Friday, May 1, 2009

To Err is Human

Received the first proof of my upcoming book a couple days ago. Very exciting. There were some formatting issues, which is fine, but, in combing through it, there were also six tiny editorial corrections I had to make. Probably whenever some of you read the book, you'll find more, since my eyes are so jaded at this point I'm surprised I caught anything. After all, these six tiny things, which included a missing "a" and a missing single end quote and a word that shouldn't have been capitalized--these six tiny things had eluded me and my various readers/editors up till now.

I think it's just about impossible to catch everything, but since I'm one of those weirdos who will edit (in pen) a library book, I'm trying to catch as much as I can. (For example, THE HISTORY OF LOVE had a "you're" that should have been a "your." There were also several times when the narrator said "I" when it should have been "me," but I didn't mark those because I didn't know if they were supposed to be deliberate grammatical errors.)

Besides editorial corrections, it's hard to know just when to STOP with something. I wrote my back cover blurb, which I then had to shorten for the website, and then agonized over whether I should change the back cover. The other night I thought of a sentence that would have been nice in Chapter 39. Leave it. Leave it leave it leave it.

Anyhow, should I really be straining out these book gnats, when my children have been running around neglected for the past several months? They're fed and clothed, yes, but honestly that's been about it. Like the poor Jellyby children in BLEAK HOUSE, their mother has had her eye fixed on faraway things, while everything went to pot at home. At least my oldest is only 9-1/2, too young to run off with any Prince Turveydrop, but another couple months like it's been and she may consider it. So if you read my book and think, "Oh my gosh, here's an extra comma," at least you can comfort yourself that the author's children have not yet been taken away by CPS.

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