“Solving” an Archaeological Mystery in Fiction

As I near the end of my current work-in-progress, The Clay Sustains, the third book of The Clay Series, I have arrived at the chapter wherein I will “solve” one of the greatest archaeological mysteries from the Hohokam era in the Tucson Basin.

In 1949, a man by the name of Ray Romo was hunting in an area of what is now Catalina State Park, near Tucson, Arizona. When the ground collapsed beneath his foot, I can only imagine he knelt down to examine the resulting hole and “peered into the past” (Swartz and Doelle, “The Romo Cache and Hohokam Life,” In the Mountain Shadows, 27:1, Archaeology Southwest, 1996 and 2013).

What he found was an ancient Hohokam pot cupped over a larger Hohokam pot containing a most exciting and intriguing treasure. Inside were 25 copper bells and 100,000 beads. That’s right. You read that correctly: 25 copper bells and 100,000 beads! romerocachediscoverysitebackgroundsstif

https://southwestphotojournal.com/category/prehistoric-pit-house-construction/

Continue reading ““Solving” an Archaeological Mystery in Fiction”

Two Indispensable Tools for Writers and Editors

As a writer, I know how hard it is to self-edit and proofread my own writing. It’s important to have my manuscript as close to perfect as I can make it before I send it to my editor. (Yes, writers who are also editors hire other editors to edit their work.)

As an editor, I know how easy it is to get caught up in a client’s narrative and miss both small and large problems that must be addressed. That’s one reason I always sub-contract proofreading to someone else. But I also make sure I’ve done my own due diligence before I pass a manuscript–mine or someone else’s–to a proofreader.

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Self-Editing Tips: Part 1

Much has been said about the stigma of self-publishing, and probably the most oft-repeated criticism is that self-published books are frequently poorly edited or not edited at all. As an editor, I wouldn’t dream of publishing a book without hiring an outside editor to go through it with a fine-tooth comb. Of course,  good editors don’t come cheap, but it’s an expense that will pay off down the road when your published work is recognized for its high quality. It’s almost impossible for us to fully edit our own writing. We are too close to it; our eyes (and our brain) don’t always register errors–we unconsciously supply what we meant to write. That makes self-editing quite a challenge. Continue reading “Self-Editing Tips: Part 1”