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Friday, March 21, 2014


Friday Speak Out!: Sentences, Seasons and Time

by Carol Hogan

I’m currently editing the chapters of my first book while simultaneously checking email, posting on Facebook, and reading about writing and publishing books. I know there are helpful suggestions out there so I rationalize by telling myself it takes a lot of reading to write a book. However, sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever finish the book itself?

It’s the same feeling I had when we were blue water cruising. Often we’d be at sea for twenty or more days where the only marker ticking off the passage of time was wave, after wave, after wave.

“Will we ever arrive in port?” I’d think to myself. It’s a similar question to the one children ask on a long car trip, “When are we gonna’ get there?” Finally, after twenty-one or twenty-two days at sea we’d sight land, and then I’d wish the passage wouldn’t end.

Writing a book is like sailing long distance, running a marathon or pedaling a bicycle across country. You put one foot in front of the other, pedal one full rotation, and write or revise one sentence at a time.

While I’ve been doing that, I notice that the Lynden tree outside my office window has subtly marked its own passage of time with the changing color of its leaves and finally the lack of them. Each day as I sit at my computer and move through the sentences my tree moves steadily through the seasons; it’s leaves turning from spring buds to summer green, then autumn red and finally to winter’s bare branches, leaf, after leaf, after leaf.

And I know I must move through the sentences and chapters as steadily and patiently as that tree moves through the seasons. I can’t hurry, or fill up sentences with words that aren’t quite right, just to make the work go faster. I search for exactly what I want to say, no matter how long it takes, and at the end of the day I pray have written words worth reading.

* * *
Carol Hogan a freelance photojournalist and reporter in Hawaii, California, now living in Washington, not far from the Canadian border. She attended Western Washington University late in life and received a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Nonfiction, graduating in 2012. Hogan is currently editing her first book, In the Wake of Discovery: Two Adults, Two Children and 25,000-Miles on a Small Boat, and hopes to publish it soon.

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Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


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Blogger Sioux said...

Carol--One word in your book's title made me certain I want to read your book.


A small boat means there are going to be different challenges, different joys, different discoveries than if the four of you were on a large yacht-like boat.

Congratulations on getting to the editing stage, and best of luck.

2:58 AM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

If you can survive the boat (OH MY GOODNESS!), then I have no doubt you can survive and persevere through the writing process. Best of luck to you, Carol.;)

6:58 AM  
Blogger Carol Hogan said...

Thank you for you kind comments. I know I'm going to make it, one word at a time. If you'd like to sign up to receive future blogs, please do so at

11:11 AM  

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