Behold, my manuscript in its supreme thickness:
Does it not scare you? It totally scares me. I can't stand details. If I were a copy editor, I would shoot myself. St. Martin's recently fed-exed me the copy edited version of my manuscript for review, and I found it immensely painful to check over the grammar, spelling and facts once again. Even though I wrote it, even though it is all about ME. Thus, I've gained a new respect for the kind- and sheer amount- of work that copy editors do. So どもありがとうございます, wherever you are.
I did the vast majority of proofreading yesterday, sitting on the Yamanote train line that circles around the city of Tokyo. I had a three hour break between appointments during the day, so my monster of a manuscript and I managed to make the loop three times. There is something about being on a moving train that is conducive to my getting work done, though I couldn't tell you what it is.
Because you can stay on this train without really going anywhere, the Yamanote is useful for many ends aside from simple commuting (presuming that it is not rush hour, when just getting into the train is an adventure in itself). For example, there is an informal Halloween party every year. It is an open-invitation festival in which one designated car on a specific train becomes filled with party-goers in costume. The public consumption of alcohol not prohibited anywhere in this city, so the party is BYOB. Last December, I made a valiant effort to throw my 26th birthday party on the Yamanote line. My birthday falls between Christmas and New Year's however, a time when most people are busy or go traveling, so I couldn't manage to gather enough people to effectively turn one train car into a party. We went to karaoke instead, which was just as well.
Anyways, back to my editing binge.
I talk to myself a lot. This is especially the case as I am reviewing my manuscript on the Yamanote. It results in various involuntary expletives such as "Oh god, I can't believe I wrote about that night!" or "I'm such a drunken whore!" or the ever popular "somebody just kill me and get this over with!" My mumbling is basically psychotic, because I feel like I can't possibly mean what I'm saying. But by the time I realize what I've said, it's already out there, and a group of school children sitting in the seats across from me are silently affirming their suspicion that all foreigners are CRAZY.
But they will all get off at the next stop. That is the other great thing about the Yamanote.