Thursday, July 28, 2011

Reading Aloud and Raspberry Freezer Jam

I got a nice review on Goodreads this morning. Made my day!

I'm doing a new kind of editing. Well, new to me. I've been on a road trip, as the only driver, and I've had my teenage son read me my draft as we motor along the highways of America. I need to cut about 40 pages (yipes!) to get the draft down to a reasonable length (85,000 words, from what I can tell from research and asking around--that's in the good length zone).

It's working really well. It's very different to read and just listen, and not have the words in front of me. (Instead I am dodging roadkill and triple-trailer semi trucks.) But as he reads I can hear different things that don't sound right, find redundancies, spot boring and wordy places, and passages that are convoluted become painfully obvious.

Every time I've edited in the past I've had a hard copy or at least a computer screen copy in front of me, and I've almost always been the one doing the reading aloud when read-alouds were on the menu of the session. This is a totally different experience, and I have to say it's really valuable.

Isn't my kid a great sport? Yes, he IS! (Plus, to my great delight he's been begging to read the draft and is enjoying it.) Oh, and he made me take out a word he hated. That's good.

My candy of choice this week isn't candy per-se. It's raspberries. As we drove into one of the mountain valleys, we came across a roadside stand (see previous entry). A teenage girl was selling flats of raspberries for $34. I know, it's a pricey habit, but they are pure gold. Especially when I turned them into jam. The recipe called for 3 cups of mashed fruit and 5 1/2 cups of sugar. Am I keeping to my no-sugar resolve? Not so well. But I tell myself that it's fruit so it doesn't count. And it's seriously the best thing in the world. I adore homemade raspberry freezer jam. It only takes about 20 minutes to make a huge five-and-a-half-cups-of-sugar batch and it will make me happy for weeks to come!

These aren't my jars or my recipe, but mine looks just like this!


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