And in yet another stunning about-turn, I’ve gone and upended the plan again over the last couple weeks. Which is mostly good. The biggest component of which is my editor(!) who will presumably be helping me get this bizarre compilation of perspectives I’ve been calling a book into some kind of shape that people will actually enjoy reading. Yup, I took the plunge. Signed, scheduled, deposit paid (in USD - ouch!) and everything. The manuscript is due to her on November 6, and she’ll have the first round of edits, a high-level analysis of the plot, characters, and what I need to do to beat it into shape, back by the end of November. Which means my super-long trip back for Christmas and the baby is actually going to be a rewriting holiday. Ugh/lol. But if I want to publish this summer, I’ve got to hit those targets at the very least - it’s going to be a tight fit. The current schedule is first round edits back for end of November, rewrites until the beginning of April, second high-level content edit on those for the beginning of May and subsequent cleanup done by June. Line edits of the near-final manuscript through June… and then it kind of falls apart; I’d wanted to be publishing at that point, but realistically, I’ll need to work through the line edits, which are undoubtably going to be painful, nitpicky and slow like every other stage of this, potentially turn things back around to my editor if it’s still not quite there, and even if it’s all good at that stage, hire a proofreader or three and have them check, then format and publish… so yeah, at this rate I’ll be doing good if I hit next Christmas as a target. Ugh. But I wanted to make sure I put out a high-quality project, so at least I’ve got the ball rolling. And my editor had an opening almost right away, so not having to wait until next May to even get started is a huge step forward… and the beta reader feedback really made it pretty clear that the manuscript needed some hard editing to shine. Or, you know, be readable. At the same time all this was going on, the season at the hotel ground to a screeching halt. Four days in a row off! I didn’t believe them when they said it would get slower, but the time has finally arrived! So I deked off to Skye and Lochalsh for a few days to celebrate. Eilean Donan castle was actually pretty cool, as was Talisker. The rest was kinda meh - I’ve really got to stop staying in hostels when I travel, and with the off-season hitting everywhere at about the same time, it’s getting harder to get places and see things. So many places close or go to reduced hours. And as usual, travel takes a huge bite out of savings, which would have been less of an issue if I’d had more consulting come through in October and not been staring down an enormous editorial consulting bill. Around $3K is pretty standard for the better qualty consulting, but with the Canada-US exchange rate right now, I’m looking at around $4K for just the editing. Miraculously, I’ve had a really large consulting project come through in the last week - irritatingly, just at the tail end of travel on Skye, but thankfully, the returns from the tasks add up to just a shade more than I’ve had to pay for the first downpayment when the exchange is all sorted. Very cool timing, even if it has kept me busy for a straight week. Thank goodness for the slow tourist season! Although on the other hand, now I feel guilty for hanging around when they don’t really need me here anymore… On the (creative) writing side, I think my editor’s under the impression that I’ll be frantically working on revisions right until the handoff, but I think I’ll just go through and clean up some formatting in the snarled mess that is the current draft and let her have the whole mass of it to chew on… Not a cost-effective plan, since editing is charged based on word count, but there’s not time to cut it right back to a Cole/Cadence format, and I’m still not quite sure that’s the best way to go. Also, she’s got a whole pile of paperwork for me to write up, so I’ll focus on actually coming up with answers for her in lieu of bumbling about my own story trying to see through the haze. And then I’m staring down a whole month with not much of a plan. You’re not supposed to touch your manuscript while it’s in editing. So. The hotel’s slow; just a couple of shifts a week for me to worry about. There’s not much in the area I really care about seeing and travel takes money, so it really has to be worth it. I could chase some consulting work - maybe pursue that plan to get into proofreading for the indie market? - but if I land any bigger contracts, and they spill over past the end of the month, I’ve just made it harder for myself. I could switch gears and write something else. The next book would be a good idea (lol, but probably not). I’m toying with the idea - again - of messing around with serial release web novels. I could do something with a story about this location… being here and all… or dust off one of my teen-era novels and jazz it up quick, which is prolly a better plan… or target some writing competitions and embarrass myself professionally for the chance to scrounge some cash. And I should revisit my marketing strategy, as instagramming liquor and landscape shots isn’t really getting my book anywhere… so lot’s to do, none of which I feel particularly inspired to get started on just now. I’ll blame that on the slow-burn cold that I picked up in London. For the moment, I’ll fall back on the usual plan and just sit the computer on my lap until words start showing up.
Start time: 11 am
Mallaig: The Lodge at the West Highland Hotel, bed
Drinking: green tea with matcha