My last blog post ended as I was ready to start the second go-round of the manuscript of Devil Cat and other colorful animals I have known. Well I went through it a couple of times and found more stuff, which always amazes me. It shouldn’t; it’s what always happens. Then I handed it back to Bob to make the changes.
Four endorsements that I had hoped would come in did. This past Friday was the deadline. They were wonderful, interesting, and had some humor. They came from folks who have had some involvement with three of the pets and the fourth one came from the current president of the Florence Area Humane Society. Since the book is about rescue animals making great pets, I felt it was important to get the FAHS involved. With the endorsements, Bob now has everything he needs to finish designing the dust jacket cover.
I spent most of this weekend working with the book. I picked up the manuscript from Bob last Friday, and we had a chance to discuss everything. Bob decided that all of the illustrations and some photos needed longer captions. And I would be checking to see that he had made all the changes I had found on the second go-round. The captions needed extending because square illustrations in vertical boxes had too much empty white space below them, and that didn’t look good. It wasn’t hard to extend them, just time consuming. That plus checking that Bob had made all he second go-round changes took care of Friday.
On Saturday morning, I went over the edit again and later in the day, everything else. I found two dates each 100 years off, duh, and on the Credits page, the last credit had scrolled off the page and was no longer visible. And I checked the spelling of every word that could possibly be incorrect. I found one where I had used a British variant. There were a few other things, but not very many changes this third time around.
Then on Sunday, I spent hours drafting a PR piece. I’m not good at formatting and simply could not get a photo placed in the corner and still be able to write next to it. I finally gave up and put an announcement about the book with a large photo on one page and then all the info on a second page.
My first draft of the info was much too long. So I started condensing and condensing and condensing. I finally got it all on one page, including the four endorsements. Then I took a break.
After lunch, I worked on a new last page of the manuscript where I put together info on how to order my previous three books and included an endorsement for each. Bob had said that there was a blank page that I could use for that if I wanted to.
I was really pleased with both projects and after dinner, gave them each a final tweaking before sending to Bob.
When I was putting the final page in the manuscript, I realized that I hadn’t done a word count and that it would probably be about 50 words too much and not fit on just one page. And I also discovered a problem with the info page of the PR piece. Although, it was one page on my computer, when I sent it to Bob, it extended to a second page. Hells bells! Both projects would need more work. I was tired and headed for bed.
About 4 a.m., I awoke, and my brain kept going round and round as I thought of how to condense both of them. So I gave up, got up, and was back at the computer. By 5 a.m. I had both cut down to size and resent to Bob. I was glad I got up in the night because the wind got so fierce later in the morning our power went off briefly, and we lost the Internet connection.
I did brave the storm by driving into town so that I could hand-off the manuscript to Bob with hard copies of what I had sent during the night. I also stocked up on groceries and audiobooks. Tomorrow I hit my black hole again and won’t be going anywhere until next Monday. So I got everything I’ll need for a week.
This is my sixth and last cycle of this protocol of chemo. I spent this past Wednesday in Eugene on my last chemo treatment. My friend Shelley, who took me, and I went out to lunch to celebrate afterwards.
My wonderful gal, Tres, that helped me last time will come in the mornings for the next six days, and I’ll sleep the afternoons away. That’s how I’ll survive my black hole. Then after a quick dinner and some TV each evening, I’ll go to bed early. The idea is to just get through this low period where my white blood count is down and I have no energy.
When I emerge next Monday, Bob should be through putting in the last changes and the extended captions and have the dust jacket ready. So I’ll have that to look forward to.
I’m so glad that all this editing has taken my mind off the rigors of chemo during these last two cycles. I feel a real sense of accomplishment. The magic of editing is still working!