Musings

Getting Stuck

Well, I got stuck terribly this week in the middle of my novel. I’d wandered far enough off of my outline that I couldn’t figure out what should happen next. I sat down and planned out a new direction and new outline, though, and am going to try to make the halfway point by Sunday!

In other news, Pen and Charlie both utterly *refused* to play the erotica flash contest with me. :-P to them.

Deanna

Smut!

My, I’ve been having fun today! I’ve been writing smut *all day long*!

Check out this contest, everyone: http://www.desdmona.com/contest.asp

Two hundred possible bucks for three hundred words! Get to it, folks! I have written three nice little erotica pieces to submit. Three hundred words! What do you lose if you don’t win? :)

I’m back!

Hello, everyone! If I still have any readers after such a long hiatus, you’ll be happy to know that I’m going to start posting again. In the last few months, we’ve put one house on the market, sold it, sought out and bought a new house (I live on an *island* now, of all cool things), and packed and moved and unpacked. And, of course, the kids have grown and changed all along. The move’s been tough on them. Evan has two teeth now, though, and has just started crawling, and Blaine turned four and a half (on my birthday :) ), and is proudly announcing her new age to everyone.

I’ve found Blaine a new Montessori school here, and she starts on Monday. That, combined with the fact that the unpacking (though not the organizing :P) is finished, means that I can start taking work again! I’m very excited at the prospect.

Warner has called me the most often, so I’ll see if they have any interesting manuscripts coming up. Del Rey’s running a close second, and I actually had Penguin call me up out of the blue after WisCon to offer me work. I’m looking forward to doing non-moving-related work so much I can’t tell you!

WisCon

WisCon was absolutely fantastic. I had more fun at that con than at anything I’ve done in a long, long time. I got to talk to several of the authors I edit (China Mieville and Ann Zeddies), got to have lunch with Jim Minz of Tor, and got to give my “living room” panel on copyediting. Everything went wonderfully! It seemed that the audience really enjoyed my panel on copyediting, and I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to discuss it!

18

We officially put the house on the market today. If anyone knows someone moving to Dayton, let me know, eh? ;-)

I’m looking forward immensely to attending WisCon. I am really going to enjoy the opportunity to discuss some of the problems and misconceptions that authors have with and about copyeditors. Unfortunately, there are a lot of poor copyeditors in publishing. However, many of the practices that frustrate authors the most are things that the copyeditor has no choice about if he or she wants to keep working.

It seems to be a common idea among authors that their editor hires the copyeditor, but that isn’t the case. Copyeditors are hired by a production editor who may have less experience than the freelancers.

You can always tell an inexperienced copyeditor by the fact that they change too much! However, that fault also shows up in inexperienced production editors. At this point, with over a decade of experience in publishing, I increasingly run into situations where the production editor requires me to make changes that I know will aggravate the author. This is a tricky situation, to say the least. If I complain to the editor, the author, or that person’s boss, I’ll never get work from that department again: No one would hire me for fear I’d do the same thing to them. If I refuse to make the changes, I’ll never get work from that production editor again, either. All I can really do in that situation is advise the production editor against the changes as diplomatically as I can. If they insist, I just have to make the alterations and bear with the fact that the author will be annoyed with me.

Fortunately, most production editors don’t require such changes, and I have some wonderful, high-profile authors who appreciate my work and request me for their subsequent books. That makes the frustration on other projects worthwhile. :)

17

Things are calming down here a bit. Even though our house isn’t officially on the market, we got an offer on it yesterday. Unfortunately, it isn’t for what we wanted. We’ll see, though: The people seem to love the home and perhaps will come around. I’d love to get it sold without a lot of stress.

hi

I am having a lousy week.

We’re trying to pack/clean up clutter to prepare to put the house on the market this week, Evan is teething and on a growth spurt so is nursing constantly, and the vet told me yesterday that Cecil (our wonderful, huge, fiercely protective Rhodesian Ridgeback) very likely has lymphosarcoma, though certain results from the biopsy won’t be back for ten days.

At the moment, it feels impossible to contemplate taking work again anytime before we move.

Back from vacation

We returned from Pennsylvania the other day; we had a very nice trip, though we learned that the eight-hour drive really needs to be taken in two stretches with a a baby in the car.

I had a dreadful nightmare about copyediting the other day! In it, I had taken a copyedit of a textbook (I started out in publishing by editing college textbooks but haven’t accepted any for years because fiction is so much more enjoyable), and I had to “batch” it back. (Big nonfiction books are very commonly sent back to the publisher a few chapters at a time because of the production schedules.)

Anyway, in the dream, I had sent back the first three chapters, and when I went to send back the second batch, I realized I was missing chapter four. I couldn’t find it, though I was sure I’d seen it, and by the time I got the whole mess ironed out, I only had one day to finish the whole book and was going to have to get my deadline extended! I hate dreams like that!

In my normal stress dreams of copyediting, I accept multiple projects and then completely forget about one of them until the day before it’s due. I guess this was a variation on that. I apparently have a fixation on deadlines and quality. :-)

I’m one of those people who always had bad dreams about college, too: I’d enroll in a class, go once, and then somehow forget about it until finals; it would be too late to drop the class, but I’d never read any of the materials or anything. Ugh.

And I had a really bad nightmare once when I was in the midst of my first line edit for Del Rey. That’s a story for another time, though. :-)

14

WisCon has put out a preliminary list of the panels people will be on: http://www.sf3.org/wiscon/peoplelist.html

I haven’t decided whether to stay on the “Get ######!!” panel yet. I think it’s an interesting topic, but I’m not sure what I would say about it. The linguistics panel should be fun, though.

And I still need more suggestions for my copyediting living room! If you’re reading this and haven’t posted the questions you would be interested in, I would love it if you would.

Tor/Forge

I called Tor/Forge again today, and they said that the Gears are welcome to have me copyedit their texts. They transferred me to the person who hires the freelancers, and I left a message on her voicemail. Hopefully it will all work out!