It's been quiet for me in the online presence area because I've been cranking on the production of my first draft of the manuscript. It's been grueling, mostly because I'm working two jobs - which, combined together, equal about fifty-five to sixty hours. When I take out 8 hours or so for sleep (I need a lot more than I admit) and the two hours of commute time per day, that leaves me with about four hours a day before I pass out to eat, unwind, and also write.
I have been lucky since I'm able to sneak in an extra half hour at my weekend job for writing, but now I've come to the part of the journey where the first draft is "finished" and I am moving onto editing - or proof reading.
It's really fun, but - I have to admit that I am chomping at the bit to get this book out to my beta readers. I have a handful that are willing to give this book a read, and I hope they find it an enjoyable experience. I'm focusing so much on this first pass because it's where I can hone my sentences and be sure that there are no sloppy errors before it goes away from me and off to its first day of Kindergarten. It's going to be very emotional! But I am ready for a break, much like some parents must also be when school arrives.
My cover design is finished, and I am very pleased with it. I've showed it to a bunch of different people that I work with - different ages and genders, and received their feedback and initial reactions. It led me to change a font and also darken a few things so that the contrast looks better. Last night I spent a few hours tweaking the cover so that it will be the correct dimensions and file size to be included in my actual eBook. It was so exciting to load that thing onto my Kindle 2 and see how it looked! I also used the Kindle Previewer to see how it will look on different devices. I am totally prepared to use both my Kindle 2 and Kindle Fire to test this book when it is finished. That is my biggest fear - that some of the formatting will come out jumbled. So far that has only happened in the case of a few em-dashes that are not the correct character. So that's why those little question mark symbols show up!
It's such a blessing to have so much control over how this book will look. I have the ability to learn so much as I do it independently. That's a reward in itself.
It's very exciting to be making progress. I don't feel the weird, depressed stage that I struggled with just before I muscled through the end of the first draft. This is all new to me, since I haven't finished anything novel-length since high-school, and that was just for fun. This is a bit more serious - but that doesn't mean I don't love every minute of it! Hopefully there will be more updates soon.
On the flip side - has anyone actually checked out the new Lindsay Lohan movie, The Canyons? I'm about halfway through it and I gotta say, that is some strange stuff. I can't look away!