Simple Is Lovely
I was considering sending in a piece when you first mentioned the makeover but had forgotten about it. Since getting your reply I’ve picked out a piece and would like to submit it. The little girl in this story taught me something so I’d like to do the story justice.
Thanks in advance,
This is such a lovely story. I was inspired by the Buscaglia book, too. I also hold high respect for the perceptions of children and what they can teach us. I understand what you mean about doing this story justice. The little girl you tell about is a special one.
With those thoughts in mind, I made my edits. I worked to the spirit of the story, and that led me to alter some facts to put things in order that people might imagine them.
I removed many words to make the story simpler and more powerful. That was to underscore your respect for this young child as a teacher.
I tried to stay close to your writing voice. Only you can judge whether I succeeded at at that.
I may not have made all of the choices that you would have made, but I hope this points you in the direction you’re looking to go.
Remember, as always, this is only one way to edit it! Every editor edits differently.
Turn the page to look over my shoulder as I do the editorial makeover. It’s called, “A Simple Story”
On my way home, after spending an hour reading a fantastic book (Love, by Leo Buscaglia), I made my way home. Now, I should note that on the block that I live, there is a house that is the home to what would seem to be two Mexican families. The house sits right next to my home and as usual, one of the young children was playing out on the front porch. She’s all of 3 years old and likes to hang out in their backyard or on the front porch (as was the case on this day).
I don’t know them personally but often see them, smiling and waving in greeting as I go about my days. On this particular day, this little girl decided that she wasn’t going to let me just pass in and out of her day without pause. I waved to her and her mother, who was accompanying her, and as usual I went back to focusing on the thoughts and ideas that the book had invoked when I heard her shuffle up behind me.
“I see you walking by here everyday,” she says.
Caught a little off guard by this outspoken little angel, I whorled around and looked down at her, finding her smile beaming up at me. My first thought was that I wished I had the luxury of being able to spend the time in the park everyday. But instead of saying so I knelt down to her eye level and again smiled at her mother.
After an hour in the park reading a fantastic book — Love, by Leo Buscaglia — I walked home, still thinking about it.
On my way I passed a familiar place that seems to belong to two Mexican families. The house sits right next to mine. As usual, a young girl was playing on the front porch. She’s all of 3 years old and likes to hang out in their backyard or on the front porch. The front porch was her choice on this day.
I don’t know the people who live in this house, but they smile and wave in greeting as I go by.
On this day, the little girl decided not to let me pass in my usual way. I waved to her and her mother and returned to my thoughts — the thoughts and ideas the book had inspired, when I heard her shuffle up behind me.
“I see you walking by here everyday.” she said.
Caught off guard by this observant angel, my first thought was that she was in error. I wished I had the luxury of time to read in the park everyday. Ready to set her straight, I turned and looked down at her, to find her smile beaming up at me. But instead of saying what was so I knelt down to her eye level and smiled at her.
Want an Editorial Makeover?
Send 2-3 paragraphs of your writing. IÃ¢â¬â¢ll use your work for the next makeover. IÃ¢â¬â¢ll be gentle and IÃ¢â¬â¢ll keep it confidential. If youÃ¢â¬â¢re worried, you might have a friend send your submission for you. Email your work to Editorial Makeover at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ã¢â¬âME Ã¢â¬ÅLizÃ¢â¬Â Strauss
If youÃ¢â¬â¢d like Liz to coach you with your writing, visit the Work with Liz!! page in the sidebar.