many things make a post
in case the pirates attack in the dead of night

how I spent Tuesday

Into every writer's life, a copyedited manuscript must fall. 

Here's the CEM for Sweater Quest, which will hit the shelves March 2010. (Buy three! Buy four! The Diva needs a pony!*)


This time around, the copyeditor sent colored pencils along with her notes.


A sample page. This isn't a representative sample, however. Most pages had many, many more marks on them. CEMs crush my belief in my mad grammar skillz. Which is what they should do, really, if the copyeditor is good. And mine is, imo.

My job at this point is to OK what needs to be OKed (like, say, changing all of my "OK"s to "okay" and adding Oxford commas, which I loathe but will accept as house style) and answer any questions about weird spellings, etc.


One of my favorite parts of the CEM are the first few pages that set up styles for words used in the manuscript that aren't in a style manual. Click on the picture to get a sample of what's in Quest.

Trout's favorite part of the process is the padded mailing envelope.


Still waiting in the wings is the legal review, which should be interesting, given that I'm writing about someone who seems quick to litigate. 

After class today, I'll send the CEM back to my editor. In another month, I'll go through a similar process with the page proofs. And, yes, that will also come in a padded mailing envelope. Worry not for the Trout.


* I'm kidding. No matter how many copies are sold, Maddy will not be getting a pony. Because I'm mean, that's why.


1950s with no apostrophe! Yay! I would buy the book just to see more of that.

Trout does look content there.

YAY for CEMs, YAY for the book process. Crossing fingers on legal review.

I plan to buy one for my mother and one for my mother-in-law. So hurry up.


Perhaps you could get another cat and call it a pony?

Oddly, I have another friend who got an actual dog and named it "Kitten."

Sweet, sweet Trout. Best wishes on finalizing your projects.

Thanks, y'all. I'll let you know how legal goes. Or, if I'm too busy sobbing in the corner, I'll get Scott to let you know how legal goes.

And, yes, Trout is content to be on the dining room table on his mailing envelope. He's a weird one.

My husband's favorite cruel kid trick is to tell child friends and relatives, "I'll buy you a pony if your mom will let you have one..." :)

I think you will enjoy this link to the 100 Best First Lines in Literature:


Maybe you could get a mastiff instead of a's sort of the same thing.


The editor on my first book was a little nervous about showing me the copyedited manuscript (short as it was). I assured her I'd worked in magazine publishing and was used to seeing CE marks from the Mighty Green Pen of Death.

Looking forward to Sweater Quest. The Free Press seems to be doing very interesting books lately--Jessica DuLong's My River Chronicles is due out next week, which will help with the waiting for Sweater Quest.

I'm in favor of Oxford commas, which I found, as a copyeditor in the old days, often eliminated ambiguities in meaning. But that's just me. (I also appreciate when people do not follow NYT style and make decades possessive: i.e., then they use the (correct {grin}) 1950s instead of the teeth-grating 1950's.)

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