Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Finished

Bit by bit, I attached it to an email, swung the bottle of champagne against the side of the ship and set her off with not exactly a whimper, but not a bang, either. The book has gone off!
Now begins the process of copy-editing, looking for photographs, negotiating; a different sort of work. I have just been talking to McMum about the number of different things you have to learn to do, in order to become a published author. You are one of many, and you have to keep the project alive and running, even though such a large part of it is finished.
Hours of extra interviews, transcribed over days, then just a few paragraphs edited and blended into what was already there, sidling them into a book that insisted it was complete and polished! That was tough, and it took a series of six-a.m. fumblings through the fog, into my car and waking up the sleepy computer at seven for a solid two-hour slog before the University got busy and buzzy.
The footnotes wouldn't open up on my Mac so I had to work in my office and I got to know the early-morning cleaners, and to skate across the glassily-mopped linoleum at the foot of the stairs.
I could peer down from my internal window at stretching-time and watch the sandwiches being delivered to the student cafe then beat a retreat home, daily task finished, to drink a cup of coffee at ten o'clock.
It was a strange routine, and now I have another, that of catching up with emails from months ago.
I have a timetable: 10 o'clock, phone this person, email that person; 11 o'clock, email that person, phone this person. There are two actual letters to write, but they will have to wait till last.
I'm not even halfway through today's plan, but there are some satisfying crossings-off, doodled around in dying biro. My reward is to be able to do a bit of reading- Marcel Mauss The Gift- and a bit of drawing, and a bit of music making too.
But best and laziest of all, watching telly!

1 comment:

debi said...

ooh excited! look forward to reading it Helen - hope you are well xxx debi