Hello friends! Early this year I started reading, editing, and reviewing beta and Advance Reader Copy (ARC) books, and it’s so fun. I can’t believe I didn’t start ages ago! Beta books are usually fully written but are 1-3 steps away from being publication-ready. Some require developmental editing, others need copy editing, and many are in the proofreading stage, which is typically the last step in the editing process.
Before I satisfy your curiosity about reading beta and ARC books, take a peek at this stunning artwork of Nalakadr, a city in Megan Haskell’s book series The Sanyare Chronicles. Nalakadr is the main setting in the first book of her upcoming series, The War of the Nine Faerie Realms, which I am currently beta reading.
Nalakadr, capital of the Shadow Realm in The Sanyare Chronicles, by Megan Haskell
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I recently purchased a beautiful, vintage Green Goddess–the 1960 Olympia SM4 portable typewriter in this very picture. Demeter needs a small amount of restoration and repairs, which I think I can handle. i have no idea what i’m doing. I’m a little obsessed, am on *every* typewriter message board and blog, and am performing the surgical procedures a little at a time. The chrome clasps on her adorable travel case have some rust, and I’m tackling that too. Guys, I’m psyched about her new ribbon: black on top and purple on the bottom. Her 1960 ribbon had no words.
1960 Olympia SM4 Portable Typewriter
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Kids. They are the greatest: At keeping you exhausted. Trying your patience. Implying your presence is
absolutely necessary or the world will end right now needed, and then not, and then wanted again, all in a five-minute span. Hugging as though the warmth is a future lifeline. Absorbing all the yeses and letting the noes slide off like unrealized temper tantrums.
This is the Great Beauty of spending time with young kids. You remember hope, relearn the confident ask, raise your expectations because no won’t kill you, and you’re confident you can win the yes. The world hasn’t broken them yet, and if you can carry that fragile memory from your nieces in New Jersey all the way home to Maine, you can cheerful your way through the months until you hug them again.
But srsly, exhaustion. I may be speaking from a delirious, alter-ego state of being. Seeeee?, I’m actually writing, not speaking. Not enough coffee, or Ritalin, in the world when I’m staying with my adorable, energetic nieces. I wouldn’t give this time up for anything.
Moving on. I ordered Vionic brand pink kicks with orthotic soles, or insoles, or something podiatrist-approved. Very comfortable and adorable (pic below). Before I came to NJ, said podiatrist injected numbing solution into both sides of each ankle to release presumed nerve impingement. Ouch. Pain has decreased from walking on hot coals and nails, to walking on dull tacks with gentle-ish vice grips. Take that, toe arthritis. And bone spurs. And plantar fasciitis.
Putting a pin in my love for Neil Gaiman’s many Great Works. Will resume another day. I mentioned the exhaustion, right?
My new, pink sneakers. I love them!
I planted my flag in the rich and fertile lands of domain ownership (rentership?) yesterday. Do I own this domain, even though I must pay a yearly fee? As a former IT person I feel like I should know the answer.
Regardless, this hectare is mine, all mine. Wipe the mud off your feet and close the door; we don’t live in a barn.
Mansplaining for bears: Less fun than manscaping. While reading a Berenstain Bears book to my niece, G, today, I was blindsided by misogyny. Mama Bear attempted to explain Thanksgiving to the cubs, but Papa Bear interrupted Mama Bear and mansplained all over her monologue. Page images below.
As a side note, I looked up the spelling of Berenstain a moment ago and was surprised the name ends with “stain.”
Aardvark, Aardvark, yes!
Aardvark, Aardvark, Aardvark, yes!
Just call me Aardvark!
I’m sick, and loopy on cold meds. That’s my only excuse.
Thanks for the smallpox.
For killing all the bison.
Written after a strange conversation with friends about what exactly we’re “celebrating” each Thanksgiving.
I miss us sometimes.
Remembering the good times.
We had no bad times.
Written for my friend, Adam, when we were both feeling melancholy about people who’d left our lives.