Writing Lolly's Yarn

Years ago, when I told my family I wanted to write a novel, each of my seven children smiled. “That’s nice, Mom, but write your own history first.” Somehow, it took years to get around to it. Listing my life activities seemed much too boring–until I took writing lessons from Pamela Goodfellow on Crafting the Character-Based Novel. Then I realized I could tell my story as if it were a novel. I started too late to change the plot, or invent new characters, but I could remember, envision, and write. That sounded like downright fun.

Excitement carried me away and in a year or so I’d drafted over 300,000 words—more than three times what I could use. Working together, Dr. Goodfellow and I faced the monumental task of deciding what to cut and save for future books, and what to use in this first one. Some of my favorite scenes got cut.

I called the book “Lolly’s Yarn” because Lolly is the nickname I grew up with. Moreover, one definition of yarn is an embellished story, and besides I’m addicted to knitting, crocheting and other crafts. In fact, I’m the only one I know of who’s crafty enough to have finished and stockpiled over six hundred knit and crocheted dish cloths for my kids to give away at my funeral. I’m still making more. I also have envisioned crocheting a bookmark to give to all who buy my book. I had to rethink that, and limit my gift to only those who buy an autographed copy from me, personally.

At 86, for some dumb reason or other, it takes me longer to get anything done than it ever did before. (I like to blame it on my age, not on my habit of procrastination.) I thought we had time for one or two more edits of Lolly’s Yarn, but time ran out. I was assured my ms was good enough to publish, and Pamela G. went so far as to say that everything I write is delightful. That’s probably because she doesn’t often get to see my first drafts, nor read all my inane e-mail offerings.

Some of my children found a few factual errors they wanted me to correct (imagine that) and together we found about a hundred typos or errors in cutting and pasting. So, I ignored all the advice to “let it go and get on with your next book,” Instead, I’ve spent the last couple of months doing more revising.

Now with all those corrections made and a few other items added, Lolly’s Yarn is updated on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and all books hereafter printed. I was pleased with the first printing, but am excited about this corrected edition.
My son David, who has been my meticulous editor, said after we’d ordered a few copies, “Mom, you ought to go over it carefully again to be sure it’s perfect.”
My answer was swift. “Not on your life, David. There may be lots of missed errors, but we’re through editing as of this minute. It’s time for me to write the next volume.”

So far, nobody has objected.

Anna Arnett

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