83. Filler

This is a perfunctory post.

It is only here because I made a bloody promise to myself to update this damn space every single day for a year, and every post has to be at least 500 words in length, so here it is. It is now 4.21A.M. in the morning, I have just finished editing the manuscript for Johann’s Fantastic Adventures Through Time, and I am getting ready to email it to my uncle who lives in Singapore, who has graciously agreed to help me print and submit my entry to the Scholastic Asian Book Awards.

Seriously though, it’s a behemoth of a manuscript. Okay, well – 42,000 words is probably child’s play to most of you distinguished veterans of the market, but it’s a big deal for me to write that many words and have them make sense.

(the other reason why the manuscript is so long is because the awards’ requirement was initially 25,000 words, which they reduced to 6,000 words – so who ends up looking bad at the end of the day? The poor editor who is going to suffer the misfortune of reviewing my manuscript, that’s who)

Having finished the writing, I actually got the damn thing printed out – all 109 pages of it (single spaced, mind) – for my proofreading purposes. Pfft, how difficult can proofreading be? Easy, I can do that AND edit AND format my entry, all before Sunday morning. No worries, right?

So here I am, staring at the LCD monitor screen with bloodshot eyes and a half-functioning brain.

(speaking of half-functioning brains, I have come up with a great braggadocio line for writers, especially promising young ones. It goes like this: “Sir, I can write better than people twice my age while my brain is half-asleep)

After making the manuscript editor-friendly, it now comes up to 141 pages (really 140 pages, if it weren’t for that pesky meddling cover page). The award requires 6 copies of this to be printed – so in total, that’s going to be 846 printed pages my uncle will be helping me handle.

My primary concern should be for nature and the environment, of course – but expectations don’t always match up with reality.

My actual primary concern is that my uncle looks for a cheap printer who would do 10 cents per page printing, or even lesser than that, if possible. I almost got a heart attack earlier today when a printer tried to charge me RM1 per A4 page – for black and white printing! I don’t know what the printing rates are in Singapore, but I’m having my fingers crossed for a really cheap rate.

So here it goes – I’m sending my manuscript off; it is now 4.31A.M. in the morning, and from this point onwards, my manuscript is in the hands of others. My uncle’s; the receptionist at Scholastic’s; the judges; and God’s.

(and whoever is secretly controlling the literary world)

Pray for my success – this is a story I have worked hard on, and I have poured my passion and excitement into. Hell, if Scholastic doesn’t want this, I’ll probably get it published somewhere else; but we’ll see what transpires when the time comes.

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