I was looking for my mother’s high school graduation picture. It’s a lovely picture, and I wanted to put it with this post. I’ve looked in every nook and cranny of our house, but I can’t find it.
I only have a few sentimental bones in my body. I’m not one to keep things. My husband, on the other hand, would be a hoarder if it was socially acceptable.
I only have one small box of pictures, and I was surprised Mom’s picture wasn’t in it. I did find this picture though. There is that sweet husband of mine. The pink bow tie suits him, and I think he should wear pink more often. I love this picture. Our son is now twenty-five, so slap a good twenty years or so on my husband and I, and you’ll have a current picture of us.
Obviously, I’m easily sidetracked.
About my mother … She hasn’t been feeling well lately. Allergies, restless legs, aches and pains have all been dragging her down. She needed something to brighten her day.
Even though my latest book still needs work, I printed a hard copy and took it to her on Tuesday. I asked her to read it for enjoyment – no need to edit this time. I suggested when she was finished, she could help me find places in the book where I could add or expand scenes to bring up the word count.
My mother has been an avid reader all her life. She’s a fast reader, and she can blow through a lot of books in a short period of time. She knows what she likes, and she’s not averse to giving up on a book after a few pages, or even in the middle, if the story or the characters bore her.
I mentioned in a much earlier post that I was shocked – truly shocked – when my mother liked my first book. She was originally irritated I was even attempting to write a book, and she was sure it would be something tawdry that would embarrass her. What? Moi?
She started reading it yesterday and called twice in the afternoon. The first time, she was already laughing about a new character to the books, and she said she liked that the mystery was introduced early in the story. I told her to let me know if she thought I should ditch the silly chapter. Her second call was to let me know she loved chapter five, and I should leave it with no changes. Not only did she think it was funny, but it gave her a little scare, too. Very good, Mom. It was just what I was going for. This was the very first feedback for the book, and I was tickled pink!
She called again this morning to let me know she finished the book last evening. And she loved it! She said she tried to leave it alone to give her eyes a rest during the day and even watch a little television, but she said she just couldn’t wait to see what happened next. She loved the character interaction, the dogs, the humor, and the pace of the book. She, too, didn’t see where another scene could be added, but we both agreed on a few places to try.
It’s hard relying on feedback from family, friends, and just a few reviews, but sometimes that’s all you have. I was thrilled with a recent 5-star review for Sunshine Hunter, because it finally gave me the type of feedback I was hoping for. This was the first person to mention my characters: “All the characters felt fully fleshed out and real, drawing me into their world and eagerly flipping the page to see what happened next.” She also commented on the pace of the book: “It moved along at a pace that felt natural, letting the plot unfold in an effortless way and at the end of the book I was wishing that it wasn’t over it was so good.”
If my mother were making suggestions to write something differently, or change this, or change that, I would know I was in trouble. But she likes my books as they are, and since she’s a smart lady and skipped the third grade, I’m going to go with her opinion.
If all I accomplish this year is to have written books to entertain my mother, it will have been worth it.