Into the Great Wide Open

I just sent back my responses to the final proofreading queries about GROUNDED.

That’s final. Final final. After revising and revising and revising, after line edits and copyedits, after the 1st-pass proof and the 2nd-pass proof, this 3rd pass was IT. Like, really it.

It doesn’t feel real. I’ve been nudging sentences to behave themselves and licking commas off this thing for years. And now, more than a decade after beginning the first draft of this story, it’s done. Done done.

Dun dun DUN.

It’s scary.

But it’s not too scary. Cheryl Klein is work ethic personified; this is an exhaustive, exacting process, and she is repeatedly meticulous. The production editor, copyeditor, and proofreader were also extremely particular. Thanks to their suggestions, I’ve made thousands of changes, ranging from the mountainous to the microscopic.

When I got my galleys in the mail, I went to put them away out of reach where my four-year-old son could not sticky them up. As I was standing there in the closet, I opened up a galley and started to read from a random point, and although this is a book that I can practically recite in my sleep, I was absorbed by it. I stood there and read fifty pages before I realized what I was doing – mostly because it was so smooth. And trust me, this isn’t me patting myself on the back for my smooth, uncluttered writing. It’s not like it was born that way. It took much guidance and many rounds of careful application to weed out all the stumbling stones.

And now it’s done. It’s not perfect, because nothing is, but it’s perfect for me.

I need a Kleenex. I didn’t realize that writing “Stet” and then “Yes” five times was going to be so emotional. But goodness, this is bittersweet.

Goodbye, Rapunzel. Be good out there, and have lots of adventures. I love you.


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