Today, I finally handed in Of Grief, Garlic & Gratitude for the internal design lay-out. What does that mean? It means that as of today, I can’t fuss over the wordings any more. I can’t move sections around any more. I can’t move people within the acknowledgements any more, trying to make sure that placement of their names doesn’t cause hurt feelings. And that is both terrifying and exciting!
To be clear, I could fuss over my books forever. When I look at my three published romance novels, I could go at them now with one of my purple pens and edit away. In my mind, I am never completely, totally done writing and editing my books — they are living documents in my mind.
But this book? This is different. In my mind, this book is both the story of my journey through my first years of grief after Sam’s death, but it is also the story of my love of/for/with Sam. That’s why the subtitle is “Sam’s love story.” The weight of writing this book has been immense. Yes, it was helpful to me in my grieving process, but it also is putting myself out there in terms of exposing my vulnerabilities in a way I have never done before. I wanted it to be perfect. Perfect. I wanted every word to count, and the editing and proofreading to be absolutely perfect.
So now it is in the hands of the publisher, and it is up to them to take that document that is as near to perfect as I (and my amazing team of editors) can make it. Hitting “send” on that email with the file was almost like the last push of giving birth. I am exhausted, terrified, and relieved — all at once.
Now I wait. I wait to see the first internal design layout, then the galleys. Yes, I get to double-check everything at each step, but the writing and re-writing are done.
What will I do now? I think I will go work on my next novel…