Friday, February 27, 2015

Wound Up in the Copy Edit

I have been spending the week going through the copy edit of WOUND UP IN MURDER. Every copy editor seems to be different. I had one who had a question on just about every page of my manuscript and went as far as to comment that my characters were driving unsafely because I had Molly nestled close to Barry as they drove. Needless to say, I ignored that comment.

Sometimes the copy editors impose their particular taste in words. I had one who didn’t like the word toward and changed every one in the manuscript. I have the final say and can change things back if I don’t agree with their suggestion. I think in that case, I put back some of the towards. Another time a copy editor changed Bordeaux Strawberry ( a flavor of ice cream) to a glass of Bordeaux and a strawberry. Needless to say I changed it back.

This copy editor seems to have a light touch. There have been few word changes and so far one question about the name of a town. When I go through the copy edited manuscript, I go through the whole thing again. This time it seems I’ve been catching word echoes the copy editor missed, along with things like a drink can that was gold colored in the beginning and was suddenly red later in the manuscript. Since I hadn’t finished making the worry doll (the pattern is included in the book)when I was writing the manuscript or going though my editor’s comments, some of the descriptions in how it was made needed to be changed.

If you’re wondering what a worry doll is - you hand her your worries when you go to bed and they’re gone in the morning.

I’m always a little bittersweet about now. I like the idea of being finished with it, but at the same time I hate to let go. This is the last time I will be able to make any big changes in the manuscript. After this, I will have to say good bye to these character’s for now. Of course, I’ll see them again when I write the fourth book in the series and I already know a lot of what is going to happen. But still....

Then as soon as I send WOUND UP IN MURDER hurling through cyberspace, I will be able to get back to working on the tenth Crochet Mystery.

I love the way the worry doll turned out and I hope she is just the beginning of my doll making.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Do Awards Boost Anything Except Egos?


Hi all!  Today is my monthly blogging day for my publisher, Midnight Ink.   I'm writing about my series, winning the Maxwell Award for Fiction, and why I think the two things together may save lives.

Check it out at  I'll be back here next week with a new yoga article!

Tracy Weber

          A Killer Retreat

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  A KILLER RETREAT and MURDER STRIKES A POSE are available at book sellers everywhere! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Stuff Sneaks Up

It's been a busy week! 

First, I received what hopefully will be the final edits on my first Barkery & Biscuits Mystery, BITE THE BISCUIT, which will be a May release.  There were no major issues, but reading the manuscript and making final changes took time. 
Then we had a wonderful but unexpected visit from our older son, who doesn't live in L.A.  He was passing through on a quick business trip, so I wanted to spend as much time as possible with him.  That included having dinner with him and our younger son, who does live in the area.  That was fun! 

And... no, the computer technical difficulties I mentioned last week are not resolved.  Despite planning to take my computer in for repair, additional cleaning seemed to help... somewhat.  It doesn't overheat as fast, but it still eventually makes those noises.  One of these days, I realize that I will need to take it in for a repair. 

Meantime, I'm back to working on the second Barkery & Biscuits Mystery.  That's a good thing!  And hopefully I'll be able to continue despite the computer's complaining to me... as it just began to do again.  Sigh. 

What fun things are you up to?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Trip to Mars

This jingle almost backfired on the Burma Vita company:

Free!  Free!
A trip
To Mars
For 900.
Empty jars.Burma Shave

The manager of a Red Owl grocery store in Appleton, Wisconsin, decided to take them up on the offer.  He stacked Burma Shave jars in the center aisle of his store and when a customer bought one, emptied the shaving cream into a carry-out carton and saved the jar.  He wired Burma Vita and to ask where should he ship the jars.  An exchange of silly rhymes followed; i.e., “If a trip to Mars you’d earn, remember, friend, there’s no return.”  But Arliss French persisted and at last the Burma Vita Company accepted the shipment of 900 empty jars and sent Mr. and Mrs. French to the German town of Moers (pronounced “Mars”), with all expenses paid.  The publicity was great for both Red Owl and Burma Vita, the couple had a terrific time – the town put on a festival just for them – and years later the Frenches were still sending Christmas cards to the Odells (owners of the company).

I have the most amazing sister-in-law.  When she found out that it would cost $200 each to change our return airline reservations from England, she offered to pay Becky’s fee.  Becky is traveling with me, but on a very limited budget.  The original reservation for return was April 5 – and that’s Easter Sunday.  It was making us sad to think we’d miss attending Easter services at Westminster Abby because of a foolish mistake (I didn’t realize Easter fell on April 5).  I can stand the expense, but I couldn’t pay it for both of us.

We have a singing cat.  What she’s singing is odd, and not a recognizable tune.  But there are a lot of different notes in it, it’s loud and sometimes there are almost words to it.  I understand this is a sign of senility in cats, that they will abruptly and for no discernable reason, break into something like, “Ah-row, rah ah ah ow, wah!”  Sometimes there’s also a “low,” or a “now,” but never a phrase.  Her singing voice is very different from her ordinary voice, which is a tentative and high-pitched “Ee-ah?”  This is a sturdy alto, surprising in a cat who weighs less than six pounds.  If I call her name, she stops for a while.  She’s seventeen.  Many years ago we had another elderly cat who would stand at the bottom of a three-level staircase at three o’clock in the morning and call, “Allo?  Allo?” until one of us would get up and go down and scold her.  One time I lost my temper and got up, grabbed a broom and chased her all over the house.  That stopped it for a couple of days, and then, “Allo?  Allo?” came the cry.  We had another cat, a youngster, and he bailed off our bed and ran down the stairs and hushed her.  I don’t know what he did – there weren’t sounds of combat – but I can imagine him hissing, “Stop it, stop it!  Don’t you remember what she did last time you woke her up?”  He went down many times after that to put a stop to her calling.  Bless his little heart – and hers, too.