lost a member of my writer group

Obituary for Raymond (Jerry) Tidwell
Raymond Gerald (Jerry) Tidwell, age 71 passed away on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. .

He is survived by his wife – Lana Tidwell; daughters – Sonya (Stephen) Mitchell , Kimberly Handcock and Cynthia Tidwell ; six grandchildren; one great grandchild; siblings -Ann Tidwell Crittenden, Keith Tidwell, Shannon Tidwell; several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by brothers – Russell and Sammy; parents – Richard and Eloise and granddaughter – Sonja Wininger.

the great American novel

All right, I finished my great American novel.  I am proud to say it is a little over 43,000 words.  Yet, it took me 10 years to complete.  Why so long?  I started with too big a plan.  I had too many characters in mind, over 20.  I had to condense all these into about 5 male characters and 5 female characters.  And sometimes it still felt too big.  But I forged ahead.  I had an outline.  But my outline was not complete enough.  I got 3/4 of the way through and realized this.  I had to read and re-read the entire MS since I kept putting it down and taking it up again.  Finally with February and March filled with family sickness and bone-crushing cold, I was inside a lot.  I sat on the couch with my laptop and typed—a lot.  The funny thing, I was within 4 chapters of the end!  But it is done and I hope to get it sent off to someone who accepts general fiction this month.