The author and graphics illustrator finish formatting and correcting the text and begin working on the endnotes. A Mystic's Journal Entries: October 12 - November 8, 2011.
Image: Windgarth House.
Sunday, October 16
Diana and I have come to beautiful Windgarth for some days, to work on the book undisturbed. She has already formatted over a hundred pages of the manuscript, which I have printed up and neatly placed in a large notebook. The binder is now on the downstairs kitchen table at Windgarth, and I am fully unpacked and waiting for Diana to arrive. A lovely cool, gray day - a bit of mist on the lake. The autumn colors so deep and vibrant against the gray sky. The perfect day for staying inside and happily working on the book. Lit the downstairs stove for warmth - am seated at the kitchen table and looking out the many windows towards the lake, a lone gull ensconced on the martin house, acting like a statue, a gargoyle...
I have missed Windgarth and its peaceful silence and simple beauty...
Monday, October 17
Today sunny and very windy. Sitting downstairs with my notebook and pen, correcting the pages of formatted files. Diana continues to format the manuscript, seated at the kitchen table, her laptop computer plugged into the east wall. Four ducks on the dock, squat and splayed, hunkered down against the wind, all facing south. If there were less wind I would be working outside, in the sun and air... Diana is making a split pea/kale soup in a very large pot, and the warmth and aroma of her culinary creation are filling the entire downstairs. Soon I will make us a cup of tea, or have a slice of bread and cheese - but until now we have both been quietly lost in our work for some hours... Later we will work together, put my corrections into the text together - but for now the luxury of being lost in our own thoughts and ideas and creativity...
Tuesday, October 18
Another sunny day, less wind. Diana is now in the sitting room, at the desk with her laptop computer - still formatting text. I must wait until we return to Ithaca to print up her newly formatted pages and make corrections. Meanwhile, I am reading a few new dreams sent to me by a friend, and adding commentary. We corrected over a hundred pages of Diana's formatted pages last afternoon and evening, put my corrections directly into her computer files. Found the usual sorts of errors, and a few chapters and paragraphs out-of-order, some dreams without commentary or introductions. So I still have much work to do, even without the newly formatted chapters.
If we continue at this pace, the initial round of formatting and corrections should be done within a week.
Thursday, October 20
Back in town. Colder and windy, an autumn Wuthering Heights sort of night. Diana and I worked at the downstairs kitchen table until almost 2 am, and most of the corrections through page 207 are now in. We also worked on some widows and orphans, i.e. a word left alone by itself at the end of a paragraph, or single lines of text left over at the top or bottom of a page. I rewrote the text where needed to accommodate these formatting problems, there is no other solution to them. Still have to go back and write some forgotten, overlooked introductions and commentaries, check some other potential errors - but the bulk of the corrections are safely tucked into the formatted text.
After this round of corrections are done, we will have to go through the entire text again, this time inserting and checking the endnotes, scanning the Table of Contents and its page numbers, the folios, dashes - and fix any errors created by the changes in formatting, or from other corrections we made this time through the text. Astounding how many errors can be found each time we proof the text... and how difficult it can be to find them. I find that I tend to start proofing slowly and carefully, but within a few paragraphs I am reading the ideas and phrasing of the text rather than looking for errors in punctuation or spelling or spacing... or all the other factors on the page that can so easily go wrong.
Diana wants to have the entire book formatted and corrected within a week. That will leave us some time to work on the cover.
I am exhausted.
Friday, October 21
Worked on corrections; rewrote some passages, added introductions and commentary to some dreams. E-mailed them to Diana.
Saturday, October 22
Diana just left, with her laptop under her arm. We worked steadily all night, at the downstairs kitchen table; drank tea and enjoyed a few snacks as we entered my new corrections into her formatted files. We also went through the entire text and looked for sentences to be pulled, i.e. sentences that are put in larger type and italics for emphasis. At one point, we got bogged down by design problems and mutually entered a fairly lengthy, yet friendly, harangue - naturally Diana was thinking like a designer and I was thinking like an author. At last a solution was found and inner/outer order restored. In fact, the book is falling together rather nicely and fairly easily.
We only have eight stories to go, and then the text will be completely formatted and the first round of corrections done. Then Diana will e-mail me all the corrected files, so I can check the corrections and changes we just made to the text. I still have one dream chapter to finish, I am waiting for my friend Anne to send me two additional "dream" meetings she told me about last week. I had given Anne the first draft of her story to look at and correct - and while we were talking, she told me about two additional "dream" visits with her father and son; they both died in the same tragic car crash over twenty years ago. I asked if she would write those dreams up for me, and now I am waiting for her to do so. Everyone who gave me their stories for We Meet in Dreams, all the "dream" experiences in the book are from my fellow healers on the Distant Healing Network, from friends, or from friends of friends. Which tells me that the vast majority of humanity - if not every human being on this planet Earth - has had a dream experience that is more than an ordinary dream, more than a dream created by our subconscious mind, i.e. our psychology, our own thoughts and desires and memories. That we all, at one time or another, have been to other realms or other places on earth while we were asleep.
Monday, October 24
My friend Anne e-mailed me the two new "dreams", and I have added them on to the other dream meetings and visits in her story, The Sparklers; wrote my commentary. Sent it all off to Diana. Rewrote parts of The Fence, a dream visit to another place on Earth, from MG. Sent that off to Diana as well. The nice thing about The Fence is that MG dreamed about her friends' cottage in South Africa - and then later went to South Africa and saw the cottage in waking state reality. She wrote that the cottage was just as she experienced it in her "dream".
More often than not, when we visit other places on Earth while asleep - we do not later see those people or houses or streets or fields or lakes etc. in waking state reality. So we are left thinking it was just an ordinary, psychological dream.
Diana just sent me the last eight formatted chapters of We Meet in Dreams - all that is left of unformatted text is the Epilogue. I will start proofing these new pages tonight.
Tuesday, October 25
A cool day, in the sixties - sunny. JF stopped by, and we drove to Stewart Park. Windy. We parked in the lot, facing the lake, and stayed in the car watching eight or ten sailboats doing various maneuvers in the distance. It appeared as though they were some sort of sailboat club, or possibly a Cornell team or class. They followed each other across the lake, sometimes paired in twos, circled each other; at one point they spaced themselves evenly, facing south, in a long single row east to west. They looked like beautiful, white birds ... Some ducks near us along the shore mirrored the sailboats in their own small maneuvers ... Here and there a sailboat or two almost tipped over, struggling against the wind. The beautiful waves ... Coming home, hundreds of geese on the park lawns, near the pond - a long line of geese, single file, stepping down the embankment, sliding into the water ... adroitly and effortlessly avoiding the lily pads ...
Finished my corrections this afternoon; waiting for Diana so we can enter them into her formatted files.
Wednesday, October 26
A gray, rainy day.
Diana also sent me endnotes to correct and work on; first we have to find the footnote numbers in the text, then the actual footnotes, and then turn the whole batch into endnotes. Diana is setting up the endnote section now. Once all the footnotes are entered as endnotes, we will have to proof them several times, to make sure everything is in the right place. An unforgiving process really. I am not convinced endnotes are easier to accomplish than footnotes. We will see. Last year, finishing up Realms of Light, we got so fed up with the footnotes that I remarked, "No wonder they banish them to the bottom of the page." Well, even with my short experience with endnotes, I might now say, "No wonder they exile them to the back of the book". Meanwhile Oleg the cat and I are listening to the printer rhythmically reproduce the newest endnote pages for me to proof. The first round of corrected formatting to all but the Table of Contents and endnotes is now done. Done.
Thursday, October 27
A very gray, rainy day... The oranges, yellows and reds of the trees almost shockingly brilliant against the gray... Some branches are already bare, but we have not yet had our first frost; the huge dinner plate dahlias and the diminutive impatiens still lend their colors and textures to the gardens, the dahlias placed along the sidewalk, their various hues and patterns towering over the children and many adults who pass by them.
We finished correcting the last chapters of the text last night; they are all safely stored in Diana's laptop computer. Today she sent me the entire formatted file, which I have just printed up and placed in the large notebook on the kitchen table. Now to reproof the entire manuscript.
While I am doing that task, Diana plans to tackle the prefaces and remaining endnotes.
The formatted text looks - fantastic. Diana has done her usual creative and impeccable, careful work. Most likely very few people would understand how important the formatting of the text is to a book, and how very creative the process can be when in the hands of a master designer. I am so very pleased.
Saturday, October 29
A sunny, cold day. One lone frost has ruined most of the impatiens. The dinner plate dahlias look forlorn, a bit tattered and frayed around the edges, some bent stems. A sense of winter is in the air, for the first time.
Reproofed the entire manuscript again, and all the final corrections are now in Diana's files. We had a short celebration last night before she returned to the Quaker House, basically a smile and a handshake - we were too tired for much more than that.
This morning Diana sent more endnotes for me to correct. I am still not convinced endnotes will be easier than the footnotes of the past.
Just finished up checking and correcting the first 53 endnotes Diana sent. Added page numbers and titles to stories, checked the endnote page numbers and section numbers. Some endnotes were reversed in order, some in the wrong section; some were imaginary, did not fit anywhere; some were missing. Miraculously, after all the changes, we still ended up with 53 endnotes. Now my main task is to be able to decipher my various scribbles and thoughts when Diana comes over to put my corrections into her laptop computer file. What a mess. Just red pen everywhere, mysterious and conflicting arrows and cross outs - scribbles on the back of pages because there was no room left on the front, scrawls along the margins. Moreover, my original list of endnotes, which I gave Diana to work from, up to this point in the book, had only 45 endnotes. Somehow we added on eight. Just a nightmare.
And we are only two-thirds done.
Sunday, October 30
Sunny, cold, in the fifties. M. closed all the storm windows, turned off the outside water, took the first steps towards winter. I walked the house and took down notes, what to tell Jamee: rake the leaves into the flower beds, take the garden hoses into the garage, put the boats in the shed, shampoo the rugs ... Another season completed, lived. Reread some of the entries in our guest book - so many renters who have stayed here love Windgarth, return every year. Entries written in Czech, in German, in Afrikaans... Someone drew a sketch of the dock, in pencil. One entry, in black ink: "Thanks for providing a haven, for a great time. We hate to leave. We'll be back." Yes, a haven, a refuge...
Brought my binder and worked on the endnotes, reproofed them; found errors, there are always more errors to correct. Page numbers, section numbers, spelling, story titles, mistakes everywhere. Went through the entire text of the book yet again and found mistakes there as well: section headings gone awry, missing quotation marks, misplaced italics, the usual.
Met with Diana tonight and we started writing the blurb for the back cover, stray sentences scrawled on a napkin at the State Diner. After returning home I continued my tortuous work on the endnotes, typing my corrections in. Sent her the file. Diana will have some creative decisions to make, apparently Ibid and Op. cit. are no longer fashionable. In any case I am sure there will be more errant mistakes on the next endnotes reproofing, no matter what she decides ...
Tuesday, November 1
The first of November. A sunny, beautiful day. Diana entered my corrected endnotes into her computer file before taking a long walk in the woods with a friend.
We are now doing most of our work together late at night - tonight she came over at midnight. We ended up at the State Diner and had scrambled eggs and toast, decaf coffee - and talked. We spoke of many things, including plans for the future. On Diana's next visit to Ithaca, possibly we will set up a tour of some sort for book signings, workshops, lectures on the books and their messages. We will see. Much depends on my health, which is a good deal of the time is fairly frail and unpredictable. We will see what the Divine Plan has in store for us. If I am meant to accomplish these things - then I will be given all that I need.
We never have to look too far to see what God wants us to do. Usually it is right in front of us.
Tuesday, November 8
Diana left for Dallas this morning. I found all 74 finished, corrected endnotes in my Inbox; the remaining tasks we can finish by e-mail, but I will miss her physical presence, her voice, its unique phrasing and inflection, and the small details of her life that we have now steadily shared these past weeks. There is always a gap when she leaves...