Sunday, July 24, 2011

Blogging in Summer

For the first time in months I missed posting to this blog last week. Even through the long days of writing Mary Pickford's story, I posted a weekly entry.
But now that summer is here with a vengeance, with extraordinary heat, my energy has disappeared.

We've packed up and moved to the cottage for a few days. It's not a lot cooler out here, but there is usually a breeze to be found on one side of the cottage or the other. And when the temperature becomes unbearable we can refresh ourselves with a dip in the always-refreshing water of Lake Ontario.

There is no Internet access out here and I miss that. But that's no excuse not to work on my research notes or compose a few new blog posts.

Write on! And happy vacationing!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Reviewing the First Copy Edit

I have just finished my review of the first copy edit of Mary Pickford, Canada's Silent Siren, America's Sweetheart. Because I'm used to writing fiction, I was surprised by how thorough the editing was and how long it took to go over every point the editor made. It was not just a case of reading and accepting his better choice of phrase; there were numerous queries to reply to, points that needed to be clarified. By the time I sent it back, my notes filled seven pages.

Every manuscript can benefit from a professional editing, but in the case of non-fiction it's crucial. There were several spots where what I'd said was unclear. That comes from being so close to the project that you lose your objectivity. I was grateful for the opportunity to make the story a better one.

This was my last chance for any re-writing. The pages go to the design department next. There will be one last chance to review the final copy edit, to make sure we didn't miss any typos, but it will be too late to do any rewriting at that stage. Then it's off to the printer.  

Look for the book in September!

(The photo above is of my lilies last year, minus the red beetles that polished them off this summer!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A.K.A. Gladys Smith

Who was she?

She started life as Gladys Louise Smith. Born to poverty in Victorian Toronto, she made her stage debut in 1900 at the age of eight, determined to provide for her fatherless family.

After years of demoralizing road tours and out of economic necessity, she went to work in the fledgling motion picture business.
In 1920 she married actor Douglas Fairbanks, pictured here with her on their honeymoon voyage. Who was she?

She was Mary Pickford, actor, director, producer, and film executive, one of the founders of United Artists and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the most important woman in the history of motion pictures.

For the full story, look for my upcoming title,  Mary Pickford, Canada's Silent Siren, America's Sweetheart, available in bookstores in September or for preordering now by clicking on the link, or by contacting the publisher at