I have to raise a glass in toast to my enemy, the typo. My darling man finished the formatting, and got an ebook sent to me for one last check that the formatting looks good on kindle and kindle app, with no further glitches and with all the things I actually meant to be in italics still italicized.
I open the book, and what do I see?
“adn” instead of “and” staring back at me.
15+ rounds of editing, over six weeks. Multiple beta readers. More editing inputting those changes. All this time, it survived, hanging in there, fighting off all attempts to correct the spelling and grammar.
For some reason, when I changed format from Document on the screen to ebook on kindle, I could catch that and a few other typos, a lack of closing quote on a line of dialogue here, an improper verb tense there…
I killed it, of course. But I’ve got to grudgingly respect the little sucker.
And wonder what I didn’t catch…
Well, it should be uploaded and pressing publish today, so I guess we’ll see!
When asked how the economy is doing, an ivory tower sort might tell you in abstract numbers. Me? I’ll tell you that this Saturday’s farmer’s market had twice as many vendors as the tentative re-start last week, and lots more customers. The lady who makes the colour-changing pasta and the quail egg pasta was feeling confident enough that she baked perishables this week, and had focaccia and keto “cloud bread” out for sale, instead of just dry pasta. (The focaccia is a work of edible art!) And the rosemary & garlic infused olive oil lady was back, with a whole bunch of backyard chicken raised eggs. The lamb herders, sadly, sold their flock and have moved away.
And therein lies the difference in perspective between abstract worldbuilding and your characters.
This latest book has been far more of a collaboration with other authors than before – I’ve done a lot more bouncing ideas off others, and tossing out chapters and asking “What next? Where would you take this? How would you do that?”
My alpha readers can definitely tell you that I didn’t take all of their suggestions – but they will be able to look at the finished product and go “Ah, I see where she adjusted for the feedback I gave her.” Sometimes I adjusted the story so the readers wouldn’t expect that anymore. Sometimes I took the expectation and twisted it. And sometimes I ran with it… but often, I found myself staring at the cursor and going, “I don’t know. I guess I’ll go talk to a friend and see what they think.”
Does this happen to you, too?
…also, is amazon being really, really slow on the new books going live for anyone else?
Okay, I know, I’m a writer. I finished something!
And now, I have to write a blurb. Um, What’s the story about? I just wrote tens of thousands of words exploring that. Um. It’s about a ballistic pilot, and the absolutely terrible day she has when her own government tries to shoot her down. It’s about the “military advisors” the Other Side is sending into her destination, because cold wars always have hot spots. It’s about how, if you bleed a country with taxes and regulations until they can’t survive, they will declare independence from the trade union just to stay alive.
It’s also about learning that getting what you want doesn’t mean you got what you need, and learning to ask for help, and to swallow your pride and start over. And about L-shaped ambushes and ground-to-air fire and how nobody loves linear assaults. And crusty cantankerous curmudgeons with hearts of gold.
And that, just because you’ve been in a field long enough that all the romance has rubbed off and you’re well acquainted with the suck, doesn’t mean you don’t still love it anyway.
… but that’s not a blurb. Why is writing my own blurbs hard? I should be able to do this!
And I have to format it. And get the blurb to the cover artist with page count for the print cover. And…
Here’s hoping it’s available this week!
You know what they say about writer’s browser history… Read more
This year, I decided I would write every day – and it didn’t matter if it was 5 words of fiction or 5,000, as long as it was every single day. No, I didn’t decide this on January 1st; that would have been far too convenient. I decided to do it on January 18th, right as I was in the middle of working on the pantry turnover project.
(Every year, I put a sticker on each and every item in the pantry. This way, I not only go through the entire thing, but I also get to see exactly what is still stickered from a year ago, and hasn’t been used yet. It leads to a month+ of interesting one-off meals, using up oddball ingredients, along with much lower grocery bills for the duration, organized pantries, and the sincere but unkept vow not to have so much “Oh! I want to try that!” that I never got to next year.)
This is relevant because this year I got a pack of gold star stickers for the pantry, and ended up with almost 500 excess gold star stickers. Having them right there, I resolved there was no time to start like the present, and put up the gag-gift wall calendar (shirtless men in kilts, with sayings like “Once you go plaid you’ll never be sad”), and started giving myself a gold star every day I managed to write at least 5 words of fiction.
For those of you rolling your eyes or laughing at the mental image, hey, writing may be serious business, but no one said we had to take it seriously!
I was invited to an anthology.
No, that’s not quite right. I looked up from my food, as Jim Curtis said, “You need to write more.”
I cleverly replied, “What?” He looked at me. I looked at him. “Uh… I haven’t gotten the latest chapter to you to beta, but I am working on it…”
“No, I need you to write something 8,000 words.”
“Jim, I haven’t figured out how to write a sequel, and you want me to learn to write a short story?”
“Yep. I’ll shoot you the anthology contract.” Read more