Sunday, February 14, 2010

More work on the galleys

This is @ Ev, Linda and Annie down in the comment trail.  I started a reply to comment and then it just growed.  So I pulled it up here to make a regular post out of it.
I get prolix. This is why I do not tweat.  Or tweet.  Or whatever.

The galleys . . . I think I am a little dyslexic or something. I have never been able to spell and if there are two periods where there should only be one, I literally do not see it.

Trying to fix the galley drives me insane.
Though sanity may be over-rated.

I sit here right now, looking at
(jo checks)
page 335 out of 392 densely-written pages. Yet another page to check line by line by line by line, (This is like getting your teeth cleaned with the little buzzy drill at the dentists ouch ouch ouch,)
all the while getting yelled at by my Internal Editor who says I could have done this or that much better.

The cat walks over the keyboard, gently shedding cat hairs, generously adding random keystrokes.

The dog -- she is my henchdog --(hench comes from OE hengest meaning horse so this is probably not a logical formation but whatthehell, Archie. Toujours gai.) sits and WATCHES me, ready to rise and accompany me on our next foray. (From ME forrai, to plunder.) Having something lie there and be intensely loyal to you is very distracting.

We will not take our usual walk. The big lumberyard where we've been going to do walks had all its building roofs cave in last week under the weight of snow. The irony of an establishment that sells pre-assembled roof trusses for a living having its own roofs fail did not escape me.

And there might be wolves, y'know, coming down from the hills. There might be wolves.

Let me tell you about the storm.

The day before the big snowstorm, in the spirit of longstanding storm-panic tradition, I decided to pick up a spare gallon of milk.

There are two grocery stores in my neck of the woods.

There is the old Food Lion where you can buy chicken necks and slim jims and collard greens and there is the big new shiny Harris Teeter where you can buy wasabi and sushi and there is a choice of four kinds of organic, free-range eggs.

(I do not buy eggs because I have an 'in' with a woman who keeps chickens. I know the name of the particular hen who lays each of the eggs. Some of the eggs are green. I find this weird.)

Anyhow. I went into Harris Teeter and the shelves were . . . eerily empty.

It was like one of those movies where the world is going to end so everybody grabs up their arsenal of automatic weapons and climbs into their RVs, (8 mpg on a highway,) loads up on Little Debbies and Ding Dongs and Classic Coke, and heads out to the wastelands where they will naturally be invisible to the technology of aliens who have just crossed interstellar space.

Nothing on the shelves. No milk, no eggs, no soft drinks, no snack chips, no cheese, no bread, no oranges, no strawberries, no blueberries, and one lone, battered and unappealing melon. No yoghurt.

The clientele is admittedly pretty Yuppie-heavy, but what kind of emergency strips out every brand of yoghurt?

Every shopping cart was in use. I went through the checkout line -- I'd picked up a loaf of raisinbread that had somehow been overlooked since I was there anyway -- and had a nice chat with the lady from the accounting department who had been pressed into service. Apparently, it had been frantic-horde-of-locusts all day.

The bottled water was all gone.

(Hello . . . People. What do you think is going to fall from the sky? Lead shot? Cornmeal?)

So I went across the street to Food Lion where they had milk and tortillas and lettuce, all of which I bought, and then I went home to hunker down, somewhat underprepared for Armegedon, but then, who among us is not?

I worked onward.  Page 120.  Page 185.  Page 236.  Every time I got so disgusted and weary I couldn't look at the galleys for one more minute I went in and made brownies or something else unhealthy. If I have to face the end of the world, I'm not going to do it on yoghurt.

You know how there are background tasks that go on when your computer is working on somethingelsealtogether? You can look at the task manager and see them in realtime, using up 5% of CPU or 8%.

That's how it is with me and the JUSTINE manuscript. All the time I'm proofing galley I'm working on JUSTINE in the background about 5%.

The good news is I changed my mind about how to handle the first lovescene in JUSTINE. I have a roughed-in a first draft of something unambitious in the way of tab A and slot B. But now I think I'm going to do something more risky. (Risky, not risqué. *g*)

If I write it to do everybody justice, I'll be working a good bit beyond my technical competence and my writerly skill and my all-round maturity and I will definitely be out of my comfort zone. I will probably flop badly. But I guess I gotta try.

So that's what I decided while I was snowed in with the galleys.
And the cat.
And the dog.

the photcredit for the supermarket is nsub1 and it's not me locally.  but that's what it all looked like.


  1. Do your kitties help you? So cute!

  2. She does indeed help. She is affectionate. I am pretty much continually covered with cat hairs.

    I imagine I'd get it all done 10% faster without her assistance.

  3. Anonymous7:07 PM

    I don't know where you are...but that is what the supermarkets looked like Bethesda, the metro DC area. Usually I turn up my nose at the silly panic (don't these people have pantries?) but when DC gets 3 foot of snow, some people are literally not plowed out for a week (well, coming in two batches didn't help.) So I guess then I would need to stock up too, pantry or no pantry.
    I found myself remembering The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. By the end, they were down to small biscuits or potatoes or something and about to slaughter the cow...I'm sure there are some improvident DCers who were nearly in those straights.

  4. @ Anon --

    I have once in a while been in cities hit with heavy snowfall --
    Mostly I remember slogging off to work, cursing the unreliability of public transportation, and wishing I was home and keeping my tootsies warm.

    Don't know why I wasn't worried about supplies. Probably I figured a stash of Campbell's bean soup and Cadbury's chocolate would see me through.

    I am somewhat out in the country at this time.

    We have a variety of public roads.

    We got yer wash-out-with-the-spring-rains-every-year roads
    and we got yer 45-degree-switchbacks-down-the-mountain roads
    and we got yer what-the-hell-is-that-dog-doing-lying-in-the-middle-of-the-road roads.

    Most folks keep enough by to last till the road gets plowed and the power comes back on which all eventually takes place.

    The last ten years, though, the population of the county has about doubled. We are now full up with folks who keep being surprised when the roads or the electricty or the cable TV stops working. Doubtless it does them good to be separated from their unconscious assumptions and introduced to the underlying chaos of existence.

  5. That's exactly what my local grocery store looked like before the last storm. Fortunately, mine had chocolate, which was mainly what I was seeking anyway. Not that I didn't have chocolate at home, but really, can you have too much chocolate? Of course not.

    Luckily, the "storm" due to hit today is piddly compared to our recent weather events. Not that we have room for any more snow at all, what with how the front-end loaders already shoved the last batch over everyone's freshly-shoveled sidewalks. Having already cleared the walks of 3' of snow, and then of an additional foot...well, let's just say there ain't a snowball's chance in hades of me chipping away at the 6'-tall piles of heavy ice boulders there now. *sighs*

  6. Hi Linda --

    We have snow coming down
    and the schools are out early.


    We are actually plowed out everywhere except the front steps. They keep icing over.
    And there are these three-foot-long icicles that let go and fall at random internals.
    So exciting.

  7. Snowing hard here also. It has lost its magic.

    We have the icicle problem, too, especially out back. I'm afraid to walk onto the deck for fear of being skewered. Not that I have any reason to go out on the deck, but just knowing I shouldn't kinda makes me want to.

  8. The lure of the forbidden. Never fails.

  9. Re: your last two paragraphs--Rah, Rah!

    "I gotta try"--absolutely and nicely put.

    I'm very excited that being snowed in literally with _snow_ and figuratively with proofing resulted in the break through with Justine.

    Congrats, Jo (and I love the photo at the end of your post).

  10. Hi Ev --

    The animals are pretty much continually annoyed with me. They clear their throats and look at me meaningfully and point out that I am in charge of the weather.

    I've sent the galley proofs back with various corrections and just a few scattered little minor substantive changes which might slip by unnoticed, so I am now ready to concentrate on JUSTINE.

    I must go stoke myself up with coffee.