It was Friday, January 6th. I was still away enjoying the company of family, but home alone when the doorbell sang. With fingers crossed, I peeked out and my wish came true - the first proof of my book had arrived. Within seconds, I was in the solitude of my room and began what was to be the first of seven reviews.
On the first review, my entire book was flawless. I was totally beyond the beyond, smitten with pride and excitement, and I must admit - teary-eyed, for I had done it! I had finally written a very soon-to-be published book, well, nearly published. It was truly another Ah! moment. Time to call Karen, my illustrator.
Karen confirmed that she received her proof copy and asked me if I had detected any errors in the illustrations and did my copy have two unexpected white blank pages at the end. I replied, 'No,' to both questions, but added that I hadn't eyed the illustrations as much as the story. Karen had expected this - me being the writer looking for errors in text, grammar and punctuation, while she the illustrator, concentrating on her art.
On the second, less emotional review, I discovered a few flaws, along with the two white blank pages, but the flaws seemed so minuscule that I wasn't too sure they required modification. Did it really matter if the word 'table' ended a sentence as 'ta-' and completed on the next line with 'ble?' And, what about the word 'everyone' with 'ev-' ending one line and completing on the next line with 'eryone?' A bit awkward, true, but I thought correct and with my background in web design and newsletters, I appreciated how sentences appeared to the eye when ending even and flush to the margin.
On the second review, I noted that the hyphen in one of the character's names was missing in two different places, and so forth and so on. Did it really matter? To me it did. After all, my biggest future critics - children and their caregivers, were going to read my story.
Hopefully, the last review caught all the flaws and the second and final proof of the book will be a perfect copy. At least, in my writer's heart, I will know that I had given my best. It would now be up to little Johnnie and Mary to decide.