Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On Manuscripts and First Impressions

Reading and re-reading of my manuscript of The Sidewalker, has taken up many of the past several days. This morning before getting down to business, I read a post by Writer Beware, dealing with an author who took great exception to a reviewer's opinion of her self-published book. ( I'm mentioning no one's names here.) If I ever thought (which I don't) that proofreading more than twice is not necessary, silly me, this article alone would make me think several times. Reading this, for me, was more than a word to the wise. Anyway, I'm nearly done with the 4th reading of my manuscript, and have found---how did I miss them, 3 times?---several missing commas, two missing quotation marks, and a paragraph that wasn't indented. In the final 4 chapters, how many more errors will I find? I will have to do another reading to see what else is there. My-oh-my. Well, better me, now, and some more, than the public, later. Once the manuscript goes out, it will have to stand on its own. There's only, ever, one first impression. Everyone knows that. It's a good thing I really like the world that is in this book. Going into it again each time is fun. Seriously. The manuscript began its journey to publishing houses more than a month and a half ago. It is in New York. It's good to keep busy while waiting. Obviously, I am. Eventually there will be either a request to see more of the book, or I'll get a rejection notice. In case of rejection I'll immediately send it out to the next name on my list. And keep busy some more. For as long as it takes. I have a lot of names. An outside chore that I was going to do today, has been eliminated by the Dept. of Public Works. Hearing machines outside near the street, I found sidewalk sweepers, the street sweeper, and some other kind of sweeper that cleans the strip of grass between. My lovebirds were thrilled, as they love noise and new sights. Also they love a good mess. The happenings outside, qualified in all ways. Really, the amount of sand and debris on that grass strip, was larger than I've ever seen. Well, we DID get an extra foot of snow here, this year---a drop in the bucket, compared to some places in this country, I know. I was going to rake (and rake and rake) it all into the gutter and hope that was all right to do. From what I saw, it surely is. That's good to remember for the time when possibly the town budget might be cut. There hasn't been anything said about that here, in any way, but I don't mind being ready for ANYTHING. Just Be Ready, have a plan and an alternate plan, is my motto. Today, after I go through a couple more chapters, the alternate plan is: Grab the chance to take my small spaniel, Scarlett, for an extra walk in the sunshine. On Friday we're getting Snow. Here on the coast, we may only get half a foot as we'll be getting rain as well. The farmers have always called snow White Fertilizer. I'll try to look at it that way. :))


Mrs. Mike said...

I enjoy merely the way you present your day to us, so I can quite imagine that your book was delighful to proof read many times over.
Our eight year old who was late to start reading discovered books through Micheal Louis Wells reading of "My Friend Flicka". She listens to it often(and we are always happy to join her) and I now find her poking around "Thunderhead" and "Green Grass" on her own. It took a good book to inspire my own "Ken" to find new worlds on the pages of books.

A good re-readable book is a treasure, indeed! Looking forward to more news of your own.

PRWooldridge said...

Mrs.Mike, my apologies to you. I took so long that it was disgraceful, to get back to my blog. I love your comment. Thank you. I can just see your little "Ken" poring over Thunderhead and Green Grass.....
My own introduction to horse books was when I was about 7. Each day I ate my breakfast while listening to The Black Stallion, read by Arlen E. Barnard on the radio. My mother had discovered it on there one morning. Well, from that time on, there just had to be more horse books. In fact I've decided to continue this thought on today's blog, so here goes.....I'm off. (See blog for today,April 19).