Wednesday, May 4, 2016

An Unforeseen Hazard

by Carola

I recently received the copy-edited manuscript of my fourth Cornish Mystery, Buried in the Country, from my publisher.  (I just had my 70th birthday so I'm allowed to refuse to learn how to do it on the computer.) I quite enjoy editing copy-edits--with a stet stet here, and a stet stet there--so I was pleased to see the package.

Until I opened it. The stink of cigarette smoke gave me an instant headache.

I spread the contents out, on my sofa, and sprayed citrus essence air freshener over them. It helped a bit, enough so I could bear to touch them the next day. I worked on the ms for about half an hour before my head started to ache.

I emailed my editor's assistant. She apologized, saying they hadn't wanted to use this copy-editor for my work but s/he was the only one available considering time constraints. She promised they'd never let him or her near another ms of mine!

So I slogged on, stopping every half hour to step out into the garden for a breath of iris-scented fresh air. Today I haven't been able to face it yet (nearly 5 pm) but those time constraints are calling. I'm going to have to tackle it this evening.

I've borrowed library books and bought used books that smelled of tobacco smoke, but never anything this bad. Please, if you smoke, remember that paper absorbs the stuff and makes a present of it to the next person to get near it!


Jean Henry Mead said...

I can certainly sympathize, Carola. With all the problems we writers face in this business, lingering tobacco smoke shouldn't be one of them.

Carola Dunn said...

I've always been sensitive to it, but as one encounters it less and less often, my sensitivity increases. It took 5-6 days to go away--Horrible!