I've been deep in the mines they call copyedits, where the grammar is fixed and the style sheet is set and precision is queen. This is one of my favorite parts of the publication process. Despite the terrifying part of it—that it's pretty much the last time significant changes can be made—it's also the last time someone goes through your words with the fine-tune comb designed to save you from yourself. Because, no matter how magical a book, even one you wrote yourself, feels when you hold it in your hands, and how contained at the same time, it has worlds in it. Well, at least one, hopefully, and that does not come easy or without mistakes.
Which is why editing at all its various stages is so important. Honestly, when I think about what I want from this crazy game we call pub these days, the topmost thing is the best editorial support possible for the book in question. That's the most important thing to me. And I've been fortunate in this respect.
Anyway, even though I've done some light copyediting myself, and lots and lots of proofing, this time around I learned that I can default to a "try and" construction rather than the "try to" construction, among other things. Gripping for you, I know. But while I was looking up something minor to double-check it, I fell down a rabbithole (yay, internet; I will never tire of these particular breaks in the space-time continuum) in the form of Tiny Kline's memoir, Circus Queen and Tinkerbell. And I quote the section in question:
It was 5 pm when I got back to Madison Square Garden. I missed my turn in the races, but that was okay. I was on a special job, therefore, and not subject to fine, according to the rules regarding absenteeism. My two opponents, Butch and Strawberry Red, carried on without me.
With her wire rigged up spanning Wall Street, Bird Millman, billed as 'A Fairy on a Cobweb,' opened the drive, selling the first bonds to the highest bidders while balanced on the fine metal thread as if suspended in thin air. Attired, appropriately, in a costume along military lines, she looked breathtakingly lovely in that nifty officer's uniform, a preview of the Women's Allied Air Command of twenty-five years hence.
Bird is my heroine's idol, and there are lots of photos of her doing astounding things I've been able to get my grubby eyes on. Even one video I've found (don't worry: plenty of time for that when the book's closer to coming out). But I can't seem to find a photo from this particular appearance to sell war bonds,* and I so wish I could. But this is almost as good. A photo, of a different kind.
Back later this week with an entry. Swearsies. (You can always pre-order the circus book, if you feel so inclined.)
*If you know of one, please send or link below, because I'd love to see it.