Check and check

Have I converted PeeDee to Pee Dee and PonPon Road to Pon Pon with a space? Did I switch all references to the Berber people to “Tuaregs” instead of Twuareg or Tuarog?

Have I made sure every “genteel” references refined society and not “gentiles” (oops)? Did I consistently spell lightning without an “e” in the middle and do I maybe have one too many thunderstorms?

Did I flesh out the “tag along slave” Phoebe enough for the reader to be able to see her?

Does the traumatized, silent Maggie speak early enough in the story for her late chapters to land?

Have I eliminated the second explanation of “free by courtesy”?

(if you’re curious, it’s a state of emancipation brought on by custom, not by papers like manumission papers or a will — often occurred in situations when an enslaved person was repeatedly promised that they’d be freed by will and then their owner failed to write or update their will. If that slave then acted as if they were free for long enough, they’d be considered “free by courtesy”).

I probably don’t need to add that ANY version of freedom for a Black person in the 1740’s was tenuous and subject to the violent whims of white people.

Did I eliminate enough text in the middle for the pacing to work better? Is there too much Eliza?

If my mustee character (half Pee Dee, half African), Indian Pete, is based on Prince Alston, a man described in Archibald Rutledge’s memoir, Home By The River, will it be enough to add a citation at the end?

From Home By The River: Prince Alston had a “kinship with nature as unfeigned as it was intimate.” He was “untouched by any human school of philosophy … but deeply read in the oracles of God.” Prince once plowed a field with a half wild bull that other field workers would walk a quarter mile out of their way to avoid, earning him no end of admiration.

Have I fixed all the erroneous capital H’s that I managed to insert while fixing the naming of a ship, the Hound? (Hounds show up with surprising frequency).

My dear cousin Ginny printed out the manuscript for me! With almost all the inputs, too. It will be very different to give it a read through on paper.

Thank you Ginny!

Today I woke with this thought: if we hold onto the House and flip the Senate (and trump wins), we would be able to impeach AND convict him. Given all the totalitarian strategies being employed by trump and Barr to steal the election, maybe this is the thing to focus on?

Hazel ship plus historic ship plus — sigh — Chadwick Bozeman. May he sail free.

Pin by Liz, my father’s Army picture, and from Twelve Years a Slave, Chiwetel Eijofor.

16 thoughts on “Check and check

  1. RainSluice

    It is absolutely critical that we flip the senate and keep a majority in the house. CRITICAL!!!!
    I’m fine. I am, totally cool confident and so relaxed about the fact we will do exactly that, and we do this as 1/2 the nation sucks up to a mafia boss posing as God.

    Yay Ginny! Gogogogogogogo, Dee! You have done all the work and more. I wish I were a publisher at oh I don’t know maybe Macmillan or Random House. Cuz then you’d get a movie deal too, which seems likely no matter what. What a great movie this book will make!!

  2. Nancy

    One of the things I really appreciate is how you’ve honestly shown the very long, hard sometimes tedious work of writing. You’re a pro at that. It’s so easy to read over because we Know the material so well in our heads.
    I like your writing space and related pictures collections.

  3. Michelle Slater

    Yay for the printed manuscript. Meanwhile, I focus on balance no matter what and I hope we do flip the Senate, keep the House and eject this administration of course. I am fully prepared for backlash, counter struggle and for the long road onward attempting to repair the damage this administration has already accomplished. However, I focus on balance and on equanimity. I know too that it is possible we may not defeat this well oiled machine come November. I am preparing myself to keep on keeping on regardless. Climate change is more important than any of the governments on the planet. I am prepared to keep on keeping on.

  4. Acey

    Last night this post gave me a massive ‘theoretical’ anxiety attack to consider what lies ahead for the final countdown of equally final editing. Then I was really happy for you to be at this stage. Re-read this morning and feel your words are reminiscent of like double checking before you leave the house for a major trip you’ve waited a very long time to take.

  5. Mo Crow

    editing is another hat altogether in the writing process, I love writers who take the time to make sure there are no typos in the manuscript and that the timeline works ie when the moon is full it can’t be a dark and starless night, good luck with the fine tuning!

  6. Hazel

    The whirrr of your working so hard can be felt.
    I’m touched to see the boat in your gathering, thank you. His portrayal of the Black Panther meant so much to the community of students at my last school. I have thought of them so often during this pandemic- for many of them it’s been a loss of learning, safe consistent community, meals, and heroes.

    1. deemallon

      I’ve been so moved by the testimony both of parents and of the children themselves about the importance of Black Panther.

  7. Joanne.

    Lately your posts have brought tears to my eyes- not because I am sad- rather the raw emotion of creating something like this and the tedious unrelenting editing….it’s such hard work writing a book. But I look forward to buying it and reading it (while slurping Pantry Soup of course).


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