Authors: Steil and Robertson~~Editing, Eating, A Cat

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The Not-Quite-Sunday Blog
(Close, but no cigar)

Michigan in October 2015




On Friday morning April 15, 2016, Rachael Steil will get off a plane in Norfolk, Virginia, having travelled from Grand Rapids, Michigan, for a second time on behalf of her book, Running in Silence.  She should walk in my door by 11:00.  We will give ourselves a couple of hours to decompress and visit with a friend, and by 2:00 we will have locked the doors, turned off the phone, and begun our reading aloud of Rachael’s book, polishing and correcting as we go.  We will have until 4:00 on Sunday afternoon–when she will leave for the airport–to complete the work.  We are confident we can do it.  We are both hard workers; we are both more than a little compulsive.  It’s a useful combination for the task at hand.  We’ll make it.




Rachael overslept, missed her flight, arrived at 7:00 PM on Friday.  And we didn’t quite “make it,” although we came darned close!!  We actually did get through the manuscript, the Worksheets, and a query letter–in a preliminary way and in between food, a walk, and Rachael’s growing relationship with my cat, Isaac.  We will wrap things up in our respective homes and by phone during the coming week.  Then it’s off to the races with a publication date set for the fall.


IMG_2151First Things First: Rachael renews her acquaintance with Isaac




Rachael is the daughter of a friend of a friend, and we were “connected” by my friend in 2014. We looked at her manuscript then and I read a few chapters and offered some general suggestions and that was that.  In October of last year we finally met in person when I flew to Grand Rapids to talk about my own book, Looking for Lydia; Looking for God.

I don’t remember the day she sent the email asking if I would edit her book.  My notes tell me I spent my first two hours reading the Prologue and Chapter One on the 13th of February.  On the 31st of March, we completed our preliminary work on the book and decided we wanted one more reading and Rachael decided to fly to Norfolk to do that in person.




Friday night: Cogan’s Mediterranean Pizza: Large



Since her first trip to Norfolk, only three months ago, Rachael has been busy.  She left here with a head filled with information, ideas, suggestions–for her book, for her blog, for her life as a member of the community of writers–really almost too much to sort out.  Rachael sorted it out.



                                                         All Day Saturday




Saturday night: Salmon and Vegetables



Sunday afternoon: Still Working

A Monday Report:

Rachael Steil, age twenty-four, should have landed in Grand Rapids at 11:00 last night; she has a full day at her job today.

Dean Robertson, age seventy, was in bed before 8:00 PM, slept until 6:00 AM, and is seriously considering a nap at 9:30.

Rachael and I will both have done our “homework” in time for our next phone editing session on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Isaac is waiting for Rachael’s return:IMG_2178 IMG_2176


Read Rachael’s blog at Running in Silence

Contribute to her GoFundMe campaign


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5 Responses to "Authors: Steil and Robertson~~Editing, Eating, A Cat"
  1. Wow!! You sure do keep busy!! Best wishes.

  2. Honor says:

    I love to see hard work on the hoof! The cat always get a look in! I have 5 so it’s non stop. Unfortunately oversleeping is never an option this end up with the larks. So I hope Rachel appreciated the pizza, not seen one of those in years. The serious issue did you truly complete the mutual edit? Bravo if you did and good luck with “Running in Silence” though I breathe heavily and there’s a sound rather like someone jumping on floorboards when I run.

  3. Dean Robertson says:

    Well, we did and we didn’t finish. We completed the bulk of the work, plus a bit, but we still want to spend another week back at our respective laptops and telephones before Rachael hits “submit.” Now we’re talking about: the manuscript; the table of contents; a glossary; a long worksheet; a query letter.

    No rest for the weary.

    And that’s the healthiest pizza you’re likely to encounter–whole garlic buds; artichoke hearts; sun-dried tomatoes; onions; goat cheese; Greek olives.

    Saturday night’s fresh salmon was cooked with zucchini, green onions, red pepper, asparagus, and mushrooms.

    I hope that makes everyone want to hop a plane for Norfolk, VA USA

  4. Mitzy says:

    “shall”? have locked the doors? ha ha

    delightful again. Not a literature expert, I can never figure what is so immediately captivating about the Robertson invitation to the cozy and safe- even the ginkgo leaves? The photos are centerpieces, and the easy-going, non judgmental relationships with probably lots of judging (editing) by a couple of driven girls (not so easy going in process). Thanks for sharing the workings.
    Can I also mention the straightforward, gentle reader Lass poetry?

  5. Kat Varn says:

    A kitty and a scrumptious pizza. What a great reward for keeping your nose to the grindstone! I need to take note and get moving on my work in progress! Refreshing that a young author embraces the task of editing. Makes quite a difference to the final jewel of a book.

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