Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  I hope you’re having a good holiday, and you don’t have to work.  I don’t have a lot to be thankful for this Turkey Day, but I’ll try to list a few things.

  • A good job with a boss who truly cares about her employee’s well-being, with a company that offers excellent benefits and flexibility.  Maybe those last two things will come in handy someday when I actually have a life.
  • All the people who have patiently listened, sympathized, and supported me through this last year-and-a-half of grief and anxiety.  I thought 2013 would be better than horrible 2012, but it hasn’t. 
  • New friends with whom I share a love for the nerdiest show on earth. 

  • The obligatory roof over my head, power, food in the fridge, etc., etc. 
  • Everyone who reads my sporadic blog posts, tweets, and comments on various forums. 
  • That the sun came out today.  I guess. 

Have a great day, everyone.     

NaNoWriMo, Copymarks, and Zombies

I cannot do NaNoWriMo this year!

When I'm done crying, I'll make cookies.

When I’m done crying, I’ll make cookies.

Photo: imagerymajestic/

I have too much homework, people.  I’m sorry.  I’m considering doing it by myself later on, however, and posting like I did last year.  I would like to use it to finish a first draft of the sequel to Rose’s Hostage.  The idea is there; it just needs (1) a decent subplot, which I may have (one that will make you paranoid, heheheh), and (2) my ass in the chair writing it.

This will in no way prevent me from participating in the Blogging from A-Z Challenge in April, however.  I have vowed that I will NOT miss that again.  And it’s not going to stop me from working on Tunerville.

Here’s something useful I’m learning in school—copymarks and proofreading marks.  Behold, a sample from my study sheet:

COPY SHEET SNAP Photograph by Elizabeth West

 Yes, those are my examples.  I enjoy flying my geek/nerd flag whenever I get the chance.

How is this technical writing thing applicable to fiction, you ask?  Once I’m finished reordering chapters in Tunerville and fleshing out a few scenes functioning as bare-bones placeholders, like sad Halloween decorations dangling from a tree, I’ll print that bad boy and copyedit it, on paper.  These marks should work much better than the highlighters I used last time.  And, I can’t find my highlighters anyway.

As author/writing advice guru Anne Mini is fond of saying, you should always, ALWAYS do a hard copy edit after each revision, and especially before you send your materials anywhere.  Therefore, it’s best to begin querying after you’ve done it.  I did not have time to do one before I sent Rose’s Hostage to Brian Keene for critique.  Re-reading it, I found places where Word did the dirty on my formatting.  Gah!

Speaking of Brian, anybody like (or hate) The Walking Dead?  If you do, go to Brian’s Twitter feed every Sunday night, where he tweets insults about the show.  It’s fun.  But you must actually have a sense of humor to enjoy his snarky quips.  I love the show myself, but I also think Brian is funny, so his online eye-rolling doesn’t ruin it.  Looky, he retweeted my Herschel tweet:

 I love it when I get retweeted.  I’m not usually sarcastic enough for Twitter.

I love it when I get retweeted. I’m not usually sarcastic enough for Twitter.


Be warned:  if you cop a ‘tude with Brian, he will eviscerate you.  And he’s good at it, which provides its own entertainment.  I am in no way responsible for anything that happens to you if you disregard my warning.

While you’re on Twitter, check out John Horner Jacobs as well.  He’s got a terrific zombie novel out called This Dark Earth.  So far, it’s deliciously creepy and apocalyptic.  I want this damn class to be over so I can finish it.  That’s the worst part of school—I don’t have time to READ anymore.

How did I get to zombies….where was I?  Good Lord.

Copymarking and proofreading.  Yes, you will have to do most of this yourself.  Because competition is so fierce in publishing, your manuscript has to be perfect.  So print it, and get someone else to read it too.  You will never spot all your mistakes on the computer screen, trust me.

“Yes, I know this seems to have a lot of typos, but the author is an LOLcat.”

“Yes, I know this seems to have a lot of typos, but the author is an LOLcat.”

Photo: David Castillo Dominici/

 It’s a shame I can’t practice with NaNo this year, but good luck to everyone out there who is participating.

Before I go, check out my new sweater.

What does my sweater say?

What does my sweater say?

I found this highly amusing and had to buy it.  Yes, I did think of the song, but my first thought was Fantastic Mr. Fox.  I’ll leave you with the song, in case you’re one of the five people who haven’t heard it by now.  Later, folks.