fine tuning

Today is going to be my last full day of writing on this trip. I made a schedule of sorts and tomorrow I’ve set aside to visit a tulip festival (!) about an hour north, so I’m cranking today.

I’ve spent most of my days reading/re-reading, editing, re-ordering chapters, cutting some long chapters in half and taking notes.

My goal is to get these forty chapters polished enough to only have to plug in some quotes that I’ve got in my records back home from testimony and interviews. I think I can do that easily from home. I just don’t feel comfortable trying to jump in to my writing groove while in my own place.

Then the next step is to start pitching it. I’ve had one agent quite interested in me in the past. I basically blew them off when life got super hectic and I shelved this whole thing for a couple of years. I just know I need the time and space to rock and roll on this once someone picks it up and wants to work with me, and I think I’m there now.

I got some good news yesterday that the very last part of settling Dad’s estate is 99% finished–just getting a rental property out of his name in Arizona and in to mine. It’s taken over two years to accomplish all of the complicated tasks of settling it–from properties to land to banks and taxes. Plus getting my brother all set up and managed. It was pretty all-consuming.

Now that’s settled and time for this book to find its trajectory.

the back of a photograph that had been used in evidence–a portrait of Cindy–her handwriting in the corner that says “Sisterly Love For Nevs” (inside joke)

I’ve worked on so many chapters today. The book jumps between timelines, so its tricky to create a flow with interest consistently stimulated. I have a feeling anyone taking on this project will move things around that I’ve gotten wrong, but I’m doing my best.

It moves from our past as children, forward to the crime, back again , then propelled ahead again . The events have to line up, so I’m not referencing a story or detail that hasn’t been told yet.

Anyway, I’m ready for a break as I’ve been up since 5am, mostly working on this, and it’s 1:30pm now. Time for some lunch.

There are so many great places to eat in this area, but I’ve promised myself today is for cleaning up my leftovers, so it’s cheese and fruit and crackers kinda day. I may treat myself to a mid-day glass of wine and a nap after. It’s been an intense morning.

Here is my snippet for today. Much of the story advances through Cindy’s own words from her journal. Here is an example.

She had no idea of the trap she was already in, sabotaging her ability to do any of the new behaviors she was learning. She’d been infected with the poison of a person who had one goal: her destruction. Being unable to differentiate harm from safety was a program deeply instilled in all of us from childhood, and one Michael Apelt instinctively knew how to use to his advantage.

I feel like everyone would think I’ve gone batty if they knew the whole story—and when I’m with Michael it feels so right that we are together. He is so good to me and although he has some faults I feel like he is a great person for me. I am still a bit paranoid about trusting another man—yet he proves himself time and time again. So how do I let go of worrying about everything and just enjoy the relationship?

  • Cindy wrote on 11/1/88

On October twenty-ninth, my sister had flown, in secret, to Las Vegas to marry Michael Apelt. When I found out about this by a fluke, I was more upset that she’d gotten on a plane and gone anywhere without my knowledge. How did that even happen? We knew each other’s whereabouts nearly every minute of every day. How did she slip away for an entire two days unbeknownst to me? On an airplane? She had never been on an airplane in her entire life that I didn’t know about. This was completely out of the realm of anything I knew as normal with her.

As always, thank you for reading along and caring.

Stay tuned for flower photos for tomorrow. And likely my last snippet for the week.

One thought on “fine tuning

  1. I know myself. When this book is published, it will be emotionally felt, just as the shows you’ve interviewed for… I’m certain I will not be able to put it down!

    Hopefully you had good weather and enjoyed the tulips festival! Hugs 🤗


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