Sunday, September 14, 2014

Goatfish Redux, A Return to Consciousness, Editing Edification

This week, my first-ever published book of poetry, “The Goatfish Alphabet” will be spotlighted at Naissance Chapbooks press! The title reprint will be of higher quality than the original, and if you purchase a copy, you’ll also receive a free copy of “The Lost Shoe” by Martha Deed. I know that several people who enjoyed “The Goatfish Alphabet” expressed disappointment in the quality of the original printing, so if you’d like a brand-new, shiny copy on better quality stock, now is your chance. You can purchase a copy here, and Naissance will send you both “The Goatfish Alphabet” and “The Lost Shoe”.

While I’m featuring books, I recommend subscribing to Pietro Abela’s weekly book excerpts. His book, “A Return to Consciousness”, is on the brink of publication with a major publisher, and he is releasing excerpts for free online in the run up to the release. I just wrote and deleted a long, detailed, and personal account of my experience as a long-time student and client of Pietro’s profound form of healing work. In retrospect I felt that it was a little too personal to post publicly. But I will say that because of one single session I had with Pietro at a critical time in my life years ago, I made contact with an infinite, loving, safe place within myself that I knew I could always access--and that was profoundly freeing. It didn’t solve everything and it didn’t mean I would escape pain or suffering, but it changed me forever. I highly recommend subscribing to his weekly excerpts. I’ll be first the let you know when the book comes out!

I took a week off from working on the novel, and started the editing process today. After staring at the screen for an hour, frozen with fear and befuddlement, I came up with a sort of loopy, homemade method that I think will work. I’m going through page by page making nips and tucks, and keeping a separate document of notes where I find continuity errors, major discrepancies, “time warps”, voice inconsistencies, etc. I’m also keeping a separate document for full section re-writes. I was dreading this process, thinking it was going to be torturous, but I was at it for six hours yesterday, and it hasn’t been bad at all. I’m actually enjoying it (I say that now, full knowing that by next week I could be quivering mass of frustrated rage.) The only glitch so far is that I made a grievous “find and replace” error, so be warned, me mateys! For various reasons, I had to change the name of my main character’s New Agey ex-boyfriend from Len to Jasper, so I blithely punched “Len” into the Find box, and “Jasper” into the Replace box, and now the novel is littered with words like “swolJasper” for “swollen” and “caJasperdar” for calendar. Apparently, MS Word doesn’t intuitively know that I meant to change only the name Len, not every occurrence of the combination “l-e-n”. According to Mr. Typist, the proper thing to do was to add a space to the beginning and end of the word “len” in the Find box. Hmmph. Now he tells  me.

Since this has been a lit-heavy post, here's a recording of "The Trouble with Poetry" by Bllly Collins. Enjoy!

---Kristen McHenry

1 comment:

John Socrates said...

Another great post, my dear. And congrats to the reissue of your first book. That first paragraph in your post here could make for a great ad to marketing the book online.

One small thing, which I've avoided mentioning in previous posts: remember that the comma and period go inside the quotation mark. Not outside it. Always inside it. The mechanics of writing is annoying, I know it only too well. But we're published authors and professional writers. We've got to be 100% accurate and proper in everything we write and post or publish for public consumption. We are mentors to the punctuational world! :-)

Now if only you would market your books and blog. Lots of green stuff could roll in for you!