20 February 2013

A Smelting With The Senator

by Robert Lopresti

Oh, you will laugh.  It is 4 hours before deadline and I just slipped in to make one tiny change to this blog, which I finished a week ago.   I apparently hit the wrong key because the entire damned thing just disappeared.  So I am recreating it from what I laughingly call "memory."  Wish me luck.

Note: The illustrations are, in order, a buggy, a smelter, and  a senator.  Thank you.

Last month I finished the first draft of the novel I have been working on since July.  I spent the next two weeks running it through spellcheck.  That may seem excessive, so let me explain.

I am a very slow writer.  Therefore on a first draft I don't stop for nothin'.  I see typos, glitches, malaprops, and worse but I ignore them so as not to cut what flow there is.  That means there is plenty for spellcheck to catch later.

Worse, I wrote part of the draft on my iPad.  I hate writing on my iPad because the on-screen keyboard feels all wrong and I still don't know how the Pages program wants me to do certain things. For example, I still haven't learned to  turn off the autocorrect.  As a result of that I discovered one of my characters announcing that it would be no buggy to arrange a smelting with the senator.

I think he actually meant to say it would be no biggy to arrange a meeting with the senator.  But what do I know?  I'm just the author. 

And then there is the unforgettable scene in which my hero is chased by "two guys with nuns." 

But now I am doing a fast read-through of  the book and I have discovered I love  proofing on my  iPad.  For some reason it goes much faster than on my other computers.  Maybe because the machine is designed for reading text?

Soon I will be done with the read-through and then all I will need to do is edit.  And edit.  And edit...


  1. Rob, I didn'tlaugh when I read about hitting the wrong key and losing material. I've done the same thing and lost not only blogs but a full day of work on a novel. I did laugh about the buggy, smelter, and senator though. Now I'm eager to read your book!

  2. Best of luck with your novel!
    I'm glad to see that I'm not the only poor typist and poor speller.
    Back in the day, I used to tease weak spelling students that I'd married my spell checker. And I really did.

  3. Rob, I have it on good authority that being chased by nuns can be a terrifying experience.

  4. Being chased by nuns happens to my characters all the time. It's no buggy.

    Getting smelted by a senator is another matter.

  5. Too funny, John!

    Rob, I sympathize (and agonize) about the loss of any writing. Aargh!

    My friend Steve bought his girlfriend an Apple Bluetooth keyboard, a lovely sculpture cut from a single piece of aluminum, but she doesn't use it. Don't feel bad… I use it whenever I can!

  6. Good luck with the novel but be careful and don’t let your computer collaborate with your iPad and write it for you. But maybe you should, that way it won’t disappear in the black hole of cyberspace.

  7. You can actually complete a first draft of a novel in half a year? Man, guys like you make me want to give up forever. I can barely write a short story in seven months. Since I've read a number of your works in AHMM -- what? You do those during brunch? Sheesh! Yours truly, Toe.

  8. Thanks, all.

    Toe, keep in mind that my first draft is more like a full-length outline. I doubt if one sentence will get into the final version unchanged.

    And my short stories typically go through a year or two of editing.

  9. I'm with Toe. Slow writer here. In awe. Back to moving.


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