Sitting here at the keyboard, I am enjoying the sight of the columbines out my window, allergy season not so much, and re-edited an Oregon historical manuscript that is due out June 21st.
this is not the cover, but I played with it as a possibility
Where Dreams Go has been edited, time and time again. This edit is the one ahead of when I hand it over to a beta reader. He has read a lot of my books, maybe all of them, been a friend, knows a lot about Oregon history, and has proven to be good at finding errors I missed. I think the first time I experienced his skill was in Desert Inferno, where I had a heroine, who didn't care much for coffee. She was sitting on her patio, enjoying a desert morning-- sipping coffee. Okay, I might have gotten by with that if she hadn't been sipping tea only a few lines down. He caught that one, and he's been good at it ever since.
Finally it dawned on me to ask if he'd consider being a beta reader. There is no money in it, but beta readers do get many thanks, the book free, now and again a paperback or bookmarks, and the satisfaction of telling the author-- you goofed. Mostly they are looking for inconsistencies in the author's logic, but anything else they find is a plus.
Besides not having beta readers, I also haven't had editors. A major no-no to the ePublishing world. The experts, and pretty much everybody else, are adamant that you must have editors as no writer can edit their own work. I believe they can, but it takes hours and hours, doing it many times with distance between the reads, and is a pain in the neck job as it's a word for word job. It has none of the excitement of writing the first draft or reading a book for the first time.
This week, our ranch lost a calf. Fortunately Ranch Boss saw the problem and was able, with a lot of muscle, to pull the dead calf and save the mother. It was too big for her. These things are tough; but on the same day, another heifer had hers without problem, but that was due to its being smaller.
Currently we are trying to get our shearer out here, but this is his busy season which means we work around his schedule. They are doing okay although we did have one lamb break its leg, something that is generally fixable. The question in such cases is always-- how on earth did it do that?
Weather in my part of Oregon has been a mix of gray to beautiful blue skies. We are now though in a warm streak with temps up to 80ºF this week-end. The garden is tilled and ready for planting, even if it is 33ºF in the morning. Normally, I buy bedding plants about now, but this year I can't buy from any source that will not promise me that the plant was not grown using neonicotinoids or their ilk.If you are not familiar with the concern, here is but one link:
When you think about it, it's not hard to figure out that if a product becomes part of the plant and kills insects, why not bees. With the great concern over hive collapses, it seems to me that we home gardeners must do our part to see this product and those like it are no longer used. Petitions are nice but kind of do nothing. When you vote with your dollars, growers and manufacturers hear you. In my case, if I can't get guarantees of the plants being safe, it's the year I'll grow them all from seed.
I have also read that these products are not healthy for pets. We would like to think we can trust our nurseries or stores. The truth is-- we need to ask questions. If they say they don't know, then bye-bye. I am grateful for the researchers who reveal such problems to us and give us a choice. Science is wonderful for what it can do-- Of course, the science that told me of the dangers of neonicotinoids was used by a corporation to develop the product to begin with...
What most of us want as consumers is full disclosure, and that for all those working to come up with new products, there are others assessing them for their safety. I know not all people value science. Some even want to cut budgets for any research. That's where consumers again need to be educated and vote their personal ethics and concerns.