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.

At first I thought there was just this, which seemed… well… smaller than I remembered…


But then, inside one of the boxes destined from the basement office to the second floor office, I found the rest…. shredding all of this is going to take weeks!  (also, please sigh in appropriate pleasure at our new basement floor and at our new – already filled – Billy bookcases, in the background).


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.

snippets from about two years into the project…


which then became larger chunks (and the dreaded synopsis)……


and then revisions and more revisions…


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.”

If you look carefully at file names above, you’ll notice a computer file that starts with Sandra’s words – I liked them so much I had to keep them!


What the Oceans Remember: Searching for Belonging and Home is now available for pre-order and you can order it via AmazonIndigo, Powell’s Books, Waterstones, and Blackwell’s, among others! 

(c) Sonja Boon, 2019

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s