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.