Late night thoughts on edits. (And eagles.)

So after a brief and panic-inducing stop in Kentucky, my line edits finally made it yesterday.

I have mixed feelings about this.

Once again I hold a surprisingly heavy manuscript in my hands, covered with strange symbols, encouraging notes and lots of questions and refinements. My book is growing up, becoming its own story, as far from the first draft as a baby bird is from a grown eagle.

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I'm proud of it, and a little nervous. I imagine it's akin to what a parents might feel, knowing they only have a little while until their kids move beyond their influence and becomes whatever it is that they are going to become. For me that window is shrinking rapidly. I only have until the end of the month to make this book the best it can possibly be. After that, it will go into copyedits and the time for big changes will be over.

I would be lying if I said this doesn't scare me. What if I don't fix everything just right? Or what if I fix it too much? The possibilities for messing up seem endless.

And then I read it again. And despite everything, all the changes and reworking and reimagining, I still see the story I sat down to write four years ago. A story about love and expectations and forgiveness and freedom and how human beings snarl them all together like a tangled kite string. A story about what happens when there are no good choices, when you pick the best path you can see and it still turns out to be wrong. The heart of the story is still there, still beating.

And it still needs me, at least for a little while longer.

So tomorrow I'll roll up my sleeves and get back to work. Because no matter what, the story remains, struggling and growing and becoming a book that will someday go out into the world and fly on its own.

It's my task and my privilege to help it soar.

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Fabric art in the header by Carol Riggs.