Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Blechta here. Ho, ho ho...

I’m currently just noth of NYC, spending the holidays with the relatives. I’m also currently working on my “response” to the edit I received from my publisher last week for A Case of You. Since it is the holidays, I have the rare (and I’m sure coveted) privilege of not having to go through the entire ms and get it back to them, like, yesterday, the usual expectation in these situations. Napoleon & Company’s offices are closed until January 2nd.

What this means, though, is that I have to be mentally in two completely different places at the same time (staying “inside” my story while doing the social thing with people who are very important to me). Wasn’t it Firesign Theatre who asked: how can you be in two places at once when you’re really nowhere at all?

There’s good news and bad news on the editing front. The ms is way better than I thought it would be, and the ms is way worse than I was expecting.

How is this possible? you might well ask.

Well, this is how it shakes down. My editor hasn’t found any plot points with which to disagree, so his comments basically deal with awkward sentence construction, bad choice of words/phrases, repetition, the occasional paragraph/comment that everyone could do without, and the inevitable typos. And that’s all very heartening. Two novels ago, we were involved with jackhammering out entire chapters.

This author, however, is appalled at how many things I did very poorly indeed. But the things I did poorly are what I call “musician’s errors”. You see, having been trained as one who makes music, I’m not satisfied until everything is polished and perfect (a state seldom attained), and the errors I see that are as big as an oncoming tractor trailer to me, are probably invisible to everyone else, or at worst, most everyone else. The sad (and expected) thing, though, is that I felt certain my ms was in this condition when I submitted it last March. Funny how a bit of time sharpens one’s eye.

So my holidays are being spent trying to keep my novel loaded in mental RAM at the same time I’m talking to my relatives about what’s been going on in their lives since I saw them last, calling up old friends (ditto), and otherwise doing the social things one does at this time of year.

I’m afraid that I’m not doing either one very well. Relatives and friends are treated to sudden faraway looks as a tiny plot point flashes through my brain, and I’ll find myself staring at meaningless words on a computer screen as I thing, How could my son have spoken like that in front of his grandmother?

It is making for a most hair-raising end to 2007.

Happy holidays and all the best in the new year!

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