of it is from the copyeditor, who will have pored through the manuscript for technical errors.  These may have to do with chronology – have I written two Wednesdays into a given week, or changed the spelling of a character’s name halfway through the book?  My lead, Charlotte, is a travel writer.  The copyeditor makes sure that I’ve been consistent throughout in describing her assignments.  Likewise, the cookbook that she and Nicole are compiling.  It won’t do for them to be writing a chapter called SWEETS that mysteriously changes to DESSERTS mid-way through.  My job now is to answer the copyeditor’s queries and correct any discrepancies he or she finds.

Do I mind this “afterwork”?  Absolutely not! Since I don’t have to face a blank screen, the responsibility is less daunting.  Playing with words is a little like putting flowers in a vase.  You already have the raw materials.  Now you shift them around until you have the most pleasing arrangement.

Back to the present.  Today, tomorrow, the next day – this is happy time.  If I haven’t heard from my editor in a week, I’ll be worrying that she doesn’t like the book.  So how do I pass the waiting time?

New author photo!  Talk about stress.  I would much prefer to be behind the camera, which is why I was a photographer in an earlier life.  But – new book, new photo, right?

The three in this blog, never published before, were taken in 2008 in a garden setting in central Massachusetts.  We had to reschedule several times for rain, and when we finally got sun, the humidity was high, hence hair problems.  Forget that!  This time I’ll be in a studio.

I hate having my picture taken.  Hate it.  How about you?  Are you a better taker than takee?





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  1. Shirley Helm on June 22, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Congrats Barbara on the completion of your book. Just can’t wait to get my hands on it. :0). I hate having my picture taken also. These pictures are very nice of you. I think we are just too criitcal of ourselves. I’ll be waiting to see the new pic.

  2. Angela Moore on June 23, 2012 at 1:26 am

    Can’t wait to read the new book. Oh yeah, I’d rather be on the other side of the camera, any time.

  3. Rose on June 23, 2012 at 3:03 am

    Congrats! Can’t wait to read it.

    Definitely taker 🙂

  4. Paula on June 23, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I hate having my picture taken, and have for years..even before I put on weight. Recently we looked through photos albums as we prepared for my daughter’s wedding, and there were very few of me. Now I wish I had those photos..back when I was younger and much thinner.

  5. Pat on June 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    The book is now on my list to buy, as soon as it comes out. About the photos, the older I get, the more I don’t like to have mine taken. But the three you posted are great!

  6. Brandi on June 25, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Wow, I can’t wait for the new book to come out. That is quite a process. I loved reading that you used to be a photographer. I like taking pictures and being photographed, neither one bothers me. We call my husband the paparazzi because he loves taking pictures so much, and I try to fill in when he is not around. Just relax and enjoy!! Just pretend like your hanging out not really having to do the photo.

  7. Lorraine on June 26, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I often dislike my photos, too. There will be an awful picture of myself and I’ll moan, then someone will say “ooh, that’s a good picture of you. Looks just like you.” Do we think we look better than we do, are we just too critical?? Like someone said, pics taken when we were younger that we didn’t like then, we now look at and see how beautiful we were.

  8. Gail on June 27, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I am so looking forward to your new offering. I finished “Escape” yesterday. I loved the read, as I have all your books. I also enjoy listening via CD while traveling in my car. Never saw a photo of me I’ve liked, but I think the pix you have posted are quite nice. Thanks for your artistry in writing.

  9. Kathy Kelly-Heinzelman on July 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I have always taking pictures but I have very few where I’m in them..I have always thought that I might break the camera…LOL That is from have 7 mean brothers and 6 sisters who were hams…I didn’t need to be in the picture because they liked the attention.

    I have read almost everything you have written…I love the way you start with an issues and then work out the steps to solve…so real life. I’m going to pick up three wishes and can’t wait for Sweet Salt Air to hit the stands so I can get a copy of it to read.

    Barbara I really like the picture of you sitting in the yard in the chair surround by leaves. A good picture for the changing season.

    Thanks again for sharing your talent with us and God Bless you and your family for the must be saints for some of your hours….I know I write also..but for my own enjoyment.

    My Mom loved to have her picture taken and I asked one time why…her reply surprised me but knowing her I guess it shouldn’t….I’m leaving my mark on life by leaving pictures for the all the generations to follow. She said she always thought about better places to be. I suppose you could do that too.

    Your loyal fan and reader,
    Kathy Kelly-Heinzelman

  10. JD Richardson on July 13, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    It’s one of those things that I find fascinating, especially as a photographer. The people I find to be the most captivating, natural, or photogenic in portraits (or even candids) are often the people who are the most uncomfortable in front of the camera. Interesting.

    I would never have known this about you had you not shared this with us. From your photos, I sense beauty, elegance, poise, but in a warm and inviting way, drawing us in like an old friend. Your eyes speak to me of genuineness and a twinkle of laughter. Come to think of it, your photos remind me of your books! They do!

    As for me? I’d rather write and be on the right side of the camera. Behind it, that is. I suffer it for the sake of the kids, but that’s about it.

  11. Lauren Lee on October 7, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I love your pics. You have great taste in clothes. Really like the one in the dress with the boots. So pretty!

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