Monday, February 28, 2011

To Fizz or Not to Fizz



Deb: I've just finished my second copy edit in the last three and a half weeks, the first for the UK, the second for the US. The scribbled-on manuscript went into the Fed Ex drop at at quarter to six this afternoon, just under the wire. We writers all know what a HUGE relief that is . . . sort of.

But it's also wrenching, the last birth pang of a book that's taken us a good few months, and sometimes years, to bring to life. It's our last chance to get it right, to participate in the story, to check our logic, to make sure that our characters have done and said all the things we'd like for them to do and say. Because the next time we see these pages, they will be typeset--a real BOOK. And although we'll read for type-setting errors, we will then be outside the story. Observers, not writers.

Today, the book is out of my hands. So elation is mixed with a smidgen of sadness. My brain is fried. (I meant to blog about a very interesting true crime, but discovered I simply could not contemplate the repercussions of DNA testing. Not today.)

So what did I do to celebrate? Champagne? Dinner at Rick's Chophouse? (the most elegant option in my town.) Not exactly.

I was thrilled to wash my hair. I made tortellini and watched a little mindless TV. I thought about how much I would LOVE to clean my house and do a little work in the garden Read a good book. Sleep.

But by tomorrow, I suspect that the next book, put in abeyance
these last few days, will be making nagging demands. And that perhaps I can contemplate that champagne cocktail.

So what about you, my fellow Jungle Red writers, and you, dear
readers? How do you celebrate the last touches to a book, or a major milestone?

14 comments:

Roberta Isleib said...

Congratulations Deb! I'm sure your readers and fans are not one bit sad that the books are further along the pipeline...

I'm like you--cleaning, organizing, cooking, gardening--I like to celebrate by catching up with the physical things I haven't had time for. Isn't it funny that cleaning the house becomes a reward?

Tammy Kaehler said...

I'm pretty sure in my life that cleaning a house has never been anything remotely resembling a reward ... but then again, I'm sure Roberta is a much better person than I am (with a significantly cleaner house)!

I'm not good at rewards ... I bought makings for a lovely, big breakfast for my husband and me when my ARCs (my first ever!!) arrived, and we never managed to make it. I'm finishing up the final proofreads to those ARCs this week, and thinking I should celebrate. But life overtakes me. Maybe the reward is just sitting still (or a nice walk) without my brain churning on all the details I have to track.

Kaye Barley said...

Deb! Yay!!!!!! I cannot WAIT to read the next one. (you already knew that, huh?!).

There really is something about a sparkly clean house, I have to admit. Once the house is as it should be, I find I'm able to totally relax with a good book. When I'm fretting about things needing to be done, my relaxing time isn't as relaxing as it should be.

Rhys Bowen said...

Congrats on getting it done while still fighting jetlag, Deb.
My new book, Bless the Bride, is out today and I'm celebrating with champagne at the Poisoned Pen bookstore.
But usually when I've been working like crazy and want to treat myself I go to my health club and sit in the spa and decompress.

Jungle Red Writers said...

Huge congratulations to Rhys!!! And we will be talking to her about her new book here at JR tomorrow.

I can't think of a nicer way to celebrate a new book than having a glass of champagne at The Poisoned Pen, then going to a spa. Enjoy!!!

Hallie Ephron said...

I confess I reward myself by NOT WRITING. I shop. Read. Go to a movie. Take a walk. Really big milestones get a special meal -- like Roberta I cook it myself and then it tastes exactly the way I want it. Lobster. Or a good steak. Or homemade pasta (gotta rope my husband into helping). Wine with bubbles. Sooo jealous, Deborah.

Rosemary Harris said...

I want Rhys' day! Actually I hate that last day. I know I'll find something later one that I could have done better and it will drive me nuts. One day bothered me so much I asked to have it changed in the paperback edition and they did - at least they said they did...I'll know in 3 weeks.
Go for the champagne!

Rosemary Harris said...

Yikes...if only English were my first language...later ON....one THING

Julia Spencer-Fleming said...

I'm in the cleaning house camp, at least when it comes to celebrating the completion of the first draft. When I'm pushing to finish the book, I get quite manic toward the end, working crazy hours, neglecting hearth and home, etc. So after I type "the end," it's like waking up to a new world. A world in which no one has cleared off the dining room table or done the laundry in a week.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Celebration. Deb, I'm--bad at it. I really am.

I have this idea that if I celebrate, it'll be "before the fall." SO I acknowledge, and persevere.

I try to. And goodness knows i have a LOT to be thrilled about! And I am. But actually opening all the champagne that's in my fridge waiting for the big day? Huh.

Jan Brogan said...

I'm with Tammy. Housecleaning is NOT a reward.

All that organizational stuff comes later.

I like to go the gym. Or if it's nice, a hike in the woods. More tennis that week. More yoga.

But Ro, I know what you mean, it's a weird empty feeling when you are done. It should feel wonderful, but it feels weird.

Deborah Crombie said...

How exciting are we, that for most of us the idea of cleaning house is a "reward"? But for all of us, it seems, when we're working (on whatever stage of a book that requires really intense focus) everything else goes to pot. I dream of an organized, regular life, where work is balanced with keeping everything else ticking along, but it never seems to happen.

Maybe I'll have to leave that to my characters . . .

But I will celebrate in Florida this weekend, I promise!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Cleared off the dining room table? (Maniacal laughter...)

SO happy, thought, that someone else's is used for not-dining--in my case, a catch-all file cabinet waiting room mail repository..

hakan said...

I have this idea that if I celebrate