Monday, June 4, 2012

Publishing Paranoia & Prayer Request

It's that part of the process, boys and girls, when I lose my mind just a little bit (okay, a little bit more). The Weird Al in me comes out to play, as I spoof songs and mumble them to myself while I edit my manuscript. The latest is to the tune of Madonna's "Erotic:"
"Neurotic, neurotic
Put my marks all over my copy."
Well, it was more clever (or is that "cleverer") when I first sang it to myself.

And I'm stuck in edit mode (see "more clever"/"cleverer" debate above). I edit my speech, even:
"Hey, [co-worker who shall remain nameless to protect your identity and to save you from the embarrassment of the world knowing you work at a place that would hire me], do you need to use the copier? Or should that be 'photocopier'? Does anyone call it a photocopier anymore? What's more conversational? Usually the shorter word, right? But in this context, is it clear that the 'copier' is a photocopier and not some other copying device?"
Aren't you glad you don't work with me? I get on my own nerves.

I'm also a menace to society when I'm behind the wheel of a car (even more so than usual, which is saying something). During the final draft editing stage of one of my novels, I often arrive at my destination having not remembered the journey. Silver lining:  long trips go by in the blink of an eye when you're in Make-Believe Land the entire time. Down side:  you can die and take others out with you. Friends don't let friends plot and drive.

My focus is a joke, too. What's usually a conscious refusal to perform one task non-stop from A to Z, fueled by my addiction to multitasking, is now a downright inability. I couldn't read a paragraph from start to finish if my life depended on it.
It’s time to show him what I’m really made of. So far in our relationship and marriage, I haven’t been tested too much on this “pastor’s wife” thing.
Oh, crap. That's so passive. Wait a minute. This is page 12. How many other instances of passive voice have I skimmed over? I need to go back and start from the beginning. Or maybe I can figure out how to easily and quickly search for all instances of passive voice. No. I just need to read more carefully. Okay. Breathe. Change this instance to... Hmm... It kind of needs to stand, in this case. Moving on.
In most instances, our challenges have been similar to those faced by any other married couple.
Gaaaaaaaaaaaaa! More passive voice!!!! Fluggity, bluggity, gulp! I am a hack. This is hopeless!
In most instances, our challenges have been similar to those any other married couple would face.
Not passive, but not great, either. Narf!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We’ve learned to balance our professional lives with our personal lives; we’ve gotten used to living together as a couple and dividing the household labor between the two of us; and we’ve integrated fairly seamlessly into each other’s families. And now that we’re parents, we’ve entered a new phase in our relationship, but it’s still pretty standard stuff.
Boring!!!! Why would anyone pay to read this?!?!?!? Back to page 1!
And that's just one paragraph. One. Paragraph. On page 12. Page 12 of 303. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Mommy! An hour later...
"Carseat." Is that supposed to be one word or two?

[Consult three sources to be sure]

Two! Oh, crap! I think I've always made it one word! Find and replace! Find and replace! Oh, man! What about every other book I've written? Find and replace! Find and replace!
One hour later...
Now, where was I...? Page 12...
Yeah... it's a little slow going. The thought of a sneaky typo like that getting by me (or my beta readers) keeps me awake at night. Maybe someday I'll have an editor I can trust as much as myself. Nah!

So... please, keep my family in  your prayers during this "difficult" time. Pray for them to endure the aimless conversations, during which I "edit" and "proofread" everything they say. Pray for them to survive commutes to summer school and daycare. Pray for them to not take it personally when I stare into space and hear only 15 percent of what they say to me, and that's only if it's something like, "My arm is on fire." And please, pray for me, too. Pray for me to see every irksome instance of passive voice and spot every errant and missing comma. Pray for the "find and replace" function in Word to remain strong. And pray for me to somehow make it through to pub day with my sanity intact.

But most of all, pray for the poor soul who so helpfully points out my typos after I hit the "publish" button.

Amen.

I've been through this insane experience three other times, with my book, Daydreamer, and the first two books in the Secret Keeper series. You can find all three at my Amazon author page. Also, despite what you just read, I'm really not that insane (does any crazy person ever think she's crazy, though?), and I love to hear from readers, so please "like" me on Facebook and say hello! One of my personalities will be sure to respond.

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