Fears Seen as Wishes

fantasy novel To see fears as wishes is a crazy idea I got the other day, but I am going to go through with it anyway. Why? Because, in my opinion, any reflection which offers distance from fears can be helpful.

Fears as wishes then. How can a fear be a wish? In essence, I could decipher two kinds of wishes camouflaged as fears:

– the wish that something does not happen (being the fear of it happening);

– the wish that things do not change (being the fear of change).

Let me give you an example. I am in the process of publishing my second paperback: Vivvy and Izzy the Dwarf: A series about relationships – Book 1: Out of the Forest and into the City. A Fantasy Novel. Already while preparing the files for the book designer I was very nervous. I checked everything twice. Then, after his typesetting and cover design, I got even more scared. I read the whole text again. It was very difficult to concentrate on the text, because I had perused it so many times before. But I did it somehow and I only found one mistake worth mentioning. I would have found the mistake, even if I had not read the whole text word by word. Nevertheless, it was not enough. The trepidation in me was still strong. My husband suggested I compared the numbers of characters in individual chapters in Word: the numbers in my original files with the numbers in designer’s files. My original files were already Word files and I checked the numbers there. Then, I copied the text from the designer’s pdf-files to Word and clicked on Word Count. To my horror, there were some tiny differences – mostly one character less in a chapter. After that, my husband was kind enough to suggest and do the so called bisection analysis. He cut each chapter in halves and compared the halves. Then he took the half, which contained the difference in characters and cut it in half again and again, until he could isolate a paragraph with the difference. He, then, checked the paragraph word by word. The difference in characters turned out to have happened while copying the text from pdf files to Word. Word automatically deleted hyphens inside compound words, if the hyphen appeared precisely at the end of a line. To sum up, we found no new mistakes, but the character analysis made me feel secure. So I repeated it two more times, when I got new versions from my designer.

You can imagine how nervous I am now, waiting for a proof copy from the printing company. God knows what kind of analysis I will think of this time.

But, all in all, I must say that I am proud of myself, because at least for Out of the Forest and into the City I am checking things myself. For my first book, Balancing the Beast, I stopped checking, when my English Language Editor was done and carefully read by me. After that my husband did all the perusing and analyzing the designer’s and the printer’s work.

To sum up, my fears about finding mistakes in the printed version of my second book are really a wish for a perfect book. What vanity! Yet, I must mention, in my defense, that while reading the first pdf version received from my designer I found two smaller content inconsistencies and I decided to leave them in the book. And guess what: I can live with it. Just like craftsmen in middle ages making a deliberate small flaw in their product, saying: “Only God is perfect.” Maybe I am stepping on a now path of reduced vanity and better controlled wishes.

Take care,

Helena Smole, author of:

– a fantasy novel with romance Vivvy and Izzy the Dwarf: A series about relationships

Balancing the Beast, a book offering a bright view of schizoaffective disorder ˗ bipolar or manic-depressive type

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