Sunday, September 6, 2009

It's a wonderful world.

I'm on my last read through. I feel like I've been saying this for years. Every time I finish editing this manuscript I think it's done, but then it returns with a message to read through it one more time. I've been putting this last read-through off for so long it's pathetic. There's no excuse. And today I'm feeling too sluggish to physically move my entire body, so it's a great time to get this done.

I'm sitting in my daughter's RejuveNation LifeSpa on the square in McKinney, Texas with a kitten sprawled across the table with a paw resting on the keyboard. Moo the dog is curled up under my chair and "Over the Rainbow" is playing on the radio while I type this, the reggae version that's mixed with "What a Wonderful World." I can't keep my foot from tapping on the hardwood floor.

And, yes, I'm really and truly reading this manuscript for the very last time before it grows up to be a book. That's what I've been told -- if there's no further corrections. Oh, sweet Jesus, let this be the perfect version.

Anyway, while reading I ran across this paragraph that took my breath away. It's lovely when that happens to me, when something I've written sparks something within me that touches me deeply.

And, when I read something I've written and I'm moved by how it's written. The writer in me jumps for joy. It's a moment when I want to toast to myself for allowing whatever force there is to work it's magic through me.

I came across such a paragraph at the end of a chapter where Grace, the main character, is interacting with her long-time husband. I love how the words speak volumes of what is way too common in long relationships:

"She looked into Jack's eyes, at the little flecks of brown around his irises. She felt the burn of his hands on her shoulders and his breath on her cheek. There had been a time that being this close to Jack would have melted her knees. Now she felt badly, horribly guilty, that being this near to him only made her gasp, for she had never noticed before the tiny lines crisscrossing alongside his eyes or the fresh gray in his sideburns."

* * * * *

And now it's been days since I wrote the above entry, but today, 9-9-09, at 5:16 I sent my last digital proof to the publishers. In a while (I don't know when.) I'll receive the first printed version of it to read through again before it gets sent out into the world.

This has been so long in coming. So long. I would have normally spent at least a few moments beating myself up about how long I've procrastinated, how long I've spent NOT doing what I knew I needed to do to get it done. Instead, something else very magical happened. I spent the last read-through while sitting in a business in the square of downtown McKinney, Texas, which is surprisingly very much like the town described in my novel. I wrote this book long before I ever divorced, left my husband, quit working in his office, moved to the mountains in Colorado, and finally moved to this small town-like city where I work in the coolest building on the square with my daughter.

What's most astonishing about this is that I wrote the main character's story long before it became my own. The book is based in a fictional town called Langsberry, Colorado where the main events center around the square where the people work and play and some live. While re-reading the manuscript I felt as if I was reading about the town I live in now and reading about my life now, years after writing the words I had been reading. If I had finished this all those years ago, I would have never had the magical experience I had today.

So, I wonder is there really such a thing as procrastination or is it perfect timing instead? Who says the book was meant to be finished any sooner than right now? Who says there's anything wrong with allowing a manuscript to go untouched for years before completing it? Who says? Not me anymore. Now I know better. I showed up. I just showed up and the magic happened. How beautiful is that?

And today I was gifted by a lovely man with a download of a song I absolutely love, a song that I've wanted to have for many years now, but didn't even know the name of the singer. That very song happens to be the song I wrote about listening to at the beginning of this post. Now I'll be tapping my foot on the hardwood floor in RejuveNation LifeSpa on a regular basis, because now I have "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/It's a Wonderful World" on my computer because of him.

It really is a wonderful world and I feel as though I've discovered the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Again.