Archive for April, 2006

April 21, 2006

AS GILDA RADNER USED TO SAY, IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING

Well, as Beth told you last week when she was guest blogging due to a circumstance I’d rather not discuss, I THOUGHT our new book was finished when she typed THE END. At her impassioned request I stayed a few more days, although Count Babbalallapaloozo has been PLEADING with me to return. He even offered to send his private jet for me, which I intend to take him up on the minute I can get away from this MANIAC.

Yes. Beth. Beth Anderson, that is. The author one. Insane. Demented. Clearly, without question, she should be led out of the house in a straitjacket and committed.

Listen to this. Just LISTEN to the hell she’s been putting me though when I’m so anxious to get back to the Riviera because the Count has promised to take me to Milan so I can add to my strappy shoe wardrobe as well as buy a few more couturier outfits. A girl can never have too many couturier gowns, don’t you agree? Especially when you’re a size six, as I am–oh, but I told you that already, didn’t I.

Anyhow, Beth demanded I stay with her while she went through what she said was her FINAL edit of THE SCOUTMASTER’S WIFE. I said okay I’ll stay, but just for a few days. After all, I am The Hotclue and I need to get back to my Hotclueieness as quickly as possible. I do have a reputation to maintain and I would rather maintain it on the Riviera, thank you very much.

So she said she had to do just ONE edit this time, she was sure that was all it’d take because she’d been SOOO careful.

Unh hunh. And when did THAT start?

She began reading her manuscript, found a few things she needed to correct, and corrected them.

Done, right?

Wrong.

She zipped through that edit in two days flat. Sat there reading, enjoying heck out of the book. Laughed again at all MY funny lines. Wept at all the touching parts. Wept at the ENDING, for God’s sake, when that’s not sad at all, although I have to admit it is poignant.

Printed it all out, lined up all the sheets, placed them carefully, reverently in a mailing box even though at the moment she has no idea where she’ll be mailing it. Still, it’s in a mailing box.

She took it out again two days later, just as I was packing to leave.

The minute she did that I knew there was going to be trouble. Sure enough, once she took that bloody manuscript out and began to look at it again all I heard from her for hours was, “Omigod, how could I DO that!” “OMIGOD, I did it AGAIN!”

“You did what again?” I asked. But I knew what was coming. She’s done it every single time with every single book.

Once she starts re-reading a completed manuscript, she always sees something wildly stupid that she’s done not once, not twice, but ALL THROUGH THE BLOODY BOOK and never ONCE saw ANY of it in what she thought was her final edit! Never. Ever. She might as well check the “Blind” box on her Income Tax return. There’s no box to check on your 1040 for “Stupid”. There should be.

With her first book, she discovered everybody in it was leaning forward, leaning back, leaning forward, leaning… Well, you get the picture. But it WAS the first book, so I forgave her.

Then there was the book where every other word was “that”.

Then there was the one where she had her male lead sighing all the time. Sighing, can you believe it, he’s a damn CHICAGO HOMICIDE DETECTIVE and she had him sighing at least once on just about every bleeding page, and she never saw the first one until after she completed all of her ‘final’ edits.

There was the one where there were at least forty semicolons on every page. There weren’t any in what I wrote, although she tried to blame them all on me by saying I never know when to shut up and that’s why she needed so many. (Her editor convinced her otherwise.)

There was one where sentence after sentence started with “But–”

This one’s really funny, I think. I’m calling this one her Bobblehead Book and I’m never going to let her forget it. All through it, she discovered just today as I was about to call the Count, she has been having her characters nod. She doesn’t have them nodding yes or shaking their heads no–that would be redundant, she knows that. They’re just nodding their heads and shaking their heads like a 40 gallon Disneyland luncheon buffet container full of multicolored Jello Jigglers.

So if you call her or knock on her door right now, she probably won’t answer. She’s busy either rewriting or deleting every nod and shake in the entire bloody book.

But she tells me not to worry, she’s sure she’ll be finished within a few more days and then it really WILL be THE END.

(Heh heh. Until an agent and editor get hold of it. But I’ll be in Milan by that time.)

Do other authors do this, I wonder? It can’t be a universal disease, can it?

Wish me luck, beautiful people. With someone like Beth to contend with, I’m going to need it.

Hugs and smoochies till next time,
Hotclue Herself, tap dancing around the telephone, just waiting her chance. Ta da da dum, te dum (kick!) te dum, de dum de de de dum…

The Writing World | 4 Comments  

April 11, 2006

SOMEBODY HELP ME SCRAPE HOTCLUE OFF THE CEILING!

Hello, everyone. I’m Beth Anderson, substituting for Hotclue today or until we can get her down off the ceiling. Right now she’s stuck up there as if she’d been hot-glued to the rafters.

Here’s what happened. I typed THE END to THE SCOUTMASTER’S WIFE yesterday. Hotclue took one look and believed it really was THE END, but when I told her (again) this was really only the beginning, she gave a horrendous shreik, flew up to the ceiling, and she’s still up there.

She did, I’m not joking. She looks like one of those cartoon characters flattened against the ceiling, eyes bulging out, hair sticking straight out from all sides as though she’d just stuck two fingers into a 220 volt electric plug, one designer shoe hanging precariously from her professionally manicured toes. We won’t discuss the disgusting leopardskin spandex leotards. I’m looking up at her right now and that’s exactly how she looks, I swear to you this is true.

I guess I can’t really complain about her appearance. I’m not much better, but that’s par for the course for me when I finish a book. I wander around for days looking like a lost soul in sweats and slouch socks with a hole in each heel.

I know the poor little thing is anxious to get back to Count Babbalallawhateverhisnameis, but I had to tell her that now we have to go back through the manuscript, clean up anything that’s changed, delete some, maybe add some here and there. She doesn’t realize we’ve got it pretty easy because for one thing, I’m a linear writer. I’m very methodical and I clean up most of the booboos as we go along. I have to or I can’t move on, which has made her insane during the entire construction of this book as well as the six preceeding it.

Hotclue’s a firefighter. She loves to fly ahead no matter what we’re writing, get it all down there, and then go back and clean it up after the whole story’s there. That’s fine, but that’s not me. I’ve tried to convince her that really, my way is better (for me) because to my way of thinking, we have a lot less to clean up afterward, plus, nothing really gets out of synch so final edits aren’t that bad. Still, she’s upset. She (greatly) misunderstood and thought there wouldn’t be anything to clean up when we finally reached THE END.

I also had to tell her she’s played enough, it’s time we get this book out there. She doesn’t want to stop playing. Not that I can blame her, the Count is good-looking and filthy rich.

But still.

Quick update: The editing’s done. See, two days, that wasn’t so bad, was it. Then again–and this is something else she hasn’t thought through–an official editor hasn’t gone through it yet.

Even so, YOO HOO, HOTCLUE, YOU CAN COME DOWN NOW! Aw, come on down, please?

See what I mean, folks? I need help.

I have a question for anyone reading this: How do you do it? Do you clean up booboos as you go along, or get it all down on paper (or computer) first and then go back and start editing? Have you tried it both ways?

Hotclue will catch up with you for her next blog, probably Easter Sunday after everybody goes home. Of course you realize, Hotclue does not cook. Never, ever. She dumps all that on me.

Then again, it does leave her more time to blog, doesn’t it.

Wish us luck with THE SCOUTMASTER’S WIFE!
Cheers, Beth

The Writing World | 6 Comments  

April 4, 2006

BACK FROM SAFARI, BUT ONLY FOR A FEW DAYS, MY DARLINGS!

I had to cut my safari with Count Babalollapaloozo short to come back and wet-nurse Beth while she finishes writing the last third of the last FREAKING chapter of our new book, THE SCOUTMASTER’S WIFE. Here I thought I could leave town and not worry about her because she’s in the throes of the highest-of-high-suspense-thriller chapters–THE FINAL FREAKING CHAPTER, and everyone who is anyone knows I write all the funny stuff. I thought I had at least a week or two off.

But NOOOOOO. She called me last night JUST as the Count and I were sitting down for our evening Blue Hawaiians, beautiful, shimmering, icy turquoise cocktails prepared by his favorite chef, Enrico Carusovitch XIV (I think that means fourteenth), who had already begun to prepare broiled lobster tails with clarified butter and flourless chocolate cake for our dinner.

BUMMER! I only got peanuts on the plane on the way home and it was a red-eye flight on top of everything else. I’m telling you, life is a bitch sometimes. And most often here lately, its name is Beth.

She begged me–BEGGED me, I tell you!–to come home now, RIGHT now! because she was having a nervous breakdown or something stupid like that over our last chapter and she needed ME to stand behind her every second she’s at her FREAKING computer chopping away at what USED TO BE a good keyboard. She’s been at it so long and so hard you can barely read the letters and numbers now, which is a tremendous inconvenience to me because I, of course, look at the keys when I’m typing. A speed-typist I’m not.

So not ONLY do I have to stand behind her, she’s having fake ulcer attacks and I have to run and get these little blue pills for her every couple of hours or so, which she’s not fooling ME any, are probably something highly illegal, although she denies it. I would have said she denies it vociferously, except that ends in an ‘ly’ and she’d probably put me in reform school or have me shot at sunrise or something for THAT world-shaking no-no. Just ask her ever-patient crit partners, those poor little things, who want to kill her every time she opens her mouth about words which end with ‘ly’, which she does every chance she gets. How obnoxious is that!

Anyhow. I’m here, good-hearted, faithful little soul that I am, standing by Beth while she slowly evaporates into a puddle of molten angst directly underneath her computer chair. Be warned, if this book somehow winds up funny at the end, you’ll know what happened.

And THEN, she tells me, the really HARD part begins. Finding an agent.

I can hardly wait.

Ta Ta for now, my pets. Whatever else happens, we are, one way or the other, about to FINALLY finish this FREAKING book.

Love, Hotclue, who doesn’t ask for much, just a million-dollar yacht anchored off the coast of France, staffed with hot-and-cold-running Elloras Cave guys, plenty of champagne, and (list to be continued later, Beth’s calling me AGAIN…)

The Writing World | 4 Comments  

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