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It’s gone off again, redux

Well, I finished going through the copyedits and making all the corrections at around 8 PM last night. Since Norton needed the manuscript back on Monday, I took it over to the post office first thing this morning and overnighted it. (Item: It costs $53.72 to overnight a thousand pages of manuscript from Charles City, Virginia, to 500 Fifth Avenue, New York.)

Now I’m feeling slightly at sea. Checking up on all those little inconsistencies and misspellings and incorrect cross-references was tedious, but it was very straightforward and concrete, and every time I sat down at my table I knew exactly what I was doing. Now I need to turn around and tackle some much foggier projects: Volume II (I need to get my outline together and send it on to Starling Lawrence for his OK), and my dissertation (which I’d really like to finish this summer, so that I can go on to do more writing that people will actually read). I’m having some trouble wrenching myself back into the right frame of mind to grapple with big disorderly piles of information. I’m circling around it in a fog. in what my husband calls Fish Mode. (You know how fish swim this way a little, and then that way a little, with no apparent purpose? That’s Fish Mode.) This is my husband’s handiwork, by the way, on the bulletin board on my office wall.

I’m also feeling a little sad and bereft. I really liked that manuscript, and now I don’t get to work on it any more.

However, I am coping. Here I am in my branch office…

considering my approach to the next task (yes, those are my toes). I plan to spend the next couple of days in Deep Reflective Thought, which I will exercise while eating my Mother’s Day Baskin-Robbins ice-cream cake, wandering around the yard, admiring my newly planted flowers,

and watching TV.

Speaking of which, I can no longer restrain myself. All right, who voted for that off-key brunette chick on American Idol and got Chris Daughtry kicked off the show? Excuse me?

Okay. Clearly it is time for me to get into the next big project.

I’ll be at the big national publishing conference BookExpo in Washington, D.C., on Friday of next week, and I’ll post pictures and a report from the conference floor. (Also I’ve discovered that, at the Norton cocktail party, I’ll get to rub elbows with Sebastian Junger, E. O. Wilson, Michael Lewis, and–this is REALLY exciting–Judith Martin. Miss Manners herself! I adore the Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior; in fact, my brother and I grew up quoting large chunks of it to each other, which may or may not have improved our social polish.)

So look for an update, filled with gratuitous celebrity name-dropping and at least one candid photo of my distinguished editor, at the end of the week. (If you’re interested, the New York Times just profiled him with a very un-candid photo here. If you don’t usually read the Times online, you may have to go through the free registration to read the article.)