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Lesson Learned

by Lynn Hobbs

Humbled to have my work accepted in a writer’s anthology, I dove into the edits they required for my three short stories.

No problem with edits. With the third book in my series scheduled for publication later this year, I appreciate and value constructive criticism. I am a firm believer in attending workshops, conferences, and local writer’s meetings. The speakers continue to teach me something new, and I treasure each tidbit I learn.

So why was I dumbfounded when I read what the editor said about my piece on Galveston, Texas? I was not expecting it, and no, I didn’t feel offended, I simply didn’t know how to approach her without offending her, which is the last thing I wanted to do.

The editor lived in Mississippi, and had been raised on the Louisiana/Mississippi coast. She assured me the enormous rocks I referred to in my Galveston, Texas story could not be possible. She said they did not exist on the coast of Louisiana, or Mississippi, and could not be on the Texas coast either.

I was born and raised in Houston, Texas and spent a lot of family time on the beach at Galveston. The enormous rocks were there. As part of the jetties, I had climbed on them, sat on them, and fished off of them; and now, I had no choice but to defend them.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, I suggest Google.

Google is the fastest form of research available, 24/7.

I entered: Chamber of Commerce, Galveston, Texas. Instantly, I clicked on the link to their map and tourist information. Their 1-800 phone number was listed, and I quickly called the office.
River_Town
I explained I was a writer and wanted accurate information about the enormous rocks that formed the jetties and were along the sea wall. Courteous, the receptionist transferred me to another office.

Again, I identified myself, explained the information I wanted, and within minutes I was given the year the U.S. Corp of Engineers placed granite boulders along the sea wall. I was informed the U.S. Corp of Engineers owns the sea wall, the Galveston Park Board manages it, and was even given references to back their claim.

I thanked them, and felt relief. I was ready to support my claim about the enormous rocks to the editor. After the revision, I e-mailed the completed work to the editor. She didn’t send a reply. She did accept it. My piece was published, but wait a minute; in my mind’s eye I could still see enormous rocks.

What is wrong with that picture?

All of the years I climbed on them, sat and fished on them, I was not a writer. To a writer they are ‘granite boulders’…big difference in description. Everyone in this area still refers to them as enormous rocks, and that is a local slang term used by only locals.

Hence, lesson learned. Southern expressions can be tricky.

Lynn HobbsLynn Hobbs is the author of The Running Forward Series; a powerful faith and family saga, Book one, Sin, Secrets, and Salvation won 1st place in Religious Fiction 2013 by the Texas Association of Authors. Book two; award winning River Town, and Hidden Creek will be released this year.

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