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Bad day

Yesterday was a bad day, despite a bunch of good things happening.

It started with me at work on … Blue Dog (still). I had hopes of wrapping it up, but I was working very carefully over a sequence of pages that haven’t been as strong as it could be. Okay. I guess I’ve become a little obsessive about it, but I really want to do this right so I can be done with it. Probably I’m giving it too much time, but if it makes the book better…?

But that wasn’t what messed up my day.

Late in the morning, I had a conversation with the assoc. copy chief at Del Rey about last minute questions about the galleys for Child of Fire (Amazon.com or Indiebound.org).

No problem! I thought. I’d scanned all the galley pages I’d marked up before I sent them back, just in case. How clever I felt! Nevermind that my corrections must have been unclear somehow. I was ready.

Except, not. The questions weren’t about the notations I’d made on the galley. They were additional mistakes caught by the proofreader.

God, this stuff is mortifying. How many times have I read this damn book? Shouldn’t I have noticed the phrase “in the front” appearing in back-to-back sentences? Shouldn’t I have noticed that a character does not need to walk up to a door twice? Shouldn’t I remember that a very important item is not in the character’s pocket because not fifteen pages before he was grinding his teeth in frustration that another character was keeping it from him?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for every note. Improvement is improvement, and I want the book to be as good as possible. But I feel honestly ashamed that I never noticed these problems myself.

Luckily (for you guys), immediately after the call my wife and I ran out the door for a very nice lunch with an old friend I don’t see as often as I should. When my son got home from school later, we had a great time together. All of that gave me time and perspective to truly absorb the copy chief’s wrap up to our conversation: “This is a perfectly normal list of corrections we’re talking about. I’ve worked on books with many worse than this.”

So, yeah. I was too busy to post this yesterday, which means you get this lesser degree of whining. And I have it in perspective now, and I’m ready to finally finally kill off this second book.

Still humiliating, though.

Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here or there.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 13th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
. . . and many of us (if they are me) don't find those until they are already in print.
May. 13th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm sure I'll find plenty of those, too!

This is all a good thing, though. The embarrassment will help me focus for next time.
May. 13th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
omg, I'm totally going to read your book for the errors!
May. 13th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
Doesn't everyone?
May. 13th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
I thought they read for the cheap sex
May. 13th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
May. 13th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
how the hell do you find those stories? EW!

Or, wait. Should I be jealous? Is it possible that the sex was so mind blowing that they forgot where they were?
May. 13th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, they didn't forget. They were being dirty, nasty little birds.

And I find these things because I work in an office where everyone wants to do anything other than their jobs.
May. 14th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
my coworkers are not old enough to have unfettered internet access.
May. 14th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
On this we agree.
May. 13th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
Hee. Welcome. The best news? It doesn't get any better. Practice doesn't help at all.

Me, my besetting sin is the endless day: usually at proof stage, I stop and think "Hang on - just how much stuff is this guy fitting into this one day? He's been here, there, over there; he's done this, that, the other; that's, um, 36 hours'-worth at least..."
May. 13th, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
I'm just the opposite! I'll have a character wake at dawn, have one meal, two short conversations and a visit with the doctor, and then they'll be driving home after sunset.

Which, frankly, seems like the way my days off are spent, with added LiveJournal drama.
May. 13th, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC)
Heh. The trouble with LiveJournal, of course, is that you can't use it in fiction: no one outside LJ would believe it. "He spent how long? Reading other people's diaries on his computer? And commenting on them? And having arguments with other people about what they said...?"
May. 13th, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
Not to mention: "He spent how long Googling for that one funny comic he read last year--or was it five years ago?--that so-and-so on his flist would find *really* pertinent and funny?"

Cripes. I need a media fast.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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  • 14 Jan 2019, 21:47
    Oh, yeah, excellent point.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 21:46
    Oh yeah. Like the lawyers who get obvious really venal criminals off because it makes their success rate look good. But those are not the ones I am referring to in meaning well. These guys are mixed…
  • 14 Jan 2019, 20:37
    This reminds me of the time my wife was injured and the insurance guy handling her case did everything possible to deny and stall the payment. We had to put her surgery on a credit card because this…
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:24
    The creepiest part is that some of them are actually well meaning.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:08
    Yeah. It's godawful what people will do when they have authority and no fear about using it.
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