Over the weekend I received back the edits for “Six-Thirty Sleeper to Paris” from Nat at Ruthie’s. I’ve got to say that I’m impressed – that’s about the quickest I’ve ever had a set of edits back. And they’re not to shabby either. I was expecting some issues with the French in the story, but for the most part it’s been fine. There have been two notes from Nat about the French and one translation from French to English – but most of his notes were about the plot or slight inconsistencies with the characters. All good if it makes the story better.
The issues with the French are the interesting ones to me. He asked to change “Faites-vous aiment?” to “Do you like it?”, which I can understand. It’s not ‘common’ French, by which I mean it’s not something I’d expect most English speakers to know and it’s also an important point in the story. Second, “Les chaussures du merde.” Literally this is “The Shoes of Shit” although my wife tells me this is how the French would say “Shit shoes.” In fact, she says that in French pretty much anything can be “Du merde.” Either way, I’ve changed it to “J’ai mal à mes pieds. Les chaussures sont merde” meaning “My feet ache. These shoes are shit.” Which I think reads better anyway.
The final one is my use of the word “pluke”, which doesn’t show up in the on-line dictionaries, but which my wife uses all the time. It refers to the lowest of the low, the real dregs of society. I asked her about it and it turns out it’s a regional thing – used a lot in the north of France but not so much elsewhere. My character is a Parisian, so I’ve switched to con, meaning idiot but equally derogatory.
I don’t have a date for the publication of the story yet, but when I do, I’ll be sure to post it here.
Also this weekend I heard from Alessia Brio over at Phaze. She’s editing an anthology that I’d submitted “Charlotte’s Secret” to. It was “coming together for the cure” with all proceeds going to breast cancer research. I knew I was pushing it when I submitted, because “Charlotte’s Secret” is at the very top of the word limit for the anotho (just over it in fact). A few weeks ago, when I followed up the sub, Alessia asked if I’d mind submitting the story for regular publication at Phaze if she passed it over for the antho. I said that of course I wouldn’t mind. In fact, I’d be delighted. This weekend she confirmed that she is passing over the story, in favour a greater number of shorter stories – which makes sense to me – and that she has put the story forward for regular publication. I’ve no idea how long it will take to get a decision either way, but I’ll keep you informed here.