My favourite part of editing is when I get hold of the manuscript and dive in to providing line-by-line feedback for the author. When I was through reading Mark’s first draft, I assumed I would get that opportunity. But after the most basic of comments about the manuscript, he was immediately game to do a re-write. Remember the racehorse? It was like, “Put me back in; I’m going again!”
Renovating our house and reconnecting with each other after Mark returned from Ecuador meant putting the book on hold for the summer of 2013. Floundering a bit as we considered our next steps, we got an incredible offer to housesit for Mark’s uncle and aunt at Sea Star Suites in Tofino for two months. Awesome!
Mark worked on the second draft of Goodnight Sunshine during early morning sessions at the dining table while I met up for a beach walk with a few ladies that Mark’s aunt had set me up with. We found each other by flashlight several mornings per week and then twice covered the length of Chesterman’s beach in some kind of record-setting speed. It wasn’t me setting records — I was usually jogging to keep up! Mark made a pact with himself to visit the beach every single day, and the kids made themselves right at home in the big house and yard. We got acquainted with the fantastic bike trail, made great use of a parks pass to visit Pacific Rim National Park, attended the annual gala Oyster Festival, and enjoyed many gelato cones at Chocolate Tofino.
We had the best possible autumn weather in Tofino, and a few welcome visitors made our time there more memorable and precious. But overall, I was lonely and my mood a bit dreary. Until I started editing. Finally, I was getting a chance to contribute to the project! Mark would spend a few hours writing in the morning and I would edit for a few hours in the afternoon — always several chapters behind him. We made good headway and kept this up until our tenure at Sea Star ended. We made a quick jaunt home, and then headed to California for Christmas. Back to the place of sadness from nearly a year before, but this time with a solid commitment to our marriage.
To be continued …
PS. Our hearts are breaking this week for the tragedy experienced by visitors and residents of Tofino on Sunday.