Monday, March 14, 2016

The Final Lap

It's been a weird week for blogging and I feel like doing something short and sweet.

I was so happy to get my proofs(OH MY GOSH I'M HOLDING MY BOOK!!!) and I've been fighting ever since they arrived to find time to sit down and go through them.

This is the final pass. I'm making sure there's no formatting errors, no typos(hopefully I catch them all), and fixing some minor things.

I've always been a physical book lover and I'll never jump on the e-book wagon(though I do appreciate the idea and get why people enjoy them). So having a physical book to hold has put my story in a whole new light. Things are jumping out easily at me and I'm catching some things I missed after so many times of pouring over the document. Nothing major, just things that as I'm reading in my natural way I find I trip over a word or this would work better if I cut this word or added this word.

So far my best experience has been when I realized that the whole process was taking forever and most of that was because I don't have time. To explain, some parts of getting a book ready for publishing can be done in the scattered seconds here and there. The creative parts however cannot be done like that.

I write almost exclusively at night after everyone is asleep. I can't have distractions. I need to be able to focus and not worry that someone's going to need me or just the general "play quieter so I can think, guys!"(which never works).

Reading is somewhere between "creative" and "scattered" spectrum's.. I can't immerse myself in a book if I'm constantly distracted. I want to read this as a story and not a document to be scoured for problems. I want to just see what jumps out at me when I'm reading naturally.

Anyway, I told my youngest one afternoon that if she didn't want to sleep or play by herself that was fine. "You can stay with mommy, but mommy is going to read this book to you and you have to deal with it."

Darn it, I was going to make time!

So I sat her on my lap in a sunny spot by our sliding glass door and started reading out-loud to her. Wow, best experience to date with my novel. First, Elaina loved it. She just tilted her head back and stared at me the whole time and when I stopped reading to take notes, she'd start "lecturing" me until I started reading again. (demanding 4 month old!)

The other part was tied into struggling as I'm sure a lot of writers do with the fear of "Is this good?"
I've got this "thing" where I'm afraid people will buy my book and then read it and be like, "this isn't a real book!" I can't explain what I mean by that, just that I read stories and don't think about anything but the story and what mystery awaits me. But with my book, I know it all. I know the character's secrets, their endings, what happens to them. I know all the answers to all the mysteries. I'll never be able to pick my book up and read it as I can another person's novel and get swept away on an adventure that I have no idea where it'll go.

So I can't tell if it reads "like a real book", because it will always read differently to me than any other novel.

Now here's the cool part. I'm reading to my daughter and the story sounds like something out of Grimm's Fairytales! I don't know how "in" fairytales are, especially original ones, but that's what "Heart of the Winterland" strikes me as (granted I still haven't gotten very far). I'm going to be able to sit and read a fairytale that I wrote to my kids. That's like . . . AMAZING!

It was also encouraging to feel that maybe I am on the right track.

Overall I've been trying to squeeze this process into any feasible time period that also falls when I'm in the mood for reading(I don't want to miss something because I'm trying to read when I don't want to). It's been difficult and I'm not making very good headway.

Saturday I found some time as my oldest was watching a movie, Elaina was sleeping, and my son was playing quietly by himself. I curled up on the couch with my book, pen, hi-liter, and notebook. Shortly after setting up, my kittens decided to join me. It's been freezing, so I didn't mind the extra body heat. But the cute cuddling didn't last long.


It starts with Smokey rubbing her head all over my book and standing in front of my face so I can't see anything. I get her to lay down and stay out of my way, just as Merlin decides he wants to be a royal pain. I finally grabbed my phone and took some videos of the two rascals.

As you can see, I finally shooed him off at the end. I attempt to resume my work and immediately Smokey decides to do THIS!

In case you're wondering, yes, it is very hard to use a pen or hi-liter if your kitten is obsessively chewing on it and/or grabbing it with her paws.

I tried hiding the hi-liter and Smokey just got in my face and I couldn't see my book or notebook. And then she spotted my hi-liter again and well . . . I just gave up.

As you can see they were a bit like, "why did you stop, human?"

Sunday evening my husband watched the kids so I could again attempt to work. This time I attempted to be sneaky and hunkered down in my bed.

Cats. Cannot. Be. Fooled.

Tali and Smokey decided to behave and lay at the foot of the bed, but Kota wanted some love. She crawled between me and the book and rubbed her head on my face until I pet her. (I swear she knows I'm allergic. Yes, I'm allergic to cats and that didn't stop me from adopting them.) Then she laid down in front of my face and used her kitty powers to make me sleepy. It's terrible! I can't stay awake when there's a warm, purring cat next to me.

I fell asleep.

I'm thinking if I climb up on the roof I might be safe. (Now Elaina is waking up because she knows the cats need some time off from keeping mommy busy and she's taking up the slack.)


  1. I know exactly what you mean about thinking your book isn't a real book. I have that too!

    Even though I'm an ebook fan I'm still looking forward to holding my paperback :)

    1. Holding a physical copy does add a "Wow, this is real" moment. I'm also finding that I notice SO much more than I did going over an e-copy.

  2. Replies
    1. They need collars that say, "Writer's bane!"

      I've found that I have to be careful where I set up shop or I'll find myself pestered non-stop.

  3. I completely get what you are saying when you say that it doesn't feel like a real book. You already are intimately acquainted with all your characters.

    1. It's kind of sad that we'll never be able to read our own work the way other people will. It'd be interesting to know what our "first time" reaction would be reading our story and not knowing what it holds.