Today's Wednesday, right? I've lost track...
I colored the final four pages by midday, and plan to spend the next day and a half drawing repairs to be pasted over art I'm not happy with, rewriting bits, plugging holes, putting out fires, whacking down moles, etc. Friday I'm trying to reserve entirely for checking and formatting files, preparing notes for my editor and designer, giving one last proof-read, and getting everything ready to send. I hope to upload the final-draft files to Abrams on Saturday, if not sooner. That'll take a while. They're big, high-resolution images and I have 200 of the suckers.
In the weeks to come, I'm sure Abrams and I will do a lot of work on them, both editorially and technically. I am far from done, but I can finally foresee a day when I will be. That will be a good day.
I had a micro-revelation this afternoon. Now that I've got the pages looking pretty good and can lay them all out together, I realized that for the first time it's starting to look like the book I always imagined in my head. In many cases, better and cooler. It also occurred to me that no one else--including my editor and family--could ever see what was in my head and pretty much had to take it on faith that the rough outlines and random artwork I showed them justified the time and risk I was asking them to take. That was quite a leap.
I really love this story. We'll find out if anyone else does, and if it was worth the time and risk, next spring. The lag time leading up to release is one of excitement and anticipation, sifting through tea leaves for subtle clues: How many copies did the chain stores order? What did the trade press people say? What's the buzz? Oh please let there be a buzz.
I've written before about how Mom's Cancer took on a life completely independent of me, occasionally sending home notes from Germany, Italy, or Australia to let me know how it was doing. This time coming up is when that life begins for WHTTWOT. Once it's out of your hands, all you can do is hope it has a good one.