It’s been a while since I posted, and for good reason. The “possible editor” I mentioned in a recent post is now my very real editor/coach A.J. Verdelle! So I’ve been working hard getting the Peach Seed Monkey manuscript off to her yesterday! (390 pages, 95,133 words). This has been a long time coming and I could not be happier (or more nervous). I’ll go into detail later (at the end of the process) about how I found A.J. and the process of taking the book to the next level.

The trip home was definitely bittersweet, but also energizing. I saw many of the friends I made last year at the 50th Anniversary of the Albany Movement. Nice to reconnect with folk and always good to get reacquainted with Albany at different times of the year, as she is a character in the novel. I want to share this before/after picture with you:

A weekday in Harlem, Albany, GA, circa 1960s. RITZ Theater, center of block.
Dick Gay’s Poolroom is on far corner at end of the block, now Harlem Barbershop.

The same stretch of South Jackson Street 50+ years later on a Sunday afternoon, November 4, 2012.                                RITZ building is still there. The bus station is a few feet up the street at corner of Oglethorpe.

I hit the ground running after my trip back to Albany to get the home house ready to sell. The day after I got back we went to the polls, celebrating Miranda’s first time voting, then we hosted Miranda’s Kenya/Daraja Slides and Stories party at our house for a small group of donors. She did a fine job on her presentation.

The Manuscript and Editing ~
I don’t think it has really sunk in yet that the manuscript is in A.J. Verdelle’s hand at this very minute (she “wrote me across her Saturday”). I’ve worked over five years to get to this point, and as of June had no idea how I’d find the right editor. Also still waiting to see if the screenplay made it into the Sundance January lab (one more month to wait).

As A.J. mentioned in one of her emails, “we writers do not give up on our work”.
Amen to that sister!

I don’t mean to keep you in the dark about the whole A.J. thing, but it’s a story that deserves more time.  It’ll be worth the wait once I have the whole story to tell. Until then, let me close this by saying a link in email can change your life. The link that lead me to Nikky Finney (A.J.’s life partner) changed mine.