I once ran a half marathon where toward the end, the course ran under the highway. Right before you went into the underpass, you saw the high school where everything ended. It was right there. Just on the other side of the highway.
You could hear the music.
You could hear the cheers.
It was so close you could taste it.
But when you came out of the tunnel, the path didn't go up and right, it went down and left. That's when I realized the last mile marker had been 11, which meant 2 miles to go. So I plunged into the woods, trying to ignore the sense that I was losing elevation in addition to going the wrong way. That feeling melted away, however, when the path finally turned back and I saw the treeline. I burst into the sunshine with a "Yessssss!"
And that's when I saw it. The path didn't look exactly like this:
But it was close.
Back and forth.
For another mile and a half.
And that's what my copy edits experience was like.
I got the manuscript back from the publisher about 9 days earlier than expected, but also about 2 days before the "very earliest" I could reasonably expect it. I had until July 14th (2 weeks) to turn them back in. This is not a complaint.
Ever flexible, I made a plan of attack: I would go through the manuscript in the first week, making (or denying) corrections, then I would make a "clean" copy with changes accepted/rejected and comments deleted. After a couple days off from the book, I would read that on my kindle, making notes of places to check, change, or smooth. I did all this while prepping for a road trip and to teach a 2.5 hour class at the writing center. 'Cause I'm Batman!
Everything was on track until I came home from teaching my class, totally braindead, but happy. I had an email from the head editor of the publisher saying wonderful things about all the revisions... but... well, to sum up, she wanted stuff added. Like two chapters worth. I was too fried to react more than this:
We're gonna need a bigger book.
And I'm not complaining. I totally wanted to do the things. But I only had five days until the deadline, and I still needed to read the manuscript again and also drive 600 miles with five kids in a minivan. So I asked for more time, which they gave.
Here's the cool part.
This road trip was so grandparents could take 3/5 of my kids camping, leaving me with two teens that mostly wanted to be left alone. I had more free time than I've had in years.
We went hiking, we picked blueberries, we went to a theme park. And I still hit the ORIGINAL deadline of July 14th. Medal. T-shirt. Banana.
Look at me and my bad self!
COPY EDITS = DONE
And since this blog entry has gone long, I'll just link to my other news item, that I have a (not-final) jacket description of the book posted on Goodreads. Oh, and a new title if you didn't know.
And last but not least...
I HAVE A PUBLICATION DATE.
I was set for Fall 2017, but the release is now set for...