adventures in copyediting

courtneycracked up to be, some girls are (your mom), writing

When I was copyediting last night, A SPIDER ATTACKED ME. I was working at my desk and saw it on the ceiling and the next thing I knew, it was ON ME. And then I looked back up at the ceiling (I mean after I was done screaming) and there were two more BIGGER spiders looming above me! And then I looked down and the spider that was on me that I thought I had screamed off of me?


It was honestly like the spider mafia put a hit on me. I don’t know. They are all dead now and I am pretty traumatized. Usually I try to co-exist peacefully with bugs but not when they’re FLYING IN MY MOUTH AND ATTACKING ME.

I wish I was making this up.

Anyway. I got copyedits yesterday! They came in the morning, while I was sleeping peacefully, completely unaware of the harrowing spider attack in my future. And when I woke up I had a scratch on my face that wasn’t there when I went to sleep! DUM DUM DUM.

In hindsight, I think that was probably the first of the spider attacks. They waited until I had exhausted myself with writing and were like, “Now it’s time to cut a biotch.” And then they did. But you have to imagine them saying that in tiny little spider voices. When the one leapt off the ceiling and attacked me it went EEEEEEEEIIIIIYAAAAAH! in a tiny little spider voice. I swear. I heard it.

It was the last thing I heard.

Enough about spiders, though! Back to copyedits! I opened up the envelope and read through the letters enclosed. I was intimidated even though there were specific instructions not to be (my editor is so great). And then I held my breath, flipped through the manuscript and it wasn’t bad at all! As usual, the anticipation was the hardest part of the whole thing. Copyeditors are awesome. Cracked Up to Be was very looked after, and that makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

But of course even the clearest instructions are not clear enough for Courtney. I asked my editor several questions, promptly received the answers and retired to my room with a blue pencil and got to work. My hand shook when I wrote my first stet. I THINK I’ve done it the way I was supposed to, but I am not entirely convinced I haven’t it screwed it up fantastically because it is a completely meticulous process and completely meticulous processes, like spiders, sometimes have a way of attacking my face.

One of the nicest things about it was being able to show my grandparents and parents and anyone who walked by me the manuscript, all marked up, and then trying to explain what I was supposed to do and what the marks meant. Because it’s a first! Another first in this whole book journey has come and gone and I’m really grateful to have people to share it with.

Thanks for being around, guys.

Copyediting was also the first time in a while that I’ve really sat with Cracked Up to Be, and just been totally intent on it from page 1 to 248. Edits were so long ago and the last minute edits were quite pinpointed, so I’ve been getting very used to thinking of Parker’s story in bits and pieces and not as a whole. So just going through it as a whole was neat. I’m proud of it and I can’t wait for people to read it.


If they wanna.

And I hope they wanna.