Monday Update: Tedious proofreading is tedious, plus puppies

A) So, having totally marked up a paper copy of NO FOREIGN SKY, with many notes to myself as well as just proofreading corrections, I am now going through and integrating all that into the digital file. Wow, is this boring. It’s so, so boring.

Well, except for the bits where I run into a more substantive comment and then I have to turn my brain to the “on” position and think about whether to tweak the text and if so, how. That is a whole lot less tedious, but more difficult and time consuming. I cherish every page where I didn’t make any corrections or notes.

This is not a part of the process I enjoy — you may have guessed that — and it’s a lot more difficult for this particular book because I’ve gone over it SO OFTEN that my eyes start to glaze over whenever I open the file. Therefore, I’ve been doing it a little at a time. However, I’m closing in on it now and hope to have it finished by the end of today, or more likely the end of tomorrow, barring major interruptions of whatever sort.

That will allow me to move on to straight-up proofreading for actual typos. I’m not finding many typos myself in this read-through, but I’m concentrating on other things; I’m sure there are plenty I’m missing. Many proofing passes, by me and others, coming up. Probably all through April.


B) My mother has finished proofing TASMAKAT. As soon as I send off NO FOREIGN SKY to proofreaders, it’ll be my turn to proofread TASMAKAT. That will be less tedious, I hope, because I shouldn’t be making as many substantive comments on that one. However, no doubt there will be a good many less substantive comments and since the book is so long, I expect that will reach new heights, or troughs, of tedium in that regard.

My mother is doing really, really well, by the way. I seriously hope I do this well if I ever need significant surgery of any kind. Her staples come out at the end of this week and then she will, I think, be free of all remaining dietary restrictions. She isn’t eating nearly enough. I look forward to making her doughnuts to celebrate.

Also meanwhile:

C) Puppies!

I was trying to think of the last time I had such easy puppies and I think I know. I think that was Litter E, Bree’s puppies, Ellie, Eve, and Merlin, later called Jack. Those puppies were enormous at birth, gained weight right away, and were huge as youngsters. Eve came out a perfectly average size, Ellie wound up on the big side, and Jack is one of the two puppies I have ever produced that I have completely lost track of. That does bother me. Quite a bit, in fact. I will never know whether the people dropped out of touch because they moved away and/or didn’t believe I would care, or because they carelessly let my puppy get hit by a car and didn’t want to tell me, or what. I’m much happier when pet people keep in touch.

Anyway, the E litter is now fourteen years old, I believe. During those fourteen years, I don’t think I’ve ever had another really easy litter, until now. This is my Q litter. What is that, twelve litters? Thirteen, because all the puppies died in the first F litter (Yes, that was heartbreaking.) and I later repeated the letter. Since this is Q and they’re both boys, I expect I may name one Don Quixote and the other something like Quintessential.

Blen boy is a fine, normal, easy puppy who is gaining about an ounce per day.

Tricolor Boy is a total pig and is gaining OVER TWO OUNCES A DAY. He is going to be one of the fat puppies who is slow to get up on his feet, I expect. He is a pound and a half! About seventy grams above his brother at the moment.

Size at this age is meaningless, by the way. After weaning, the ones who were not nursing as well or were small for other unimportant reasons will catch up, while the super fat puppies will run off the excess weight, and they all wind up whatever weight they’re genetically predestined to be.

Anyway, while I’m supervising rather casually and asking my mother to supervise them when I’m not home — which I am astounded she is in shape to do, but she is — casual is indeed the term. They’re too big and fat to easily get chilled. Morgan can’t possibly squish a baby as big as these. They’re both nursing fine. Therefore I’ve been able to ask my mother to just ignore them. She’s there only in case she hears distress cheeping that might signal some weird problem.

Weird problems: things like the time my Honey jumped to her feet and threw her puppy, Kimmie, who had climbed up on her, out of the whelping box onto the tile. THAT will chill a puppy in a hurry, even a big puppy, and that is why I strongly prefer someone to be there.

Anyway, while things can go wrong — a strong puppy sometimes stalls out for no obvious reason and must be tube-fed to rev him back up — I am not sitting around worrying about these puppies.

No, I’m sitting around worrying about LEDA’S puppies. She is a tank. She looks like she’s going to explode. I don’t think she’ll make it to Friday. I think there may be so many puppies that labor would be seriously problematic — litter too large is one among (many) reasons a bitch may not be able to deliver normally. I may call up to the reproductive clinic and ask for an emergency section on Wednesday, which is about as early as I think is reasonable.

It’s a good thing I have tedious proofreading to keep me busy, because I don’t think I’m going to be capable of much else this week.

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