To Help and Inspire Others
Editing – 10 Steps and a poetry trilogy, Time Was…Love Is… Ramblings…are both important, but are separate. Three other books by Dr. Bonny are well on their way toward being finished but are not yet published. Multi-tasking is the order of the day, but when life interferes, another subject is picked up and some small progress is made toward completion. As Marvel Coates penned in 2015, “For writers, the hardest thing in the world is space and time to write.”
Non-fiction Editing-10 Steps is a small reference book intended to be used as the need arises. It was put together from handouts prepared for a writing seminar Dr. Bonny led at Barnes & Noble for some four years. Rather than toss all those handouts, she wondered if there might be a book somewhere among the dusty stuff. Rather than fill the waste paper recycling bin, a book was conceived. The 10 Steps were a way to focus, but the steps are seldom as useful as are the reminders included in editing. Besides, comments from the participants were priceless. Readers should buy the little book whether or not they write. Many people are tempted to tell their story, but are intimidated by the process involved, or think that they are not practiced enough to put words to paper. Every person is, or has, a story. Starting is the hard part. Once writing begins, there is always the need to go back and read the words as a stranger might read them. Professional writers, or authors who have works published, always use an editor who frames and polishes. Once Editing – 10 Steps is bought and becomes a useful tool, many pros find their writing easier to market. Details become more important.
Just because something is printed does not make it clear to the reader. No word is sacred just as no paragraph is necessary. Many writers think every word must be saved. Every reader often wonders why something is included. Edit out when necessary. Edit in when something is missing or not clearly stated. Not a ‘page turner’ to be read straight through, the over-all usefulness of the book is to have a reminder to check and re-check every effort made in reaching toward good writing. Every person benefits. Ad agency copy writers gain insights. Those in school or those in their later wonder years can be enthralled by how much they contribute to other people when they share their stories. Whatever a writer thinks about may or may not be relative to today’s society. Many are bothered by the ‘dumbing down’ taken place over the past few decades. Special practice is often provided to promising athletes since practice eats into study time. Also, being a book-head once became an insult. Once it became obvious that learning was acceptably necessary, attitudes began to change and how-to books were more appreciated.
The little guide Editing- 10 steps is different than other how-to books only in that most reference tomes are less quick and much heavier. Current trends support fast, short, straight to the topic approaches. Readers take away convenience, not struggles. Dr. Bonny learned about editing from years of cringing over both student and faculty writings whenever there was an attempt made to communicate, via the written word, some tangible or abstracts thoughts. The students were usually of post-graduate level and the faculty were usually Deans or Vice Presidents at the college level. All the participants should have been well practiced in writing clearly. Unfortunately, they did not have a handy guide.
Poetry Trilogy: Time Was…Love Is…Ramblings…
Poetry stays in our memory, or not, as moods come and go. After several awards for various of her poems, the trilogy of Dr. Bonny’s poetry was developed. The dedications in the three books best describes each one. There is no plot. Each poem is to be read as inclination dictates. All of the poems are part of a collection of times past, the present, or times hoped to come.
Book I, Time Was… is dedicated “To all who have come before to leave their imprint on our lives and to all whose who now give of their grace and lend completeness to our days”. Some 127 poems are included. One sample from Time Was… is “Houses”
Houses crumble in blowing storms.
With ravaged time, a house knows scorn.
Boards get warped, curtains get torn, floors give way.
An end is born.
Book II, Love Is… includes: “This meager attempt to reflect the vagaries of love is dedicated to all whose hearts and minds have been touched by the fleeting wings life.” There are 66 original, and hopefully memorable poems that somehow relate to the vagaries of different kinds of love.
As mentioned in the Preface to Book II, Dr. Bonny is not inclined to focus on ‘internal laundering nor morbid tides of emotional reactions.’ In that her poetry comes from many places and many people, there is a combination of reactions and responses.
A sample from page 33 of Book II is entitled “Finding You”
I walk the days and find laughter tracks around your eyes.
I praise the dusk and find moonglow silver dancing in your hair.
I feel your soul and find you warm inside my mind.
Book III, Ramblings… is described as a group of “poems of wanderlust and longings.” The collection is dedicated to a woman who left this earth too soon. Dr. Bonny’s mother taught her “to find meaning in the ramblings of our feeble voices.” Included in Ramblings… are 97 poems where readers will find abstract symbols along with ordinary and extraordinary feelings and happenings. The poems are great for late night reading when one can meander around thoughts and wait for sleep. In the Introduction to Book III, Ramblings… Dr. Bonny writes: “Poets have a daunting task. To attempt to reflect meaning against all reasoning and doubt, they fly against convention to catch a wisp of meaning. Please forgive a poet for trying.”
About the author: Bonny Franke, Ph.D.
Bonny was an Educational Assistant to a senior U.S Senator, became a federal program specialist, and wrote policies for two-year colleges in several states. She wrote speeches for Governors, Lieutenant Governors, and college Presidents. Also, Dr. Franke prepared and presented monthly reports to College Trustees for many years. She took early retirement as Vice Provost with the Dallas County Community College District.
A writer, speaker, and free-lance editor, Bonny Franke earned a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham- Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama, a Master’s degree from Austin, College in Sherman, Texas, and a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She live in Plano, Texas with her husband, R.F. Mensel.