So why so quiet, you ask?
Revisions suck my soul dry.
In March and the first week of April, THE MATING GAME underwent three intense rounds of galley edits. I completed the last bout in five days and returned what should be the final revisions to my Wild Rose editor, Angela. With a bit of luck, I'll have the release date soon. I'm planning on showing off my new cover to celebrate.
Miss Bear and the boys had the first week of April off. Naturally, California's perfect, sunshiny weather chose last week to finally rain. Miss Bear and I typically spend an hour or two at the park every day but last week drove us indoors, seeking refuge in surrealistically nightmarish places such as Chuck E. Cheese. Thank God, spring break ends tomorrow.
I hear the sun will be back tomorrow too.
Throughout all this, we're been having our master bathroom renovated, which means workmen coming through the house all day long. Jacks. Saws. Insanity. Mr. Snark and I are at wit's end. We got into it at a hardware store today over which bathroom faucet to order.
Mrs. Snark: We agree on oil-rubbed bronze fixtures that require three holes be drilled in the new counter top. We like the same styles and the same brand names but we need to make a decision soon. Once the new counter tops and sinks go in, we won't have running water unless we pick faucets.
Mr. Snark (stamping his feet): I want cross-handles!
Mrs. Snark: But the ones you like online aren't in stock and won't be available until May.
Mr. Snark: But I want them!
Sales guy: I can order that faucet you were looking at with cross-handles.
Mrs. Snark: Yeah! Sold!
An hour later...
Mrs Snark to Mr. Snark: Why are you pouting? You got your blasted cross-handles.
Mr. Snark: I wanted smooth barrels! Not tapered!
Mrs. Snark: They had some really nice dog houses.
Mr. Snark: At least then I could choose my own fixtures!
Also on the editing front, there have been some interesting developments with my current work-in-progress, BATTLE CRY, the next book in my Loki's Wolves series. I finished the first draft back in January and passed it off to a new friend, Jennifer, who I met through my long-time friend, Sheryl Hayes.
One of the troubles with being an Indie author is finding Beta readers who are willing to rip your manuscript to shreds with the same degree of brutality as a half-starved lion (or a professional editor).
Jennifer is a professional editor for lawyers who works on fantasy manuscripts for recreation. She surprised me by requesting an actual HARD COPY of the manuscript. Bewildered, I fired up the old HP laser printer and printed almost 200 pages that I bound in rubber bands and forked over.
Jennifer took the manuscript with her on vacation to the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands. As I told Mr. Snark, my story is now more well-traveled than me. I'm actually awed by my manuscript's adventures. It was somewhere in the vicinity of giant tortoises and sea iguanas. How cool is that? I plan on saving it as a keepsake.
When the story returned from its travels, the front page had a short, handwritten glossary:
- BW: Bad Word
- Red: Redundant
- WC: Word Choice
- IM: Inner Monolog
- WW: Wrong Word
Even more interesting, the entire manuscript contained handwritten editorial marks and remarks similar to this:
Not the best photo, but you can get the basic idea. As I'm making revisions, it's really fascinating working with a hard copy. In the past, I've only worked with editorial changes and comments in electronic documents. A paper copy is an entirely different experience and I find it's actually influencing how I go about implementing changes. It has definitely affected how I perceive story structure. In some ways it's better than digital revisions, in other ways it's more frustrating. I'm not weighing in with a final opinion yet.
Jennifer the editorial lion pretty much disemboweled my story. At first I was a little bit down but I transitioned to thoroughly psyched pretty fast. I'm confident that the story that emerges from the ashes will be stronger for it.
So, that's where I'm currently at.
- Waiting for my release date on THE MATING GAME.
- Trying to finish the bathroom remodel without throttling Mr. Snark.
- Revising BATTLE CRY.
- Oh, and heading to Arizona in May with Miss Bear to see my new niece.