2014-06-30

PK2 is Off to the Beta Readers

Congratulations!
I would like to congratulate everyone on their Locus awards. I met Ellen Datlow at Launch Pad 2012 - she won best editor - congratulations.

A Day Late But Not a Dollar Short
I'm a day late in getting my blog out but for a good reason. We've been having some remodeling done and things have been very hectic around here. My wife has been up early and then out of the house while the contractor has been removing our old bathtub and installing a walk-in shower. I've had nearly 2 days of uninterrupted time to edit and that's what I've been concentrating on. The end result is that the first editing pass of Peacekeeper 2 is complete and the novel is now off to the beta readers. I don't expect to be getting the results back until I return from Laramie in three weeks where I will be attending Launch Pad 2014.

With the editing done, I find myself in a rather strange position. I'm heading off to a place where I normally expect to get a ton of writing done but I don't actually have anything I'm working on at the moment. What to do? The solution - I'm going to start fixing The Galactic Alliance Technical Reference Manual. It's a free publication that's available on my website and it's in dire need of a major upgrade. I don't write short stories or I would be working on one right now so fixing the GATRM is a good choice.

Editing
There is an art to editing and I'm still learning how to be a good editor of my own work. When you read books on editing you hear things like: "Each sentence must resonate with the reader"; "Every word, every sentence, every paragraph must be dissected, the useless parts discarded, and the remaining pieces stitched back together again to form a more coherent whole". Okay - I made those up, but you get the idea. Editing is hard work! My problem is I tend to rush through the editing process. I read the words as if I were the reader, listening to how they sound and looking for improvement ideas. I will occasionally stop and delete something or go back and add in something. But I tend to rush the process.

With PK 2, I hope to have a final product that everyone can enjoy. I'm going to try to take a single chapter at a time and read it, slowly, patiently, keeping myself detached from the story but engaged enough to spot errors. After each chapter is done, I'll take a break. It might take me another month to finish the editing but I think it's worth it.

I just finished replying to a fan who has found a few errors in Translight. Over the years since being written, I've gone over this book at least a dozen times and yet there are still problems in some of the words I chose. "Road" vs "rode", "sighting" vs "citing", and one sentence that had a word that should have been removed. It's embarrassing but I want my readers to point these out. That's how people learn. Just because you've done something wrong all your life does not mean it's the right thing to do.

The contractor should be finishing up today and our bathroom (except for painting which I will take care of) will be complete. We'll have a new walk-in shower and a new toilet. My wife wanted to widen the door but because of how the frame is built and the flooring around it, we'll have to wait until when we decide to replace the flooring in the living room and hallway. We plan on retiring here and making little improvements like this now is called 'planning for the future'.

One final note: Today marks the first official day of my new job at the power plant. I can now tell everyone I am a DataBase Administrator (DBA). Like my wife likes to say - "You're not AN I&C technician, you're not A planner, you are THE Database Administrator." I like the sound of that.