I sent off my last set of proofreading comments/changes a couple of weeks ago.
While I was working on those last changes, at home we were embarking on a massive rearrangement and renovation project that has involved pulling up flooring, laying new flooring, installing new cabinets, putting together Billy bookcases for our endlessly proliferating books, and moving rooms around (well, not the physical rooms, but their occupants and their contents). One of these steps involved moving our shared office space from the basement up to kid the elder’s former bedroom on the second floor.
In the process, I found all the hard copy drafts of What the Oceans Remember, a few reams of paper’s worth printed over the past couple of years.
Although it may look like it, I didn’t print out every draft. I didn’t even print half. Or even a quarter.
It took many, many (many, many, many) drafts to write this book. Before and in between these paper drafts were others: from tiny snippets of writing, way back in the beginning, to larger chunks as I moved into a book format, and finally, into a number of full drafts.
Now, there’s no more massaging left to do.
Soon, very soon, the manuscript will head off to the hands of its makers – the printers who will transform all of this into a real, physical book. The prospect is alternately daunting and exhilarating. I’m suspended in a 2.5 month space between disbelief, excitement, trepidation, and fear.
(Who am I kidding? I’m terrified, plain and simple! But things that terrify you make you stronger, yes?)
As I let this manuscript-almost-book go, I have to remind myself of my friend Sandra Schulze‘s wise words in response to a social media post where I was bemoaning the misery of final proofreading.
“What do the masters of Persian carpets say?” she wrote. “Leave a small error or two, so as not to compete with the perfection of the divine.”
(c) Sonja Boon, 2019