Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I hate book manuscript edits and Excel stinks.

I call this wonderful picture of Danny's very creative little niece "Dali baby" but I guess it could be "Picasso baby" too. I post it tonight because the skewed eyes, mouth, and expression sorta exemplifies how I was feeling since I last posted. Totally surreal and off balance. Looking at life through, well pop eyed paper eyes. By mid week end, Danny could attest to my snappy grumpy behavior too. By Monday I was overwhelmed and depressed and suffering from acid reflux. Even a day of shopping and coming home with an iPhone and a new chair that goes with my new love seat on Sunday had only temporarily lightened my mood. Why you might ask did I get so squirrely?

Well, here's what happened. I "blue lined" my poetry book manuscript and cover art pdf files in preparation for making corrections on the required Excel table forms. All last week. I combed the manuscript four times for errors. Carefully wrote them down four times. Then on Friday I tried to type the errors on the Excel forms downloaded from the publisher. That's when I went nutty. I don't know Excel. I don't use very many office type applications. Microsoft word is about it. So, I typed a bunch of stuff in, then discovered I'd made some errors and needed to delete a line, add a line and...oops...I screwed up and the tables scrambled themselves somehow, all the page numbers columns disappeared and I found myself on top of the horns of a dilemma. That's worse than riding on a rhino folks. Dilemmas are merciless. I got nuthin' done on Friday. The frelling edit job and my failure to communicate with Excel hung over my head all week end 'cause I was grumpy as heck.

I didn't even want to try to deal with the mixed up Excel thingy on Monday...which was okay since I spent most of the day trying to print a manuscript for critique at Monday evening's writers workshop. My printer kept working for a few pages then malfunctioning and stopping. Nothing and I mean nothing else went right all day either. When good days go bad they just keep at it. By six o'clock I had only bits and pieces of the manuscript thing done for a six thirty workshop. I was convinced that I was a printer imbecile as well as an Excel imbecile. Then, Super Danny came home and pronounced my printer broken. Vindication! At least on one front. I didn't get to the workshop though and by that time I was almost in tears. He decided to help me with the Excel thing since I was chanting the I can't mantra. He did help me sort it out and I finished round one on the final edits and emailed them off. Voila! The sun came out, the stickers fell from my eyes and I could smile again.

With a little luck and maybe some more help from Danny the next round won't be so bad. Book probably won't be out by Christmas as I'd hoped since the publisher is a whole lot slower getting stuff back to me than on the other two books. Que sera sera.

There's no moral to this story. The only piece of advice I can give is that M and Ms help no matter what the frustration. Pretty cool that they come in the little snack bags this close to Halloween and that the bags were two for one, too. I made good use of them during my squirrely weekend. So what if I had to buy some more for Halloween today? While I was at it I got some Reeses Peanut Butter Cups too.


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