The excitement for last week was that I finished the final profile! It felt amazing to wrap up that aspect of the project – at least temporarily. I took one day off, and then jumped back in, reading over the profiles in the reverse order in which I had written them. I wanted to get all the editing done so that once I moved on to the letters, I would know that these were finito and ready to roll. I had a sense that the more profiles I had written, the more my writing style and voice had evolved and improved, and I was pretty curious to read them in reverse order and see where they would jump the shark. So starting with #16, I read each one aloud to Dave, and made little tweaks and edits along the way.

Shockingly, I got all the way back to #8 without feeling I needed to make any major changes. I put that one aside, and David encouraged me to keep reading, although I was hesitant to keep going because I feared that all the rest would need work too. But #7 was fine, so was #6, #5 and #4. I took a deep breath before I read the last three –which were actually the first three I had written. Believe it or not, #3 and #2 were fine; it was #1 that was well-written but just didn’t feel right. I discovered it was because we had been trying to fit that profile into a chapter where it didn’t belong. It had been the first interview we conducted and subsequently the first piece I wrote, so we weren’t quite sure where we were going yet. I shuffled things up again, did some consolidation, and voilá! Problem solved..except we needed to re-interview that person briefly so the profile would really sing. In the meantime, I reworked profile #8, which took just a few hours. I am awaiting the transcript for the re-interview of profile #1, and once I get that rewritten, the profiles will be put to bed.

We’re getting started with research and notes for the letters which I’ll write next. These will have a decidedly different voice from the profiles, which is why I wanted to get all those done before I get started on the letters. Once I hit a rhythm and momentum in my writing, it’s hard to go back and shift gears

Unfortunately, the weather gods did not wind up cooperating for our book jacket photo shoot last weekend. David did his level best to try to move the jet stream, but I think he realized there are still a few things in the universe that are beyond his control. I think I also finally convinced him that long-term forecasts are useless. We are rescheduled for this Saturday, which – dare I say – looks splendid two days out. Most gracious thanks goes to incredible photographer and dear friend Marcia Ciriello, not only for being so flexible about the project, but for handling David and his weather psychosis two weeks in a row now! And kudos to David for tracking down an alternate “artist” to create what we need for the shot, since the original artist isn’t available on Saturday, and Sunday is expected to be rainy. You pulled it off, dude. Nice job!

Dave has also been working on evaluating charitable recipients for half the royalties, which we want to donate to organizations doing breast cancer research. It has been an enlightening project for him, and I think we have settled on two incredibly worthy organizations who are not only doing groundbreaking work, but who instantly supported our project and our message. Look for an announcement once we finalize the requisite paperwork.

Other than that, FORWARD MARCH!

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