Thursday, March 13, 2008

Time to regroup

What I'm reading: The "Evil" Trilogy by Allison Brennan.

What I'm working on: FINISHED (maybe!) copy edits for When Danger Calls and am taking a short break (after working on the e-publishing workshop presentation for the Southern Lights Conference at the end of the month) before digging in to revisions for Unexpected Danger.

Now that the Gayle Wilson Finalists have been posted to the web, I think it's okay to brag briefly about who I'm competing with, just in case you didn't click the link in the last post. I still get goosebumps.

Dead Giveaway by Brenda Novak
Dead Right by Brenda Novak
What’s in a Name? by Terry Odell
Count to Ten by Karen Rose
Die for Me by Karen Rose
Take Me Tonight by Roxanne St. Claire

Having spent the last 10 days editing, I've learned that there are two totally different processes. One manuscript, Hidden Fire, was in first round edits. To do it justice, I had to go back and immerse myself in the characters and the plot, reading not only for what my editor picked out as needing to be fixed (and I'm still not sure she understands, or agrees, that 'fit right in' is an American idiom and has no real bearing on the grammatically correct "fitted" as the past tense of "fit." But I can NOT write, "You fitted right in," Randy said. Just can't. And I also learned that in Australia, one does not eat potato chips (crisps) or any other kind of chip with a sandwich. My editor was appalled, but she let it ride. I'm sure she's muttering thing about crazy Americans.

Before I even started on those edits, I got the manuscript back from the copy editor for When Danger Calls. I set it aside until I finished Hidden Fire. Copy edits is almost the reverse process. By now, one hopes all the plot issues and continuity problems have been addressed and it's down to catching things that slipped by. It's where the house style changes show up -- percent instead of percent. For this read, I'm trying to ignore the story and concentrate on whether the quotation marks are in the right place, or if any of those sneaky little typos have reappeared. All it takes is finding ONE error the copy editor missed, and panic sets in. I've discovered that just because she caught and changed per cent to percent in one case, that doesn't mean she got them all. Eyestrain. Headaches. Stress. I've been through the manuscript two more times, and HOPE I got them all. We'll see what the ARCs look like.

I'm not going to mention my struggles with a tax preparation software and its customer service department. I've used the Basic edition for the past 4 years with no trouble. Now, it seems, it won't do the job I need it to do, so I had to upgrade. Took 3 days of emails and an hour on the phone. Made the US Postal System look like pussycats. Bottom line, I'm out another $58 and am starting my return from scratch. Ooops -- looks like I mentioned it after all. Sorry.

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