Wow.

Two weeks ago or so, I was contacted by a former coworker* about maybe doing a bit of paid editing for a friend of a former student of hers.  I figured, why not.  I’d charge a little bit so I’d be taken seriously (and seriously, money’s nice), but not going rates since I’m not a pro editor.  I thought it’d be a quick job–maybe a hundred pages, double spaced, of grammar-nazi-ing the ramblings of an old man.

What I got was 299 pgs of 5×8 formatted CreateSpace template memoir.  Double spaced.  With formatting as well as grammar issues.

It was…a lot of work, and was well worth it.  The gent had had a shit childhood, then spent time in the Navy in the 60’s on, including on the contractor side.

I don’t know if he and his family are planning on publishing this for sale.  I do know that his kids and grandkids wanted it done, and wanted to be able to put a print copy in his hands before he moves on to his reward.

I am seriously, deeply honored to have been able to be a part of that project.  And I wish I could meet the old fellow whose life I just finished reading.

 

 

*My coworker hasn’t taught in a few years.  From what I gathered (unofficially), she quit teaching about the time she started feeling as if she had to teach with a security guard in the room because of threats from a specific demographic because she wasn’t rubber-stamping their work with A’s, and she was only a woman, and shouldn’t be judging their work to begin with.

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Okay, then.

I’m still working on Bite Sized.  Last week wasn’t a good one, health wise.  I’m hoping this week will be better.

That said, when I started the revision, the book sat at 43.2K words.  I’m just barely over halfway through the rewrite, and it’s busted 50.5K words.  Yeah, I’ve added 7K words in less than half the book, fleshing things out that seemed to need it when I did my read through.

I’m sure my beta readers will have bits they want fleshed out, too.  By the time this sucker’s done, I may have added half again what I wrote in my first draft.  Or more.

I have a few photos for cover art.  They are below.  I’d like feedback over which one would be best for a vampire/buddy PI novel.

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Call ’em 1, 2, and 3–top to bottom.

Editing phase

I’m doing two things this week: I’m editing and revising (and wow am I revising!  I’m only 1/4 of the way through the draft, and I’ve already added over 2K words of description!), and I’m looking for stock photos that can be used as cover art.

Because my favorite cover artist has something MUCH better to do with her time: she’s been cast as Pinocchio in the local little theater’s production of Shreck: The Musical.  Full-time day job plus rehearsals equals no time to create cover art.  (She’s brilliant on stage, by the way–she was Morticia Addams in a different local theater’s production of The Addams Family: The Musical last year, and did a spectacular job).

I think I’ve found a few that will work; the next bit is figuring out filters and the like to tweak the photos to better suit the story genre and type.  I’ve been reading up on cover creation to help me figure that out.  I’ve downloaded a photo editing-type program, but can’t figure it out for the life of me, and I don’t really have time to play with it.

I’ve also checked out one cover artist who does specifically that…and got my hair curled.  I am NOT at the point at which I can afford to spend that much.  I can barely afford to spend fifty bucks.

So: free downloads of stock photos and tweaking to the best of my ability it is.

I should be finished with the first draft by the end of the week, though, and will be posting a sample chapter sometime this weekend, and shipping it out to my victims volunteer beta readers soon thereafter.

I am trying, and trying really hard, to get this done so that I can publish in May.  Partially so that I can keep to the (possibly too ambitious) schedule I’d set for myself, and partially because there are other projects that want to be written.

Hades is pestering me something fierce.

A nice break…

I read.  I read real books.  I read several real books.

And then I got slammed with a migraine Tuesday night.  It got steadily worse, and peaked Wednesday evening, then faded all day yesterday.  It was gone when I woke up this morning.

My desk faces out of a huge picture window, looking north.  Yes, it was cloudy for almost all of this week, but it was still too bright.  I spent the last couple days in my recliner across the room, far away from direct light. Indirect was okay–direct was not.

Today is a lot better, and I’m back at my desk.  Ready to work. I’m even mostly caught up on the housework I fell behind on.

It’s time for me to get back to work.

Next week, I’m going to edit/revise/add to Bite Sized.  I’m hoping to have it ready for beta readers soon.

Next part of the project: come up with a cover.  I’ve discovered that I’m good at making art with words.  Not so good trying to make art with other media.

Gonna go get my book.

I finished the first draft of Bite Sized, last night.  And last night, I emptied and cleaned one of my absolute favorite fountain pens, and re-filled it with a water-proof purple ink my husband got me for my birthday (Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa).  Waterproof, because I have cats that like to knock over my water bottle, and splatter my draft book.  I’d had a waterproof black, but black is boring.  😉

I’m going to take today and tomorrow off from writing (and being chained to my laptop), and go pick up a real, honest-to-God paper and ink book that smells like a book, and feels like a book.  And I’m going to read as much as I can while the kids are still at school for the next two days.

It’s an unaccountable relief to finish a first draft.  And I’ll be working on revising it starting likely on Wednesday or Thursday, so that I can get that out on the schedule I set for myself.

Updates

I’m just about to go get a second cup of coffee, so I’m not ready to keep writing, yet.  I got Survivors set up to link the paper edition to the Kindle edition, and then set it for the MatchBook that Amazon has set up.  As of now, if you order one of my books–any of them–in paper copy, you get the Kindle version for free.

I’ve managed a REALLY good week of writing in spite of it being Spring Break with cranky, bickering kids stuck inside half the time because of cruddy weather.  Five thousand words last Sunday, and 2,000 words every day since.  I think I’m within spitting distance of the end of the book.  I may manage to finish the first draft on Wednesday.  Definitely by the end of next week.  I’ve got two sets of rewards in mind for hitting the the goals: if I can hit Wednesday’s, I’ll empty one of my favorite fountain pens and re-ink it with the purple iron gall ink I got for my birthday (I NEED the waterproof ink for my draft books, because I have cats); if it doesn’t happen until the end of the week, I’ll still celebrate by taking a day off and reading a book.  A REAL book.  One that smells of paper and binding and ink.

Hell, if I manage to finish Wednesday, I’ll do both.

In any case, when I finish, it’s getting set aside for a few days.  I’ll be starting my next project during that time–probably planning, and looking for the right music for it.  I likely won’t start writing on it until after I’m done with the first edit of Bite Size, and it’s off to my beta readers.