Exciting, Terrifying Progress on the Book Front!

I met up with the copy editor last night at Allium, which, as a digression, I must tell you has the most thoughtful handicapped stall I’ve ever seen. It was either designed by someone who has a disability or someone who knows someone who has a disability, because it was very, very well done. Instead of being an actual stall, it is its own separate area. There’s plenty of room to maneuver a wheelchair next to the toilet and the toilet is near the side walls so the railings aren’t just decorative. And there’s more than enough room, if you need someone to assist you in the bathroom, for your assistant to help you without you both feeling like you’ve been crammed into a soup can.

The only drawback I saw was that the sinks out in the main area didn’t seem particularly friendly to someone who might be coming at them from a low angle, but it occurs to me that I just looked at the stall from the doorway and there may have been a sink in there behind the door. Still, even if it wasn’t perfect, it was done so much better than what you normally see that it really struck me.

Anyway, it was funny because I had a copy of the manuscript that I had marked up while in Georgia and the copy editor had a copy of the manuscript she had marked up. Now, I’m a bad enough copy editor in general, and even worse on my own stuff, but holy shit, am I glad someone trained and talented was willing to look over it, because she found a bunch of stuff on every page! I mean, minor things like I use commas like some people use salt (and some major things, too) while I had just a very few marks.

And she checked my French and Spanish!

It’s going to make my book so much better.

I have to say, it’s probably good for people who do what I do to be on the other side of the table every once in a while, because there have been so many times in my life when I’ve been all “Why is this author acting in this bizarro way?”

And now I see how awkward it is, especially when you’re the least bit fucked up, to have someone be that focused and helpfully engaged with what you’re doing. I almost needed her to throw in a “but no one will ever love you” every once in a while just to give me something familiar to hang on.

And, really, the people who have been so generous with their time about this. I don’t know. You can’t walk around chasing them through town throwing petals in front of them as they walk so that everyone knows how awesome they are, but believe me, I want to. I want to give them all the money I have and then some. I want to cry and hang on them and make a complete fool of myself.

But I’m trying to accept help gracefully.

It’s a hard lesson for me to learn, but it is insulting to people I care deeply about if I believe they are only helping me because they feel sorry for me  because I suck so much. No, they do this amazing and generous stuff for me because they care about me and are my friends. Just like I will do for them in my turn, because I think they kick butt.

Ha, this has been a digression.

But I felt good about it. We asked the bartender to weigh in on a matter of fact and a matter of opinion.

And it was cool.

The other thing I did was I went to Kinko’s and had them print out the two ghost pictures I love and one of the tarot card pictures my guest took the other night and I framed them. Right now, they’re on the bookshelves, but I’m going to have the Butcher make me some holes so I can hang them on the wall.

11 thoughts on “Exciting, Terrifying Progress on the Book Front!

  1. Well heck – I poured wine all over you, how much more do you really need me to insult you? ;-)

  2. Yes, that’s exactly how I feel when I talk to my editor — nearly frozen by awkwardness and unable to respond to someone being interested by something I wrote and speaking kindly and enthusiastically about me.

    Because I am teh crazy. I know there are people who just walk through life feeling entitled to a full measure of its wonder, but I am just not there yet.

  3. Oops, and I forgot to say, so happy to hear that you are having such a good experience. It sounds like just how it should go but almost never does.

  4. I have been very excited because your book is going to be so great but now I am excited because it sounds like the process to get there is pretty darn good too. I’m just plain happy for you!

  5. I think the best thing about this post, is I can hear your voice telling the story as if you’re sitting across from me – and the excitement comes thru as I read. I’m thrilled this is moving along and can’t wait to read these stories. I’m sure they’re going to be amazing.

  6. Oh, but..it is such a rush to edit a nice piece of writing. Not an act of charity, at all! Because there is so much BAD writing for one, that no editing can fix, that you have to work on anyway. And because you get the little frisson of creativity from the author’s work, without having to actually write it yourself.

    It’s like finding a lovely old antique and cleaning the dirt off to reveal flowers and cherub faces and a glowing wood grain, and hey look, are those hinges silver? I’ll be damned. You didn’t carve the wood or nail it together, but you are so pleased to bring it to light.

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