Old Dog, New Tricks

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I just finished going over the first round of editing notes for, The Color of My Heart from Brenda, my editor at Ambassador International. I was both humbled and intimidated when I opened her email on Sunday afternoon. Her comments were: “It was such a joy to work on a manuscript with strong, well-rounded characters and a compelling plot.” In another place she went on to say, “A very gripping story! Well done.” A girl can never get too many compliments about her hair, or her writing.


I am a writer, plain and simple, nothing more, nothing less. I know how to type, maneuver my way through spell check, copy and paste and maybe a few other things on a computer, but other than that I am lost. So when Brenda asked me to please do my revisions using “Track Changes,” I knew I was in over my head. What’s “Track Changes?”


I do a quick once over of the tabs above my Word document. No “Track Changes.” So reluctantly I email my new editor and tell her I’ve never used this program, and could she please advise me on how to access it. I didn’t want her to think I was simple minded, but oh well, I am what I am. Brenda shoots me back an email that says to go up under tabs, then to Review, then “Track Changes.” What Brenda doesn’t know is I’m working with an old version of Word and she’s working with a new version. In the meantime I’ve emailed another friend, and she’s not much help either because she has recently updated her version of Word. Something’s telling me I might need an update.


On my version of Word of course the tabs are in a different place, but this old dog isn’t ready to give up yet. For those of you who might not have updated their Word program recently I’ll share with you exactly where “Track Changes” is located. On the tabs above your Word document go to View, then Tool Bar, then Reviewing, (not Review like the new version says) click the sixth icon and there you will find “Track Changes.” Simple. Right? You’ve just got to figure out which buttons to push.


I have a lot of weaknesses but I can promise you there “ain’t no” give up in me. Once I found “Track Changes” the edit was pretty simple. And, I may add, “Track Changes” is a wonderful tool. To think it’s been right there under my nose all these years hiding behind a tab. I have to wonder what else I am missing in my life? Do I merely see the surface of an individual and overlook the real person that may be hiding inside?


We all get stuck in a rut at times. Week after week, year after year we follow the same old routines. Wash clothes on Monday, mow the lawn on Thursday, church on Sunday. There’s nothing wrong with that, but every once in a while we should mix things up a bit. Try a new recipe, or restaurant. Listen to a new station on the radio, or watch the history channel on the TV. Like me, you might want to just sit down at your computer and see what all those tabs can actually do.


Most of the time we make things a whole lot harder than they have to be just because we’re not willing to try something new. Well, I’m thankful that Brenda, at Ambassador International showed this old dog a new trip. And, I’m looking forward to learning many more from her and the Ambassador team. Don’t let anyone ever tell you you’re too old to learn something new.



Here’s another excerpt of my soon to be released novel, The Color of My Heart.


October 4, 1858

Off the coast of Africa

Captain William C. Corrie

Today we arrived at the port of Benjuela on the Congo River. The Wanderer will not be loaded with passengers of wealth for this sail. There will be no cruising about on a pleasure voyage. Today the pit of this once impressive amusement craft will be filled with the souls of 487 men, women, and children from this godforsaken country of Africa. The stewards of this trip will be serving no wine or fancy food for the guests. The passengers on this trip will be lucky to survive the next six weeks on our journey across the Atlantic. I simply am charged with keeping enough moldy bread and water in them to keep them alive. Every head I have to throw overboard costs me money!

(Thank you to Abby, the mascot at New River Campground for letting me use her picture in this blog.)

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