And now, the angst.
I just checked my contributor copy of that anthology, _Cornstalk Gypsies_, and within the first couple of pages of my story I found two errors that were evidently inserted during “editing” or “proofreading” (scare quotes intentional.) *SIGH* (I see these kinds of boo-boos in books from major houses, though, so perhaps it’s just par for the course.)
In the second SENTENCE, no less, someone has messed with my words. The proper sentence is: “Because the first tug came when he had his hands full, he couldn’t even try a countermeasure.” Someone “helpfully” deleted “because,” inducing a comma splice. I did not authorize this, nor did I see page proofs of the book. If you’re getting my work for free, dammit, don’t make egregious edits–or at least TELL me you are going to do them and tell me what they are. Had they wished to delete “because” for some reason, they should have also changed the comma to a beloved semicolon. However, the “because” is there for a reason.
In the next paragraph, this appears: “Looking down, he saw that himself [SIC] standing in the center of a pentagram inscribed in a double circle engraved in the soft dirt, outlined in salt.” I wrote, “Looking down, he saw that he stood in the center. . . .”, and I phrased it that way because UNLESS you are above yourself or have a camera-eye, you can’t really see yourself standing–except in your mind’s eye. The passage is in Asperioth’s viewpoint, so he can’t see himself standing (even without an egregious “that”); he can see the lower half of himself, at best. Yes, I know that this could be justified by saying it’s “a part standing for the whole” or whatnot, but I still don’t see an improvement at all in the resulting mangled sentence.
Again . . . had I seen page proofs, I could’ve fixed this. Or maybe they could have left my words as they were. This probably happens when you place a story with New York, but then again maybe not. (They also misspelled my name on the front cover, but they tell me that is being fixed.)
I didn’t have the heart (or stomach) to proof the story further to see what ELSE they rephrased, but I do take comfort in the knowledge that most people will either not notice the errors that were inserted and/or won’t care, as they are reading for story. And I think this is a good story. Always have. It’s kind of a stolen plot–playing chess with the Devil for your soul, in a way, although this version has trivia questions that must be answered and my lead character is playing for his classmates’ life-forces–but it’s stolen from the worthy ancients, so I don’t feel guilty. *grin* And perhaps this way the story will actually get read by a few people, which was part of my purpose in sending it along. After all, it’s not going to be picked up by one of the magazines (believe me, they’ve seen it. And it’s too long for a newbie to place in a major mag, anyhow.)
Whatever. I probably shouldn’t even care. What matters is whether people donate money via our little conceit, and whether they enjoy the STORY itself. I do hope that a few copies get sold so the Iowans can get their lives fixed.
That doesn’t mean the typos/thinkos aren’t gonna BUG me.
And they’ll bug a few others. I beseech you, cut us all some slack. With Herculean effort, I’m gonna do that and will assume that since it’s for a good cause, we can put up with a few howlers and fumbles if we come across them.
Keep your blue pencil/red pen handy if you read it, and let me know if you notice other typos. Why? The editor has stated that he will make revisions and edits every so often, so I’ll send these corrections to him for the next pass-through.
I should find any others as soon as possible, though. That means I’ll have to read the thing again. Let’s leave that for Columbus Day proper, after sunrise, shall we? I want to read Carrie’s story and all the others, too. When I’m *awake*.
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Oh, and by the way, Rutgers professor Jack Lynch answered my question about the parentheses and double punctuation! He came down on the side of having two punctuation marks. Lookyhere:
JACK: [Y]ou need something to end your own sentence, distinct from the ending of the parenthetical, which usually doesn’t need a period inside it. See http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/p.html#parentheses.
*sob* So it’s:
We have several Halloween costumes to choose from (if you’re crazy enough to wear the worst ones, people will say, “You’re batty.”).
*sobbing* THAT IS SO UGLY. I hate it. Hate it, I tell you!!! Ugly!!
Okay, but. *steeling myself* Now I can straighten out the WORLD via my weblog (all 6 of my regular readers!). <<—UGLY, I TELL YOU
If Jack says it, that settles it. (You should go buy his books. They're available through Amazon. You'll love them, if you like this kind of talk about the language and words.)
So we have to do it this way now. *(cringe)* I only hope that my ex-boss doesn't see that we were wrong in all those defense contract documents, as he HATED to be wrong back then and probably is still the same way now. (Not really . . . he was a really laid-back and cool guy. Also a fellow author who couldn't get his book, which was about respect and what it really MEANS to be respectful of others, into print. We had a lot in common, actually. He was also correct when he guessed years ago that I had diabetes, although the doctors said I didn't; that's because it was considered subclinical. My fasting blood sugars were not high enough. Then, a few years ago, they lowered the bar, and suddenly my fasting sugars of 131 were "diabetic"! Only then did I start taking the pills and begin feeling better. Ack!)
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Write In My Journal is a website maintained by a fellow who walks up to interesting-seeming people off the street and asks them to make an entry in his journal. You will be astounded by some of the stories these people have to tell.
“We use stories to make sense of the universe,” someone has said. Or to lament about it, I would add. You’ll see what I mean if you take a peek at that journal site.