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Book Status by Ray Printer Friendly

Well heck, looks like the weekend's over, huh? I kinda missed it. I finally decided to force myself to sit down and get everything put together for my next book. I decided that on what, Tuesday?

I'm gettin' serious about this, no kidding. If I don't get this done this weekend, there's no way it'll be ready by Christmas. No matter what, I'm getting it finished this weekend.

There were a couple of things I didn't know about the world when I made this promise. For example, I didn't know I would be getting a gigantic box of books from my dad. He had mentioned that he was sending some books, but since he sent them media mail, he had no idea how long it would take for them to get here. While over at the apartment office putting in a work order for a broken heater, my princess happened to ask if we had any packages.

Turns out we did. In fact, it had come in last week, but because our mail carrier is a champion, he didn't feel the need to tell us about it, or leave any sort of notification. And by "champion," I of course mean, "poophole."

So I got this huge box of what I presume is books. I didn't dare open it, because I know myself. If I have a pile of books to sort through, there's no way I'd sit down and proofread my own stuff.

Proofreading sucks. Editing sucks. Using Microsoft Word to put together a book sucks. You know what doesn't suck? Opening a big box of books and spreading them all out like treasure, and then hanging out reading all weekend.

I don't have the strength of character to deal with it, so I vowed that I wouldn't open the box until I was finished with my book.

Tough, but not the end of the world.

What I also didn't realize when I decided to finish assembling my book come Hell or high-water was how much my brother-in-law and sister love me and my princess.

While doing my usual thing of sitting still in rush-hour traffic and texting everyone I know so as to not lose my mind, I mentioned to my sister that the plan I had made about getting a Wii this year for Christmas had been scrapped. The original plan had been that my princess and I would buy a Wii and call it our Christmas present, but as the holiday drew nearer, we decided that we would rather have a few smaller gifts instead of just one big one.

Minutes later, I got the text message, "You are now the proud owner of a Wii!"

While texting me, she had gotten online and purchased one. I explained to her that no, that was too big of a purchase, and she explained to me that it was a combined birthday/Christmas gift for both my princess and I. She went on to explain that she could do what she wanted.

My sister and I both have the tendency to do what we want, but whereas what I want generally involves dressing midgets up like penguins and forcing them to drive riding lawnmowers down the freeway, her wants revolve around doing nice things for others.

It came in on Friday. I got home and saw the open box in front of the TV. My princess was all bouncy and excited and happy about it, and I was right there with her, shedding my tie and stripping off my work shirt and getting ready to have some fun.

And then I remembered my book. My stupid, stinkin' book. And I remembered the entire point of getting it done by Christmas was because I was planning on giving it to a few people for Christmas. Which meant I needed to have it done by the end of the weekend. Which meant...

So my excitement died, as I gathered my giant stack of papers and my pink proofreading pen. Quick note: if you're ever in charge of proofing your own stuff, a good idea is to get a florescent pink pen. When it's time to make changes, you turn a black light on over your pages, and the edits glow--that way, you don't miss any of your marks. Of course, the best idea is to get someone else to do all of that for you.

"Maybe you'll get done tonight and then you can play all day tomorrow," my princess told me. But she knew better, and so did I.

I worked and I worked and I worked. I felt like I was in school again, cramming before finals, busting my ass to get end-of-semester projects finished. It was so hard to keep myself planted at my computer, so difficult to flip through page after page after page, looking for mistakes. Page after page after page, correcting mistakes. Formatting. Cursing Microsoft Word and the way that it doesn't adhere to any strict rules when you're trying to number pages or make a table of contents.

But I finally finished. Hit the save button, backed that shit up, and sighed a sigh of satisfaction as I uploaded it. And then the screen popped up asking where was my cover image. I wrote a while back about my prospective covers. And apparently, just writing about it was enough for me. Because I never went back and finished anything.

My sigh of satisfaction turned to a sigh of disappointment as I fired up Photoshop. I glanced over at the box of books, sitting right next to the box containing the Wii. I looked around to make sure my princess wasn't around and I whispered, in my best romantic Latino voice, "Soon, my lovelies, we will be together, and it will be...magic."

That's what I do these days, is talk in voices. I'm not sure why, but I refuse to believe it's because of an impending mental break down. Don't judge me.

I finished the cover, which went much smoother than the editing process, because Photoshop is a rational, if overbearing program, whereas Word is just insane and demanding (but I still love you, Word, I'm like an abused spouse who just can't stay away--I know you didn't mean to hurt me).

And the point of this drawn-out rant? I'm done! I got the book proofed, edited, and uploaded. I got the cover made, and I got the sample copy ordered. So if things go well, the book will be on sale late this week!

Yeah, I know you're excited about it! Me, too! Until I remembered just now that my book doesn't even have any pictures in it, and the redneck voice took over: No pictures? What a ripoff. I'll tell you one thing--I'm not buyin' that crap. You want me to buy your fancy-pants book full of nothin' but words? I don't think so. I wanted that many words, I'd just ask for a copy of my latest police report! Sonuvabitch.

Wait...I think I might be having one of those breakdown things I mentioned a few minutes ago. Which means that it's probably bedtime. And the angry nurse stalking towards me right now with her syringe full of sleep kinda confirms that suspicion. Gotta go kids!


Comments:
Entered By Dave Riley From Unknown
2009-12-09 23:15:19

One of the coolest covers in the known universe.


Entered By Ray From Austin
2009-12-11 05:23:50

Dave Riley, you are rock and roll.


Entered By Devon From New England, USA
2009-12-15 01:15:19

I'm eagerly awaiting the book (looks like good Christmas Eve reading), but one request: assuming you're publishing through Lulu again, I urge you to make the book available as a regular (non-DRM'd) pdf, rather than a "PDF for Digital Editions" DRM format, which Lulu unfortunately has now made an option. I won't clog up your site with an anti-DRM rant, but I (and I think other readers) would appreciate the flexibility to move the book to our ebook readers, print it, or otherwise peruse it at our convenience and in the manner we choose, rather than being locked in to the way the DRM makers want us to read it.


Entered By Ray From Austin
2009-12-15 02:08:08

Holy shit, I didn't even know it was doing that. I'm on it, and thanks for pointing that out.


Entered By Leslie From Texas
2009-12-15 18:01:58

Love the cover -- looks great. Very clean and classic. I'm proud of you for finishing everything before the holidays -- as I procrastinate and get further and further behind (and that's just Christmas cards and wrapping presents -- pretty fun stuff.) Now go get that Wii out, dang it. You need to play until you're completely exhausted, then grab some hot tea and one of those Executioner books out of the box and take it easy for the rest of the evening. Because I'm your big sister and I say so!



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