Three Little Words: I Did It

Dear friends, don’t worry, this isn’t a confession. Net yet…  What I did (this week) is finish those edits. My memoir manuscript (just about there, I hope…) is off for a final read through with a massive ‘Thank You’  to my wonderful editor, Esther Chilton.

Being a memoir, you would think it would be easy to get it down and just write it. Beginning. Middle. End. Sorted. No characters to dream up, no plot to invent and no twists to develop, because they’re already there. But the structure as told using the elements of fiction proved a mighty challenge to this writer.

The beginning proved the biggest challenge of all. The end, as it turned out, came easily but not until the very end. And the title didn’t come to me until two years in after finally getting down the first draft.

My ‘final’ draft sent for editing last November had a couple of confusing timelines. Easy to fix, I thought, except it then meant hunting for other parts needing fixing a few chapters back. Or forward. Not to mention some important details I had left out.

‘Every adventure requires a first step’ Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll (Eidfjord Fjord, Norway)

For me, I’ve discovered, the best way to get the job done is to binge write. That means all day every day and everything else slides. But I wouldn’t recommend it: my eyes are blurred, my back aches and my brain is fried. No matter. Whispering those three little words to you now makes it all worth it. Can I say them again? I Dit It.

As always, thank you so much to those who’ve kept in touch on and off blog, and allowing me the luxury of talking endlessly about my book and its process. It helps, a lot!

Next week, time to catch up. Meanwhile, wonderful Sally Cronin is featuring the second of four of my archive memoir posts at her fab blog, Smorgasbord Blog Magazine.  I wrote The Great British Staycation And A Brew Up California Style  in July, 2013, after six months blogging and a couple of months into my book.

A lot’s happened since then, but it’s lovely knowing Sally all that time as one of the very first bloggers I followed.  I also had the very great pleasure of meeting her at the Annual Bloggers Bash 2017.  Huge thanks to Sally for her amazing support to me and bloggers everywhere.

Have a great weekend, all, and see you next week.

Love Sherri x

 

About Sherri Matthews

While writing to publication of her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', Sherri has been published in national magazines and a variety of anthologies in memoir, essays, articles, poetry and flash fiction. Sherri gardens, walks and takes endless photos, the better ones she shares on her blog, along with articles about travel, Asperger's Syndrome and her life as a Brit Mum raising her family in California for 17 years. Today, Sherri lives in England with her husband, Aspie youngest and their pet menagerie, fondly known as 'Animal Farm.'
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84 Responses to Three Little Words: I Did It

  1. tieshka says:

    Congratulations Sherri. I look forward to reading it someday. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tieshka! How wonderful to hear from you…I’ve been so out of the loop with blogging for some time now. Wonderful to know you’re still here, too! Look forward to a catch up of your news! Thank you so much, you have a great weekend too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for the lovely mention Sherri… enjoy this weekend.. love and hugs Sally ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  3. TanGental says:

    get you girl… wonderful stuff; this is getting v exciting…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations, Sherri. You must feel a sense of relief and also pride. 😘🤗👏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alison Wilson says:

    Well done Sherri x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well done, Sherri. Esther edited my new book too and I was thrilled with her feedback.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sue says:

    Good for you, Sherri!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mary Smith says:

    Congratulations, Sherri. I’m so looking forward to reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mary Smith says:

    My comment disappeared – probably gone to your spam box *sigh*. Congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mary Smith says:

    Oh, now they’re both appeared. I’ll shut up and go away.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. restlessjo says:

    Fantastic! I’ve not commented much but I’ve been around. Happy for you, darlin 😍💕

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations, Sherri. Hooray, you did it! Yes, I remember November. Wow, it’s June now, but you had other things going on also. It doesn’t matter, you did it!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. dgkaye says:

    Absolutely ecstatic for you dear Sher. Looking soooooooooooooooooo forward to reading your new baby!!! ❤ Weekend hugs my friend. ❤ xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Liz H says:

    Kudos and congratulations to you, lovely lady!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Congratulations Sherri. That’s awesome. And looking forward to seeing you at the bash! Woohoo!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Heyjude says:

    Well done you! Such dedication and commitment and sheer hard work! Must be such a relief to finish and be able to relax. You are able to relax aren’t you? Maybe in your new garden with a nice cold bottle of bubbly 🍾🥂🎉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Jude! I have indeed relaxed this weekend, which included a lovely walk along the coastal path at Lulworth Cove in Dorset, a place dear to my heart from way back. The weather was beautiful despite the grim forecast. And I did indeed enjoy a lovely drink in our new garden, which is coming along well (will get some pics here soon, I hope…) although not so much with some bubbly but a lovely long G&T with mint from the garden 🙂 I bet your garden is coming on beautifully. Looking forward to catching up with you, long overdue. Thank you so much for all your wonderful support all these years, Jude…the Summerhouse wouldn’t be the same without you 🙂 ❤ xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Many congratulations Sherri, I’m very glad you did it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Norah says:

    Woohoo, Sherri. Congratulations. How wonderful. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Dearest Sherri, I’m proud of you and today my internet is actually working so I can sign into WP to comment! Yes, the techno-devil has been busy harrassing me yet again, plus endless life exigencies getting in the way of constructive progress on my front. And no, I haven’t managed to keep my side of our pact, which was for both of us to finish our edits by the end of May. I’m on page 150 of 281 pages, which is better than nothing but doesn’t get even a quarter of the way to matching your huge success. Absolutely well done, and now you must take a hard-earned rest to get your PC-induced square eyes back to oval ones! We’ll speak soon, my clever, hard-working friend. And I did so enjoy our wonderful meet-up, so am hoping we can manage another one sometime over the summer. Lots of love, hugs and kisses, Sarah xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dearest Sarah, it’s wonderful to hear from you and equally wonderful to see you again, though I’m so sorry to hear of your derailments. You know I know all about those…and as for that techno-devil…be gone! Take care, my friend, and I’ll email very soon to catch up properly. Lots of love, hugs and kisses to you… ❤ xxxxxxxxxx

      Like

  20. Ali Isaac says:

    That’s amazing, Sherri! I am so excited to read it soon! Will you be at the BB this year?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. CarolCooks2 says:

    Well Done! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Well done, Sherri. Now I can’t wait to have a copy of your book in my hands.
    Looking forward to seeing you at the Bloggers Bash next week. Has it really been over a year?
    See you on Saturday.
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Hugh! Thank you so much for all your wonderful support. I’ve been ensconsed, hence my long absence, but it got the job done at last, hooray!!!! Yes…just a few days, can’t wait! Look forward to seeing you on Saturday! 🙂 ❤ xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  23. MikeM says:

    This is a profound achievement you have done an amazing job!!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Prior... says:

    It was great to read these words – and I look forward to getting my copy!
    And I agree about the binging to get a project where it needs to be –
    Oh mon amie – congrats again and sending a big high five – and talk to you soon
    ☀️🙏📚🌸💛

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Charli Mills says:

    You have worked so hard and diligently on your book, Sherri, and you plowed through the final stretch. I’m so glad you are working with Esther; it’s vital to have a rock-solid editor. I’m so proud of you for hanging in there through all of life’s travails. I’m in awe that you can write a memoir — the capacity of memory and processing emotion over time is no easy feat. Making up characters is easier, lol! I can’t wait to hear how the next steps to publish go. Much love to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Charli! Esther is indeed a rock-solid editor and your rock- solid support, encouragement and feedback has helped me over that finish line in more ways than you know. You waved the flag and I kept my eyes fixed! Not to mention putting up with my angst! And the confidence you inspire in me through flash fiction and the way it helps my rewrites. Because of you, I found Fred! Now he is one character I’m looking forward to expanding lol! Memoir is not easy, but I’ve not written a novel so can’t compare. I’m hoping it will be easier certainly on the emotional front. Reliving it all at the outset is one thing, but having to structure it all and revisit it over and over takes its toll, that’s for sure. I found processing it all in the small hours helped me work out some difficult parts and the way I needed to express it, but it wrecked my sleep…though there wasn’t much to wreck to begin with 😀 Whoever said writing is good for you? Did anyone? Yet here we are. And so to the next step…one word, one day at a time, right? Much love to you, my friend! 🙂 ❤

      Like

  26. Great news, Sherri. Looking forward to hearing more at the Bash in a few days.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. purpleslob says:

    Sherri! All that hard work is paying off!! 1 more step closer! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  28. 1WriteWay says:

    Congratulations, Sherri! I look to reading your memoir when it’s published 🙂

    Like

  29. Ste J says:

    I’m really proud of you! It’s been an epic write for you but you did it and its great that you have overcome it. I thought I had a challenge tying to proofread books in two days, that is bad enough but you have really suffered for your words!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww thank you so much, my friend. I take my hat off to you proofreading in such a short timescale, so much pressure! But yes, I do feel it’s been one epic journey to get this memoir finished, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your amazing support through it all. Next stop: preparing to seek agent representation and publication. I am bracing myself… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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