Thursday, April 28, 2011

Riding and Writing

The weather has not been good for riding my bike lately but I have been out riding every day for 30 Days of Biking. Only three days left. Hard to believe! After days of rain finally tonight the sun came out and Owen and I headed out on our road bikes for a quick 5.25 mile ride at almost a 13 mph pace. It felt great to get out and ride with some speed - at last! Quite a change from riding on the gravel in the rain.

Shadows - proving the sun was out today

The weather has been good for writing, however. And I've been doing a lot of writing in the last few weeks. And editing. Lots of editing. In the last two weeks I've been working on a travel piece for the Star Tribune. This story, on the town of Cannon Falls, will be my second for the Star Tribune. It's due out on Sunday. Look for it!

The Oxford Mill Ruins - near Cannon Falls

It was great fun checking out the sites in Cannon Falls, talking to people who work at various business, learning about the town's history. Writing the story was fun, too, and it went together well. Still, it was a challenge deciding what to include and what to cut to make my word count.

But, the nice thing about working with my editor at the Star Tribune, her name is Kathleen, is that I know that she's a good editor and will let me know if what I turned in isn't quite what she needs.

And that's what happened. Kathleen read my story and sent me an email asking for some more information on a few things.  So I got back to my notes, my computer and my phone and found her the answers. Then I sent her more information and several rewritten bits. And though the editing process took quite a bit of time and I was a little frustrated wishing I could have gotten the story "just right" the first time, in the end the story is far better than what I first sent in. I'm happy with the edited story and will be extra proud to have my name on the byline.

I kind of feel that there should be a byline under mine stating "carefully edited and improved by Kathleen" but I guess that's not the way things work.

There's so much to learn about writing. I hope I am a good student :-)

Speaking of writing, I had two stories published in April. "Street Smart," a story on Bob Hedstrom, an aficionado of a two-wheeled, motorized scooters and the owner of Scooterville, is in Minnesota Good Age. The other is a somewhat humorous essay about gardening - Super Gardening Woman!, which was published in Womeninc. (I hope to get a pdf of that story up on my website soon)

And back to the topic of editing, Super Gardening Woman, which runs about 1,200 words, was also published in the Autumn 2010 issue of Green Prints as "The 15-Minute Gardener." Length of the story in that publication? About 300 words. And the story, though short and way different, was edited well and reads well.

Go figure. There's so much for me to learn about editing. About writing. About life. Even about biking. So here I am, sitting in the front row, ready to learn. 

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