Friday, March 12, 2010

Editing, Revising, Reviews and Rambles.

I wish that I could be Ferret.

Not just any ferret, but The Ferret.

What? An animal? Is that a superhero? What are you talking about Wakefield?

The Ferret is a fellow Magic writer who happens to update his blog every day. I can’t even imagine that. See, as much as I would like to do that, I don’t know how he finds the time. What many people find out quickly is that, well, blogging doesn’t actually pay anything! I don’t know what he actually does but I imagine it might involve a private office and a light workload where he can work all day and find time in that workday to update his blog. I would be able to do that if I went back to being a night auditor for hotels. The night audit usually took up a couple hours then I had five hours to read, and an hour where a guest or two might check out. Then I went home. Sadly, they didn’t have MMORPG’s in those days. Maybe he has a job like that.

I keep thinking I’m finished with a project and then I find it needs more editing. Chris McMahon was my first editor. Jeopardy Champion and my friend Dave Meddish is a fellow widower to cancer who offered to also edit my book and that’s what he does for a living. Wendy’s law school friend Laura has a degree in English and also offered, as did my mom.

Why so many?

Well, honestly, they all add something. All input is good. Oddly, none of them catch everything. I think that’s a statement on how complex the English language is to set down on paper. It’s amazing the things they know and the stuff I have had to learn. Is it “T-shirt” or “t-shirt?” Is it “Avatar” or Avatar? Is it A Cook’s Tour, “A Cook’s Tour,” or A Cook’s Tour? Do I use “that” or “who” here? Who or Whom there. Is the time “Around seven we get up.” Or “Around 7 we get up.” If I say “He plows my Verdant” is plow capitalized? Is verdant? I know if I use the whole card name it is “He Swords to Plowshare’s my Verdant Force.” But wait, I’m using Swords to Plowshares as a verb, is it still capitalized? Is “mulliganing” a word? Not according to my dictionary.

I’m not an Alcoholic, I’m just European, (book titles are in italics, not quotation marks you know), editing will be done next week, then I need to order a third proof of the book, make sure it looks good in physical print, then approve for sale on Amazon. I hope you’ll buy it next month and enjoy it. Kindle version will be a couple days after that.

While I await final editing to get back from two editors, I have been working on Secret Force, Quest for the Pro Tour II. I have been collecting old articles, putting them in the proper order, trying to find articles that are missing, editing, revising, and rewriting entire paragraphs. It’s fun but also a pain in the ass. Knowing what I know now about proper grammar and punctuation, the rough drafts of the old reports need a lot of work.

Marilyn’s Story (tentatively titled Night, Mare) will be out this year as well. Honest. After having nothing to show for three years, this is finally the year I am going to release three things. Hopefully, a combination of fans, advertising, word of mouth and smart marketing will make the books a success. Having approached over two hundred agents, I have to go the self-publishing route and I’ll make it work. Wait, you’ve heard all this before haven’t you? Oh well, it’s what’s on my mind these days.

In quick summary of a few of the things I wanted to mention today but have run out of time –

The Lovely Bones – The book was pretty good, the movie was a visual feast. The author’s idea of heaven is something I can get behind and we found interesting. All of which is essentially ignored in the movie. We didn’t really like the movie, but kept wondering if we would have liked it not having read the book. All we could see were changes made for no reason and the things ignored for no reason. I recommend watching the movie then reading the book. The movie scenery and effects are beautiful. Worth seeing. If you read the book first you won’t enjoy the movie much. Watch the movie first and read the book second and I think you’ll have a great experience.

After I get done releasing these three books I have approximately five hundred notes to transcribe. The only reason to transcribe such notes would be if the three books I mentioned earlier actually sell. So, I am both dreading and excited about that. Transcribing notes is probably the hardest part of my writing, but I love getting our adventures down on paper. It's a journal of our lives that solidify's the memories in my brain.

My Grandmother died last year at 105 and it amazes me to think of the changes she saw in her life. I wonder if we will ever see a century more magical than 1900-2000? I think about the things I’ve seen and not that much has changed. Cars still run on gas. TV has gotten better over the years but it isn’t new. The pill was already in use by the time I was sexually active. Cancer still kills people. Airplanes still fly. The stuff I have grown up with has largely gotten better but hasn’t actually changed that much.

Except for computers and the World Wide Web. That has been amazing. My iPhone is the second brain I have always wanted. I can’t imagine not writing on a screen and being able to hit “backspace” to erase things instead of “Whiteout.”

Other than that, I don’t think the world has changed as drastically as it did for Grandma in her first 45 years. Nor do I think it will change as much in my next 60.

Am I wrong?


  1. You're probably not going to want to hear this but I think The Ferrett edits the StarCityGames Magic website (

  2. Actually, I'm the webmaster, but close enough.

    As for the blogging, it takes about half an hour a day, averaged out. I do work at home, but I also generally work twelve-hour days, and often sixteen - I've got blogging, writing, and programming to do, as well as keeping up all my relationships.

    Essentially, I just spend all of my "spare" time on projects.

  3. I don't know much about Blogging, but I really like your tentative title. It's perfect.