Saturday, March 22, 2008

The rich tapestry of Edits

The edits for The Widow-Maker arrived in my computer inbox at 1:02 am, Good Friday morning, accompanied by a request I respond to them by 10:00 am. Fortunately, I was up at 6:30 am and opened the inbox, which gave me three and a half hours to the deadline.

Given the time out to trade authorities on capitalization, I made it by ten minutes (The edits were not onerous and I'm a fast reader) and remain satisfied by the results. I doubt the haste was the editor's fault and I have no doubts of the expertise applied to the manuscript, but I was extremely fortunate so little needed to be changed.

Usually, I like to enjoy edits, analyzing their thrust and storing the information for later use. I've done that since with these and have a few more tidbits to add to my store of knowledge.

I've been very fortunate in my editors and New Concepts abdication of that role means they are off my list of publishers - which is a pity.

It's still a great life.


Monday, March 17, 2008

A leap of imagination

My writing cave is not air-conditioned and this is the fifth day above 37.8 C (100F) in a row and I am writing about January 1803 in the North Atlantic and the act of visualization that takes me there is getting a little more difficult each day.

It puts me in mind of a January in the North Sea, one of the rare days when we saw the sun, and I was walking aft from the foc'sle on a British crewed tanker. Photo-chromatic glasses were not common in those days and mine had reacted to the sunlight by turning dark and the men on the bridge were certain I was taking the mickey out of them by wearing sunglasses. At the time, I was wearing thermal underwear, a thick cotton track suit and three pairs of overalls under my wet weather gear and had just passed through the shivering stage to actually shuddering. The wind had been from the east for several days and the air temperature was around twenty below. (add to this, I'd flown from Xmas in Australia only days before) I spent another month on that ship, working on deck most of the time, and remembering what it was like to be warm was extraordinarily difficult.

Part of my military service was a snow survival course designed by sadists. We spent ten days clad only in working gear with only the normal ration packs for food and had to move twenty miles across bush country without maps (I seem to remember I actually volunteered (obviously very young and foolish at the time)). I can't remember being so cold for so long as those ten days, but our training must have been good, because there wasn't a single case of frostbite, other than chapped ears.

I'd hoped those two memories would help my visualization, but the sweat is still trickling down down my chin and dropping on the folded towel I use regularly to wipe my hands and protect the keyboard.

It's a great life.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A pause in time

The cover art for The Widowmaker made it to the Coming Soon page of Whiskey Creek Press and I stopped for a moment to reread the story, for the edits must come soon. It is fifteen months since I submitted the story and almost exactly a year since the contract came and I last read it from beginning to end. I found the usual number of overlooked errors, noted each of them and moved on, knowing they would be my part of the editing process if they were overlooked.

Still, with the apparent failure of Shadowrose continuing, it's nice to see movement on another story.

Writing a historical slanted more towards general fiction in challenging. It removes many barriers, but opens up new sources of criticism. I'm finding it very rewarding.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

An act of love

A writer friend quoted an Australian survey about the length of coitus, published apparently to reasuure other Australian, or to quash any unreal expectations in others. Some of the findings were amusing.

I commented in her blog and think its worth repeating here:-

"What are we measuring here, the physical conjunction, or the thousand moments of tenderness that turn it into an act of love?"

I am a strong believer in the school that says 99% of great sex happens between the ears, particularly having had one partner for the last forty-seven years and taking the act out of its emotional context is impossible for me.



Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Widowmaker - Front & Back

The "Widowmaker" is not due for release at Whiskey Creek Press until May and, as they are now splitting their monthly releases into two, one part at the beginning and one part at the middle, it may not even be until the middle of May. However, it now has a front and back cover.

I think they're both great and the aerial view of the Phillip Island circuit adds icing to the cake.

Thank you, Jinger.