Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Rewriting of 2020

Montreal January 2021
Computer-altered mixed media
©2020 Charlene Brown

In December 2019 I received a manuscript evaluation of the first draft of my book, The ‘Starting Out’ Years, and began making some of the changes they suggested.

The book is about the years in the lives of girls in six generations of my family when they finish school and decide what to do next.  The first four stories, about my grandmother, my mother, myself, and my daughter, hadn’t changed since that first draft.

But the fifth story is about my partly-fictional granddaughter, Fiona, during the years she finishes school and goes on to university.  2020, the year she graduates from high school, unfolded smoothly in that first draft. It was the most exciting year in Fiona’s life.  And then 2020 actually happened. 

In March, when I sent the second draft to the editors, I made some references to COVID-19. But the narrative in that story still jumped directly from a December 2019 high school dance in Edmonton to Fiona’s arrival at McGill University in Montreal in September 2020.  And the illustration I had asked to have inserted was this one:

Montreal September 2020
Watercolour, crayon and marker
©2015 Charlene Brown

The book has been back and forth to the publisher a few times since then.  I have made many additions to the fifth story, as 2020 literally fell apart.  Fiona’s arrival at McGill University has been delayed until January 2021hence the picture at the beginning of this blog post.

I am still hoping to have the book available in time for Christmas, so I’m just going to guess what happens for the rest of the year and get it into the production process as quickly as possible.