Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bird by Bird

I'm working it, "bird by bird," as author Anne Lamott once coined that phrase.

At my day job, I am almost through editing and formatting a scholarly book manuscript about Africa. (The client is a faculty author, one of my fave people, but I don't know any of the contributors.) The acquisitions editor at the publisher has been a huge help with tips and advice to get the manuscript completely camera ready. I await ONE graphic to place--our in-house artist is creating the figure--and then I need to print out chapters 7-11 and the About the Contributors section. (The publisher likes sample chapters as hard copy first.) I like it when I can see the pages after they're printed. The IRL version always seems to reveal anomalies that I might not catch on the screen. I'm tinkering here and there with the ms., trying to get it perfect.

It's monsoon season in Flagstaff so every laser printer in the office is misfeeding the curling, damp sheets of paper. We don't have air conditioning in our office, so it is rather like a sauna. Our admin associate ordered another box of paper and I'm going to try that workaround tomorrow. If that doesn't work, I'll ask our art department downstairs to print them out on their state-of-the-art printer.

Editing requests continue to stack up and I'm already booking jobs for October. It's going to be a very busy fall. I have some new faculty clients which always brings me new topics to absorb. One of my new clients is a researcher on lowering body temperature for heart attack victims. I'm sure that will be a challenge. Another author wants to submit to the IEEE journal; I think the guidelines are longer than the journal article.


In my other life, the literary agent who requested and received the resubmission of my novel wants a three-week exclusive to read it and decide if she wants to represent me. Her editorial group liked it at 109,000+ words; the words "great potential" were used. Wow! I hope she and her group LOVE it at a slimmed down 89,000-ish words. When she first asked me to drastically reduce the word count to 90,000, I didn't think I could do it. It did take a couple of weeks to nail it but I did it! As you can imagine, I'm very excited to have such serious consideration of representation. A bestselling author read the "phat" version of my novel manuscript and gave me a book blurb, which I also submitted to the agent. Whee!

In other news, the hubby gets laid off from his temp job on Sept. 12th. He'll be programming again, returning to HIS real life, but he's switching from Windows application development to Android phone application development. We've brainstormed a couple of ideas, but he has plenty of his own and doesn't need me.

Our four-year-old granddaughter jumped off the diving board at the end of weeks of swim lessons; she swam to the ladder. I just had to throw that into the mix. :-)

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