Bridged by betrayal

Irene Frances Olson: falling in love with my second novel

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Typist caricatureAs of yesterday, I’ve read through and edited my second novel twice. I completed this novel the end of November (writing it in one month during NaNoWriMo). The length at that time was 60,203 words.

Bridged by Betrayal is a healthy 75,366 words.

Next steps:

  1. print paper copy, do another edit, this time with colored pens & highlighters;
  2. transfer pen edits to the computer copy;
  3. print several paper copies so my Beta readers can get their hands on my manuscript and apply their constructive magic to it;
  4. review said editorial contributions; accept and reject edits and “finalize” the “final” version;
  5. write full-length synopsis for those agents who request one;
  6. start querying agents.

Three WomenI love, love, love my characters, and I hate the characters who rightly earned that hate.  Read the rest of this entry »

Gone but not forgotten

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Having completed my second novel, currently titled BRIDGED BY BETRAYAL, I packed up all the research I used for my first novel, REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO.

An early version of my 1st novel circa 2014
An early version of my 1st novel circa 2014

REQUIEM spotlights a family that struggles with the tangible and emotional elements inherent when battling a disease that is always fatal; a disease that gives you daily – if not hourly – reminders of its devastating effects.

I could not write about the fictional family’s journey without incorporating some of my own stories from my years as Dad’s caregiver. I also included other people’s stories as told to me through my work as an Alzheimer’s caregiver support group facilitator, and as a Washington State certified Long-Term Care Ombudsman. (Names and facts altered to protect those directly involved.)

My Dad and I on a picnic, Spring 2005.
My Dad and I on a picnic, Spring 2005.

The research materials I packed away this past weekend consisted primarily of the caregiving journals I kept while being my father’s primary long-distance caregiver while he endured Alzheimer’s disease.

That research also included reams of paper I organized into multi-tabbed folders containing the various doctor’s reports and findings from the seven years of dad’s disease journey.

I was not prepared for the emotion with which I was blanketed when I pulled out the large waterproof chest that had resided in my writing space the past three years. Placing my research in the chest, shutting it, and returning it to its original under-the-stairs location was extremely difficult for me.

In a certain sense, I felt I had betrayed Dad because I wasn’t just packing up some paper, I was putting away the physical evidence of his seven year battle of brain function loss.  Read the rest of this entry »