Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Learning curves

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you will notice that the title is not just a figure of speech.  My life has revolved around books since my mom taught me how to read at the tender age of 4.  I was raised as an only child and found solace and companionship in books.  My birthday is in the spring so the wonderfully obtuse educational system did not allow me to enter kindergarten until I was 5 1/2 so by that time I shocked my teacher by already knowing how to read those silly baby books and they moved me up to the first grade in a matter of months.  Consequently, I have always been socially awkward and covered that by retreating into books.  It is safe to say that I have read thousands of books and it has sometimes been difficult to support my habit.  My friends got tired of giving me books as gifts because they felt that they didn't last long enough.  What they didn't understand was that a good book is the gift that keeps on giving since I will reread favorite titles endlessly.  That is the hardest thing about having gotten so heavily involved with reviewing...I generally don't have time to revisit my old friends in print.  If you ever look at my Goodreads shelf you may notice that I don't always get all of my Night Owl reviews onto that shelf but I am slowly improving.  I tend to put the library books that I am reading on that shelf and I try to be good about putting the books for the authors that I am on the 'street teams' for on there but somehow there never seem to be enough hours to get everything on all of the sites.  Which leads me to the subject of this post...

I have started branching out and am slowly picking up proofreading and/or copyediting jobs.  I have a few authors that I have had the honor of working with and am slowly obtaining prospects for several more.  Each of them has taught me more about the craft and I have been thrilled to be involved with the process of helping polish these works of art.  I have always had this anal retentive habit of picking out the typos and inconsistencies as I read and have scribbled notes to myself countless times.  The internet has made it easier to approach authors and ask whether they want errors brought to their attention and in this miraculous age of e-books, many authors do take the time to correct errors but of course nothing can be done about books that are already in print.  Unfortunately, some are offended by my overtures and others are apathetic.  It really ruins my enjoyment when there are a lot of errors and I tend to avoid that author's works in the future.  I have been honored to have met (virtually) and work with several authors who care about their presentation and hope to continue the trend.

I have recently started working with a smaller publisher and have had the opportunity to see manuscripts in a very raw state.  I have learned that my word processing program has more bells and whistles than I ever realized and I have also been reminded that I should be better about checking my own work more than once!  I am learning that there are many long hours which have to go into producing a quality piece of writing and also that I had better keep my odd sense of humor in check so that I don't inadvertently offend someone.  It's a great learning opportunity and I hope that it leads to even more contacts.

I am also taking a writing class taught by an author whom I greatly respect and once again am learning so much more about the hard work and thought that goes into producing a quality manuscript.  So much to learn and so many distractions!  All of this long-windedness is to explain that if my posts get a little sparse over the next few weeks, it is because I am learning to juggle my tasks a little better.  I am still committed to a plethora of reviews but there is necessarily a lag time between my submission and their posting on Night Owl so please be patient.  I did get a chance to read the latest Thea Harrison novella, Devil's Gate, and was enthralled with her imagery as usual and will post my review in a few days and I am in the middle of Michael J. Sullivan's Heir of Novron but the author threw a twist in that I REALLY don't like so I am going to take a break and 'cleanse my palate' with a couple of other titles before finishing while I grumble to myself.  Now I have to go do my homework (-:

1 comment:

  1. Good Luck on your mastering the art of juggling! Will be looking forward to any further review posts & updates.