The Blog That Almost Wasn’t

It’s Wednesday which means its time to do the blog.  The problem is, the blog is a labor of love.  My day job—my real job—is, as you all know, writing books.  And today the day job is demanding my full attention.

It’s not writing today—it’s editing.  More specifically, copy-editing. Imagine your worst nightmare high school English teacher, arming herself with a red pen and going through your paper word for word, marking it up like crazy as she goes.  That’s what’s happening here, only in this case the paper is more than four-hundred pages long.  

Because the editing is all being done in an electronic file, every time I make a change, I have to sit there and wait for the windmill-of-death to go round and round for an undetermined period of time. In other words this is maddeningly slow. Excruciatingly slow. But it has to be done, because editing is important. Professional editors are important.

The book I’m working on, Man Overboard, is a complex story that has characters operating in several different time zones. As the copy-editor in New York was working away with his corrections, he kept changing the time zone references on me. I finally figured out that he had no idea Arizona doesn’t acknowledge daylight savings time. That misunderstanding added a whole other layer of complexity to the job, and meant that I had to stop on page 244 and go back to the beginning.

So that’s what I’m doing. Christmas shopping? Nope. Christmas decorating? Nope.Christmas cards? Nope. I’m still getting my steps, barely, but I’m doing them inside the house because right now it’s too damned cold outside.

Such is a writer’s life.

25 thoughts on “The Blog That Almost Wasn’t

  1. I am a great fan of yours. If you ever want someone to read an advance copy, and look for typos etc. I’d be glad to. I don’t remember ever seeing any in your books, but I find them all the time in others, some by very famous authors.

  2. You should have the book going into and out of the Navajo reservation – now that would really confuse the editor !

  3. I do hope your books come to my library because I will no longer spend my money buying them. I have been a fan of your work for many years but I always thought you had more common sense. I am so disappointed by your admission you voted for a fool I can’t stand to have your work in my house. I will read your books but will no longer buy them.

    • Clara Jacobs that will be your loss not Jance’s. I personally could not go without knowing what will happen next in Joanna, Ali or J P’s lives. As far as how someone votes. not my business. or yours.

    • The different time zones in this country is sorta crazy. I can understand California/ East Coast time zone would be needed, but not the west. My sister used to live in Az and my daughter lives in Wyoming We live in California..knowing what time it is when it changes takes a much younger person with a good memory.
      Good luck editing your next book. Looking forward to the next release.
      Please have a Very MERRY Christmas and Happy New Year. .. Jan… Note I have read some of the other comments from people who take you to task for saying who you voted for. I am so sorry for these narrow minded fools. Who the heck cares who you voted for. That does not effect you writing wonderful books. Her loss , WE are a strong Democratic household who keeps politics and Pleasure separate. That’s why we have freedom of Speech, so we can ALL HAVE OPINIONS… JAN

    • I trust Trump as fas as I could throw him, regardless if he would have been a democrat or republican.
      But I’ll keep buying JAJ’s books.

      I wish you all a:
      Nice Lillajulafton
      Merry Christmas
      Happy Hanukkah

      From Sweden, less than 500miles from the Arctic Circle.

  4. Clara, seriously? You sound like someone who quits buying cigarettes, but smokes someone else’s.
    Why would you even bother to read the works of such a deplorable?
    This deplorable will continue to read AND BUY the works of J A Jance!

  5. As a high school English teacher, I graded many papers. At one point I switched to green ink, but I don’t believe it helped ease the pain. I used abbreviations when possible: RO for run-on sentence, frag for fragment. I suppose my handwriting wasn’t the best, because one student asked me, “Why did you write “frog” all over my paper?”

  6. I have no idea who you voted for and it really makes no difference to me. I love your books and will continue to buy.
    Time has always been confusing to me. So I see your difficulty. Living in Tucson, I love that we don’t go on Daylight Savings time. But is rather annoying when I decide to sleep late and get a call at 7 o’clock AM from people who think its 8 o’clock
    Altho we don’t have to change clocks, we do have to change the atomic clocks back to Mountain standard time.

  7. I started walking inside my house also, I was getting in 5 miles a day, had the perfect layout, but we moved, I have stairs again so that will really help me. With packing and moving, I have been getting a lot of steps in!!

  8. …”I have to sit there and wait for the windmill-of-death to go round and round for an undetermined period of time.”… A constant spinning pinwheel on my MacBook Pro laptop is normally a sign of imminent hard drive failure. Sadly, it’s getting to that point, again!

    I appreciate all the time and effort you put into your editing process! Sloppy editing is a pet peeve of mine. I find myself editing stories in my head rather than reading and enjoying the novel.

  9. Heck, I’m just trying to edit a one page Xmas letter and do appropriate greetings to each recipient. I’m quietly going nuts and have only managed to get as far as the “C’s” in my address book! I really feel for you.

  10. I empathize with you. My least favorite part of writing is what you’re describing. I found with longer documents the Scrivener for writers made my task so much easier. It is relatively inexpensive ($40), and makes a world of difference. I ran into the same problem with a manuscript I just finished. First used Pages, then tried Google Docs, and then discovered (via another writer), Scrivener. There is a free month-long trial so you can test it out. It may be too late for this document, but again, I recommend it highly.

  11. I often wonder why a gifted writer-such as you are-has to deal with others changing your work!!! Poorly constructed sentence an example I suppose!!! However, I am bewildered when good authors can’t just WRITE and especially choose titles of the books they write! Just saying!!! Keep it up-will be worth it!!!

  12. I don’t understand why you are editing. Isn’t that what your editor at the publishing company is supposed to do or do they do it differently now?

    I’ve noticed in some books (never yours) that editing is sloppy or not done at all. I’ve never contacted an author or publisher about it as I didn’t want to come to a bad end as one of Ruth Rendell’s characters did. (He spent his time looking for errors in books and contacting authors about them. )

    Every thing seems to get done for the holidays altho we don’t think it will. I hope you have ordered the leftse– one of your favorite Christmas treats.

  13. I have no doubt you will get everything done enabling you to enjoy Christmas. You are one of the best authors I have ever had the pleasure of being entertained by. All your books feel like gifts to me since I first read Until Proven Guildy during one of the most difficult periods in life. Happy Holidays from a fan who never comments but wanted to do so today. Keep writing and encouraging as you have done for so many years!!!

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