Wednesday, 29 February 2012


Two days ago I had a phone call that the paper proof of The Boy with Two Heads had arrived. I whizzed over to Trifolium and held the book in my hand. It felt heavy, substantial. I shall never feel as thrilled by a copy on an iPad or a Kindle!
I flipped through it and enjoyed the crispness of the print and the clarity of the maps. Connie had done the same and found a name divided in two, the last half at the beginning of the line and the first half at the end. This was a serious mistake, probably caused by inadvertently copying and pasting somehow. There were also one or two headings on the last line of the page, and some punctuation anomalies.
The Zeus of Phidias reconstructed
by Adler. Notice the scale of metres.

I stretched out on a sofa with the 370 page book and ran my eye over each page looking for broken words, spacing and punctuation errors, and general inconsistencies. It took four hours to check all the pages. I have almost no memory of that time, I was concentrating so completely. Except I do remember two or three times I found myself just reading certain passages instead of skimming. I still find the scene amusing where Themis and his uncle are walking to the market and Themis is intrigued by the size of his uncle's belly. And I love imagining again what it must have been like for Themis when he got stuck inside the mighty statue of Zeus, which was 12 metres high and mainly hollow. 

When I left Connie's, the proof copy had a thick fringe of pink and yellow mini-post-its. Connie patiently made all these and some other minute corrections. Later I learned that there were over 100. So spell checking obviously doesn't catch everything!

And today we checked through the next proof in soft copy, which seemed to be fine. Connie uploaded it for printing around 6 pm and ordered the copies we'll need. They should arrive early next week. So we managed to publish on February 29th as she planned. 

I am trying to contain my excitement. It will be five or six days before we get the books. Thinking and working on my scene for the Wigton play will help. Our next script meeting is in two days.

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