Monday, October 26, 2015 / by Kaitlyn Lamb

So now Chris and I are on an airplane heading back to Rhode Island.  I’ve been working on my edits for the Team the whole flight and have almost finished my first pass through them, color coding their suggestions with highlighter pens.  If I agree with the suggestion, I highlight it in green.  Pink means I disagree and yellow means I want to think about the suggestion and/or discuss it with the Team.  Most edits I’ve marked with green, with the exception of many of the Anna Jensen sections of the novel.

Anna is one of my four narrators in Frozen Voices.  Apparently the NRP Team didn’t like the way I had her use Swedish phrases and then immediately translate them into English.  They especially didn’t like that she did that with her husband and daughter, John and Louise.  I guess since John and Louise speak at least some Swedish, the Team felt like Anna wouldn’t translate for them and they wanted me to delete many of these phrases or to not have Anna supply the translations.

In my mind, Anna was proud of being Swedish.  When she first came to the United States as a teenaged bride, she was looked down upon for being an immigrant.  But then after she and John became successful business owners, she deliberately threw Swedish phrases into her speech to flaunt their ability to succeed despite their humble beginnings.  She peppered her speech with common Swedish sayings and then immediately translated them for the listener.

I doubt that Louise, Anna’s daughter, spoke much Swedish.  She wanted to be considered “American,” the wish of many first-generation immigrants.  And as soon as John, Anna’s husband, arrived in the US, he refused to speak Swedish anymore.  He, too, wanted to be considered an “American,” not an immigrant.  So, since Anna had gotten into the habit of automatically translating her phrases for everyone, so did so for John and Louise, too.

Before completing my comments on the Team’s edits, I’ll have to think about some of them a bit more, especially those concerning the Anna Jensen sections.  I want to accept as many of the Team’s edits as possible, since I know they are only trying to make FV a better novel.  Yes, I wrote the book but they have fresh eyes that haven’t spent years working on this novel and so have a fresher perspective on it than I do.

Back to color-coding…