what's on the agenda today

I am in the middle of the first-pass proofreading of Queen of Swords. This is not a small job. Imagine two reams of paper, and every page has to be carefully read. The proofreader has done this once, saving me the most embarrassing errors (apparently I can’t keep the spelling of Cabildo in my head. I spell it three different ways). But there are queries on most pages. A good proofreader checks in with changes. For example: Jennet isn’t in the room in this scene, do you mean Hannah here?

Dopey me.

Also this is my last chance for any real changes, addition or subtraction of paragraphs, etc etc. And at the same time I’m making additions and suggestions to the endpaper maps. Once again for the record: I love my endpaper maps. Laura Maestro, the artist who does them for all the novels, is incredible.

However, this is also my last chance to add things to the map.

If that’s not enough, I have to (cough) finish the taxes (cough). Okay, I know I said I’d finish them three weeks ago — and I DID finish the corporate tax stuff. It’s the personal returns I have to get organized and off to the accountant. And that has to happen today, because…

Sometime before tomorrow morning, I have to empty out my entire study. Furniture, stuff on the walls, everything. Ditto for every other room on this floor of the house that is carpeted, because tomorrow the workers come to take up the carpet (in four rooms, count em, four) as the first step in putting down hardwood. This was my Big Birthday Present, and I’m thrilled — except I have to empty out my office. It will be two weeks before I can put everything back in. Two weeks of chaos. Four days of those two weeks we have to spend at a motel because of the fumes when they actually finish the new floors.

Imagine this: the three of us, with two dogs, in a hotel room. For four days. I really am looking forward to having this whole floor of the house without carpeting (aside from aesthetics, my allergies should improve this year), but I am not looking forward to the process.

Oh yeah, and I’m writing a novel, too.

So wish me luck. If you don’t hear a lot from me in the next couple days, you’ll know why.

13 Replies to “what's on the agenda today”

  1. Wow – sounds like you’ve got a LOT going on! But how exciting to get hardwood floors put in! Good luck with that particular project – I hope it turns out fabulous!

    If you want, I’d be most happy to proofread Queen of Swords for you. :)

  2. NOOOOOOOOOO! [pets you and sends virtual chocolate] [Oh, and earphones. Big, well-engineered, noise-cancelling earphones.]

    Hmm, those would both be deductible as essential biz expenses next year, don’t you think? Or is there a line item on the personal return for the expense of devices necessary for Domestic Violence Prevention? Just a thought. [pets you some more]

    Also, as a wise friend said to me recently, “It could be worse. You could be working on the Pegasus.”

  3. PS, I meant the Pegasus, *early in this season* of course. Although it’ll probably be a Bad Alternative early next seasion, too [g]

    Oh, and is the Mathematician enjoying the newish Dr. Who?

  4. *seconds maryrose’s offer* i ALWAYS catch typos in books i read…i’ve often wondered how to become a proofreader when i grow up cuz it would be SO much fun!
    good luck! (and just so you know, when i catch those typos [especially the wrong name in the wrong place], it can ruin a lot for me and i can get really mad, so you’d better catch them! :-P)

  5. Oh my! Yuck. Fumes are the worst. Cancel that.

    Taxes are the worst and the calculations of taxes run a close second. Fumes must be third then. bleck.

    Good luck getting it all done.

    And shame on you for throwing around the proofing of Queen of Swords all willy-nilly. I’d do it too, and I’d critique it at the same time. ;-) heee! As I said months ago, you know where to find me.

  6. I have a serious spelling problem sometimes. For one of my short stories I did, I kept interchanging witness for whiteness. Thankfully my proofreader is a good friend.
    Congrats on the wood floors! I love, love wood flooring. This is one of the things I like about Texas homes they all have wood or tiling, very few have carpeting.

  7. Well, I think I qualify for the proofreading position in case you’re looking for someone.

    I have read the Wilderness novels twice each, and well, um I am still having withdrawal symptoms and I think this would help.

    I would say I’m kidding but I’m not…:)

    Good luck with the floors, and the hotel stay!

  8. Hey Sara

    I’m very excited about the competition – thank you for offering so many treasures. However, having problems locating the gimme gimme? link you are referring to. If you have a spare moment (ha ha I hear you say), perhaps an idle moment of procrastination :-) can you please send or post a link on your site.


  9. Sleep cycles and allergies – There’s a really good article in today’s (03/21/06)Wall Street Journal on helping teen agers who have trouble getting up (chronotherapy). My allergist recommended a very tightly woven pillow case sold for people who have allergies. We spend many hours in intimate contact with our pillows that may have accumulated allergens over time.

  10. Har. Are we competing for proofreader swag? Because, in my job, I proofread the proofreaders … :-)

    Our publisher has outsourced copyediting on the journals we produce to a firm with offices in (a) the Philippines, (b) India. And they just love to run the old robo-macro thing through the text, so it picks up all instances of “since” and substitutes “because,” but it misses the kind of real gibberish that requires an actual human consciousness to pick up on.

    We used to have in-house, human copyeditors who were a real joy to work with. There is nothing (except maybe freshly laundered sheets) quite as gratifying as a well-edited piece of technical prose, lean and mean and concise and comprehensible.

    Buy your proofreaders something nice — chocolates, roses, theater tickets. They’re worth their weight in gold.

    My sympathies too on having to pack up and move out temporarily. We bought a house last May and were fortunate enough to have the upstairs floors de-carpeted, sanded, and refinished before we moved in, but we still have two of three “in progress” rooms in boxes because we’re doing the redecorating ourselves.

    I don’t even want to think about dragging everything out of the kitchen cabinets so we can refinish them …. urgghghghhh.

  11. I moved to Florida 7 years ago. The whole house is tiles. I would never have carpeting again. You will love your floors.


Comments are closed.