I hadn’t planned on posting this week, but I just had to share an awesome Christmas present (that only writers can appreciate) which turned out to also be a head-scratching editorial moment.

My 12 year old daughter Gina, all on her own, conceived of this present.  She took my current manuscript for THE EIGHTH DAY, made it into a Wordle, and turned it into a framed poster via Staples.

Wow. My first thought was: I love it.

My second thought was: Why the heck is the word BACK so big? Can that really be the fourth most common word in my manuscript? The most used word after the names of the principal characters? (In the words of 30 Rock’s Liz Lemon, “What the what?!?”)

So, two lessons here:

1. A Wordle of a manuscript makes a good present for a writer.
2. Wordle is a useful tool to use after completing a manuscript to make sure you haven’t over-used some lame word like BACK!

And, I just want to mention that Marcy and I still have one spot open for a First Impression in January (and three spots open in February). We started this monthly feature almost two years ago, and we’ve yet to have an opening go unfilled. Is there anybody out there getting ready to query who wants feedback on their first page? Ahem, can I mention that First Impressions participants PK Hrezo and Robin Hall both found agents?  Of course, I’m sure their own talent had something to do with it (obviously!), but both PK and Robin shared their first pages for feedback, then shared their REVISED first pages for more feedback, and then went on to successfully woo agents.  Just sayin’. 😀

Directions on submitting can be found on the sidebar.

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday with family and friends!
Cheers from the Salerni household … and Happy 2013!