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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:45 am
Posts: 535
Location: Ithaca, NY
New Angels and Temporary Roadblocks: Work on the Book Continues: A Mystic’s Journal Entries: October 11 - 19, 2010

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Monday, October 11

Back in town. Last night I checked the newly formatted chapters and found only a few errors: a period instead of a comma, a page number mistake in a footnote, a misplaced capital letter. I will check through those chapters again today and meet with Diana tonight. Possibly, after typing in these changes, we can tackle the Table of Contents.

Then I will reedit the entire book. And check all the footnote numbers.

With all the editing this book has had, it absolutely astounds me that mistakes still exist within it.

Diana has firmly decided against angel graphics for the subsections of the interviews section of the book. I am disappointed, of course - but have not entirely given up on the idea. Perhaps if we used the same angel graphic for all those section headings, Diana would be more prone to embrace the idea. Will suggest it. Our differences surrounding a new, improved cover also continue.

Of course, the overwhelming feeling is one of joy and gratitude. I had no idea the formatting work would go so quickly and easily ...

On the other side of the coin, we are already looking ahead to the dreaded Table of Contents for the We Meet in Dreams volume. Organizing the Dreams book was the most time-consuming aspect of its creation. And the architecture of the Table of Contents, by necessity, is equally complicated. I just hope people will not take a trusting glance at the Table of Contents, groan - and then close the book.

Tuesday, October 12
12:12 p.m.

Will meet with Diana this afternoon and type in my corrections then. A flurry of e-mails: found and sent her the reviews for Realms of Light, for the back pages of the Angels book. Realized we have to write a blurb for the back cover. Have to find someone to review Visits With Angels. And a back cover blurb and review(s) for We Meet in Dreams. Suddenly it all is beginning to feel very real.

Diana is driving up to Cornell today to rephotograph the original angel statue she used for the cover of Visits With Angels. She is firmly determined to redo the cover, and when she gets a certain look in her eye - I stand aside ...

However, Diana has agreed with my newest idea for the Angels book interviews subsections: a small angel icon repeated on all the title pages. Hopefully we will write the back cover blurb tonight, over a late dinner.

I am now trying to think of someone to review Visits With Angels. As with my other books, the book is not representative of one sole religion or philosophy, which always makes it harder to find a reviewer ...

6 p.m.

Spent an hour or two on the computer trying to find a possible reviewer. D. called at one point to report that she was up at Cornell and could not find the angel statue she had used for the front cover. She eventually found the statue, in Sage Chapel. It is standing so high up in the chapel that D. thinks she needs a camera with a telephoto lens - and a tripod. She came here following that adventure; went to a coffee shop uptown and wrote out the first draft of the blurb for the back cover together. Corrections to Section IV later tonight. Meanwhile, Diana will meet with some computer/graphics friends and I will have dinner with M.

The pieces are starting to fall into place.

3 a.m.

Diana just left. We put in all the new corrections for Section IV and also designed the subsection title pages for the interviews. Chose a beautiful angel and then Diana altered the photograph in Photoshop, to more or less match the other title page angel graphics; I helped to erase the background, a hypnotically time consuming job. Decided to use the same angel for all the subsections of Section II; made the angel slightly smaller than the ones on the main section title pages - and the printing smaller and lighter, to denote they are subsections. Checked to make sure all my old corrections were in the current version of the text, for the entire book. Tomorrow D. will begin work on the Table of Contents, a job we both thought she had already done months ago. Diana also decided to make all the pulled quotes a larger font; she plans to change them throughout the manuscript. I am exhausted.

Wednesday, October 13

One magazine already responded: they do not do reviews for back covers. D. Came over and worked downstairs all afternoon and for most of the evening. She reworked our subsections angel, started over using new filters and techniques; she felt the original version was too washed out. Now she has to decide on how large the fonts should be for the subsections title pages. We know they should be smaller than in the rest of the book - but still large enough to be easily readable. Decisions, decisions. I think we should use a lighter font, but we’ll see what she decides.

At this point I have very little to do in regard to her project, save to answer her questions and provide the material she needs for the end pages.

Thursday, October 14
2:00 a.m.

A rainy day, perfect for working. Saw D. tonight and we went to the State Diner for something to eat. Without my knowing, she had completed three new angels for the subsections of the interview section of the book. Of course, I was delighted - and also astonished. As it turns out, all four subsection angels are angel statues in Dallas. The cover is the Sage Chapel Ithaca angel; the others are photos of angel statues Diana took while in New Orleans. At the State diner, over home fries, we chose which angel would represent which subsection. Then Diana sized them and placed them on the correct title pages. She agreed to make the font somewhat larger than the initial font size she had chosen for the subsection title pages, and we are still negotiating other small typographical changes for those pages. Her work is truly astonishing, requiring many levels and layers and various filters ... And I am not quite sure what else ...

I am so very pleased.

Next will be the Table of Contents, and that will be entirely her project. Meanwhile, I need to reread the interviews and make final decisions on which to include. And make any needed corrections. As in Realms of Light and We Meet in Dreams, I basically only correct spelling and punctuation errors in my interviews with others. My feeling about interviews is that each person brings their own language and perceptions with them - and it is not my intent to change that, make all the interviews sound the same. I do not rewrite or paraphrase what is said or what is sent to me - I enjoy the different voices and ordering of words and thoughts. To change even a word or the order of words in a sentence, for me, robs the interview of both personal meaning and individuality. Each word, and its placement in a sentence - has a specific meaning and rhythm and cadence for the speaker or writer, whether conscious or unconscious. Even here in Ithaca, the neighboring towns have their own patois or dialects that are fairly easily recognizable; not only unique verbal expressions, but even small changes in inflection, grammar and vocabulary. My thought is to allow the interviews to make their own verbal and emotional quilt, with each person bringing their own view of the world and of language to the reader. Since the people being interviewed are from various cultures and countries, or states within the United States - and of varying education and emotional and psychological makeup - their accounts will be expressed in ways that reflect who they are, and physically where they are located on this vast earth. For me this diversity brings a wonderful richness to the book.

I am exhausted. Tomorrow I will tackle the interviews.

Tuesday, October 19

Diana was all formatted & ready to string all the separate chapters into one big file - but now is struggling with her new graphics software. She spent the last two days grappling with it, without success. She found a forum for the software online, and apparently there are glitches in the software; other graphic designers have complained about the same issues she is now facing, and no solutions have been found.

I am sending angels that she somehow figures it all out.

She has been using an automated system, and the problem with automated systems is that they are so very inflexible. She said the usual tricks she uses to override other systems are just not working. Well, if the angels want their volume out by Christmas, software solutions, however improbable: will emerge.

Meanwhile I have finished rechecking the Interviews section, made my corrections, and will send the corrected files to Diana this afternoon.

Aside from putting all the formatted files into one file for the publisher, we still have the Table of Contents, the beginning and end pages, the back cover and a new sharper front cover to finish. These tasks should take less than a week - unless we run into more problems.

6:14 p.m.

An e-mail from Diana:

“The adaptation technique for getting our software files to behave - the adaptation that I said I had hopes for - IS WORKING. It's slower than the other technique I was using, but this is the only way to make it generate correct footnote numbers. I swear, as long as we've been doing your books, it's the footnotes that have caused the MOST problems and the highest impact on my time. In any case, I am now making progress, slowly but surely.”

Good news indeed. The dreaded footnotes... Now to type my corrections of the Interview section into the manuscript.


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