Monday, September 15, 2008

The Send Key

Whatever your computer labels it, you know the power and trepidation inherent in pushing the send key. Regardless of the importance of the document, once you hit 'send,' you're done. The email is gone, and any changes you might consider at that point are moot. I won't be reading my first thirty pages again this week. The button has been pushed. (That almost sounds like someone else did it.) I forwarded my thirty pages to the editor today. 

That sounds so easy, doesn't it? After going to a conference and learning more than I thought my brain could comfortably absorb, I couldn't simply go home and email off unedited material. I had to give it one more redline, using my new tools. On top of that, I decided my readers needed to meet the villain quicker, so I wrote and inserted an entire new chapter. That was fun. Perhaps you wouldn't think so, but I was the kid who liked essay questions.

It's been sent now. My understanding is that the turn-around time for editors on requested manuscript pages is typically six weeks. I'm thinking Halloween. By then I should have the entire manuscript edited—again. This is only revision four, after all. I would imagine any good editor is going to offer another set of insightful suggestions after that. I'm not expecting an offer, but I do believe my good story will eventually turn into a great book.

I'll close with one of my favorite verses of poetry, another of those things I learned 'way back when,' and never forgot. Omar Khayyam, a Persian poet about a thousand years ago, wrote some wonderful short verses that have been translated into English. I've had several copies of his Rubaiyat over the years, and given several as gifts. This is just one of the verses that stick in my mind:

The moving finger writes, and having writ 
Moves on; nor all thy piety nor wit 
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all thy tears wash out a Word of it.

1 comment:

Ri said...

Can't wait to hear the results! She should like it, you're a great writer!