But here we are at last, and I have exciting news! Sort of.
Back story: over two years ago, I finished the first draft of a memoir while taking a very good class called Write Your Memoir in Six Months (highly recommended). But when the course was over, I couldn't face the revisions. A first draft is only the first draft, after all. I could see everything that was wrong with it but I couldn't decide how to fix it. So I quietly tiptoed away and focused on Facebook.
Like Scarlett O'Hara, I would think about it another day.
Eventually, I started work on a new memoir about my vandwelling adventures--and was just getting ready to start sharing those chapters with you--when I got the following message from my London friend, Jen Thomas: "Karen S. at Orenda Books told me to email her about your memoirs... she wants an excerpt."
Months ago, Jen had asked me to send her those old chapters so she could edit them for me. Jen is my #1 fan, y'all. She thinks I can do no wrong, especially when it comes to writing. I'm not going to argue; we all could use a big fan, right? So I sent her the whole mess and hoped she could make sense of it.
I did not expect her to talk to publishers!
So now, I have to get back to work on it because Jen thinks it's perfect as it is, of course, and hasn't made any changes at all. I love her but she's wrong. That's okay. I don't expect this to lead to getting published--traditional publishers are extremely picky--but I don't care. I needed the push. Once the whole book is revised, I can publish it myself.
So... I'm going to share with you the chapters of that book, "Dotty's Diner," as I revise them. It's about coming of age in the 60s, living in a rooming house with a disapproving stepfather, and working in my mom's diner. When tragedy strikes, I learn a surprising lesson.
Look for that excerpt soon!
LaVonne Ellis... Author!