The thing I hate about proofs is — no. Among the things I hate about proofs are: the way they arrive sufficiently soon after the copyedit that I’m still sick of the sight of the book; the way I’m totally crap at seeing where words have been left out (“proofreading”); and the way I never have very long to do them but I always put them off to the last possible moment, so that I’m either doing them or feeling guilty about not doing them all the time for ages. And a fanatical devotion to tea. Mmm, tea.
The proofs for Ha’Penny arrived about an hour ago. I very much like the font they’ve used for the title. That’s all I can tell you about them, because I’ve spent the last hour with the pile of them sitting on the side of the table and me pacing up and down the room, avoiding looking at them whenever I pass them. (I have a desk, which this Linux computer that goes online sits on, along with… what’s probably best described as piles of junk. I also have a table, which Caliban sits on, along with a charming wooden paper holder marylace bought me, a less charming but still useful metal paper-holder I bought in a kitchen shop, three boxes of A-disks or “floppies”, one floral, one wickerwork, and one cool wooden one ritaxis gave us as a wedding present, and… more of piles of junk. I moved one pile onto another pile to make room for the proofs, and I’ll move a pile of library books when I’m actually ready to read them, because then they’ll have to be in two piles.)
The only thing I can legitimately do other than start reading the proofs is write. (I often get quite a lot of writing done when avoiding proofs. See also: copyedits.) OTOH, I’ve been trying to write all day (except for one brief digression to buy bread and potato salad) and have amassed a measly seven hundred words or so — I got woken up in the night and couldn’t get back to sleep for ages and I don’t have enough brain to put words together in proper sequence.
So I should be perfect for starting the proofs already — except that I don’t waaaaaaaaaaaant to. I just read Ha’Penny. If I’m going to stop in the middle (the start of chapter 9 is reasonably considered as “middle” in my system, 1-8 is “beginning”, 9-20 is “middle”, 20-30 is “end”… this derives from a Platonic system in which everything has 24 chapters. I have no idea how the heck skzbrust is so disciplined about the 17 thing, I really admire that, but I couldn’t do it for anything…) in the middle I say, of Half a Crown (which I would totally call Gravesend if I didn’t already have a series pattern going on here) to read anything, it would be Farthing, not Ha’Penny which I just read in copyedit. And there will probably be paperback proofs for Farthing arriving sometime — paperback proofs I usually enjoy reading, because it’s been long enough then. (The paperback proofs for Tooth and Claw actually made me laugh, which is no doubt a terrible moral failing.) But they won’t be here in time so that I could usefully re-read the whole thing in the right order, since I have to do it, oh no.
Grump. Grump. Grumble. Groan.
(pnh: you know I will have it done before the deadline.)
I am just grumbling here because it’s faintly more productive than pacing up and down avoiding looking at a pile of paper on the table. And I know lots of you are looking forward to Ha’Penny and some of you (or somebody anyway) have ordered it from Amazon already but that doesn’t hel