Monday, July 28, 2008

Copy-edited Manuscript Back to Copy Editor

Today I sent my manuscript back to my copyeditor Heidi for “editorial clean-up.” It should feel good to get rid of it, but so far I just feel nervous. I hope I did a good job going through it. I hope I made good decisions. Heidi will take a look at it and then I will get one more opportunity to have a go at it, to make sure we’ve got it just right. In my other books, I've only had the opportunity to have one back-and-forth with the copyeditor, so I'm grateful to Wayne State for indulging me. I think the finished product will be stronger. This photo is my cousin Mimi holding a blueberry pie she made. I sent it to the Wayne State folks as a cover idea, but probably it's not a crisp enough photo. Still, I enjoy any excuse to share it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Calling a Spade a Spade

My copyeditor, Heidi, made a suggestion that has got me thinking. I have a character digging with something I refer to as a "round end shovel," the garden variety shovel that I used to call a spade until about ten years ago. My brother Mike also calls it a "round end shovel." Heidi suggested the more proper variant "round ended shovel," but that doesn't sound natural. So I've been going around asking everyone I run into what they call the shovel in question, and most of them call it a "spade." According to all dictionary and encyclopedic definitions, that is wrong. A spade is a flat-ended implement across the board, and then there is something called a "garden spade." The farm and garden stores here in Kalamazoo and on-line call the rounded shovel a "round point shovel." Here's the passage in question.

"He was standing in mud, resting, with both hands on his round-end shovel, when he saw the big orange snake, its body as thick as his step-son’s arms, folded on the rocks."

I have until Monday at noon to make this decision and all the rest, at which time I will send the manuscript back to my copyeditor, Heidi. My Darling Christopher says I'm overthinking it... but that is just the sort of gal I am. And now that I've pasted that sentence in, I'm wondering if there are altogether too many commas going on.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Copy Editor Sends Corrected Pages

My copy editor said it took her 28 hours to go through my manuscript, and it is probably the closest reading my collection will ever get. Lucky for me my copy editor is Heidi Bell, who is excellent and professional and warm besides. I’ve never had a problem working with an editor, but people have told me that often there is trouble between creative writers and their editors. I have a little more than a week to look over Heidi’s suggested changes.

For my other two books, the editors sent me corrected paper pages in the mail, which I looked over and marked up at my desk. This time, Heidi asked if we could do it all on the computer, and that seemed fine with me. Heidi made the changes and suggestions using MS Word’s track changes, with notes in blue and red. Comments I make in response to those changes show up in hot pink. On my first look-through, Heidi appears to be right in nearly every case.

I have incorrectly used “though” for “although” and “back yard” for “backyard” repeatedly. A dozen times, Heidi moved a sentence or two up or down a paragraph, and a dozen times she said, “This doesn’t make sense to me,” and said exactly why.

Kristin Harpster Lawrence is the Editorial, Design, and Production Manager at Wayne State, said that they put a lot of resources into editing their books, and she isn't kidding. Over the next couple of weeks, Heidi will have another go at the manuscript, and then I will read it one final time, and on August 22, Heidi will send the final version to WSUP. Kristin said that would be a good time for me to take a vacation. When I return, the manuscript will be page proofs.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thanks, Dan Wickett at EWN!

Dan Wickett conjured the Emerging Writers Network out of thin air in 2002, and since then he's been a powerful force for good in the writing world. He has generously reviewed both of my published books, and he has since reviewed two of the stories that will appear in my new collection American Salvage. Last year he reviewed "Winter Life" as it appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review. In June he reviewed the new issue of Kenyon Review (cover depicted above). Here's what he says:

The issue also has a story, "Boar Taint," by another EWN favorite, Bonnie Jo Campbell! I have to say, if there was one person that would write a story that starts out "The boar hog was advertisted on a card at the grocery ..." and I had to guess who wrote it, Bonnie Jo Campbell would have been on my short list. And not surprisingly, the story doesn't disappoint - Campbell may be one of the best writers around at blending stories about people who work or spend a large amount of time outdoors with their internal lives - their thoughts, beliefs, etc. She has given us in Jill, her protagonist, another in a long line of BJC independent females to enjoy reading about.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Art for story collection "American Salvage"

(Scroll down to earlier entry to see photos)

My third book, my second story collection will be coming out in the Spring from Wayne State University Press (Yea!) Maya Rhodes, the fabulous assistant design and production manager invited me to send ideas I had for cover art by Michigan artists (with the understanding that the decisions on design are theirs) so I sent her the photos below. I put them on this site because I wanted to share them with all of you. Please forgive the low resolution of the beautiful originals, but I still have dial-up internet service. I'm describing them in order of appearance below. I'm not a design person, but it was fun to think about cover art for a while.

1. Daguerreotype of corn by Charlie Schreiner, Saugatuck Artist, boyfriend of my friend Lisa Lenzo. He's pretty famous in the Daguerreotype community.

2. Mary Whelan took this photo of her daughter Frances and her nephew leaning against his Dukes of Hazard car. The photo is large format. She has other versions of the photo in which the girl's face is not blurred.

3. "Burl in the Beans" is by Kalamazoo photographer Jeff Mitchell

4. "Walking Man" is by Dylan Seuss-Brakeman. He leaned out of a car window in a blizzard and snapped this. Cool, eh?

5. This photo in green with train tracks is by Erin Dorbin, a Kalamazoo photographer. I took it from her Flickr site. I hope she doesn't mind.

6. This photo of four guys is by my dad, Rick Campbell, who worked as a news photographer for 52 years. The characters are Tracy Call, Mike Campbell, Tim Bowling, and Tom Campbell. It was the seventies, wasn't it?!

7. My dad took this photo of a wild woman at a bonfire, and it really looks like a book cover, don't you think?

8. This photo is Kellee, my niece. Susan Ramsey says she looks too good, almost Hollywood good. It's true that she's beautiful. My husband Christopher Magson took this photo.

9. Chris also took this photo of my mom outside the greenhouse she was constructing for her pawpaws saplings. She looks very proud.