Bad day


Yesterday was a bad day, despite a bunch of good things happening.

It started with me at work on … Blue Dog (still). I had hopes of wrapping it up, but I was working very carefully over a sequence of pages that haven’t been as strong as it could be. Okay. I guess I’ve become a little obsessive about it, but I really want to do this right so I can be done with it. Probably I’m giving it too much time, but if it makes the book better…?

But that wasn’t what messed up my day.

Late in the morning, I had a conversation with the assoc. copy chief at Del Rey about last minute questions about the galleys for Child of Fire ( or

No problem! I thought. I’d scanned all the galley pages I’d marked up before I sent them back, just in case. How clever I felt! Nevermind that my corrections must have been unclear somehow. I was ready.

Except, not. The questions weren’t about the notations I’d made on the galley. They were additional mistakes caught by the proofreader.

God, this stuff is mortifying. How many times have I read this damn book? Shouldn’t I have noticed the phrase “in the front” appearing in back-to-back sentences? Shouldn’t I have noticed that a character does not need to walk up to a door twice? Shouldn’t I remember that a very important item is not in the character’s pocket because not fifteen pages before he was grinding his teeth in frustration that another character was keeping it from him?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for every note. Improvement is improvement, and I want the book to be as good as possible. But I feel honestly ashamed that I never noticed these problems myself.

Luckily (for you guys), immediately after the call my wife and I ran out the door for a very nice lunch with an old friend I don’t see as often as I should. When my son got home from school later, we had a great time together. All of that gave me time and perspective to truly absorb the copy chief’s wrap up to our conversation: “This is a perfectly normal list of corrections we’re talking about. I’ve worked on books with many worse than this.”

So, yeah. I was too busy to post this yesterday, which means you get this lesser degree of whining. And I have it in perspective now, and I’m ready to finally finally kill off this second book.

Still humiliating, though.