I meant to post today on the feedback you all give me on Nita, but I have just had the week from Hell thanks to asthma, allergies, and bronchitis all hitting at once, multiple phone calls to my GP,  two trips to the ER, and two docs who were a little careless.  Fortunately there were a lot of nurses and two other docs who were not careless and who took excellent care of me, and after a battery of tests pronounced me healthy as a horse with asthma, allergies, and bronchitis can possibly be (brain scan was great, EKG was great, blood tests were great) I am flat on my back with steroids, a super-inhaler, and a trip to my GP scheduled on Wed.  All of which is to say, the regular posts are all scheduled to go up, but my participation here may be limited to chiming in now and again.  

As always, talk among yourselves.  You will anyway.  And I really am fine, I just need to rest until the meds take hold.



Happiness Is a Raccoon That Reaches For Her Dreams

You know what made me happy this week?  A raccoon that reached for the stars.  Because a raccoon’s reach should exceed her grasp, or what’s a heaven for?

You’ve probably already heard about this little over-achiever that climbed a skyscraper in St. Paul over two days while people held their breath that she’d get to the top. That’s her in the picture to the left, taking a nap on the 22nd floor. Continue reading

Cherry Saturday, June 9, 2018

Today is Knit-in-Public Day.which I choose to see as Crochet-in-Public Day or possibly as Weave-in-Public Day, or Fiber-Craft-in-Public Day and what I want to know is, does anybody actually need a special day to craft in public?  Is knitting an essentially private occupation? (No, knitting circles have been around forever.)   Do people run away screaming when I dig out my crochet hook at the dentist? (No, they ask questions.)  Do the cops show up and say, “Now, now, none of this”? (Depends on what you’re knitting.)  I could see National Knitting Day or Internation Crochet Week just to celebrate the craft, it’s the “in public” part that baffles me.  Of course, I’m an easy baffle.  

Get out there and flash your fiber, people.


Questionable: What Do Editors Do?

Diane commented on Tuesday:
I’m asking this in all seriousness, but what do editors do? I’ve heard authors talk about working with their publishers’ editors. Do they read and make alterations? Because it seems like you are doing so much analyzing and rewriting. What is it that editors are doing?

They do a helluva lotta things including deal with the editorial boards, the marketing department, the PR department, the author, the author’s agent . . . but I think you’re asking specifically about how editors edit a manuscript, right?

The simplest answer to your question is that it’s really rude to give any kind of editor a text you know isn’t right because it means you’re shoving off work that you can do and leaving it to her to fix things in the way she thinks best, which is possibly not the way you wanted.  If it’s broken, fix it before it gets to her.  I always know my editors (Jen and the copy editor) will find mistakes I can’t see, so I need fix the ones I can see, so they can see the text clearly enough to make it better. If I slow them down with a lot of stuff I can fix, I’m hurting their ability to edit. That’s just dumb. If you work with professionals, you should be professional.

A longer answer involves more caveats because editing is a very personal relationship because editors, like writers, comes in all degrees of usefulness and outlook. Continue reading

This Is A Good Book Thursday, June 7th

I had forgotten how funny P. G. Wodehouse is, but I had never noticed what a great plotter he was.  I’m reading Leave It To Psmith for the first time, and that plot is like a Chinese puzzle box.  You just don’t notice it at first because you’re laughing so hard.  I just had to put down the iPad because the noxious Baxter, stalking our heroine in the dark to find out where she hid the necklace she didn’t steal, trod on the golf ball that FreddyThreepwood had left in the hall and fell down the stairs: 

“. . . he took the entire staircase in one majestic, volplaning sweep.  There were eleven stairs in all separating his landing from the landing below, and the only ones he hit were the third and the tenth.  He came to rest with a squattering thud on the lower landing, and for a moment or two the fever of the chase left him.”

It helps if you know what a tick Baxter is and what a sweetheart Eve is, but still, writing visual slapstick is really difficult.   I don’t know what’s so damn funny about “the third and the tenth” but it is.   But still what I most marveled at is the plot, which is based on stealing a necklace and then replacing it, and because the people who want the necklace stolen (for good purposes) are so benignly inept, a cast of thousands ends up trying to steal the damn thing and then playing Keep Away with it.  So. Much. Fun.

I also read a terrific YA, Withering by the Sea, full of beautiful drawings and bizarre events and a dastardly villain and singing cats and a girl heroine beset by three Awful Aunts.  It was so good I bought the sequel, which is equally charming.

What did you read this week?