Yes, I signed up for this.

I have a week and a half of class to go (and a week after that to finish the class anthology).

In that time I have to pick up my book from my printer (I owe my customer service rep at my printer a box of Roses for being so fucking awesome … note to self, buy said Roses), finish the PDF layout on one e-book, proof another e-book, complete the sixth round of proofing on a magazine, give a speech, get more print quotes, give a second speech, finish the scene breakdown of my screenplay, write a report, assist the design on another print book, get that book printed, go to school, create the EPUB version of one of those e-books, proof that e-book and the new print book, start styling copy for the layout of yet another publication, phone the person paying me to do said setting of styles on copy…

(There will be more I have forgotten.)

Oh, and eat, sleep, rest my hands, survive.

After all that, I want to go and make the e-versions of Asylum so people who want to read my book can do so without selling half their soul to Australia Post (and so that people who don’t want to or can’t read print books have choices). But. It is a print book, and I am ridiculously pleased at how well I’ve somehow managed to style the text. I’m not a graphic designer and the cover is simple, but the inside, if I say so myself, looks gorgeous. And real. Like a real fucking book. I have made a book. I can do the layout of a book.

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The imperfections of realness

This is about my struggle to stand up and be an adult.

(If adulthood were easy, everybody would be doing it – but the reality is that a very large percentage of people over the age of thirty aren’t adults. No, a mature body means fuck all, and we need to stop listening to the social delusion that it is relevant to anything. I dare say I’d be much less frustrated with people if I didn’t expect them to be adults.)

But I’ll begin with talking about what I’m doing.

My life has become so much less about the joy of writing and more about design, about programs, about layouts – about widows and orphans, about selecting type, about trying to speak printer and print preset language, about trying to not succumb to the frustration that is the editorial team letting a third of documents go through with incorrect quotation marks, about trying to figure out why InDesign won’t export the TOC in my epub (or when it does, why all the formatting is stripped) when I’m using the school’s computers, about whether or not to use rules and the correct placement of headers, about why a comma after ‘and’ when connecting two clauses is non-optional, about chasing up biographies from authors, about debating hyphens and em-dashes, about production schedules, about coping when my editors vanish without notification. It’s talking and schedules and organisation and keeping on top of things and work.

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