I just heard back from Maureen McGowan on the results of her drawing and, thanks to the magic of Random.org, Robin Kaye is the book winner! Congrats, Robin (I'll email you with the details today ;). And to everyone who left comments about Maureen's books this week, thank you all so much!!
So, I've been working on copy-edits for A Summer in Europe this week, in between dealing with my son, who's been home sick for much of it. And, yesterday, I was feeling reasonably authorly here. I've got a 16-page style-sheet packet the copy editor/CE pulled together with a list of quotes I've used in the book and their page numbers; various style choices (i.e., when to capitalize the first initial after a colon and when not to, when to write out dates and numbers and when not to, etc.); lists of "special terms" and foreign words and the pages they're found on in the manuscript (everything from the Italian word amici to my fleeting reference to the Vigadó Concert Hall in Budapest); and, finally, all the characters in the book (alphabetized by last name) along with their ages, physical descriptions and any unusual background details.
I can't escape my feelings of awe at what these CEs do and, also, my own sense of accomplishment in having written this almost-ready-to-print novel, which required such a lengthy and incredibly well-organized style-sheet packet. But this is my third novel. I know how to do this stuff now. I actually understand what the CE is saying in her notes. I get English -- yes, I do! -- and I was feeling pretty proud and confident in my ability to decode my native language...when my son walks into my workspace yesterday afternoon with a sheet of paper in his hand and a mystified expression on his face. His language arts homework, it turns out. Grammar.
He's in 6th grade, and this sheet was on verb tenses, the lesson on which he'd missed at school because of being home sick. He handed it to me and I stared at it for some time, unblinkingly. Now, I thought I had a fairly strong working knowledge of verb tense. Guess what? NOT SO.
Instead of finishing up my authorly copy-edits last night, I spent the better part of two hours reviewing some technical terms with my son that I'm not sure I ever really learned. I'm still not quite sure I know them. (Who gets this stuff? And will you come over?!) But, for the benefit of all of you, in case a similar scenario arises in your households, here are my crib notes on eight of the seemingly endless verb tenses out there:
Present: I write
Past: I wrote
Future: I will write
Present Perfect: I have written
Past Perfect: I had written
Present Progressive: I am writing
Past Progressive: I was writing
Future Progressive: I will be writing
And, yes, future progressive, here I come! (Have a great weekend, everyone. Anybody have fun plans? Diagramning sentences, maybe? :)