Thursday, June 18, 2015

What's taking so freakin' long??? (Part I)

Writing--no, scratch that; publishing is not for the impatient. And I am the mother of impatience. Which is why I'm kind of amazed that I haven't thrown a hissy fit yet. (Yet, I emphasize.)

No, actually I know exactly why I haven't. It's because I'm so damn busy. I don't have time to be impatient. As a matter of fact, days are going by like sand through toes at the surfline. Like, for instance, it's Tuesday already and--what do you mean Thursday? I NEED MY WEDNESDAY BACK!

I mean, how hard can it be? THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS had already been published in Pure Slush's 2014 A Year In Stories. Well, sort of. Last year, when Truth Serum Press (sister press of Pure Slush) agreed to publish it as a standalone book, we felt there was a piece missing from the original 12 stories, so--okay, I wrote a 13th story. Which turned out a tad longer than expected. And took longer, too, to finish. (I sweated blood on that one.)

But aside from that, I thought it was a matter of some small (fine, smallish) revisions. You know, quirky wording that somehow escaped both my and the editor's eagle eyes the first few times. And then there were the places where, due to the word count limit for the originals, I cut character arcs short or held back on information that actually did move the story forward. So these things had to be remedied for the standalone version. And then revised. And re-revised. And re-re-re...

The 2014 A Year In Stories project by the awesome folks at Pure Slush.
THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS was originally published in these volumes,
one story a month, from January to December 2014.
And that's what no one tells you. Every time--every time--you read what you wrote, especially if it's, say, in an actual book (i.e., not in your computer or the draft you printed for revision), you'll find stuff that needs tweaking.

And it's not even the complex, story-arc stuff. It's the simple things. Like this one:
[...] the places where we were once happy.

Wait. Hmm. It has better rhythm as 
the places where we were happy once.

Or does it?

And--oh, crap. How did I miss this?
In that moment, in the red bougainvillea by the terrace [etc.]

In/in? Seriously?? At least this one's easy to fix; just change one in to something else. But--which one? 
In that moment, on the red bougainvillea

At that moment, in the red bougainvillea

In that moment, at the red bougainvillea

Like that. Every page. Every freaking sentence. And, no matter how many new and improved versions I read through, I keep finding stuff to tweak. (When does it end? Please, someone tell me it does end.)

But. BUT. Yesterday I received my first proof copy, and the second one is on its way as of today. (Then I'll get to read that and find more tweakable stuff. Yay. No, seriously--not about the tweaks, but MY FIRST PROOF COPY! YAAAY!)

The first proof copy!
And the book launch is set to happen in September in New York City, at La Casa Azul, a mega-fabulous Latino-oriented and independent-author-supporting bookstore that's coolness personified, and whose personnel have been nothing but kind and accommodating to this clueless novice. And it looks like we'll have a more-than-decent turnout, especially since I don't live in the city and no one knows me from Eve, there or anywhere else. (Hey, are you in or around NYC? September 2, 6pm--it's a date!)

So there's plenty to celebrate. And plenty, plenty to keep me busy. Who has time for impatience with so much to do before then?

Coming soon on the MIRACLE saga of unforeseen obstacles and pleasures: The Copyright Melee.

Oh! Speaking of--please read Lynne Hinkey's MARINA MELEE as soon as you can. Absolutely brilliant novel that captures life in the Caribbean to a... well, to a C :) Seriously. Haven't enjoyed a book this much in a long time.


  1. Every time I look at anything I'm editing or have published (even blog posts and drabbles) I go through similar little edits. Every. Single. Time. So I understand you completely. I feel like I'll never stop editing things, never stop trying to make something better.

    1. Ugh, I know. There's this legend about some painter, I forget who... The night before an exhibition of his work was to open at some big gallery, a guard on duty caught someone vandalizing the paintings. Turned out to be the painter himself. They weren't ready, he said. "I just need to get this little detail here right..." It makes me laugh, but it also makes me despair :D

  2. I left you this reply on my blog, but I thought I better post it here, too, so you're sure to see it.

    The next BoTB is July 1. Make sure you post something on Stephen T. McCarthy's blog so he includes you on his list (as many people refer to that). As for the Soundtrack posts, you can start that any time you like, post as often as you like, really get down into the details, or approach it all a bit more distantly. There are no rules. Just do what you like!

    Congrats on publishing! So exciting to have proofs to read (even if you want to correct every little thing!). Your hard work has paid off!

    1. Thanks for that, Robin! The congratulations and the info on BoTB :) I'll head over to Stephen's blog now and figure out how to sign up. I've got a *great* BoTB idea (which has probably already been done not once or twice but several times, haha... The disadvantage of the newbie :D )

  3. A huge huge CONGRATULATIONS!
    This is stupendous!

  4. WHAAAAT I wanna come to your book launch!! Weekend trip to the city maybe?? It's only 3.5 hours of driving...hmmmmm. I'll work on it :)

    1. YES! Do come! Do, do, DO! I'd be over the moon if you could, Sabina. Sept 2nd is actually a Wednesday--I know, inconvenient--but maybe a good excuse for a long weekend? On Friday 4th there's another reading at the KGB Bar (LES) with a bunch of Pure Slush authors (I'll be there, too) which will be a lot of fun, so if you can't make it on Wednesday for my launch maybe you can make that? That would be SO COOL!

  5. Hi Guilie - congratulations on getting it done .. and then that book launch .. sounds amazing - wish it was London and not New York! Still enjoy ... and so much happening for you .. fun to see .. cheers Hilary


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