Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Parenthetical, periodical

Today marks day seven of the ten-day window I have to go over the edits for the April release and send it back to my editor. Despite slacking off on the blog (already) I was (more) serious about doing my due diligence concerning making this book error-free (sort of).

The editor isn't the same as last time; in fact, the style is completely different. There are no little, positive bubbles off to the right congratulating me or patting me on the back. If there's a note in the margin this time around, it concerns business and nothing else. This part is confusing; rework. What does this have to do with the surrounding statements; edit. Who is speaking;clarify. But, I suppose all of it makes sense. I needed my ego stroked then more than I do now. I know this book is better (good, even) so I don't have to be told, and I know it has mistakes as well. Those are the things it's important for me to hear about.

The plan was to spend the ten days moving quickly (and thoroughly) through the draft, so I'd have enough time on the back end to at least go over the beginning again. There are two rounds of edits, so doing this twice gives me four chances to get the first few chapters as close to perfect as I can manage (so fewer new readers don't put it down and walk away). Last time around, I combed through the entire novel in three days. This one is only a little longer, but it's taken me twice as long (guess that's full time for you). Still, I'm ambitious about pulling it off. Last night over pizza a friend told me about myself. He said "whenever you decide to do something ahead of time, it always gets done," which was good to know. Made me almost feel like if I want something done, all I have to do is decide I'm going to do it in advance(yeah, wrap your head around that one).

In other news, this weekend is the weekend for the blog posting. I dropped the ball two weekends ago, went out to take the pictures without respect for the season (it, too, was careless of me) and it proved to be too dark for quality shots. So, I have a lot of driving to do, and pictures to take. So far, this is the only opportunity I'll get to promote the book before it comes out. Well, the only major platform, anyway. I want to do a good job. I'm going to do a good job.

The other writing was on hiatus this weekend while I was editing. I do not want the books bleeding into each other at all (and not just because they're different genres). But I've got time, I think. If memory serves, I should have enough time between this round of edits and the next to more or less finish up the current project. I'm going to play the next project by ear, though. I got a soft commitment from the publisher to work with me on getting the 3rd and 4rd books out this year, which would mean more editing and I'm less confident about mixing things together in their nascent stages (I would be starting a new book fresh, and its concepts and personality would be soft enough that outside influences would still alter it in unpredictable ways).

But who knows the future? The coffee machine in my office (you heard me) started brewing at 7:45 sharp, as programmed yesterday. I peered around my computer monitor and watched it percolate (I came in early in case there was an accident, a fire, an explosion) as if it wasn't doing anything amazing at all. After all, it didn't know what time it was; it only knew what time it was as defined by someone else. It's all relative, I guess is what I'm saying. Or failing to say. Either way, I'm still percolating myself, and waiting for someone to come along and drink up what I have made.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Resolve

Today I'm back at work, first day of the new year. So far, I'm keeping track of how each day has gone, because there are so few of them. Because I plan on making this year better than the previous one. Appropriately, it started off with some victories and some failures.

I said I didn't think I'd be able to do it, and then I did. I'm speaking of the 8 chapters I had in mind to write during the time that I was off. Two days after I typed my doubts out into the aether, something like a perturbed energy came over me, and I started writing. Call it drive I guess. Whatever the case, I finished the eighth chapter yesterday morning, and felt good.

Then, I realized how much more work I have to do on that manuscript alone (at least as many chapters as I wrote over break). Then I realized how much more work I have to do on that series alone (going back and making each book better, line for line, chapter for chapter).  I guess the idea is to celebrate the victories less and appreciate the defeats more.

Also, the finalized cover for the April release was wrapped and sent to me. I like it, and will probably be posting it soon, here and on my main website. The main thing I'll be working on soon is the blog post for the first promotional opportunity of the year. The deadline is February 4, a date which I anticipate will be creeping up on me quite quickly. Especially since I need to take pictures. Perhaps this will segue into more visual elements being posted to this blog. Don't hold your breath on that.

Talking to a few artist friends, with the holiday malaise looming, the topics of motivation and self-denial came up, one being the thing we all seek out, and the other being the thing we all seek to avoid. Over and over again, I kept coming face to face with the startling realization that however much luck can impact one's trajectory, there's also another, possibly more important component to success. Call it drive, but, I guess naming it isn't nearly as important as having it. Talking about writing, or painting, or playing isn't actually writing, painting, or playing.

Heh. To that end, I digress.