It is done.
I’m satisfied and all that, but I’m mostly tired. The book was due, well, originally in 2019? I don’t know. Time is a construct. Editing schedules are not a construct. I know. You’d think it was the other way around, but no.
My editor knows how my brain works. Or she doesn’t give a fuck how my brain works, but she’s real good at communicating how her brain works. And her brain works on a series of deadlines. For example, “this is when your book is due.” But also, “just tell me your timeline” (I’m real bad at estimating timelines. I perpetually announce dinner will be in an hour and serve dinner three hours later). Finally, she tells me “I need it by this date if you want to keep your publication date.” Her real kindness is honestly not caring when I finish as long as I communicate with her. And learning to text so I can communicate with her (thanks Cindy love you xxoo).
Anyway, I did the math a couple weeks ago and figured out how many words per day would get the book done in time. (Yes, yes, I should have “done the math” and “finished the book” before a couple weeks ago). I did okay with it. Largely because my wife is a kindly soul who provides things like nachos and coffee and beer and quiet time (But if I’m being honest, the kitten was not helpful. I mean, she tried, but her typing skills are frankly subpar). Also, my wife is my only beta reader. I used to have more beta readers, but they weren’t as brutally honest as my wife? And, you know, my wife will read my entire novel in a day if I ask her. And if I edit it and ask her to read it again the next day, she will.
Did I mention Sacramento is having a heat wave? It’s been 107 since this weekend. I like heat. I do not like changing my entire outfit because I went outside for twenty minutes and sweated through my underwear, shorts, and tank top. I don’t like air-conditioning, which is a bummer when it’s 107 and the low (the low!) is 82. Also, my best writing is done on the porch. It was rough, pals.
And, yes, I did do all the laundry, make multiple unnecessarily complicated meals, and take apart the ice machine to clean it with a toothbrush in the last week. No, I did not regularly shower or eat meals (six per day or nothing is my motto. For both).
On Friday, I stayed up until almost four? On Saturday, I pulled an all-nighter. I. Am. Too. Old. For. All. Nighters. I turned in the book at 5:56 a.m. We’d finally opened the windows at three. It was already over 90 at six when we crawled into bed. Yes, we. My darling, wonderful wife stayed up editing, reading, pep talking me all night (do you need to sit in a different chair?Coffee? Jolly Ranchers? Your glasses cleaned? A popsicle?). She gets me. I mean, who else is going to suggest I take a shower at one in the morning because I need to emotionally reset and that’s the fastest method? Who else won’t flinch when I play folklore by Taylor Swift for the seventh time in nine hours? Who else will tell me I’m being a dick going through her edits and I can’t rush her explanations just because I’m tired? More importantly, who will ignore their cabin fever after the all-nighter and the novel-writing binge because they know I need to de-stress by watching Teenage Bounty Hunters and eating pizza for twenty hours straight? I married up, folks.
Now that it’s done, I guess I should tell you about it. This book is Journey to Cash. It’s the fourth and final Cash Braddock book. Here’s the blurb I wrote about a decade ago:
“Cash Braddock thought everything was great. Her drug business sold for a nice chunk. She’s opening an art gallery. And she’s finally free of the Sacramento Police Department.
But then the mother she hasn’t seen in twenty-three years knocks on her door. And Laurel Kallen, the ex-girlfriend who broke her heart, rolls into town. Oh, and Laurel has a message: Cash’s former business partner is back and wants to kill them both. Which is a real bummer.
Cash is no stranger to the consequences of her poor decisions, but this time everyone and everything she loves might pay the price.”
You can order it here. I’m going to go take a nap.