If you haven't read the previous parts, you may want to do so first. See:
Lois died the day before Thanksgiving, 2008
The eight months we had together, with both of us being Stephen Ministers, helped me through the grieving process. All during that time she was alert and looked forward to joining her heavenly family. I'd never seen her so at peace. We had time to make plans. We talked about her will and her two grown children. Her son, who was in Afghanistan was able to return and be with her for a time before she died. She got to see her daughter through new eyes and loved her even more. She showed me how dying is not as difficult as I had thought it might be.
After the memorial service, I was lost. I went from being a 24-hours a day nurse to not having any obligations. I'd been giving the shots, changing the bandages, feeding her intravenously, checking blood sugar, and keeping it all on schedule. I couldn't face Christmas, so I went to Nova Scotia alone and stayed until after New Year's day. It was a place with no memories.
Planning to open a bookstore.
By the time I got home I had decided to work on another unfulfilled dream.
All my life I'd dreamed of owning a small independent bookstore with space for living above the store. In the store itself, I visualized a place to write plus displays of collectible books, posters and such from famous writers. Of course, I also realized it would never happen.
Then, when Lois died and I needed to sell the house and find another place to live, I thought it might be the time to open a bookstore. I decided to limit it to prize-winning books only and I began to collect books that had won the Pulitzer Prize. I would have a corner for Christy Award winners and children's section with nothing but Newbery Medal winners.
I would sell the house and open a bookstore in town with living space upstairs. The more I worked on the bookstore plan, the better I felt and soon I was working on the changes White Rose Publishing had suggested.
I made the changes the publisher asked for
I also began to get involved with living. I went back to church and rejoined the choir. I attended rehearsals with the San Gabriel Chorale again. I worked on the edits nearly every day now.
I cut and cut and cut, saving all the precious words in a separate file in case I could use them later. I cut the length from 100,000 words to 80,000 words. I cut most subplots, but there were two I couldn't leave out. One was about the bookmobile librarian Liz who started the idea of the book in the first place and the second was the race relations subplot I haven't told you about. I resubmitted the manuscript to the publisher August 17, 2009.
Read the next post to find out what the publisher said.