Long time no me.

Yes, I know, I’ve been neglecting the blog. There is so much to do and so little time to do it, seeing as I decided to basically rewrite the entire book.

No, I didn’t have to. I could have used the old manuscript, but one thing led to another which led to another and here we are, just a couple of weeks shy of release day, and 99.5% of the book is new so far. And I couldn’t be happier (and take it from me, the new version is 99.5% more interesting than the old).

I went into this unexpected rewrite thinking I’d only change a few things to make the old story match the new ending in Dreaming of More. Then the book would be done and I could continue writing one of the other books sitting half-written on the shelf. So to speak. They’re actually on my iPad tucked away in the program I’m avoiding right now.

Avoiding because I don’t like hard or sad things and in the next chapter I have to lose someone in a snowstorm. And then someone else is going to get really, really sick. And then I have to figure out how to have a happily ever after because it’s expected. And amongst all of that, I need to teach William not to hit people across the head with a book even if he wants someone to read to him because that’s just not polite.

By the way, William is a fictional character. He still needs to learn how to treat other people though, especially adults. Even if said adult probably deserved to have a thousand books smashed across his head (like Gilbert Blythe only for a different reason).

So, yeah, after you wrap your brain around all of that, you’d probably avoid the book too. Just because.

I did get to enjoy a few crazy-people-driving in snow videos because someone has to drive somewhere after a heavy snowfall. I need to make this as accurate as possible, so I spend ages researching things I’m only going to mention once or twice. It’s those little mentions at the right time that trigger memories in people and then their imaginations supply the rest of the details. All I have to do is time the triggers right. Which means they have to be accurate.

Which is why I spent all morning researching that rather sickening illness I alluded to a moment ago. So I would know enough about it to drop a word here or there to prompt people’s minds to fill in the blanks. I supply the trigger, your imagination conjures up the picture…and the book comes to life.

Anyway, that’s all beside the point and I probably shouldn’t have told you half of that if you’re at all interested in reading this book. (Yours, Mine, & Forever in case you’d forgotten and yes, it’s available for preorder or it’ll be in KindleUnlimited after it releases). But, I’ve said it and I didn’t say who anyone is, so I don’t think I gave too much away. Besides, this is just a tiny, tiny portion of the book dreamed up to stop this from running into a three-book series. Because it could.

I compared the old and new manuscripts the other day and the first 23 chapters of the new correspond with the first 6 of the old. Yes, you read that right. I turned six chapters into 23 and in all that, used only two small portions of the previously written material.

So, yeah, a lot goes on in the new version that never happened in the old. More than a lot. A ton. And I think it’s better than the old version. Norah grows up and learns to stand up for herself. I think that’s probably a good thing. So do the few people who’ve read it. 😄

And this post is a good illustration of how one thing led to another which led to another which changed the direction I was going. Because I started out talking about how I changed more of the manuscript than I planned and then took the first rabbit trail I came across. That’s what happened in Yours, Mine, & Forever.

I couldn’t box the book back into the neat little package it came in. Not when all these really interesting rabbit trails kept popping up begging to be followed. So what I did was follow those trails, with an eye on my favorite scenes from the original manuscript. I’d bring the story to those scenes, but the in-between parts could be all new material. Which worked great. Until I came to one scene and realized the very reason I had planned to build up to this other scene was perfect for this scene. That’s when I knew I’d only keep the old material if it fit the book. Old favorite scenes could be rewritten too.

Confused yet? Think of it this way… it’s like saving your coffee for the afternoon until you get to morning and realize that coffee is perfect for morning. That’s what happened to me. I served the coffee in the morning and now I don’t really need the afternoon “break” for coffee. And as much as I hated to even think this… I’m going to let go of that particular scene that I don’t need anymore. It won’t even be in the new book. Nor will the other cool scene I thought I needed to keep. In fact, the only other parts from the old material that might make it into the book are the last two chapters.

Like I mentioned way back at the start… this is the book I was only going to change “a little bit” and these are the scenes I was going to keep “no matter what”. And I’m not sorry one little bit. My only regret is that I didn’t do this from the very start. By sticking to the old storyline I couldn’t include all these rabbit trails because that would’ve made an already long book epically long. Cutting the story into two books and rounding out the “eeny-meeny-miny-mo” storyline opened up a world of possibilities and I’m ever so glad I did that.

And… I could talk all day, but I’d probably better go crack the book open and write a few lines. I want to get it done asap, then I’m going to take a week off. No writing if I can help it (I will be editing during that time) and then I’m going to dive right into the next book, Off on a Whim. It’s already written, but to fit the new storyline, parts will need to be changed. I think you’ll like spunky, impulsive Brie though, and if you’re curious what happens to some of your other favorite characters… they’ll show up along the way as well.