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The Cruelest Part of Publishing a Book

. . .Is the waiting.

I'm finished with the words. Now the process takes hold, and that's when you're truely tested as a writer. Reviewing the proof is like holding your brand new baby in your arms, but only for as long as needed to count all the toes and the fingers before this bright, glowing new creation is whisked away by specialists. In this case, looking for captions, spellings, picture placements, back cover copy, author picture. The cover is tweaked time and again. Too dark? Too light? Too grey? Too green? It is out of my hands until publisher, designer, proof reader, and finally I can once again agree on the look of my baby.

Then more patience is needed as we wait for the mailman to bring the second proof. One day, two, three days, looking for a package that is just the right book size, giving away the clue to the treasure the box holds inside. Waiting.

By the third proof, waiting for the hardcover to arrive only to find that it was addressed to my dear publisher's house in Oregon while she is flying to her family home in Maryland--I am ready to holler, "Just print the damn thing and get this eternal waiting over!"

But I don't say that. I plan the Launch Party, send out invitations and hope the books will come in time and my long wait will finally end triumphantly with book in hand. And the nuturing can begin.

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