Monday, February 20, 2012
knitting, galleys, and whatnot
Wow - so good to be back with you:) A lot can happen in 3 weeks or so ~ or maybe I should say a lot didn't happen ~ when it comes to book covers, anyway!
The galleys are in and I so appreciate your prayers. They were powerful and effective! Strangely, I wasn't weary of this story as I've been in the past during galleys. A good sign, I hope. Maybe it was getting that cover the day before that helped. But honestly, I think it was your prayers:)
So what are galleys? Before publishing, I used to wonder myself. I thought they sounded kind of romantic. Galleys are simply the author's last chance to make significant changes to the story before it is turned into book pages. When the pages arrive by FedEx in a few weeks, only a few tweaks are allowed. If an author makes too many at the pages stage they can be charged for them. So the galleys are a wonderful chance to make the story shine.
This time I worked on ferreting out pet words (glint, shadows, fierce, venomous, pinned, etc.), rechecked maps and distances, reviewed foreign terms, re-watched videos on spinning and weaving, verified trees, shrubs, and flowers. I also consulted a fisheries expert about a tricky river/fisheries issue in Pennsylvania. I read the manuscript over and over (no, not every author does this but compulsive ones do) to make sure it flows. Good writing has a certain rhythm and I can tell when the manuscript has been changed, even if it's one word. Sometimes I change it back! Thankfully this doesn't happen often. My editors, bless them, are always watching word count yet are very respectful of my writing. They ask interesting questions at this stage regarding historical content and the story's timeline, etc. It really is something like a history test. I don't do any other reading or writing during galleys so ended up missing the next book I'm working on very much. But now I'm back to those characters and smiling:)
While working on galleys, I took my mom to a "knit-a-long" a few afternoons. We both ended up learning how to knit. Let me tell you, the first session did not sing. After 2 hours I looked down at my lap and my efforts resembled something the cat had coughed up - a giant hairball! Thank heavens for second chances. It actually clicked the next lesson and the teacher didn't have to unravel everything. I still have a loooong way to go and Roxanna Rowan would laugh at my pathetic attempts but I now feel knitting is downright addicting! So far I'm working on a hat in "misty green" and also a scarf with that wild chunky yarn. Sadly, I don't have a lot of time and this new diversion could well woo me away from writing. Mom is doing great, by the way, and has nearly finished a hat:)
Last but not least, what is up with elusive book covers?!?! I was sure we'd have it by now but no... Some of you master sleuths are still looking. Please don't stop! I'm getting pretty lonely keeping the joy all to myself. I did get a peek at Julie Lessman's latest and it's very well done:) And I know Sarah Sundin's will be beautiful, too, when it appears. We 3 are releasing the same month come September...
Anyway, I'm so very grateful for your prayers and encouragement since I took a brief hiatus! And I'd love to know what you've been doing the past 3 weeks - and if you knit!?!