Several days have passed since I wrote the previous post, the one that shared our book’s nagging little issues but expressed optimism that every missing word and extra comma would be taken care of in no time flat. I’m still optimistic, but now I’m adding tired to the list.
Who knew that editing could be so grueling, especially the third time around? Every new set of eyes spies something that others have missed. Thanks to Nick for spotting the tiny missing word in this sentence: “In 1947, at the tender age five, my best friend and I were playing ball in the yard.” Can you see what’s missing? Would you believe that five or six people had already proofread this piece before it went to press?
So today finds me back in the trenches. Naturally, our writing group wants to turn out a quality product that will be enjoyed by all of our would-be readers, so I’m going through four lists of errors submitted by group members and deciding which can and will be corrected and which won’t. For instance, I can turn WWI into WW I, but I can’t change the font or caps of captions in Word. Okay, maybe I can, but I can’t stop this train for a tutorial, especially when there are more major, yet fixable, mistakes.
This evening I’ll be changing concoction to confection and concocting to creating. Until we had read the anthology from cover to cover we didn’t realize how many times some version of that concocting word had been used. Still, it’s a labor of love and one that we’re all committed to sharing in the most perfect way we can.
On the plus side, we got a lot of positive comments on our cover at the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop Conference this weekend. I wasn’t in the session in which it was projected on a screen for all to see and critique, but from what I heard, the presenter of the session had only one suggestion: too much blank space on the front. People noticed the excessive pixelation but weren’t put off by it.
I now have a 300 dpi version of the cover photograph, an idea of how to jazz up that blank space on the front, and an awareness of the “should should” on the back cover. By the time Serving Up Memory is again available on Amazon (October 30), the cover will speak to the reader’s soul in a way that says home, hearth, warmth, welcome, and love sweet love.
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that I was a bit tired. One of the Conference presenters, Bob Mayer, said that sometimes you just have to let it go and send the work out into the world. You can tweak, proof, rewrite, correct, and reread a manuscript to death, but there comes a time when you must walk away from the computer and let it go. That will be this week.