Of Edits and Endings

rose_71noOM_LMy next novel is in editing, meaning I’m spending money I shouldn’t on a work of fiction that, while I love it, may never pay me back. The question is, why am I doing it, again? I know, you didn’t ask but as you know if you’ve read any of my ‘stuff’, I will explain.

This second work is, in my humble opinion (stop laughing, I’m not done) several times better than the first. The editor who helped me turn my first mess into an actual book, dearest John Hudspith, has had several rather nice things to say about MIND MATTERS my new book. This is encouraging because LIGHTED WINDOWS was rather less than a perfect work of fiction. Yes, I will answer the unasked question of why, shortly. The new book also hasn’t yet to reach an “acceptable” ending. I wrote an ending but it is not a good one, so I am working on improvements.

Why? Why bother working; why spend money on an investment that may not ever return more than what was spent? I write because I must. I write because these books have been written in my head for years. I write to put these stories outside my head and yes, it is getting less noisy in the old noggin. These are the stories of people and places I have seen or heard about and felt someone should say these things. Yes, they are love stories but Hemingway said “Aren’t all good stories, love stories after all..” I do resist the title of Romance, although there are lots of corollaries between my books and a typical Romance work. The difference is these are stories about real people (no, you don’t know them) and how they get through their lives, not how they hook-up. Don’t get me wrong, they will know each other in the Biblical sense, (yes, that means sex, heavens try to keep up) but it will only happen as they become closer and more aware of each other, hence the love story not just sex.

If you have not read LIGHTED WINDOWS, I wish you would. It has gotten five star reviews so far (and some editing, thank you, darlings) but you don’t need to have read it to enjoy MIND MATTERS. I write complete stories in each book. I know serial works are in vogue but I’m not a fan of the cliffhanger. I hope to have MIND MATTERS ready for publication within the next few months. I also hope to have a good ending written before those last chapters are needed in editing! It is a lot of work but most things worth doing require real work.

Thank you for your time and attention, if you got this far. Bless you sweet thing, I will stop here. A novel is a living work and I hope a work of art as well. Only time will tell!  Later darling Lovelies!

Olympics Over

For the last two weeks we’ve all been glued to the coverage of the Olympic Games in Rio. Maybe some of us weren’t watching but I was and for once I actually got to see the Equestrian events. I love to ride and watching these amazing athletes has always been a problem. It isn’t a really popular sport and this year there were some human athletes nearly as amazing. Can you tell I enjoyed the horses?

Now, however, the Olympics are over, so we return you to our regularly scheduled programs and, oh gag, the election is still hot and hideous. I won’t bore you with my “None of the Above” rant, I think many of us wish wholeheartedly for that option but I will share my experiences with classified government documents.

I held a Top Secret clearance back in the dark-ages (1980’ish) while I worked for the U.S. Air Force. It is not easy to get a clearance; they really do talk to your neighbors, teachers, friends and anyone else the FBI can locate. I needed to remember every address I’d ever lived at and provide three character references. Yes, that references part was a struggle, I had a wild youth (think hippie, sorry) so finding names of people whom I felt might give me a good character reference was a struggle. I’m not sure how I managed to get the Top Secret clearance, but I did and the regulations and requirements for having, maintaining and effectively carrying out the obligations of a Top Secret cleared person are long and extremely strict. For those of you who have never encountered the governments classifications process, let me tell you a Top Secret clearance is pennies compared to some of the alphabet clearances out there. I didn’t see anything all that dangerous when compared to the really scary stuff some of the higher up the food chain people dealt with.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, without naming any person in particular, I can tell you that something seriously bad has happened. While I was working on classified documents, I took the utmost care of where I was, where the documents were and how I made sure to secure my work and those documents. A lady working in an office just down from me made a small mistake with a piece (one piece) of classified information and all hell broke loose. She was fired, lost her clearance and was barred from all government work. Holy SHIT!! It was one piece of paper, locked in her desk drawer overnight and she was ruined, shamed and an outcast, it was heartbreaking to watch over one piece of paper.

Anyone who mishandles classified documents, and I do mean anyone!! should receive the same treatment as that poor woman in my building. If you mishandle in any way, classified or maybe it could be classified information you MUST lose your clearance. So, even if there was no “criminal” intent, there should be NO clearance! If someone still has their clearance after egregious mishandling of classified information…. Our government has been purchased, we no longer have America to count on and maybe the world really is well on it’s way to chaos. No, I don’t think I’m over reacting. If you can purchase a government clearance with enough money and knowing where the bodies are buried or maybe money and a new position that pays millions (the CEO of Fanny Mae makes over 35 million dollars a year, just sayin…) then “My Country ’tis of thee” is now “money will buy Everything” and folks we can’t afford to live in such a terrible place.

Time for a Sale!

With my next novel in editing, a big Thank You to #John Hudspith, I think it is time for a sale on my first book: LIGHTED WINDOWS. I’ve been really happy with the sales that I’ve had so far and now I think it is time to have a sale and entice you wonderful followers to check out the first book. The sale is on: www.smashwords.com. Look for Melody S. Lark/Lighted Windows and use Coupon Code: TA76K at check-out to read LIGHTED WINDOWS for a mere .99 pennies! Yes, less than a dollar for a limited time so hurry! This sale will end August 22nd, so wander over to Smashwords and check it out.  Thank you!!