mer: (Default)
It's probably good I'm getting this (*gesticulates wildly at life, the book and everything*) all done before school starts and the ILL office starts reeling with the training of new students and the barrage of books. (The tide is coming in!)

Yesterday, Merlin got his teeth cleaned. (Merlin is Writing Cat, for those playing cat bingo at home.) I was seriously (and slightly irrationally) worried that he was too old or weird to survive the anesthesia, but they did blood tests beforehand, and--well, as the vet said, "He has STRANGE levels--some things are high, some things are low--but none of them are indicative of any problem or disease or syndrome." I knew that cat was weird!

Anyway, he came through the sedation just fine, though he tried to do way too much on shaky legs once I got him home. Also, he wanted to eat several hours before the vet wanted him to, but he was hunting for food to the point of dangerously jumping up on the kitchen counters over and over and over... I gave him a little kibble, then a little more, then a little more, and he didn't barf, and the peasants rejoiced.

No extractions, either. Just some bad tartar and gum disease. Maybe now he'll start chewing his food?

The point is, I had to go pick him up, which meant leaving early from work--just two hours, though. To make a true half-day of vacation, I asked my boss to let me come in a couple hours late today. (Don't ask how the math works. I'd explain it to you, but it's not logical.)

Of course the stove decided to be delivered today. So--I would have been at work for about 3 hours, all told.

I did briefly consider asking the husband to take this one, but I've got the vacation and I need the writing time. Plus, I have a distinctly understanding boss. And it's still summer, from our point of view. In a few weeks, there will be no insta-vacation days. So, we had a good chuckle on the phone, and I have some of the lost time back in my editing budget.

JUST in time for my Strange Horizons edits to come in on "Five Rules for Commuting to the Underworld" to roll in.

Perfect! If I progress enough on the book today, I will absolutely drag the netbook over to Zingerman's Coffee Bar and look at the short story edits for a break (well, assuming I can time that with the stove arrival). And maybe even take a walk in the sunlight. I've gone from hunched urgency to feeling expansive freedom. What a difference seven hours makes!

I can even shower, now!
mer: (Herbalist's Apprentice)
Grungy bookwork stuff, nothing to see here.

Of COURSE I had the worst cold of the last year and a half in the middle of this book edit. It took the wind right out of my sails. I was so exhausted even after the worst of it, and I was utterly non-functional for a week, and only partially functionally for the following week.

So, when I finally got back into a groove--my great-uncle passed away. I doled out the five hours for getting to the funeral and back, but of course my brain was far more taken up with grief and family matters than I would have cared to admit. Uncle Doc was such a gentle, good, kind, and funny man, and while I was quite positive that the 93 years he lived were good ones and that he was ready--he STRODE confidently into death, he did--well, you know. Death.

I'll save the reams I could write about all of this for later. And perhaps also for fiction. Or my private journals.

In any case, that was more than I anticipated writing when I came over here to say things that were too long for Twitter, but not THAT much longer, then...

Anyway. I had four full days off (including a weekend) to work on the book, plus an empty house for most of it, and I pulled myself groaning into the final stages last night. I had been diligently going through the book in order: edit a chapter or two fully--which is to say, address everything, major or minor, my editor wanted, including major cuts, line-edits, and emotional continuity checks; do a recorded vocal edit; balance some numbers (I'm trying to shrink this book, not expand it, and also figure out how long this stuff really takes me); move on to the next 1-2 chapters.

Then the full editing pass started accruing more chapters, and I was 7 or 10 chapters behind on vocal edits. Then more. (I had 39 chapters when I started this draft; I'm down to 36, but I'm also down 5,000 words and change.) I started to forget things this way, so I tried to catch up with the vocal edits. I ran into a few chapters where I had almost nothing to change on the vocal edits (chapters, interestingly, which stayed most true to earliest drafts; I guess my last draft wasn't as clean as I'd hoped, but the earlier ones were).

Finally, I basically looked at the time, and pushed through, SAT style where you pick off the easy targets first, to clean up the language, make the cuts, etc. for the last, oh--8 chapters? Leaving the emotional stuff for later.

Last night at 10:30 (bedtime is 11), I made a to-do list for today. I knocked off the first three (easier stuff), and if I can get one of the two major ones done tonight, it will be a true victory.

The biggest issue is that I have NO stomach for the thing that will take me back into the early chapters. I think I worked those over too hard--I can barely stand to look at them. Gah.

Anyway, that took 15 minutes more than I really have, but on the other hand, I may be glad someday that I documented this process.

In BETTER news, my editor wants to talk cover ideas. I'm pulling together my photo-references for her--exciting!
mer: (Default)
I have excised a chapter and a half from the first half of my book. It remains to be seen if I have broken the characterization of two of the secondary characters thusly, but without a doubt, I have solved some pacing issues.

Let this be a lesson to me:
The segment that would not die.

In other news, I met up with Catherine Shaffer for a writing session today (I had the day off work)--and did some good work, but couldn't make the editing work on my tiny netbook screen, so had to bail after two and a half hours. We hit up Zingerman's Coffee Bar, which is relatively close to my house (closer than anything else Zingerman's)--and is a pretty great little space, but hidden in the midst of a number of industrial airport-area buildings. If they were open past, oh, when I get off work, they could be an awesome place to have evening writing get-togethers. But they aren't. However, I can foresee doing some "on the way to work" writing some mornings. Maybe as a Monday ritual (or perhaps Thursday, since my drawing class pretty much means I don't end up writing on Thursdays).

And then there were stoves. )

Now, other than editing-editing-editing, that's been my day.

April 2015

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