As announced yesterday, Tonight, I will be the guest author at the Lost and the Damned Chatroom. I go on at 9 p.m. EST and will be answering questions on just about any aspect of my work. I'm not sure how long this shindig will run, but I'm guessing at least an hour. Please drop in. In all my thirteen or so years of publishing, this is the very first time I've ever done anything like this. Come early and get a good seat.
Yesterday, we spent five and a half hours on the CEM, and only did...hold on, let me check...169 pages of the manuscript. A little better than halfway through. The rest has to be done this afternoon, even though I should be writing The Dinosaurs of Mars. Checking over copy-edited mss. is such a tedious, loathsome job, a part of writing I do indeed detest. My standing advice to copy-editors: You are not writers, at least when it comes to copy-editing. Your job is not to rewrite what I have written. Your job is only to identify grammatical errors, misspelling, continuity problems, etc. That's it. If you want to write something, do it on your own dime. Which is to say, the all-mighty STET is my best friend right now. I swear to the beady-eyed, insomniac gods of wordsmithing, before I have to face another gorram CEM, I'm going to have a rubber stamp made that reads STET, and I can just stamp the word in blood-red ink. It will be satisfying, smacking the stamp against the page over and over and over and over and...well, you get the picture. Also, I wish that someone would please, please, please get all CEs everywhere on the same wavelength as far as comma rules are concerned. Every copy-editor, they want to handle commas differently. And me, I know there are no consistent rules, no truly standard, logically consistent rules. But I have arbitrarily chosen those that suit me best, and it pisses off when someone tries to enforce a different set of equally arbitrary rules. Anyway, yeah, back to the CEM today, because I always underestimate by at least half how long it will take to deal with one of these beasts.
As for the rest of yesterday: By the time the proofing was done (7:30 p.m.), Spooky and I were both too tired for dinner with Byron (postponed until tomorrow night), and too tired to cook, so we got sushi from Whole Foods. We had a walk about 10 p.m., I think. Well after dark. A thunderstorm was blowing in from the southwest, and there was brilliant lightning over Freedom Park. An enormous owl emerged from the trees and fluttered past, only ten or twenty feet ahead of us, and I think that gave us both chillbumps, especially with all the lightning going on. Later, I did the Second Life thing. Shortly after I arrived in Babbage, I bumped into Cyan Taurog, who happens to be sleepycyan on LJ. So, I gave her a quick tour. Later, I met with Sir Arthur, who gave me the "keys" to the apartment I'm renting from him while the house is built. Also, he very kindly provided me with a lesson in editing prims, and then Spooky and I spent the rest of the evening furnishing the place. It's a gorgeous spot, second floor and a sea-view from the balcony, across the street from the Museum of Jurassic Technology and above Ruby Flanagan's pub (which is not yet open for business). We still have some furnishings and bric-a-brac to move in, and I have to get my workshop set up, but if you happen to be in Babbage (Babbage Canals) and would like to pay a visit, please just IM first (Nareth Nishi). Guests are always welcome, unless I'm busy, in which case they might be slightly less so. Which is why you should IM first. See? I'm talking in circles. Lack of sleep.
Okay. Time to kick the platypus...er, I mean...time to make the doughnuts. Yeah.