A Poem for Rose – Ardin Patterson

A Wide eyed,

Little snowbird is watching.

It’s head is twisting side to side.

Sweet songs it sings and quietly,

It lulls itself to sleep each night.

It watches the frost bitten

Flowers trace my windows.

It watches me brush my hair.

It watches me as I watch you,

With a peculiar sort of stare.

So I hide behind the curtains,

That we bought in robins egg blue

And when sunlight hits them

My room has shadows,

Just like you do.


Written November 30th, 2020 by Ardin Patterson.

Tomorrow is Rose’s birthday so I thought I’d write her a poem. It also started to snow, which made things very fitting. I think snow is pretty but I prefer all the colours of Fall. I do love all the decorations at this time of year though.

Happy Draftiversary

Today is the anniversary of the completion of my first draft. I can’t believe so much time has passed since I finished writing that novel. So much has happened since then!

Yesterday I finished recording an audiobook, which was incredibly fun. I learned so much from working on that project. The story and it’s character’s really mean a lot to me. It challenged me in so many ways as a voice actor, and inspired me as a fellow creative. I hope my character’s get people as excited as the ones in this book did!

As I mentioned in my last post I’m currently working on Book #2 in the series. I’ve missed writing so much. I thought it would be fitting to do a little writing on the anniversary of my first novel’s draft. The draft completion date for Book #1 is also in the same month as my character Roland’s birthday…so, happy birthday Roland!

Funny enough I also had cake today. My niece made it. It had baby Yoda/The Child on it. It was so cute! It was almost too cute to eat–it was also delicious. It was nice to have a mini social distance visit. She’s gotten so much taller since I last saw her in…what? August…September maybe? It’ll be nice when we get to have sleepovers and do tea parties again but having that short visit was nice too. Talking on the phone just isn’t the same. Hopefully things turn around during the winter and we’ll be able to spend time with our loved ones come spring.

Back to Book #2

After several rounds of edits, I was given the okay to take a break and go back to working on the sequel!

First, I have a recording to complete (which I’m very excited to share) and then I will be dedicating the month of December to rewriting book two.

I initially wanted to begin book two later on in the story but changed my mind during my last two rounds of edits for book one…and so the entire book I wrote during NANOWRIMO last year is going to be redone/revamped. I actually moved parts of it into book one instead and am spreading out the other pieces throughout the story. The rest will be scraped, which is a little sad but I don’t mind. Yes, I worked really hard on it but I know that I can make it even better.

I’m seriously looking forward to writing again next month. I might also dive back into some of my other writing projects while I’m at it. We’ll see!

Is over-editing a thing?


I often call myself an “over-editor” but I’ve started to wonder if over-editing is actually a thing. Way back I posted a video on my editing process. I broke it down into its simplest form because I know some folks would rather get a quick run down versus spend 40 minutes watching a video when they could be working on their manuscript. Still, that video which I believe is around 4 minutes doesn’t accurately show how much time I actually spend editing.

For me editing also takes part in the planning stages of the novel. At this point you’re researching and deciding what to include in your book. That to me is the same as when you decide to cut chapters or make word substitutions later on when your manuscript is complete.

Then there’s the “okay I’m finished writing” editing…which is reading through your first draft. I do three rounds of this edit. Sometimes more. I want to make sure I didn’t miss any “stupid errors” as I call them, which is basically spelling, grammar or major plot holes. These tend to be the mistakes I made while staying up till 3 am to write after working all day.

This editing also familiarizes me with the text because I am forced to read it over multiple times. I also try to take notes while editing, however I make more notes while working with another editor or a beta-reader. Notes from other peoples feedback is extremely beneficial and I tend to keep it to enhance not only my current work in progress, but all my future projects as well. It can be difficult to realize what areas you need to work on and to top it off you also learn where your strengths are!

But is over-editing a thing? After writing and revising this manuscript as many times as I have…personally I’ve lost count. I’d say to keep things simple I’ve gone over it about 8 times in total. 3 times on my own with the initial first draft. This being the 3rd now while editing with my editor…which makes 6 and within those 3 I read over it on my 3rd edit two extra times before sending it back to my editor yesterday. So yes. 8. Math.

I suppose over-editing could be a thing but to me I’m only doing what I feel is necessary. If it feels like something is off or needs to be corrected, I find a solution for it (or in some cases scrap it and start fresh). To me that is all apart of the editing process…I think however there are probably more efficient ways of editing ones book but each of us are different and will benefit from different forms of editing. I know some folks who don’t edit their own work at all. I simply prefer to edit mine before giving it to someone else to read because I want it to feel “reader friendly”/”ready.”

As a reader I absolutely hate being thrown off by a random spelling error in a book. This has happened more than I’d like to admit. It’s like having someone pinch you while you’re in the middle of a good dream! Little things like that get to me. It doesn’t make me stop reading, but it can pull me from the experience temporarily if I have to go back and reread the same sentence to figure out what’s going on simply because a single word was spelled incorrectly.

I’ve seen this in a lot of traditionally published books I’ve read lately…more so in comics. For me with the comics it is more frustrating simply because it literally lists every person who edited the book, and I’m like “there were 5 spelling mistakes.” One I can forgive but 5? And by a larger company…yikes. Especially since those books are expensive! I love them…and they’ve brought me so much joy over the years but I can’t get over how the last 3 books I’ve purchased from them have had around 3 to 5 spelling errors each. Which then while I’m editing (which I’m almost always editing…unless I’m writing) makes me extremely paranoid about spelling errors in my own manuscript.

So…maybe to answer my own question: There’s editing, not editing at all and editing for hours on end because you’ve suffered from editorial errors as a reader and don’t want to do that to anyone else.

Honestly if I find spelling mistakes in my manuscript I get a little cranky. I’d say I’m fairly calm when it comes to my projects but if I accidentally spell “peach” as “peech” I’m not very peachy.

Anyway, if you’re doing NANOWRIMO this year, how is it going?

This Weekend I’m Editing Dialogue

I’ve been attempting to edit for at least an hour every day. It isn’t always possible but I do believe that trying to create a habit is a good start for now. I used to write almost every day…not because I was forcing myself to but more so because I had a lot more time. Taking the time to edit properly means that I have more time to write later on. It motivates me…and encourages me.

Plus the chapter I just went over was hilarious. Sometimes I forget I write things like that. I should do that more often. I couldn’t stop laughing!

I feel like I made a lot of progress during my last few edits. Today’s goal is to actually go back to my earlier chapters and edit some dialogue. I have a habit of using certain things when my character’s speak but at times I do too much of it in one scene as my editor pointed out. So to make her job easier when she goes back to look through the dialogue, I’m going t try and eliminate some of this where I can. I want to leave a reasonable amount in there, mainly because it is something that I feel works well…but I definitely see her point. When something like that is used too often it ends up losing its effect.

Something that I’ve learned throughout this editing process, is to write down crutch words or words you tend to overuse in your manuscript, along with things that you to a lot stylistically. This will help you when you write future works, as well as while editing your current WIP.

I’ve found that since I’ve started keeping track of these things I have been more aware of them in my newer projects. Being conscious of it gives me an opportunity to make my writing stronger in the first draft, which is ideal because it means that I won’t have as much to correct later on when I edit!

Answering Questions 1-4: Writer’s Edition

I thought it would be fun to start off NANOWRIMO with this fun post I saw circulating on Twitter. So far the post has 4 likes, so I’ll be answering the first 4 questions. Each like equals one answer! I don’t think I’ve done one of these since back in the old days when my friends and I used to send chain mail to each other.

So, let’s get to it!

Question #1: What Genre do you write in?

Genre is one of my favourite things to explore as a writer. Over the years I’ve played around with sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, adventure, children’s literature, horror…etc. Most of my work tends to blend genres. I write things that I would enjoy as a reader and if others enjoy them too then that’s fantastic.

What genres I like to read changes often. Currently I’m reading a modern Gothic lit’, a shojo romance series, poetry and contemporary lit which would probably fall under a general fiction category. I also like to write historical fiction…but with a twist.

Question #2: How many projects have you started?

I don’t even know how to answer this question. A lot. The follow up question scares me more. I’d say recently I’ve started around 10 projects. By starting I mean I’ve got the synopsis and characters laid out and a couple introductory chapters done. These are projects I’ve been working on between 2013 and 2020. My debut novel is included among this list.

Aside from that there are the many…many pre-2013 projects. One is a 7 book series that’s been put on hiatus if any of my friends ask. It needs a lot of work. The others dwindled off after about 3 to 5 chapters. I usually know if I’m connecting to a story by then. Doesn’t mean I’ll never return to the story or characters but at the time my skill level as a writer and my knowledge as…well a person…just wasn’t at the right point.

Question #3: How many projects have you completed?

Completed projects…ehhhhhhh. Haha. Okay so for my debut series I’ve completed 1 and a half of the first two books. Book 1 is being prepped for publication so the editing of the first draft of its sequel is currently on hold.

As for those other 10 projects they’re either 50% complete or still in the early planning stages. I basically schedule out which projects receive my attention. Last NANOWRIMO I finished the draft for book 2 for example. I began rewriting and arranging it at the start of 2020 but have now prioritized getting the first book ready for publication.

During my off periods…and by that I mean when I’m working on projects that haven’t been given a deadline…I spend time researching, writing and building my other works. It saves me time down the road and allows me to get to know my characters.

Question #4: Planner, Pantser or Plantser?

I am a…Plantser. It honestly depends on my mood. I could spend hours researching, organizing my notes, getting every last detail in…or other times I sit down and write out whatever comes to me. The majority of the time I might write out a single chapter without any planning whatsoever and then begin my planning stages. I try to give my characters names as I’m writing that introductory chapter. I find that once they have a name, they’re more alive.

It started snowing today…well technically it started hailing and then it snowed. I’m glad I got my winter clothes out early. I may need to invest in some more sweaters for work though.

Come up with a tagline for your book (if you don’t already have one).

Haha, I’ve already created a tagline but I thought it would be fun to discuss how difficult it was when I first tried. It might seem silly but there is a lot that goes into the completion of a book. You spend all this time writing, drafting, creating characters, setting etc…and then you move into editing. Even beyond that there’s more to do. Synopsis’ for querying, author biographies and taglines.

When my book was accepted for publication I was thrilled! I’ve learned so much on my journey. I’ve learned my strengths and weaknesses as a writer, learned about being comfortable sharing my work with those outside of my immediate group and have grown to truly understand how much work I’ve put into not only this novel but into learning my craft.


I have learned to appreciate everything I read, every edit I make, the feedback I’m given, the amount of thought that goes into every decision being made. I’m truly grateful for it all. I’m learning and will continue to learn as I go…and to me that is absolutely incredible.

The tagline for this series is “some secrets are best left buried.” I think it fits but this may change closer to publication.

Tomorrow is my character Nicholas’ birthday! It’s also Halloween but he doesn’t care about that he just wants cake.

Nicholas is 14 in the first book but because it took me 7 years to work on he’d technically be 21 now. Ha! I can’t picture it. He’s such a hyper little bean. I call all my character’s beans…I feel like I adopted this from a friend I had in high school although I can’t remember who used to say that all the time?

Roland and Peter would be 31. Damn. I’d better hurry up with this edit so I can go back to editing the sequel!

Last year I spent NANOWRIMO writing book 2 in the series. This year I’ll be completing an 9-12 audiobook written by Jamaal Fridge, which I am very excited about! I’ve had so much fun recording it and I’m honoured that he reached out and asked me to voice his characters! I’ll definitely be sharing the link to that in the near future. Other than that I’ll be editing, working, baking and wrapping gifts.

I wonder what should give Nicholas for his birthday? If he did celebrate Halloween and attended a costume party, I think he’d go as a pirate. Captain Hook or Black Beard maybe?

What would your character dress up as?

What Would Your Character Do?

I just participated in this really fun thread on a NaNoWriMo forum, and I thought I’d share it here on my blog/Twitter.

These were some “what would your character do” scenarios posted in the thread.

What would your character do if put in one of these situations?

A. Somebody throughs your character a knife, and yells “KILL HIM” and points to someone the character has been suspicious of for a while?

B. Someone punches them in the side, and runs away?

C. Let’s say your character had to choose between saving their next of kin, or their best friend. Who would they choose?

Theaternerd77

I definitely encourage you guys to participate or to create your own versions in the comments (or link a scenario you created on your blog/Twitter).

Here was my response:

A. He examined the knife in his hand, then looked back at her. “Y-you expect me to use this thing after you nearly chopped my head off tossing it to me?” he said, rolling his eyes. “Just because the public thinks I’m a murderer, doesn’t mean I am.”

B. He curled up into a ball on the floor, and sobbed quietly as the children watched, their jaws dropped.
“Are you okay?” his niece asked, kneeling beside him.
“Do I look okay!?”
The children shook their heads.

C. He looked at the children, then to his best friend.
“Are you serious?” his friend snapped as he raced toward the children.
“You’ve already wasted twenty-four years of your life!” he cried back. “You should’ve listened to your parents and got a real job!”
His friend threw his hands above his head. “We work together!”
“Exactly!” he hollered, scooping up his youngest nephew. “Anyway, good luck getting out of here before they slaughter you.”
“We’re leaving him?” his nephew asked, looking back.
“He’ll be fine,” he lied.
“Wait my teddy bear!” his nephew choked.
“Don’t make me regret my decision!”

Omg. This was so much fun! I’m laughing a little too much right now. Best editing break ever.