Part of me, even up until the last period of the last sentence was written in my novel, feared I would never finish the project. The night before I wrote the last two chapters, I had a feeling that the following day I could end the book, and I remembered seriously thinking that that meant I would die in my sleep before the morning came. Before going to bed that night I shared this expectation with my husband as a warning*, and told how I wanted the book to end so he could write it for me posthumously.
(And, that's another reason I sorta felt I was going to die. Because my last name- Posthuma- means "after you die" and is most notably used in conjunction with authors whose work is published WHEN THEY ARE DEAD.)
But, as luck would have it, I didn't bite it before my story had its resolution, and, as a result, my dream I dared not dream--came true.
And honestly, had I known what that was going to feel like, I probably would have dreamed a million dreams before this one. BECAUSE IT WAS AMAZING.
I had asked my family if I could be alone the day I finished the book because, for some reason, it felt like that needed to be a private moment. I definitely wanted to take my turn in celebrating the accomplishment with them, but something inside me was adamant that in those first few moments after, I needed to be alone.
And, maybe it was because I had suspicions that I was going to SERIOUSLY ugly-cry (which I did), but more than that I think I wanted the freedom to react privately.
This was also the scenario I asked for last Friday as I prepared to read the letter my editor had written to my publisher about my book.
Over the course of writing Songs Eight Six, I had several people generous enough with their time to read my story. And honestly, it's because of them cheering me on and rooting for these fictional figments of my imagination that the book will see the light of day. But until my manuscript went to editing, I'd never taken the chance to let someone who DIDN'T know me read it. So, in the back of my mind where Doubt likes to hang out with Self-Consciousness, I wasn't always convinced that everyone loved my story as much as they didn't want to hurt my feelings.
When I opened the document alone in my bedroom, it was ugly-cry all over again.
I had been confident in my story, don't get me wrong, but to hear from A REAL-LIFE BOOK EDITOR that my book was everything I hoped it was...well....moments like that should all come with tiaras and roses.
So, all this to say that round one of editing has been completed, and the two-week deadline I had imposed upon myself to get the manuscript back for round two... Well, I didn't need it. As of this morning, I sent it for the final round.
And ever forward we move toward a release date, which - fingers crossed - should be no later than October.
In the meantime, I've got paper color selections and book size and marketing and blurb writing to do which all make me want to both curl up in the fetal position and shot put a school bus (empty - no children) . I'm both terrified and stoked that this is really happening.
And grateful. So grateful. For this story, for this journey, and for everyone who has been a part of it.
*He knew I was crazy when he married me, and we don't do back-sies