Yesterday, I finished the draft of Every Little Lamb! I sent it off, finally, to Susanna. I am ready for her to take this book out to sell, and I really, really hope that Susanna thinks so, too. I need an editor’s hand to shape it now. I do not think it’s ready to hit the shelves; I have enough sense to know it’s not. But it’s ready to sell, I think. I hope.
I finished the draft in a soulless Panera in Walnut Creek as I waited for my car to be tuned up (all day, at the cost of a thousand dollars – really need to sell this book!). I love a Panera because there isn’t enough there there even to despise it. You can just go and sit and drink good–enough coffee. They have one gluten-free chocolate cookie. Their salads are subpar but edible. Their music is low enough to be covered by white noise, their internet fast enough to read email, and their chairs comfortable enough to sit in for long periods of time. Their employees don’t give a shit if you stay for hours on one cup of coffee—it’s just one less table they have to clean for a while. And there are always enough tables so that I don’t have a moment’s guilt of taking one up for a long time. It’s corporate. It’s McDonalds for cafe writers.
And that’s where I finished this third draft! I never knew I could feel such joy in such a plastic place! I had actually forgotten the new ending (no surprise to me, the forgetting itself), and I gasped as something rather shocking happened. And I almost cried! Given that I can cry over nothing but the Very Biggest Bad things right now, that was awesome. I love crying at my own work. Some people think that that’s the sign you’ll really move people, that if you can make yourself, the creator, cry, that you’ll make everyone else sob. I don’t think that’s true, though I do love to make people cry with my books. I think that the author gets so damn close to the characters and sees them in so many different lights for so long, that we might be the easiest of all to make cry with our work. Feels like cheating. But since I got close to it, I’ll take that as a good sign. My fingers are so firmly crossed they ache.