The manuscript of my book arrived this morning, with copy-edits for me to review. Yikes. Let's just say that I owe the production staff at Hachette Book Group a round of drinks the next time I'm in NYC....
It wouldn't be so embarrassing, actually, except for the blasted em-dash.
What's an em-dash, you ask? It's a stylistic little piece of punctuation which I used--incorrectly--on almost every page of my manuscript. ALMOST EVERY PAGE. I'm surprised the copy-editor didn't put a hit out on me.
There is, apparently, a bit of debate between proponents of the em-dash and fans of its lesser-loved cousin, the spaced EN-dash. But I can't even claim to be a victim of this cross-fire. No. My chosen way of setting off my random thoughts - the open-space-en-dash - (which I just demonstrated, for what I promise will be the very last time) is used only in Germany, and certain parts of France, neither of which I visited while working on this book.
I am duly humbled.
To cheer myself up, I went to Staples to buy colored pencils for my editorial notes. I found a lovely box of twelve different colors, and rushed home to my manuscript, ready to get to work. I pulled the plastic off the box, debating if I should make my marks in purple or orange (green and blue were already taken by the aforementioned production editors for whom I'll soon be buying drinks), when my momentum came to a horrible standstill...
The pencils were not sharpened. None of them. Unlike the picture on the front of the box, which featured several SHARPLY POINTED, READY TO USE PENCILS, all of my new pencils were flat-bottomed and artistically inert. Sigh.
Steve and I do not, so far as I know, own a pencil sharpener. And while THAT DOG has eaten a pencil or two in her day, she's not exactly noted for her precision. I might have an eyeliner sharpener from a Clinique promotional lying around somewhere; if not, I probably won't have time to post tomorrow. You know, because I'll be whittling.