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The writing life: Relief - MoonScape [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
e_moon60

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The writing life: Relief [Jul. 21st, 2009|10:50 pm]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |cheerful]

The copy edits on the new book were due to me last month--and after a request for an extension from the copy editor (granted) there was nothing...no word.  This bothered Editor as much as it bothered me (copy editors rarely go missing) and I was becoming increasingly concerned...did the copy editor fall under a train with my manuscript?  (Not as big a problem these days, with electronic files backing things up, but still...)  Or had the book driven the copy editor insane?   Or into a blue funk?   Or....???

I tried to do the Proper Professional thing and keep working on what I could work on (revisions on book two, first-drafting on book three) but increasingly found myself staring at the screen and imagining the manuscript mangled by train wheels...a sodden mass in the Hudson or East River, being chewed by hungry crabs or washed out to sea...or forgotten on a subway seat, to be tossed into a trash can by subway cleaners and thence to a landfill...and also the copy editor, who in my imagination was variously stricken with a heart attack, killer flu, ruptured blood vessel in the brain, attacked by muggers and in a coma somewhere,  run over by the same train, drowned in the same water, or so enraged by my book that it had seemed necessary to rip it to shreds or burn it....or maybe the copy editor had fallen madly in love and run away to wherever copy editors in the northeast do run away to, to live in a barn/mansion/houseboat/tent/commune with his/her new love, who was variously rich/poor/brilliant/disabled/on the run from Homeland Security/working for Homeland Security and not really in love with the copy editor but trying to find a suspected terrorist among the copy editing community....

You can tell that my imagination is apt for a novelist, able to spin out plots with great ease...along with this came the irresistible temptation to go play on another venue and talk about writing instead of actually writing (always a sign of an unquiet mind--for me, anyway.) 

At last, today, I heard first that they were reassigning it and I would probably not get the copy edits for two weeks, but not to worry--(a little late for that, but a welcome suggestion anyway.)   Then later, Editor emailed that the lost had been found.   Copy editor had been sick. Tomorrow, Production is expected to have it copied and ship off the great lump to me.   Whew!  

If I really were the calm, sensible, businesslike person I would like to be, there'd have been more progress on the revisions of book two.   After the second message today, I was able to settle down and untangle a revision-knot that had been bugging me for weeks.  Oh, of course...this comes out, and I write that instead.   I was able to contact M's social worker, and the job coach, straighten out some misunderstandings, find out what had really happened last week, etc. 

So tomorrow morning, I expect to start the day with a much more settled mind.   It would be really good to make substantial progress on this round of revisions, instead of staring vaguely at a chapter for hours.  Great relief.


LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: hoosier_red
2009-07-22 05:00 am (UTC)
Yay for finally getting the CE!
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-07-22 01:29 pm (UTC)
Well, "they" have it. I won't have the copy edited version yet, but I know it's back in the channel.
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[User Picture]From: londonbard
2009-07-22 09:09 am (UTC)
I immediately assumed that the Copy Editor had fallen in love with the book and either couldn't endure anyone seeing it and changing anything or intended to adopt it and have it published under Hisher own name...

Edited at 2009-07-22 10:04 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-07-22 01:28 pm (UTC)
I didn't think of either of those. Good for you!
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[User Picture]From: londonbard
2009-07-23 11:30 am (UTC)
An imagination would be useful if I could write properly, but I often seem to come up with something that looks as though they don't speak English on my planet!

I meant to ask, is all right to use this icon? The maker didn't know that the quote came from you.
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[User Picture]From: londonbard
2009-07-22 10:01 am (UTC)

the second comment is now here.

http://londonbard.livejournal.com/453351.html (I'm sorry. I forgot about the problem with moving icons. I'm changing them now.)

Edited at 2009-07-22 10:03 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-07-22 01:40 pm (UTC)

Re: the second comment is now here.

Not a problem. I like your firebird, though.
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[User Picture]From: londonbard
2009-07-23 02:45 am (UTC)

Re: the second comment is now here.

Thank you, a friend made the phoenix before I'd quite recovered - now it seems appropriate to use it.
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[User Picture]From: farmgirl1146
2009-07-22 04:59 pm (UTC)
Glad the lost is found. Communication between the editor and the copy editor gets an "F". The publisher needs to put some procedures and rules into place. You probably have been thinking that with your military experience.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-07-22 05:04 pm (UTC)
The publisher has rules, but lacks military police to go out and track down the AWOL. If they don't answer phone, email, fax, etc....what's to be done?

And having had the pneumonia last spring that knocked me flatter than a crepe let alone a pancake...it's possibly to be suddenly sick and unable to communicate. I wouldn't wish that, or a stroke, or a car-wreck, on anyone.
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[User Picture]From: farmgirl1146
2009-07-22 07:50 pm (UTC)
All true.
Many years ago I had a non-fiction book screwed up by a copy editor, and ultimately I lost future book contracts with them. I am very wary of copy editors. That one lied about what she had received from me and what she had done. The acquisitions editor was ditsy &/or overworked.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-07-23 12:35 am (UTC)
Ouch! I think all acquisitions editors are overworked these days, but that doesn't excuse bad copyediting by the people whose job it is.

Sorry you had such a bad experience.
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[User Picture]From: farmgirl1146
2009-07-23 01:21 am (UTC)
It was long ago, but I drag the story out because writers are hurt by bad behavior from publishers. I am confident that you know this, although I hope not too well, but new writers take all sorts of bad situations as part of the deal. While I thought I was being clear about the situation, I may not have been pushy enough. I have a hard time knowing what is enough pushing and when it is too much. Just me.
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