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…

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  1. Poor Hotclue, you sweet, tolerant woman-child. Beth has certainly put you through more than is humanly possible for one star-studded woman to tolerate. You have patience beyond belief and I just don’t know how you do it.

    I empathize with you. Every other Monday we meet with Iron Woman, as we lovingly call Beth. She never displayed the insecurities surrounding her now that her book is completed. Why she’s in such throes is beyond me. The woman can write circles around Hemingway for crissakes.

    She needs a vacation. How about you let Beth take your place with the Count? You know she needs to get her mind off work and relax. While she’s gone, you could send The Scoutmaster’s Wife to editors and surprise Beth with a contract when she returns!

    As to your question about other authors doing the same mistake consistantly thoughout a book… I plead the 5th. Or was that I want to drink a fifth? Hmm…

    Reply

  2. You probably already drank a fifth, LOL! Save some for me. Beth actually did final edit her book, finished it today and sent it of for a reading before she submits it anywhere. She’s all calm now, thsnk God. She was driving me crazy. But dang it all, she was right, it did need another edit and I watched everything she did over the past couple of days and it’s as good as it’s gonna be now. At least I think so. ‘-)

    Hey, thanks for stopping by, Sloane! Next time we’ll crack the champagne.

    Love, Hots

    Reply

  3. I can’t stop laughing. Poor Hotclue. I suggest, strongly, you don’t leave. You stay, because the more she reads this absolutely great manuscript, the nuttier she’s gonna be. I’m dreading our next meeting. I’ll try not to 1. nod my head, 2. lean in any direction, 3. begin any sentence with But and 4. don’t say the word ‘that’. However, being the Bitch that I am, I’ll probably do all FOUR at the same time!! At which point, please open the front door for me, cause she’s gonna kill me.

    Reply

  4. LOL!!! If nothing else, she is a good object lesson for her crit partners, wouldn’t you agree. She is funny. (Or should that be strange?) She wrote a query letter today to the agent she wants more then anything else in the world (except to be my size and age and to borrow my clothes and shoes.) Printed it out, changed it, printed it out again, changed it again…this goes on and on and on. I’ll be in an asylum by the time she gets THIS book published.
    Hugs, stop by again and we’ll have oh, sandwiches. I’d say hors de’ouvres but I don’t know how to spell it.
    Love, The Hotclue

    Reply

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