the state of things


It'll Be OK On The Night

by Douglas Lindsay - 13:34 on 11 July 2008
Well, it's done at last. Book written, edited, copy edited, proof-read, converted to pdf, dispatched to the printer. Had to force myself to let go. Could have gone on endlessly, tinkering, correcting, changing. Finally made myself press send.

One of the things which had been picked up in the copy editing process was that I generally wrote ok in lower case, and that I ought to write it in capitals. When I was going through, making my corrections, I forgot about it. It was something that I remembered at the last minute.

So as my final action of tinkering I clicked on the Find part of the programme, and put in the letters ok. Of course, this then picked up every single word with the letters ok in it. Book, look, awoke, stroke, broke etc. Eschewing the thought of cancelling it, and searching for the letters ok with space or commas or full stops on either side, I just thought I'd let it run through the programme. That kind of suits my personality, whatever that is. Happy with repetitive tasks.

First off, I realised how often I use the word look. Holy crap! It's like the or at or, well holy crap. Pops up all over the place. So it took a long time, stopping five times a page. A hot, lazy summer's afternoon, a warm breeze drifting in from outside. The apricots landing softly on the back lawn, the kids a hundred miles away at camp, a quiet, sleepy day in July. Started to dose off. I made my final corrections to the book half-asleep. After eight months of due diligence and razor-sharp, amphetamine-fuelled concentration - (well, I've never taken an amphetamine in my puff, but cup of tea-fuelled concentration doesn't sound so rock 'n roll) - my last action with the manuscript was delivered in a snoozy half-dream.

I completed the find ok action, I woke up, I sent the thing off. Well, God knows what I did to the book in that last half hour of eight months work. I decided to check the OKs again yesterday morning. I had missed two. I'm not too bothered about that. Really, no one's going to look at it and think, 'Ok? what does that mean? Ok? That doesn't make any sense...' Probably won't even notice. What worries me is what else I might have done. When intending to write OK in capitals, writing XK instead. Or PK. Or FO.

I haven't gone through it yet to look for all those possibilities. It'll only make me panic. Better just to leave it to fate and hope that when I was making the changes I wasn't as asleep as I was twenty minutes ago watching the Test Match.
Comment from Gilp at 00:04 on 25 August 2008.
Haven't started it yet,but it looks OK to me.

Don't kill off Barney..the sad world needs him.

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