Saturday, November 16, 2019


...which is pretty much all I've been doing for the past two weeks -- along with keeping Josie two and three days a week. (I'm using Josie pics for this post because pics of me editing would be pretty dull.) I've been editing 60 pages a week for my class along with doing a read through of my 334 page novel  (actually, I did it twice) in response to my editor's line edits--I needed to accept or reject them. 

This was my last chance to to tweak sentences and improve word choice. After this, if I want to make changes (other than typos or compositor errors, it will cost me.)

This is standard industry practice and makes sense. Because, alas, it's always the case that another read-through will reveal things the writer wishes she'd done differently.

This time, in spite of the fact that I've probably read through the novel twenty times, tweaking merrily as I went, I still found things to improve-- places to eliminate unnecessary words, to fix repetitions, to double check against some possible anachronisms. 

I think that since I've been editing class work for several months now, my editorial eye was sharper and more attuned to really picky details. As I always tell the folks in my critique classes, editing other people's work will make you a better editor of your own stuff.

And for a bonus, I finally came up with a closing couple of sentences I like. On every previous read, I'd questioned my choice of words there. What happens at the end hasn't changed but I think the words are better.

And I'm really pleased with the novel as a whole. I love most of the characters and those that I don't, I at least have some sympathy for. They have become incredibly real to me.

I felt like celebrating when I hit SEND late Thursday night and returned the manuscript to the editor. Now a proofreader will go through it and eventually, so will I again.

 Meanwhile, I've got forty more pages to edit for class next Thursday, after which I can lay down the electronic red pencil and think about things like Christmas gifts and Thanksgiving food. And all those cobwebs lurking in corners and under chairs. Now that Halloween's past, I can't claim them as decorations any more.

Friday, November 15, 2019

A World of Epsilon Minuses?


I recently re-read Brave New World, Huxley’s dystopian vision of a future in which humanity is managed to produce an optimum number of various classes to fulfill various functions. At the bottom are the Epsilons – capable of little more than serving as an elevator operator but programmed to be happy in that function.

Then this morning, I heard on NPR a snippet of a program. Climate change, it said, is projected to have the effect on the world's population of lowering life expectancy and intelligence—children’s brains don’t develop well in conditions like famine and pollution. (See Flint, Michigan. See also THIS article.)

NY Times
And it occurred to me--perhaps those plutocrats who are pushing the horrific policies of the Republican Party—gutting environmental protections to boost corporate earnings--are playing the long game here, as surely as the managers of Huxley’s future poison the Epsilons in (artificial)utero to stunt their development. 

Safe in their climate-controlled gilded towers, the plutocrats don’t fear the effects of climate change. Their children will always eat well. And if the masses grow slowly weaker and dumber and even more malleable, well, someone has to clean those gilded towers and service those air-conditioners. And Fox News can be relied upon to tell the masses how very happy they are, in this brave new world. 

LA Times

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

I zoomed through this book, lent me by one of my book pusher friends. It boasts two good hooks: The Pack Horse librarians of Depression-era Kentucky, intrepid women funded by the WPA who traveled the hills and hollers on horseback, bringing books to isolated homes and schools, and the strange Blue People of Kentucky, a tiny group suffering from a genetic disorder that turns their skin blue. Either group is interesting enough for a novel, but here we have a Pack Horse Librarian who is a Blue.  

The novel is chock-full of fascinating folk ways and historical detail. Plus there's an admirable young woman, fighting to make her way in the world--a world that counts her as "colored" and abnormal. There's a love story too...

A good read on a chilly day. And a good reminder of the discrimination and unequal treatment women, in general, and people of color, in particular, have always faced.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Monday, November 11, 2019

Veterans Day 2019

Just in time for Veteran's Day, President Bonespurs is ordered to make restitution for using donations to vets as a personal piggy bank.

Turns out, according to 45*'s admissions in court papers, that the  fund-raiser for vets in Iowa, days before the nominating caucuses, was actually a campaign event and the campaign had complete control over the money raised.  See full article 

Nobody loves vets and military people more that El Cheeto--they're so useful for photo ops. (Unless, of course, they're testifying against him like Lt. Col. Vindman.)

Meanwhile, there are homeless vets, sick vets, vets being deported, vets in every kind of need. . . in what was once a great country. 

Saying Thank you for your service isn't enough.

Honoring those who served . . . and lamenting those who have been used and forgotten.