Wednesday, 29 September 2010

I Am A Geek

The thing about staring at a computer screen day in, day out, is that it's probably not very good for your eyes. I chucked out my glasses almost ten years ago after laser surgery but recently I have noticed that I'm squinting whenever I try to read the Sky planner and so a visit to the optician seemed like a plan.

I was perfectly perky when I went it. But... "Have you come for reading glasses? Most people start needing them around your age".

Seems I don't look as young as I still believe myself to be then...

Fortunately I can still read perfectly well, thank you, and the computer is no problem either. But if I ever want to watch a film with subtitles again glasses are probably the only answer.

The deliberation over frames was lengthy. No sparkly bits, no massive logos, no wacky shapes or shades. Wire frames looked wrong. Black frames accentuated my pallor. Coloured frames were too, well, colourful. Which left brown.

I tried on a pair in tortoiseshell, figuring that at least they made me look wiser than I actually am.

"Do I look like a writer now?" I asked the sales assistant

"Oh yes" she replied. "You look like a right geek"

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A Little Sprucing Up...

And so the tweaks and extra tales of draft two are done - and now the manuscript (and how I like it being described as a manuscript - gives it way more gravitas than it is probably entitled to...) has gone off to the copy-editor.

I've already been asked by a few people what this actually means - and have found myself describing it as the equivalent to a trip to the hairdressers....ie: it's quite long, I've given it a bit of a trim and a good brush through - but now a nice shampoo and blow dry will clean it up and make it look that bit smarter.

I confess that it has not escaped my notice that I too may benefit from a little sprucing up. A friend sent me a link to the book depository website which informs me that there are 128 days to go til publication. There is much work to be done so forgive me if more time than usual elapses between posts - I'll be down the gym. Or the hairdressers...

Sunday, 12 September 2010

The (re) Visit

An author's relationship with his/her book is a funny old thing. I guess it's not dissimilar to many close relationships really - there are days when you can't get enough of one another and days where even the slightest thing causes major irritation.

It is, in many ways, a rather unnatural relationship. Like some crazy affair (not that I have ever actually had a crazy affair but hey - I watch Desperate Housewives...) it is all-consuming for months on end. Can't sleep. Can't eat (ok - that bit may be artistic licence). Head buzzing with it all...so much to say, so much to do, so little time.

And then, suddenly, it's over. You kiss it goodbye (again - artistic licence. I am sad but not sad enough to pucker up and embrace my laptop every time I send an important document) and wave it off it into the world wishing it well.

It feels strange. You try not to think about it too much yet every little thing seems to remind you of the time you spent together. You want to know how it's doing - but you worry about what might get said. And so you hide away watching Coronation Street after Coronation Street and eating your own body weight in chocolate...

Since the day I sent it off to my editor I confess I haven't looked back at my manuscript even once. In truth it's been good to have a little space. Take a step back and focus instead on other aspects of publication, other areas of work - and on spending time with my gorgeous girl without thinking "ooh - must write down what she's just said/done as it's given me an idea of something that will work really well in such and such a chapter".

Now I'm at second draft stage. It's not as daunting as I had imagined - just the odd tweak or amendment - but it does feel pretty strange to be reading the whole thing again. There are bits I remember really well, bits I'd forgotten that I'd included, bits that still make me giggle when I remember the events that inspired those particular paragraphs.

Even though I only started writing "Secret Diary" properly back in January, it suddenly feels as though it all happened in another lifetime. Mind you - even stranger to think that now the editorial process is nearing its end, the next time I read it it will probably be when it's actually in print.