Life is almost normal again. At least the routines are settling in. I enjoyed a leisurely second cup of coffee while I did some blog-hopping, catching up on all the sites I hadn't visited while I was away. Of course, as Murphy's Law would have it, I was about to shower and get back to reading the galleys for Nowhere to Hide when I got a call from a Realtor who wanted to show the house. In an hour.
Now, things weren't horrendous, since we'd cleaned thoroughly before we left, but other than laundry, I hadn't done much actually cleaning. The showing instructions say we prefer a day's notice, our cleaning service was scheduled for the next day, and we've gotten so few calls to see the house, we've become lax about getting everything in shape before doing anything else for the day.
Hubby had left early to go off on his research project on the coast. Had he left "his" areas in showcase shape? Not hardly. So, I'm frantically trying to get everything done in the allotted time so I can be out the door. Not perfect, but acceptable. The lawn could use a mowing, but I don't know that hubby would have cut the grass on such short notice. I know I certainly can't do it and everything else.
I pack up my galleys and go to Panera to have more coffee and get some work done. So far, most of what I'm finding are places where I'm not sure if I need a hyphen or not. Part of me feels good that with all our edits, we have a very clean manuscript. Another part thinks I'm not reading carefully enough, and there are plenty of glitches sneaking past.
Overall, reading galleys is more suited to these interrupted days than writing. What I'm looking for isn't plot anymore. Strictly typos. It's a different kind of reading. As a matter of fact, I've started at the end of the manuscript. This way, I'm not distracted by the story. And unlike my read for major edits, revisions, and continuity, I don't want to do this all at once. Small intervals seem to work better for me, so a half hour here, and hour there, or even a page or two at a time is acceptable. That way, I can concentrate of looking at each sentence for words and punctuation, rather than how they're moving the story forward, or revealing characterization.
I get home, pleased to see the Realtor was actually there. I deal with a few more household issues (like has the part for the dryer arrived yet? They don't know, they'll check and call me back.) Then, I got another call, this from a local Realtor who wanted to preview the house. He'd be here "shortly."
An hour later, he still hasn't shown, and I'm doing my chores in bits and pieces. Finally, he arrives, looks over the house, makes a few comments, and is gone. Will he bring clients? Who knows? He's not the first to comment that our natural vegetation out in front hides the house. However, that's exactly what we wanted. It provides privacy as well as keeps the need for high maintenance down. If that's going to be the deterrent to a sale, should we pay big bucks to have it pulled out and re-landscaped with "pretty" stuff? Or do we hope that if it's the only problem for a potential buyer, that they'll know they can do what they please after they buy the house?
That's sort of like deciding if you should change a manuscript every time you get feedback that suggests you do something different. When my agent was submitting the sequel to When Danger Calls, she'd pass along the reasons for rejection. They were as varied as the places she submitted it to, so there wasn't a common denominator. It never got to the point where I had to decide if I was willing to change the story to make the sale, and I wonder what I would have done. The genre is 'romantic suspense' but my books are 'romantic mystery.' Would I have uprooted my plot and replanted it with a villain's point of view, so the reader could be nervous about what was going to happen if an editor asked? I don't know. That wasn't really the kind of book I wanted to write.
Meanwhile, the manuscript is sitting on an editor's desk, and I'm waiting to hear if they'll like it with all the natural vegetation. And if not, will they simply reject it, or will they ask me to re-landscape?
Causes Terry Odell Supports
Pro Literacy Worldwide, The Nature Conservancy, The Adult Literacy League, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society