The red pen rolls in the dust. The curmudgeon lies curbed. The past is past (for now).
Sandra will be happy. I took a long look this morning at the printout. I took a long look at the electronic files on my screen. I think Sandra stacked the deck … the electronic version of the novel has these neat, clear, sexy red shapes down the righthand side which tell me exactly what Catherine did whenever she proposed shifting a comma or a word – with lines pointing straight to the comma in play.
The printout has … a little bar in the margin and a really bloody faint greyed-out comma or whatever that if I screw in my monocle and ramp up the lighting I can maybe possibly make out if it is to be deleted or added or is a bit from someone’s cookie in the photocopy room. No sexy red boxes and arrows.
Do my loyal readers suspect that the fix is in? That the success of the Marketing Department’s Tag Team assault a few weeks back (the Twitter Twiumph) has breached the wall of Authorial Intimidation? That people now recklessly (wildly!) believe I might be reasonable about things?
Has it come to this? Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon…
Catherine, on the phone today, was the soul of calm. If I wanted the red boxes I could ask Penguin to print again, they had likely just accidentally (hah!) forgotten to trigger the option that printed everything in the margins. Of course they would do that for me. Or … I could carry on as I had started this morning, using the on screen text, wasn’t it actually pretty straightforward? And easier on the back? She finds it so! AND … I could just shift my hard copy read-through to the typeset version which she and I both have to review as soon as we’re done with this one anyhow, right?
I hate when people make solid and sound arguments. Once I might have said, ‘I’ll hold my breath until I turn purple!’ But that is so last-year’s me…
Jokes and irritable author image aside, it feels all right. Have done a chapter and a half today on screen and I do live in the 21st century. And C is right … we do both have to go over the next version, which will be in the typeface and layout that will be the actual book’s including the dingbat/colophon/fleuron selected (much discussed in the last Tour Journal – those are the words, pick your favourite, for a section divider symbol). I will have my on-the-page read and won’t have wasted $4 on two pens. (Maybe only need one now, anyone want a red pen?)
Three interview requests/advance bookings today. That game starts earlier and earlier… suppose people do need my views on Verlander and how to pitch to Miggy Cabrera (very, very carefully).
Aware that there are an undue number of irreverent remarks in this post. One might deduce I’m in a cheerful mood. Don’t be silly.