In one week, I’ll be at the book launch for The Y in Life. It’s been a long road.
The proof arrived on Thursday via UPS, after I had left for bowling. I did not receive it until 10AM Friday when the apartment’s front office opened. It was quite surreal. I opened the package in my car and looked at the cover. Amazing. I felt its weight in my hands, and the burden of the clock ticking away the minutes that I had to read through these 417 pages, red pen in hand, before delivering it Sunday to my publisher at the Kerrytown Bookfest in Ann Arbor.
But of course, I had to show it off around town, first.
There I am, outside BD’s Mongolian Grill in Roseville, where my eager publisher, Diana Plopa met me to see how the paper proof turned out. There was much rejoicing.
Time to get to work. I read through the first 195 pages Friday, and the remaining 222 pages on Saturday, without sacrificing the Columbus Crew match (though really, the way they played, it wasn’t much of a reward!). I read it out loud, to my two Russian tortoises, Uma and Mariska. At times their curiosity brought them to face me as they heard my voice, but eventually they’d slip back into sleep.
Then it was on to Ann Arbor Sunday morning to deliver the proof. It didn’t bleed red ink, but I did scratch it up some. I thought it would be easy to turn over to finally put this novel to bed. The manifestation of something that I’ve written and re-written over the past six years was difficult to let go. But if I didn’t, it wouldn’t become the final version of this story and these characters that have lived with me for quite some time. It was time to release it into the world and allow it to become whatever it becomes.
The Y in Life is no longer in my hands. And in a week’s time, it will be in the hands of readers. I trust that the characters and story will take the reader on a journey that inspires and entertains.
Meanwhile, I’m working on a new story, with new characters that I am finding fun and interesting to explore.
Two books on the shelf now. One, the fascinating true story about a remarkable woman; the other, the first of many novels within my imagination and various stages of progress. Nine years separate the publication of these two books. The next novel will be published well before 2022. I promise.