If someone had asked me last weekend if this week was going to be An Exciting Week, I would've squinted at that overly optimistic individual, mumbled something about how Mardi Gras was over and the Ides of March were still some days away and, also, that we were completely out of chocolate. (I'd searched through the cabinets and everything. All forms of decadence were gone, gone, gone like the truffles...) So, no. Nothing too exciting on this week's horizon.
But then I got a call from my editor. The copyedits for According To Jane were in! Would I be home to get them? (YES!) Would I be able to return them by St. Patrick's Day? (Sure! I'm not Irish. I have no plans.) Would I let him know if any questions came up? (Ha. When has anyone--ever--stopped me from asking questions?)
And so they arrived on my doorstep via Express Mail. They came with Book Specifications (trim size, tentative page count, etc.). A Design Memo (codes for the epigraphs, chapter numbers, lists or letters in the text). A Treatment of Quotations (i.e., "If a character, other than Ellie and Jane speaking to each other, is quoting someone else: roman/single and double quotes"). A Style Sheet (i.e., "No series comma" and "Spell out numbers in dialogue, except where awkward or confusing"). A List of Characters (my characters! their distinguishing features!). 376 Red-Pencil-Edited Pages (where a lot of my unnecessary ellipses met their death and a handful of awkward/unclear passages were outed at last--Bless you, oh wonderful CE!).
But, best of all, there was the Production Transmittal--complete with my very own ISBN number. OMG! Finally.
This book came into existence for me 4 1/2 years ago. It's been real to me for a long, long time. So today didn't exactly bring the novel to life, but it did do something. To it. And to me. Re-energized us, perhaps. Fused us closer. I'm not sure. But whatever it is, we jointly exist out in the world now. Or, as Rick would say, "Together Forever and Never to Part. Together Forever We Two..."