Around Thanksgiving, I received my four proof copies of Dissonance. My husband promptly claimed one of his own as a keepsake. Seeing the story printed in book form made him realized that I had actually written a book. He said it just didn’t seem real until he saw the book with the ISBN printed on the back. I have to agree, seeing that paperback really hit home. I wrote a book! I claimed the paperback with the bent corner on the cover, after all my plan was to destroy the interior with pen and pencil marks in an attempt to make the story stronger. The third copy was reserved for my friend in Florida who has been a great supporter and fan throughout my writing journey and the fourth was unclaimed.
I posted the above image on my Facebook feed on December 3 and solicited a high school friend to edit. She requested a printed copy as it was easier for to keep track of her notes. I procrastinated, as usual, in sending out the books. I knew once I mailed those copies, there was no turning back. My book would be in the hands of an old friend that at one point in her career worked for an editor. It was a daunting idea. Fear took over, it is a scary proposition having your book in the hands of a critic. She is an entirely fresh set of eyes. She is only familiar with the story through my posts on Facebook. I am anxious about her review. Though, I already know I will have a lot of work to do once she finishes her read through.
So, the Friday before Christmas, I trudged to the post office, waiting in a ridiculously long line to mail out these two books. I mailed them the cheapest possible way (media mail) and the anticipated arrival date was Christmas Eve. Once I mailed the books, I felt amazingly light on my feet. For the second time in less than a month this writing thing felt real.
On Christmas Eve, I received the above text from my friend Avion in Florida. That one text made Christmas time seem so much better (apparently I was a Grinch this year). I smiled all day and felt like a real writer. Avion has been with me from the beginning. She was there during the inception of the Malcolm Stone saga. She encouraged me to continue writing and even to make the story into a full length book instead of the short story it started as. Neither of us would have imagined the idea of a man who lost his wife and attempting to rebuild his life would end up as a three part series. The two of us spent countless lunches and breaks at work talking about Malcolm as if he were a real person, teasing out ideas of what should happen to him next. Though in the end she might be disappointed with the ending, personally I think it has turned out better than I ever imagined. I even posted her text on my Facebook feed saying texts like that made me happy to be a writer. My editor friend promptly commented she was already on Chapter 5.
I am currently on Chapter 7. This read through is taking me much longer to complete than I originally thought it would. Mostly because of the holiday season and family obligations. I am surprised at how many errors are still remaining after the numerous prior edits I’ve completed. Reading my work in book form seems to have given me a bit of distance from the story. I can treat it as the work of someone else, which has given me the objectivity that I was lacking on the other edits. I have probably only had a handful of pages, less than a dozen, that I haven’t noted some sort of change. It has been so much fun to watch this project fit together.
With my books in the hands of people who will help make it better, there is no turning back. I am committed to finishing this project I have started. Knowing the amount of joy I felt when hearing people were happy to have my book in all of it’s imperfections, makes me know I have chosen the right path for me.
I AM A WRITER
*Due to unforeseen circumstances, I may have to delay the release of Dissonance until Spring 2015