In which I read proofs, walk in the snow(!) and fear for my sanity

On the dining room table, downstairs …

There is a pile on the left, with the proof of my book. There is a pile on the right: a print-off of my manuscript. There are the two pencils, red for my mistakes, blue for theirs.  I spent a whole day shopping for those pencils, and they’re beautiful. There is the pencil sharpener, the Post-its, and several pairs of glasses.

As I work my way through the piles, they both divide into two, for a total of four piles. The left of each version becomes gradually thicker, the right, shallower. Shallower. Is that the word? Is anything the word? And how do you spell shallower?

What if I’m wrong? I mean, not just the spelling: me. What if I’m wrong.

Yes, it’s back to that. 

“Are you happy?” My friend Diana asks. “Is the book beautiful?” 

 “Um.  I can’t talk about it.” 

I can’t talk about it.  But I have to.

On my desk upstairs there’s something called an Author Questionnaire: nine pages long before answers are added. So I can let as many people as possible just how wrong I am. Surely, someone will take offense when they read this book. Never mind that: sue me. For just writing anything. For speaking out, being heard at all. Yes it’s back to that. It doesn’t really go away. Just mutates. Like an antibiotic resistant bacteria or a new strain of bedbugs.

But never mind. This phase of work will end, and just about the same time, so will Mercury Retrograde. We have lived under the influence of that astrological combination for the past three weeks, in case you’re wondering why your emails have been going astray, why you have been losing things or having fights and miscommunications. I don’t really believe in MR except that I always back up my computer beforehand, check my junk mail box frequently, and try to cut other people lots of slack when they’re spacey.

Now if only I could muster the same technique on my own behalf.

I’m slow.  Oh so slow.  It took me a whole day to buy the red and blue pencils. I dread the coming week because there will be transitions between downstairs (the proofs) and upstairs (the questionnaire).  I am a Gemini after all, ruled by mercury, so I guess I have an excuse. But I think it’s just age. Multitasking used to be my forte. Or last least quick changes between activities … which is all multitasking really is. But the stairs seem to grow more steep every week, the mind less agile, the words, more arduous to conjure.

But maybe this is the snow speaking. Despite appearances, spring is here, and with it, a bunch of sparkling social engagements. In addition to the end of MR I’m going out to two, count ‘em two launches this coming Wednesday April 20th.

There’ll be a launch of Diaspora Dialogues TOK 6 at the Gladstone. I’m really looking forward to reading my friend Terri Favro’s story in the anthology. And at just about the same time, Jessica Westhead is launching her book of short stories, And Also Sharks at the Toronto Underground Cinema.

(I’m going to repeat these in another post so that you don’t have to wade through too much whingeing to find out the information.)

The point is, I need to be in two places at once. Oh alright, if I have to. Though with Mercury playing tricks it may all turn out like some kind of Harry Potter Polyjuice Potion experiment gone wrong. If you see me with a foot growing out of my ear or talking with a Rumanian accent that’ll be why.

And who could forget, the royal wedding on April 29th?  I’ve got my commemorative cup already, as well as a scarf to tie over my head while watching the wedding and talking on Skype with my friend Roxane who’ll be in Tacoma.  2 a.m. her time.  I don’t have a television, and am not signed on to Skype but I’m really hoping these details will fall into place with MR finished.

Here’s the web site for the wedding.  Watch it carefully to hear about excitement building in Royal Parks, and the release of Ceremonial Timings. http://www.officialroyalwedding2011.org

And oh, how it will lift the spirits!

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One Response to In which I read proofs, walk in the snow(!) and fear for my sanity

  1. diana says:

    That Polyjuice Potion, so useful! It’s odd to hear about Mercury Retrograde — I just read a blog post about how the server and computers at the Toronto Botanical Garden all fried themselves, just a week before they were due to be replaced. Hmm. It started with a smell like peanut butter …

    In my official capacity as Nobody At All, I hereby grant you license to use any words you want — shallower, OMGliness, whateverly. Plus, you are allowed to spell them any way that suits you. Yeah!

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