I slept from 11:30 PM to 6:15 this morning. Almost 7 hours! And now I’m feeling almost human again.
This only makes sense if you know that for the past week, I’ve been on the ‘must have it presentable for production by Thursday’ treadmill. Intersecting that treadmill and intermittently slamming both my editor and me to the ground was the treadmill of the evil formatting fairy. She was doing lovely things such as taking immaculately edited prose and abruptly destroying all the UK punctuation, but keeping the spelling, while reverting it back to one of my earlier files.
How this was happening, I don’t know. Intermittently, a black dashed line would leap into the manuscript. It could not be deleted, and could only be vanquished by cutting several lines of prose above and below it and then retyping those lines. Cut and paste just brough it back. And then, two pages later, the black dashed line would abruptly reappear, chortling and snorting.
In the end we resorted to me typing out my changes separately, such as,
Page 45, line 27.
He has lived with them for five years, not three. Delete three, enter five.
Not so bad But imagine whole paragraphs sometimes. For 593 pages. Working with an editor whose life is 8 hours askew from mine.
Midway through, for reasons best known only to us, we decided to embed an extra plot thread. About pigeons. And, yes, the organ transplant was successful, blood started pumping through the new characters immediately, and the novel accepted the plot thread as a natural part of its anatomy.
So, the last week has been a marathon of editing. Today, in a backwater of almost silence following the last flurry of exchanges this morning, I look around at my trashed out office and neglected house.
Who left dirty coffee cups everywhere? Why are there literally drifts of doghair in the corners of every room? The laundry heaps look as if I’m running an orphanage for neighborhood clothing in search of a shower. The bathroom sink could be one you find in a gas station along Interstate 5. Ew, ew and ew.
So, of course, I immediately realized that what I really needed to do was update my various and sundry blogs.
And here we are.