Today was the day.
The gmail alert went off early. I opened half an eyeball to check and there it was. The IngramSpark proof had arrived… again. But today… this day… it was going to be all good. the final copy. perfect. or at least close to. I just knew it… or was willing it to be true because secretly I was unsure I had much sanity left to go through another failed error bastard proof. I was dangerously close to packing the entire self-publishing thing in and seriously considering sending the book off to a local publisher, hoping for the best and be done with it.
I stared at the email for a few seconds, and for a brief moment contemplated opening my laptop. I didn’t. I was calm, eerily so. It was all very pretzel on the mountain pose, so I left it, went for a shower and continued with the madness of the last day of school routine.
Later I set up my cheer squad (image above), because everyone needs a little help from their friends. My good luck charms.
And then I opened it.
Princess Leia and R2D2 circa Empire Strikes Back and my first Swatch Watch circa 1985 WITH original handmade friendship pins AND indignant pug in the background going hell for leather on her flim-flam – did the trick!
So You Are… Pregnant! has FINALLY been approved in PRINT form.
Won’t lie – it has been a finnicky, fiddly, faily-failure, little fuckery of a ride over the last few weeks. I had planned on having everything beautifully finalised, organised and orderly at the beginning of December, knowing how my life usually rolls around this time of the year.
If I could release the book at the beginning of the month – I could work on the promo when my kids were at school and then at night once hols begun. It was a sensible, well thought out plan until I remembered one part of my list that was never really executed or ticked off:
Because the editing and fCking formatting (from hell) took sooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo long and drained what little time I had this year – that major element was pushed back and back and back until I was right in the thick of it – having to wrap my severely limited brain capacity around a level of geek even my tech-savvy husband scratched his head at. Suffice to say – it was fricken intense.
Here’s the dreamlist that I’ll hopefully look back on in a few years and lmao about:
Alas, it’s been nothing but high level eye-twitching, stress-inducing, temple-palpitation-ing, laptop-head-leaning-balling, breakdown-after-breakdowning and self-doubt-tsunami-ing instead.
Shit has been released online, but no one knows it even exists and I am absolutely, utterly petrified and clueless of what to do about any of it. Everything up until about 30 minutes ago had been put on hold until I got the all clear from IngramSpark.
And the other day I did. All the crazy emotions were there and I was soooo excited about finally moving forward. Until I opened the proof and the ENTIRE manuscript had been chopped at the edges. Balloon. Deflate. Boo. Effing. Hoo.
In the many, many, many, many, many copies I had fuffed around with in the many, many, many different programs I wrote this thing in – after reverting back to where I had originally started – I failed to put in the 6×9 margins, or the bastard, bollocky, boofhead – BLEED, or adjusted my images accordingly.
I shall spare you the trauma that followed.
Good news – I worked it all out without being hospitalised – yay.
I got it.
A lovely, normal, readable 6×9. No choppies, no major mistakies, no melt-downies.
FCk yes. FINALLY.
Did I cry? Of course. Like a blubbery slug.
Was there any mistakes I’m not divulging?
(This one is for free though there is most likely a THOUSAND to be discovered – especially where commas and apostrophes are involved. On page 2 of THE BLOODY LONG BEGINNING… it should say:
“Mmm. Ah. Okay. Oh, dear,” she mumbles, looking down at your hands. The knuckle cracking is slightly anti-subtle.
instead it reads:
“Mmm. Ah. Okay. Oh, dear,” she mumbles, suddenly look at your hands. Your knuckle cracking is slightly anti-subtle.
That sort of shit editing is what sent my overthinking paranoia into overdrive over the last year. However, now, for the literal sake of my mental wellbeing I have to let it go. C’est la vie, unfortunately.)
And here’s the main tea…
I fiddled around with the images at least 6 billion times – and even on the 6 billion and 6th time I was forced to re-work them because of tech reasons (to this day I still do not remotely understand) – I refused to give up on them. When I and the arsehole progression of programs were satisfied – I was 100% certain there were FINALLY no errors left.
Alas, I failed to bring a Page Break up onto page 90 and it therefore created a blank page between 90 and 91.
When I saw it – my heart sunk. I had specifically gone back and corrected this error SO MANY TIMES and to see that white space staring back at me – was hugely disappointing. The thought of going through this whole process yet again immediately began a suckery leaching of the sliver of energy remaining.
But then something lovely happened. The suckery stopped. I stopped. Because I was so utterly exhausted and no longer gave a shit – yes – but mainly because I saw potential in that white, wanker of a blank page.
It was human. It was relevant. It was current. It echoed the entire book.
The potential for Page 90 & a half to be someone else’s space for a vent, or a sketch, or record fave quotes, or note scratchings, doodling, secret keeping, deep thought releasing, love letter taking, piss-taking… whatever.
Suddenly it was a gift rather than a curse. A little chrissy cock-up. One last thing I could share with the reader, who one – bothered to buy my book and two – hopefully read it and got all the goodies I set out to give nearly two years ago.
So if you do happen to come across PAGE 90 & A HALF – it’s your very own holiday miracle fck up to do what you wish. Cherish it as you would your own lesson building mistakes – because how boring and bland would the world be if we were all perfect?
Fa la la la laa… far-king oath.
UPDATE: RE-EDITED. GOT RID OF PAGE 90 & A HALF. THERE ARE MANY, LIKE WAY TOO MANY BLANK PAGES AT THE END BECAUSE I COULD NOT RE-EDIT ANOTHER COVER WITH A DIFFERENT PAGE COUNT. SO THE FINAL VERSION INCLUDES NOT ONE, NOT TWO – BUT FOUR DOUBLE SIDED BLANK PAGES AT THE END. GRAFFITI AT WILL.