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Gremlins

I just found so many mistakes in a manuscript that I already corrected and published, that it’s making my head spin. I’m a good writer. My grammar skills are average. But I’ve got to step it up in the proof-reading department. It’s sloppy. In one sentence I found the words “Shup up” instead of “Shut up” and in another, the word “pus” instead of “push”. Another sentence is supposed to end with “fake plants” as in “He was touching all the fake plants” but that sentence stops on the word “fake” so, “He was touching all the fake.” And that’s probably a different story. I’ll tell you what it is, not that this is any excuse for it, not at all, it’s that by the time I manage to get a manuscript ready, or apparently seemingly ready, for publication, I’m so burnt on it that I’m missing simple mistakes. I need better editing tools but I haven’t wanted to spend the money. But, if I quit playing the lotto, a good grammar editing program could pay for itself in a year. Or, I could just keep using the spelling and grammar checker that’s built into MS Word, that missed these mistakes, and I could read a little closer. What I need to do is when I get to that moment when I think a manuscript is all ready to go, I need to set it aside then, again, because I’ve already set it aside once at that point, and leave it alone for a while one more time and then read it again when I think I can. By the time a book is fully formed, I’ve gone over the poems and sentences and stories so many times, some part of my brain isn’t really seeing them anymore. But then there’s this other thing that somehow happens, there are mistakes in the file copy that are not in my proof copy. This means that at some point I took another editing pass at it with Word and hit the “change” button in a few places where I shouldn’t have, or, it’s Gremlins.

I went from being completely perfectionist to relying too much on spell-check when I know better.ย  Anyway, I’ve found so many mistakes I know I’ve got to read through pretty much everything again because who knows what else I missed. I’ve got to fix previous mistakes before I even dare try to publish the next book. The next book, however, is going quite well, content-wise. I decided to add a few pieces to it because it just feels like it’s time for some things. I’ve been digging pretty deep with some of it. I think it’s going to come out somewhere around forty thousand words, give or take, possibly fifty thousand words. I was thinking I would get it published before the end of the year but now I’m thinking it will be early 2020 before I release it.

I’m so ready for the cooler weather to set in. California does have the greatest weather but summer can sometimes go on too long. It’s completely bizarre that it’s going to be ninety degrees on Monday and there are pumpkin patches everywhere now, in the dry, dusty, lingering summer heat. I’m in partial hibernation mode already. Something happens with me after the time changes back in the Fall, we get that hour back and I’m ready to pajama-up and stay in, read, write, sleep, watch fabulous shows and movies, drink hot tea and cider and shuffle around in my slippers. I’m already having to force myself to exercise and really, I feel kind of like whining, but not really-really. I have chores to do, darn it. I have other things I want to be doing, building my flannel shirt and lounge pant collection, finding new fall recipes for baked goods and soups, things like finishing, someday, this massive Carl Sandburg brick on Lincoln that I started reading, rather than having to re-correct and re-read old work. But, it needs it. It has to get done, it just does. Typos will keep me up at night, I’m not even kidding. I’ll get up to correct a single misspelled word or one sentence if it’s bothering me. ( I don’t sleep a lot sometimes. Lol.) Sometimes I’ll “complain” to the point of making myself laugh, if that makes any kind of sense, and that’s the mood I’m in. I really don’t have anything to complain about. Gremlins. I’m irritated with myself for not having done it right (proofreading) the first time because I know better, and let that be a lesson to me!

TS