Status of my book

No in-depth blog today folks because I’m chomping through Chapter 5 in the self-edit phase of my book. The self-edit phase is when I do a cursory 1st pass where I’m reading, editing, and sometimes re-writing the book. If I get to a scene and find myself hating it or bored out of my mind, I trash it and start again.

At this stage there’s still plenty of typos and grammatical errors because it’s about baking down the plot to a solid state. I don’t want to be in the 2nd and 3rd pass re-writing sections of the book when I need to be improving prose and finding mistakes.

So that’s what I’m doing tonight and for the rest of the foreseeable future until I can start the beta read.

Also, my artist Jade is getting closer and closer to finishing the front cover of my book. I think it looks awesome so far and can’t wait till I get to unveil it to you all. Since I’m so grateful for all the work she’s putting into the cover, I’m going to promote an app she’s been developing called epic pen.

LINK: http://www.epic-pen.com/

It’s a nifty little tool that’s let you draw, highlight, and annotate things on the screen. Pretty cool stuff.

Below I’ve included an excerpt from the re-written Chapter 1. This is scene 2/4 and should hopefully show off the sister’s personalities a bit better and make them likable. If not, well, back to the drawing board.


The sisters walked out of Marcie’s with arms full of shopping bags and credit cards buried in debt. The air howled between the skyscrapers splattering bits of freezing snow across Cindy’s reddening nose and cheeks. The sidewalks were near bursting with New Yorkers who were so cold that they hunched into their winter jackets.

“Oh jeez, it’s freezing out,” Cindy said as she walked behind Jadie. “Be my wind blocker.”

Jadie shrugged. “You think this is bad, trying joining the Coast Guard. Once you go to the Bering Strait, this kind of weather won’t bother you anymore.”

“Oooh you’re so tough,” Cindy said sarcastically while brushing off the snow from her sleeves. “Walking behind you is like trying to use a light post for cover, utterly worthless.”

“I’d tell you to pull your socks up to get warm but I’m afraid you’d go blind because you’re so short.”

“Oh yeah? Well let me call the zoo and tell them I’ve finally found Bigfoot.”

“Good one.”

As the sisters made their way down the block, a hairy little dog the size of a puppy caught her eye. Cindy tugged at Jadie’s arm and pointed. “Aww, look at the little puppy.” Its brown fur was so long that the little doggy looked like it had a dwarven beard. The little dog padded up to a homeless man sleeping in front of a store window.

The man stirred when he heard the jingle of a bell from the dog’s collar.

He sat up, stretched, took a second to look at the dog and then yelled, “It’s an Ewok.” He chuckled loudly. “It’s a little Ewok!”

Jadie whispered to Cindy, “Is an Ewok the little furry thing that you can’t put water on?” Jadie asked.

“No, that’s Gremlins. Ewoks are from Star Wars. They’re the little teddy bears that live on Endor. Duh,” Cindy replied.

Jadie shook her head. “What has Jonas done to you.”

“He didn’t do anything. I was already cool before I met him.”

Jadie chuckled. “I don’t think you know what cool means.”

The owner of the puppy dog walked up to the homeless man and said, “He’s cute isn’t he?” The homeless man patted the little dog as it jumped up on its hind legs and licked at the man’s cheek.

“He’s the cutest little Ewok I’ve ever seen.” The homeless man’s clothing had seen better days. His skin was visible through the holes in his sweater and the cuffs of his pants were ragged from constant walking. Seeing the man play with the dog while probably cold and hungry made her feel guilty.

“Hang on, Jadie.” Cindy walked up to the food vendor sitting outside a busy subway entrance and spoke to the tan skinned, dark haired man moving inside.

“Excuse me, Sir. Do you know how long that man’s been sleeping there?” Pointing at the homeless man.

“Since nine this morning,” the man said in a thick Egyptian accent.

It was six thirty in the evening. “Has he eaten anything?”

“I don’t know, Miss. I have too many customers to pay attention.”

Jadie caught Cindy scoping out the printed photos of different halal prepared foods plastered on the cart’s aluminum panels. Jadie rested her elbow on Cindy’s shoulder. “If you’re hungry we can grab some dinner.”

“Can I have the chicken and lamb platter with a side of rice and extra pita bread?” Cindy pushed her sister’s arm off.

The chef repeated the order aloud then scraped his knives together. He threw juicy bits of raw chicken onto a flat grill then cut downward on a roast lamb twirling on a spit. Herbs and spices wafted into the air but Cindy was more interested in the heat radiating from inside. She almost wished she could stand beside the chef and wallow in the heat and smoke from the grill.

“Man, I’m not really in the mood for street meat,” Jadie said.

“It’s not for me.”

Cindy paid for her meal and a bottle of water and took the Styrofoam container from the chef. Its heat brought a welcome warmth to her frozen little fingers. The homeless man was now sitting against the wall, invisible to the pedestrians who pass him by everyday. An empty cup sat in front of his feet but he didn’t beg or bother anyone.

Cindy bent down over the man and she got a good look at his inquisitive bright blue eyes shaded under bushy eyebrows. He tugged at his grey beard and probably wondered why this young woman was coming up to him.

“Have you eaten today?”

“No, Ma’am.”

“Would you like to?”

She opened the container which let out a breath of steam. There was piping hot rice and savory meat perfectly arranged in the tray. His lip quivered as he glanced at Cindy then back at the food. “You mean I don’t have to go garbage pickin’?”

Cindy tore open the plastic baggie containing a fork, knife, and napkin and gave it to him. “Not tonight.”

“Wow. Lady you just answered my prayers.” The man accepted Cindy’s gift and took a mouthful of lamb, rice, and chicken. “Mm, mm, mmm. Thank you,” he said between bites. “Thank you so much.” He hungrily attacked the food barely taking a moment to breathe.

“There’s one more thing.” Cindy opened her purse while the man munched away. He nearly dropped his fork when he looked up from the container and saw the one hundred dollar bill in her hand. “Take it.”

“Cind—” Jadie bit her tongue and decided against saying anything. Not that it mattered, the annoyed look on her face said it all.

“That’s too much money, Ma’am. I can’t accept it.”

“I want you to have it.”

The homeless man shook his head. “I don’t deserve no help. You already done enough for me and I thank God for you providing me a hot meal.”

“Please take it.”

Cindy put the hundred dollar bill in his hand and he started to weep. “I really appreciate this. No one’s ever given a crap about me before except for my momma, God rest her soul. Thank you so much.”

Cindy leaned in and gave the man a hug. He smelled awful and could probably attract flies with his stench, but for right now, in this moment, they were equals and suddenly he didn’t smell so bad anymore.

Wilmar Luna