Monday, January 01, 2007

Killing Trees

Keeping the Manuscript Warm
Daisy perches on my latest printout of Covenant. Mary pets her using two protective tabs taken from printer cartridges.

Covenant prints out as I type this entry. I had done my first publication-prep tweak on the computer, after the initial printout and workshopping edits. For my second run I'm working off hardcopy, which (as I've learned from past experience) can reveal all sorts of glitches and missed errors, both editorially and from The Joys of Reformatting. Right now, multi-tasking around here means keeping an eye on the printer to make sure I don't run out of ink, answering Daisy's insistent meows while avoiding a paper avalanche beneath her capable and adorable paws, composing this entry, and reaching half-blindly for cold coffee while making sure my cat's tail doesn't become a stirrer....

It's all right the coffee's cold. This is Florida. It's warm here.

Fortunately, I've just gotten ten ink cartridges, and I still have 6000+ sheets of paper at my disposal. That's one 10-ream box plus two reams still in a second box plus the remains of an opened ream here on the floor. Thanks to a deal that got me three boxes for the price of two I've been flush in paper for a while, though being part of a critique group means I make roughly five copies of everything, including the almost 1,000-page trilogy manuscript my buddies have just been through. Book #4 is another 550+ pages. (That's Times New Roman, not the market-preferred and roomier Courier, which has added 100 pages to Covenant alone.) We workshop small chunks at a time, so I estimate they should be done with that one by May of 2008, provided I make it to all the meetings between now and then. I've missed only one in the almost four years I've been in the group, but if all goes well I may be traveling a bit to promote Covenant once it's actually published in November.

I have discovered that, in Word, if you search for all instances of italics and replace them with underlines, you will get words both underlined and still italicized. If you then eliminate the italics, the italicized (and now underlined) words will vanish. You have to search for italics and then replace them with underline plus no italics.

Have I mentioned how fanatical I am about backing everything up? (I know I'm getting underlined spaces and tabs that I don't want, but I can deal with those on the hardcopy. Disappeared words are somewhat dicier. I try to avoid those.)

At least I remembered to go through my persnickety printer menus and make sure I had everything in Draft mode, portrait rather than landscape, and black ink cartridge only. And there are so many redundancies in ways to set reverse print order that I've had printouts that didn't know whether they were coming or going.

Meanwhile I've e-mailed my first submission of 2007, now that a reading period has opened up. Let the Games Continue!


3 Comments:

Blogger Paul Decelles said...

Good luck and happy New Year! Ya gotta love Word...not!

12:07 AM  
Anonymous colleen said...

It reminds me of when I wrote the Jim and Dan Stories. I used the word e-mail and a proof reading changed it to email, but didn't change them all. I went back putting the dash in and out to the point it was driving me crazy. Same thing with commas. I use too many or too little depending on....?

Nothing ever happened with that supposed fundraising of ink cartridges for the little sick boy. Otherwise I would have emailed you.

Good luck on the promotion and all!

9:49 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Word often drives me crazy. I began on WordPerfect - a Canadian Correl word processing but it isn't made for iMacs and so I had to switch. Word often drives me crazy (it lacks finesse and subtlety, meaning 'clumbsy' & 'awkward' oh sigh). Didn't I already say that? :) It would go and delete words...

9:32 PM  

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