Monday, August 28, 2006

Writing Again and Cover Art Problems

It feels so good to be writing again! I added 19 pages to my WIP (work-in-progress), and am now up to page 66. I hope to reach at least page 80 before my parents and sister arrive on the Thursday before Labor Day weekend for a week-long visit. Who cares if the house is clean! Well, I do, actually, especially if my mom is visiting, and I probably will be running around with the vacuum cleaner a few hours before they arrive.

We'll be taking my parents and sister to Memorial Park downtown at o'dark thirty Saturday morning to hopefully watch the hot air balloon launch for the Colorado Springs Balloon Classic. I say "hopefully" because the launch is always dependent on weather, especially winds. When they do launch, they launch in "waves" of 25-30 balloons, since there are nearly 100 total. A beautiful event to watch and photograph!

I received my cover art for A Real Basket Case a couple of days ago. I was jumping with excitement when I saw the email, then opened the jpeg file and sat stunned in disbelief. My suggestion for a cover was to show a wicker/straw basket flipped over on its side, with a hole in it and blood dripping out of the hole, and a smoking handgun lying nearby. Instead, the cover showed a woman's hand holding a shopping basket, and a kid's dart gun with stick-on darts scattered about. Huh? Well, after I recovered from the shock, I sent a detailed email outlining my concerns to Tiffany Schofield at Five Star, and she replied that she had sent a request for revision to the cover designer. Thank goodness! That means the cover won't be ready to display on my website when it goes public September first, but I prefer a late cover to the one I saw!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Copy Edit Complete

I finished reviewing the copyedited manuscript of A Real Basket Case yesterday and mailed a 3-page file with my comments off to the Senior Content Project Editor at Five Star Publishing. I was amazed that I caught not only nits, but two "continuity" errors that had made it through previous edits by myself and the editor at Tekno Books. Both were due to making a change early in the book and not carrying it all the way through to a later reference. One was a disconnect on the clothing worn by a character and the other on what a character was carrying in her pockets. Can't have those things morphing on their own! As for nits, I'm sure I missed SOMETHING, but I really tried to comb through the words carefully since this will be my last chance to make changes. I even found a backward quote!

We put our French exchange student on a plane Wednesday and heard from his family yesterday that he made it home safely. With him gone, my youngest back in high school, and this copy-edit done, I can finally get back to work on my current manuscript, now stuck on page 47. I would really like to finish the first draft this year.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Champagne, Chocolate and Casino Games

That was the title on the invitations to my 50th Birthday Party, which happened last Friday night. We had a Blackjack table in the living room, a Roulette table in the family room, and Poker and Pool tables in the basement. The garage was full of displaced furniture. I splurged on a caterer, who provided desserts and a bar with champagne, wine, beer and sparkling cider. Food was an International Cheese Board in the kitchen, a Gourmet Pastry Tray in the basement and a Chocolate Fountain with dipping goodies in the dining room. Boy, did that room smell good!

The invitation said formal, and I got a lot of phone calls beforehand, mostly from the men, asking what exactly that meant. Coloradoans aren't known for dressing up, and the men were leery that I was asking them to rent tuxes. No way! Coat and tie was enough, but the women had fun going all out with cocktail dresses and floor-length gowns. It was fun to see everyone all dolled up and complaining that their formal clothes had shrunk in the closet since they last wore them years ago. :) A great time was had by all, especially the Birthday girl.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Summer Speed-up!

The day before I left with my family and French exchange student for a 4-day vacation in Breckenridge, CO, Five Star sent my manuscript file for copy-edit review. Yikes! I downloaded the file onto the laptop computer and took it with us. I participated in the daytime activities: Breckenridge's Peak 8 Funpark, Copper Mountain's putt-putt and lift chair ride, a pontoon boat ride on Lake Dillon, and hiking to Mayflower Lake. However, in the evenings, when the rest of the gang was watching movies on TV, I was glued to the computer. I'm about a third of the way through the manuscript now, but I returned to over 100 emails!