Rancherfriend-E, recruited as my editorial assistant on this project, took far less time than I would have to act like a Sorting Hat and divvy up the stories-so-far between the two proposed collections. I made one change about the time she was emailing me “You could do this instead…” and her this and my that were the same. Then I threw a couple of other things into the first group (partly because I wanted to and partly because it would even up the wordage between the two) and she said “Good idea. I think I’ll take a nap now.”
Rancherfriend-E was a third grader in my elementary school when I was a first-grader and she is now, she reminds me, at the age where you are required to take money out of an IRA. Which means she is allowed to take a nap whenever she wants to. Also she has grandchildren, and is expected to be on-call whenever the parents of said grandchildren have conflicts in their own work schedule. So it may be another day or so before the two final items find their place.
But the main structure’s there for the first one: six stories (two never-before-published) and two legends. I’m also considering subtitles: a group title for all the short-fiction Paksworld collections, and a subtitle for each. This one would be “In the Margins” as all the stories relate to events within the current group of books and deal with characters you’ve already met.
And of course there are the other two new Paksworld stories, which will be appearing in anthologies: one in late 2014 and one in early 2015.
My agent is moving his office this week (the area his present-for-one-more-day office is in having become attractive to developers for expensive condos–buildings around the older one he’s in turning to rubble and then new ones) so I will continue to proofread the texts and start tinkering with the cover design until they’re settled into the new place and the more serious work can start. (You know that thing I keep saying about how many clean-up runs it takes to eliminate every error. I found two in one of the new stories I’d been through at least 20 times. Urgh.)