Book Production Phase 11 Proofing the Galleys

After having spent a week addressing all the copy editor's newest queries in the second round of copy editing Woody arrived from MN to spend 8 days proofing the transition of copy edited manuscript to galleys. Galleys are essentially the actual design of the book pages but without the photos or the exact placement of sidebars, but we got to see the charts and fonts in color for the first time. How beautiful the 444 pages looked compared to the heavily copy edited manuscript which was close to 800 pages. It's akin to witnessing an embryo becoming a fetus! (Many an author has compared this process of creation--writing a book--to childbirth.) The Heavily Copy Edited Manuscript Woody Pouring over the Galleys It was 8 of the most intense days of my life because it took incredible focus over an incredible amount of time. We averaged 12 hours of work a day, starting at 8 in the morning, stopping for a quick lunch, breaking for an hour of tennis with Elliott at 6 and then dinner, and returning to the proofing until around 1 in the morning. Woody and Me Proofing

Most fortunately we had excellent weather and were able to do all our work on the porch, breathing the wonderful country air. I think, otherwise, it would have been unbearable. Sitting for so many hours in tight focus is an exercise of sorts. But it was necessary to play that hour of tennis and move! And any extra moment Woody did stretching exercises and Tai Chi and of course I did some stretching too but not nearly enough. Tai Chi I could not have done this thorough a proofing without Woody's help. He is as familiar with all the recipes as I am but I was more familiar with the copy editing so it was my job to read it aloud, and Woody's to ensure not only that everything I read was reflected in the galleys but also that it made total sense. I read as quickly and clearly as I could because there was so much to cover. I began to feel as though I could easily have a second career as an auctioneer. I know I speak quickly but I had no idea just how much I could speed it up without tripping over my tongue. Tired and anxious that we might not get through the whole thing I sometimes got impatient when Woody paused to think, suggesting that he hurry up! But each time it was because he was contemplating an inconsistency or other important and necessary change and I reproached myself for rushing so much, especially because he remained so pleasant about it, never losing his equanimity. Debbie, the copy editor had done a terrific job. In fact I can't think of many editors who would even want to touch such a complex manuscript. I know I wouldn't! But inevitably, there were changes she made for style or personal preference that changed the meaning of the instruction. Also, reading it aloud we heard it in a different way and discovered that I had misused the word "batches" when it should have been "parts," as in "add the batter in 3 parts." It's batches only when referring to finished components. Luckily Woody's friend Randy is an English teacher and was available long distance for emergency consultation of this sort. Then there was the question of the vanilla bean. The bean equals the pod and the seeds but Debbie changed all mention of pod to bean to the point where even I became confused which it should be. Lisa Story, the goddess of all typesetters, was an absolute genius at navigating through the inserts, reordering of paragraphs, pages, and rewording. She made amazingly few errors. But between all of us, 80 percent of the pages had from one to 16 changes which added up to about 1000! Woody put an X on top of each page and added the number of changes as they can be difficult to see though I used a fine red pen. We put Woody on the train to Newark, having worked up to the very last moment. Of course he was outfitted with two sandwiches of ham on beer bread, sticky buns, and various samples of bread to share with his wife Susan and family. Making the Beer Bread At the Train Station Speaking of family, this was supposed to be Elliott's vacation (mine too!) and short of the one hour of tennis and dinner, I was in a world of my own leaving him to his own activities. He never once complained because he understood how essential what we were doing will be to the outcome of the book. For this I am grateful beyond words. Right now I'm in the middle of a silent and solo read-through of the galleys and will deliver them in person next week as I could never risk any other method of delivery after all this irreplaceable work. I am resisting the temptation of hiring an armed guard to accompany me on the ride from Manhattan to Hoboken on the Path Train. Phase 12 coming up in mid October!And now to the food! Having anticipated the amount of work the proofing would probably be (and it was more) I spent the two weeks prior organizing and shopping for our dinners. Here's a brief rundown of how we rewarded ourselves every day. No cocktails and only 1 glass of wine, but always an excellent one, with dinner so as not to impair our clarity of scrutiny and vision. Lunches or small meals: sticky buns blueberry pancakes Dutch baby filled with lemon curd yogurt, peaches and blueberries blt's with Jersey tomatoes Caesar salad Hector's home canned tuna with ziti apricot speja bread and filone granola chocolate chip cookies (aka Mrs. King's irresistables from Rose's Xmas Cookies) Dinners baby back ribs with Cousins' barbecue sauce from TX provide by Zach, with corn spoonbread 2 lobster dinners at nearby Luigi's Rancho grilled wild salmon and cuke salad (look closely at one of the finest Alsatian Rieslings ever produced) aged sirloin steak, grilled onion, baby Idaho's from the Menegus farm and endive (photos), goat, beef short ribs, and pork tomato sauce and spaghetti lamb chops and grilled eggplant aged beef burgers on sweet potato buns with vidalia onion grilled pizza with Maria Menegus's sister's lamb chorizo and an occasional ice cream cone from the nearby Bistro