Galley Speak and Other Stories

Monday morning, not quite noon, and my mind is all cattywampus. That is due, in part, to the fact that Sebastian blew off his Friday blogging duties (which surprises no-one) and in part due to the fact that the life of a galley slave goes to some interesting places. Most recently, it went to me being on time and ready for a Skype session with Melva, to discuss the first batch of galley stuff, only to get an email reminding me, kindly, that our chat was early this evening, not this morning, which resulted in me staring at my screen for a few minutes, my only thought, “well, what do we do now?”

That’s we, first person plural. I know what Melva is doing, as A) this is her usual schedule, and B) she told me. Technically, I know what i am doing, because I am Planner Woman, and I have it all written down, correctly, so I am not sure where I got the morning chat idea. I have also poured a cool, refreshing drink (as we are in that odd time of year where the seasonally appropriate beverage switches from hot to cold and back again, several times during the day) along the side of my face, instead of into my mouth, as intended. If I am getting to the missing my own mouth phase of thigs, it really is a good reason to retreat to the comfy end of the couch, with a blanket, yesterday’s library haul, and a beverage of choice (probably with a straw, as I am not to be trusted with liquids, today.) I have no idea who the rest of “we” might be, but my question was definitely “we,” not “I.” Maybe Sebastian? Who can tell? It’s Monday. Things are allowed to be fuzzy on Mondays.

This cattywampusness turned to making lists, as most of my dilemmas often do, and I spent a few minutes poring over the new binder for The Wild Rose Press stuff (but that is another post) and letting my conscious brain do its own thing on the back burner of my mind, while I sorted through stationery options. Touching paper is usually a good way for me to reboot my thought process. Talking, whether out loud, on paper, or virtual paper, for that matte,r usually helps, as well, so here we are, forging ahead, babbling into the wilderness.

Galley work goes rather well, all things considered. Our editor is amazing, my co-writer has a PhD in English (useful!) and we’ve been over this book so many times that I am farily confident that, at this stage of the game, things are pretty darned good. Our names are at the top of every page, and the action of noting the (very few) changes, only a word or two, her or there, by page and line, what the word is, and what we would like the word to be, actually has a soothing sort of rhythm to it. It’s straightforward, keeping an eye for shifting eye colors, characters who change costume midscene, without authorial permission, and how there are more different ways to spell “Haley” than either Melva or I had expected (though we did pick one and stuck with it, long before the galleys landed.)

I like this part. It’s painstaking and needs a lot of concentration, but it’s also a thing that we get to do, because we stuck with the process, from the first spark of idea, through a messy first draft, several revisions, several rejecctions, and then, miracle of miracles, having two acceptances at the same time and the very difficult choice of choosing which offer we would accept. After this, there are more adventures, the thrill of the release, and the promotion of our same, and putting the shoulder back to the wheel (doing that now) and getting Drama King ready to follow in its big sibling’s footsteps.

There’s also the excitement of diving back, more fully, into the world of Her Last First Kiss, and the deadline for my short story submission is subtly clearing its throat, as it creeps ever-nearer. I am still not sure about Camp NaNo for this session, but leaning toward “why the fluff not?” and cannonballing off the end of the metaphorical dock, once again. It’s kind of my thing.

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