letter from Win

I get some lovely mail from readers, but I think Win has to be one of my favorites. Here’s an email that came a couple days ago:

Hi Sara, It’s Win again, It’s some time now, since I last wrote, infact 13 months to be exact. I’m hoping to encourage you into more writing. I last wrote saying how I had enjoyed the 3 books I have so far.
I was 73 at the time and had asked the Dear Lord to grant me a few more years to enjoy your books,
Well he must have heard my call, as the past 6 months, has seen me in and out of Hospital with heart problems, but I’m still here ( must have been the vitamin tablets you advised me to take ) ( smile )

I am now 75 years old, and have just been made a great grandmother for the 16th time. How proud I am.
A lot of my time now is spent reading, and I love my books dearly.

How are you going with THUNDER AT TWILIGHT???????I have been into the shops a few times looking for it, but to no avail. I hope everything is going well your way, and your health is good I think I’ll have to start on the first book again INTO THE WILDERNESS, that’s the best thing about getting old, one can often pick up a book and read it a second time, not quite remembering everything the first time
So just look what you have to look forward too.
All the best with your work and take care
WIN [d].

I wrote to Win and gave her the information she wanted. I’ll also enter her name in the drawing for a signed advance reader copy of Fire Along the Sky. In fact, I’ll enter it twice, and I’ll do the same for anybody else with sixteen great grandhchildren.

endpaper maps

FAS mapLaura Hartmann Maestro is the artist who does the endpaper maps for the Wilderness novels. I have to say that just looking at the maps as she develops them makes me truly happy. It’s better than a movie, for me. Here’s the final draft of the map for Fire Along the Sky. If you study it, you might get an idea of some of what happens in the novel.

Click on the thumbnail for a bigger version.

unit coordinator

this is what it’s like to be obsessive. I find that since I confessed my interest in clerking in a hospital ward, I couldn’t just leave it at that so I did a little checking. You can take courses. You can get a certificate.

Unit Coordinator and Medical Computing Skills

AHWC 9183. Unit Coordinator
Advise: ABE 2071
Practical skillls and techniques in transcribing and processing of medical orders; maintaining chart forms; requisitioning diets, therapy, laboratory tests, and medications; and admission and discharge of patients. Emphasis on communication skills pertinent to patient care.

AHWC 9188. Medical Computing Skills (90 hrs)
Instruction in a variety of computer applications related to the health care technology field and utilized by the Health Care Technology Department. These programs are Microsoft Word 2000, Corel WordPerfect Suite 7, Nutrition Interactive, Delmar’s Administrative Medical Assisting, and Delmar’s Medical Terminology for Health Professionals.

Of course, this makes perfect sense if you look at my Myers-Briggs Personality assessment, which puts me in the 2% if the population which is ENTJ, or (their shorthand) The Field Marshall Personality. One definition:

ENTJs “tend to be: friendly, strong willed, and outspoken; honest, logical and demanding of selves and others; driven to demonstrate competence; creative with a global perspective; decisive, organized, and efficient. The most important thing to ENTJs is demonstrating their competence and making important things happen.”

Add in my deep and abiding love of office supplies and bits of paper, and I wonder how it is I didn’t end up doing this for a living. I’ll probably be pondering that for a while today, until I can get myself to sit down with my laptop and look at the mess the characters have got themselves into. There is also news about the endpaper maps for Fire Along the Sky. Next post.

first pass page proofs

The typeset manuscript (or page proofs) for Fire Along the Sky arrived today. After all the hand wringing by various publishers about the length of this novel(the English editor being the loudest) it turns out to be exactly as long as Lake in the Clouds. About which nobody complained. So I’ve got 610 pages to proofread, and here are my instructions: “please read them carefully and return only those pages needing correction as soon as you can.”

This is a hurry up and wait business, no doubt about it.

The reason they feel it necessary to remind me to read them carefully is this: it does get old quite quickly, reading the same sentences again and again. Especially as I wrote them, and in the process, rewrote every single one of them someplace between three and ten times. That’s how I work, editing as I go along. However, the first pass page proofs aren’t so hard to concentrate on because everything looks very different once it’s typeset.

It’s from this set of proofs that the bound galleys will come. Don’t have a date on that yet, but I’ll advise when I do.