Aces and Spaces

Dear Readers:

There is a new book on the market written by a prestigious educator that promotes ignorance. The professor’s premise is that the most interesting parts of our lives are not the answers, but the questions. He points out that it’s the omissions from our knowledge base that germinate new scientific approaches, solutions, and breakthroughs. That’s encouraging to this first time author because this writing business seems to expose a number of deficits in my knowledge banks: how to punctuate titles of books; when to use single versus double quotation marks; what’s with all these dashes – the em, the en, and the plain old garden variety dash?

It reminds me of the statements I have heard about the rest between the musical notes having impact equal to the notes themselves. Or the writing instructor stating that ample white space on a page makes for a more satisfied reader. How about the bridge partner who insists she won’t open the bidding with 15 points because she suffers from a bad case of “aces and spaces”? And of course the old saw “show – don’t tell.”

But what’s a beginner to do when just not knowing an answer doesn’t seem to produce any inspiration? How about calling in the experts? I did just that when I hired a professional editor to read and critique my first manuscript. After a month of anxious waiting, it has been returned with pages and pages of corrections, suggestions, and summaries. So now I am in the implementation stage once again. It appears that I am accepting about 90% of her recommendations so it was money well-spent. At this point, I am thinking ahead and prompting my cover-designer, also a professional, to put the finishing touches on the front, back, and inside cover flaps. Another pro has recently agreed to work on eye-catching book trailer for publicity. Things are moving along. The plot thickens.

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