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The First 100 Pages

July 2nd, 2009

I am in the midst of trying to get the first 100 pages of my fifth novel, All Men Fear Me together to send in to my editor. Here is how the process works at Poisoned Pen Press, who are the publishers of my series : when a returning author (one who is in the midst of writing a series or who have had books published by PPP before) is ready to submit a new novel, she is required to first send in an outline and/or synopsis of her proposed series for approval. The editor either gives the go-ahead or proposes alterations – or rejects the idea, in which case the author is free to either submit something else or take his book to another press. If the idea is accepted, the next step is to submit the first 100 pages of the novel so the editor can make suggestions about the way the story is going before the author runs completely off the rails and writes an entire book that the press doesn’t want to publish. Said 100 pages don’t have to be perfectly polished and in finished form. In fact, I’ve never heard of an author whose first 100 stayed the same from first approval to last. Mine certainly never have. In any event, I have already written well over 100 pages of All Men Fear Me. But now I have to put them in some sort of order that makes sense, and cobble the scenes together. Consequently, unless something is broken, or Don needs tending, I can’t think about anything else but the book right now. I have 90 email messages saved as new! If I owe you a letter, be patient. I’ll get to it one of these days. And if you think this is bad, wait until I get the go ahead to submit the entire novel!

I do want to mention that unless something goes awry, I will be doing an event at Poisoned Pen Bookstore on July 17, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in conjunction with the bookstore’s Bookfest in the West. The 17th is History Mystery night, and I’ll be participating on a panel with other historical mystery novelists. If you’re a fan of historical mysteries, it should be a fun event. Check it out at the store’s website, www.poisonedpen.com.

Sadly for my powers of concentration, there have been a lot of things broken around here lately. In my last entry, I mentioned the section of stockade fence that fell down. We bought several 4-foot metal tree stakes at Lowe’s. I managed to wrestle the fence back into place, then Don leaned on the fence to keep it in place while I pounded the stakes into the ground and secured the fence to them with wire. It’ll do for a while. Of course, I could hardly move the next day. So, I’m feeling all proud of myself, until about 11 p.m. the next evening, when Don walks in and says, “The air conditioner sounds funny.” Lo and behold, no air coming out.

I live in southern Arizona. If the a/c goes out in June, this is not something you can put off fixing. I called the a/c people at 8 a.m., and they had someone out by 9. Turns out the motor failed. This ticks me off, since the air conditioner is only five years old. The technician has to go find another motor and install it, so it takes him until about 2:30 to finish, at which time it’s 108 degrees outside. But here’s the good news – there was still 2 months to go on the warranty, so it didn’t cost one red cent to fix! I asked the guy how much it would have cost to repair, and he said between $700 and $800. So I was feeling all proud of myself, until I called the a/c company to ask how much it will be to renew the warranty for another five years. Guess what she said? Go ahead, guess!

You are correct! Between $700 and $800! $775, to be precise. I will be digging into the savings, after all.
Awaiting my further attention is the sagging front door, not to mention the tale of the leaking sink. It’s not just husbands who fall apart after a certain age – houses seem to, as well.

And speaking of husbands of a certain age, for those of you who are following Don’s progress, the latest is that he will be going into the hospital this Monday, July 6, for an outpatient procedure to have the tubes switched out and a dye test performed. We thought that they would be tying the tubes off at the same time, but it seems not. Apparently we will have to wait until he sees the urologist on July 16. He has a busy July, doctor-wise. He’s scheduled for an echocardiogram on July 9, and has appointments with his cardiologist on July 20 and his GP on July 22. However, if it all goes as planned, the tests will all go swimmingly and he’ll be able to have the nephrostomy tubes removed. As of July 5, it will be six months since I took him into the emergency room with kidney failure.

2 Responses to “The First 100 Pages”

  1. Jack Casey

    07-07-2009

    Greetings

    I noticed your book in the Stillwater Public Library about how the old Buzzard had it coming AND I noticed that you are a 3rd generation Oklahoman AND a Casey. hmmm. Interesting.

    I do genealogy and I just wondered. My ancestors came to Oklahoma from Taney County, Missouri. I’m related to most all of the Taney County Caseys. I would like to know if you are a relation.

  2. Donis Casey

    Could be, Jack. I’m guessing our relationship is far back, though. My grandfather, Walter Casey, was born in Mountain Home, AR, in 1881. Mountain Home is just across the border and a little east of Taney county MO. He was one of a bunch of children (I’ve heard twelve to fourteen) born to Alfred Casey and Selinda Tucker. Alfred is one of the gazillion descendants of Abner Casey, who came to America with a family group in about 1723. Does this sound like anything?

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