Checking In

I haven’t posted anything here for a while. What’s been happening?


I haven’t posted anything here for a while. What’s been happening?

  • Work on my book manuscript is creeping along. I finished reading through it Tuesday night and found lots of typos and mistakes. For example, one chapter that originally stated which character was front-and-center was reduced to a pronoun. “She did this. She did that.” She who? Another forehead-slapper concerned a key character standing on a non-existent platform. I edited most of the references out between drafts, but missed one. Oops. Moral: There’s no such thing as too much proofreading.
  • I desperately want to mark up editing notes on the manuscript but Jaime wants to read it end-to-end first. She’s finishing a library book that’s due back Sunday first.
  • Speaking of library books, I was going to write a detailed review of the one I just finished reading, but I am thinking better of it. If I were a published author and made of success, then maybe I could justify naming names and calling out what I felt were a laundry list of “don’ts”. For example, when I found stuff in a hardcover book that I edited out of my first draft, I gave in to the knee-jerk response of “I can’t believe this got published.” Rewind about 24 years ago, and that would have been “I can’t believe they got a record deal.” What I learned, quickly, was that I couldn’t bash “them” for getting deals that they worked to acquire. Love the book or hate it, I give props to the author for putting in the effort, even if I felt it could have been much better.

    After a rocky start, the book did fly by. I got what the author was saying, and it got progressively more entertaining once I allowed myself to flow along with the story. So in the style of the black stars in the CIA lobby, I give “The book I just finished reading by a mystery author” three stars. But I think it was a draft or two away from 4 or 5.

    An example of what bothered me: Virtually none of the characters have any identifying characteristics. I’ve learned that people fill in a lot of blanks with minimal information, but come on, try that with this completely made up example:

    Joanne stared darkly at Tommy. How dare he and Jimbo go to Susan’s without telling her? She considered lashing out and sleeping with Harold, but after what happened with Sidney, she didn’t want to live through that nightmare again.

    All I got from stuff like that were names on a page. I have no idea who is who, and if the dialogue gets samey, reading becomes a chore instead of a pleasure.

    As the story progressed, it got more entertaining because there was more “air” between the characters. Early on, it felt like 79 characters occupied 3 paragraphs. Once the interactions shifted to 1:1 (or 1:small group) it was easier to flow with the action and dialogue. YMMV and all that.

  • Meanwhile, we stayed on Disney property for the first time since April 2016, and got to stay in one of the refurbished rooms at Pop Century. We went from “we settled for Pop” to “OMG we are always booking Pop (except when we use DVC points)!” The associated video has taken YouTube by storm, well, by our humble standards.
  • Flight of Passage in Pandora: The World of Avatar is sooooo worth it.
  • I haven’t being making any art of any sort. Sad trombone.

Author: Ethan Johnson

Words like silent raindrops.

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