Of COURSE I had the worst cold of the last year and a half in the middle of this book edit. It took the wind right out of my sails. I was so exhausted even after the worst of it, and I was utterly non-functional for a week, and only partially functionally for the following week.
So, when I finally got back into a groove--my great-uncle passed away. I doled out the five hours for getting to the funeral and back, but of course my brain was far more taken up with grief and family matters than I would have cared to admit. Uncle Doc was such a gentle, good, kind, and funny man, and while I was quite positive that the 93 years he lived were good ones and that he was ready--he STRODE confidently into death, he did--well, you know. Death.
I'll save the reams I could write about all of this for later. And perhaps also for fiction. Or my private journals.
In any case, that was more than I anticipated writing when I came over here to say things that were too long for Twitter, but not THAT much longer, then...
Anyway. I had four full days off (including a weekend) to work on the book, plus an empty house for most of it, and I pulled myself groaning into the final stages last night. I had been diligently going through the book in order: edit a chapter or two fully--which is to say, address everything, major or minor, my editor wanted, including major cuts, line-edits, and emotional continuity checks; do a recorded vocal edit; balance some numbers (I'm trying to shrink this book, not expand it, and also figure out how long this stuff really takes me); move on to the next 1-2 chapters.
Then the full editing pass started accruing more chapters, and I was 7 or 10 chapters behind on vocal edits. Then more. (I had 39 chapters when I started this draft; I'm down to 36, but I'm also down 5,000 words and change.) I started to forget things this way, so I tried to catch up with the vocal edits. I ran into a few chapters where I had almost nothing to change on the vocal edits (chapters, interestingly, which stayed most true to earliest drafts; I guess my last draft wasn't as clean as I'd hoped, but the earlier ones were).
Finally, I basically looked at the time, and pushed through, SAT style where you pick off the easy targets first, to clean up the language, make the cuts, etc. for the last, oh--8 chapters? Leaving the emotional stuff for later.
Last night at 10:30 (bedtime is 11), I made a to-do list for today. I knocked off the first three (easier stuff), and if I can get one of the two major ones done tonight, it will be a true victory.
The biggest issue is that I have NO stomach for the thing that will take me back into the early chapters. I think I worked those over too hard--I can barely stand to look at them. Gah.
Anyway, that took 15 minutes more than I really have, but on the other hand, I may be glad someday that I documented this process.
In BETTER news, my editor wants to talk cover ideas. I'm pulling together my photo-references for her--exciting!