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What Happens to My First Drafts

When I am finished with editing a draft and no longer need the physical pages I’ve been working with, I hand them over to my oldest daughter, River, who proceeds to use them as raw materials for her own art:


Sometimes she asks me to help, as in this case: “Draw a tree. And River and Inara are on a swing. And Daddy and Mommy are in the grass reading a book. And Mommy wants cake. And there’s a house in the grass.” Shown here, River is adding her friends from preschool to the left of the house Daddy drew. Because it is a big house, clearly, and we all live there together. She looks very happy.

Sometimes, we get out paint, and River paints on the drafts instead. It’s a gooey mess,  but tremendous fun.


That is actually an old, old, old draft of Death Has Come Up into Our Windows, which I had no idea was still hanging around in River’s box of coloring papers and art supplies. She’s been drawing shapes and squiggles and swingsets on old drafts of No Lasting Burial all year…

It makes me happy, seeing the drafts put to this use.

While you’re on the page, here’s a gratuitous photo of me and baby Inara during our last hospital trip:


May your week be beautiful and full of hope, dear readers.

Mine is. Inara is doing much better. And as for her mother and me, this is the first month since last year that we don’t feel immediate and crushing financial pressure. Huge thanks to my readers (for buying my books and sharing word of them!) and to my patrons on Patreon, who are making an enormous difference. (And thank you to many in my church who helped my family through our rough winter.) I can actually breathe, plan the next few months of publishing, commission the services I need, and begin planning to move my family to a new, safer place. I am grateful. Those of you who are reading my books, I wish you hours of great reading. Those of you who are supporting me on Patreon, thank you. I couldn’t do this without you.

Stant Litore

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