A Writer's Work is Never Done
While in Denver, I met with my copy editor, Karen Carter. She is simply amazing. She read through my entire manuscript, all 70,000+ words of it, and edited the whole darn thing. She did a lot of cutting, which needed to be done, and by a lot, I mean nearly half! Fortunately, I've been in a major writing mode for most of my time here, and have written close to 8,000 new words. The challenge is making the new stuff fit perfectly with the old. It's kind of like putting a puzzle together with pieces from two different, yet similar puzzles. My original ms is very funny, and the stuff I've written recently is more honestly autobiographical and not quite as funny. I need to go back through and sprinkle in some laughs. I will gladly take any advice anyone has to offer! It's brilliantly clear to me that a writer's work is never done...

Birthday Surprise!
This morning we are having a surprise birthday party for my sister, Sharon. Little does she know, she is going to have to work to receive her gifts, because we have decided to send her on a scavenger hunt. I've had fun writing the rhyming clues for her to follow as she searches for her treasures both inside and outside of the house. And, treasures they are! My mom got her a traditional strand of pearls and matching earrings, and my sister, Michelle and I are giving her a modern-looking freshwater pearl and moonstone bracelet, ring and earring set. My sister, Laurie, always needing to be different, is giving her an original work of art from Africa. So far to date, Sharon has never read my blog. I'm hoping she doesn't start right now!

Denver Trip Winding Down
I've been in Denver for almost two weeks now, and I'll be going back home to Philly tomorrow. I've been trying hard to take care of my mom, which has been tricky. She has been suffering from a staff infection and related complications, and has been weak and unable to eat or drink much. For those of you who don't know her, she is a vibrant, life of the party kind of gal, so to see her in a weakened state is hard. However, the last few days she does seem to be coming out of it. I'm just so glad I've been able to be here to help her and my dad out. My presence allowed my dad to work a bit and even have a little fun with his friends. He is such an amazing husband and father, and it feels good to be able to give back. On Christmas Eve, my whole family will be traveling to Denver together, and we'll be here through New Year's Day. I hope my mom will be close to her old self again as we welcome in the new year together.

I'm also missing my husband, sons, and kitties! Two weeks is a long time to be away from your family. To Chuck, Adam and Ethan: "One more sleep!"
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