Friday, October 27, 2017

Wacky week

In the midst of a wacky week, I completed two editing assignments and also made word count on the book! Well, almost. My contract says I am to deliver 75,000 words and I am at 74,314. My friend, who is a bestselling star in this book ghostwriting business, says I should add those 700 words and observe the contract to the letter. And so I shall. Still, for all intents, I have completed a full draft of the book, meeting my self-imposed deadline, and now (after adding those 700 words, and I know where I will insert them) I can print out the entire manuscript and start to edit. The best part. It's always easier to fix something that isn't working when you already have words on the page.

But to the wacky week: For starters, last Sunday, my daughter, my niece, my cousin and her husband and I auditioned for Family Feud! Here's what I posted on Facebook.

Ione and James Stiebel, by the way, are my grandparents, who raised nine children and instilled in them all a deep devotion to family. I'm forever grateful they did, because three generations later, the sense of belonging is as strong as ever. My husband is always amused when my cousins and I talk about "Stiebel women do this," or "Stiebel women are that," and none of us actually carries the name.

More delightful wackiness: My son's girlfriend S invited my daughter, my niece and me for a night of Writing and Wine, which was being hosted by the mother of one of S's childhood friends. We'd met the friend, Justin, at S's brother's wedding, where Justin and my daughter, seated next to one another, riffed on everything and laughed like old friends. The Writing and Wine event last Tuesday was held at this really happening hipster bar in the West Village. The teacher and I were the only people in the group out of their twenties. I felt uber cool to be part of that scene in an area of town I hardly ever get to anymore. It turned out the lovely teacher and I knew lots of people in common. She provided us with a title, a theme and a choice of three characters and three prompts. We put pen to paper in three 20 minute sessions of writing, sipping lots of wine to grease the flow of ideas. And let me tell you, the wine did its job. 

My daughter's story was set in Medieval times, and my niece wrote from the perspective of a little brother wolf. All the stories that people shared were funny and wonderful. I especially loved S's story of The Pumpkin Thief, a pumpkin who kidnapped other pumpkins to save them from ending up in Thanksgiving pie. I was too embarrassed to share my story, which sounded as if written by a lovelorn 13-year-old girl who'd read too many Mills & Boon romances, with a little spy espionage thrown in. The plot got crazier and crazier with each sip of wine. I particularly enjoyed the third writing session, when we had to partner with someone we hadn't known before the class, and recount our stories so the other person could borrow one of our characters to introduce into their own story. And vice versa. Of course the very best part was being out with my girls. When the teacher asked me how we were connected, I said, "They are all my daughters."

Okay, dear friends, I'm off to add those 700 words in the middle of my all but completed manuscript. I'll be back around to all your lovely blogs, soon. 


  1. That is a truly WILD week! So much creativity and a touch of glitz on top! Lots of wonderful memories in there to pack away :)

    So . . . are you sworn to secrecy about the Family Feud audition follow-up??

  2. I wouldn't mind some of that wackiness myself. Well done on the almost 700 words job.

  3. It's like you're becoming alive in a whole new way! whole new ways!
    I love it!

  4. You auditioned for Family Feud? Eeeeeee! You can’t see me but I am jumping up and down to the theme song.


  5. It's really great to find your blog, and can see we share some blogging buddies too!

    Sipping lots of wine always helps the words to flow!