003 (800x600)The UPS man brought them Saturday. We met him at the door - me and the three boys - staring out the glass like we hadn't seen another human for months. The kids were dancing around like the package was filled with candy and Pokémon cards instead of "just a bunch of boring paper" (even though I told them that's exactly what it was). They slunk away and I flipped through, scanning all those red marks. I read the first couple pages. The exciting and harmless stuff. My name, the title, the copyright text, publisher info.

Then I carefully avoided it for the next couple days.

Copyedits are exciting because they mean the book is almost real, the next-to-last time I'll read it before its a bound copy. They're scary as hell for the same reason. What if its not as good as I remember? What if there's a massive plot hole? What if the characters are flat? I could go on for hours. Which is stupid because, by this point, the manuscript's been read fifty-bazillion times by a roomful of different people at each of its hundred stages of revision. It can't be that bad.

I read once that some writers, if left to their own devices, will just keep revising and revising and never really think something's done. I can totally see that.

The other excuse monkey wrench is I feel like I'm in a groove with TUNNELS, the manuscript I'm drafting. I've hit my word count goals. I like the direction the plot has taken and I don't really want to tear away when I've finally gotten the voice just right. Of course, last year when I was fast-drafting during NaNoWriMo, there was the Thanksgiving holiday (who picked November for NaNo anyhow? Wouldn't, say....February have been a smarter choice?) and Hurricane Sandy which, together, had my kids out of school more than they were in. So if I got a draft done around that, taking a couple days for copyedits should be easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy as the five-year-old says.

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October 11 is my deadline. Plenty of time. I'm going to write a little on TUNNELS and then dive into the THIS IS HOW IT ENDS pages. As soon as I work up the nerve.

A big thanks to Bara, the copyeditor, who from the looks of it, did an amazing job picking through the details of the story.

She also left me a really nice note on the first page that makes re-reading a little less scary.