The Alpha Mom copy edits are done. That was a big chore. I’d thought the manuscript was pretty clean, but as with Odd Mom Out, I somehow got some of the chronology wrong and then the copy editors got another part wrong and started making changes and by the time the marked up manuscript reached me I couldn’t figure out what was going on.
To sort it out I created a huge month-to-month calendar covering September to February (which is the time span of the book) and put each scene in the calendar by event and page number, and then whenever the story said “the following week”, or “next week”, or “he’d been gone eight days” I’d count out spaces and move the story forward. It felt a lot like playing Chutes and Ladders because sometimes I’d count eight spaces forward and would discover I’d somehow leaped over Halloween or Thanksgiving and those were pivotal in the story so I had to count 8 spaces back–and sometimes more–and shift a scene a few pages, and tug another scene a few pages and then it was back to the beginning to cross check chronology one more time.
But now it’s done, Fed Exed to New York and this morning I print my boarding pass for tomorrow’s Hawaiian Airlines flight to Honolulu. I can’t wait to get to Hawaii. My guy is there and it is Hawaii, but I only had three days with my boys and knowing I won’t see them for 10 days is so hard. I’m trying not to think about it. Trying to pretend that it’s not going to bother me when I’m in Hawaii and without them for ten days.
I think I spend a lot of time pretending.
On the upside, it does help the writing–all that misplaced emotion, all that quiet hurt.
On the downside, missing feels like hell and it colors things, giving a day a pale blue wash.
The kids don’t ever know how hard this is for me. I tell them I miss them when I travel but I’m afraid if I cried or let them know how much my heart hurts they’d feel too sad, too.
So no time for sadness. They fly back from Arizona on November 27th, the same day I return from Hawaii and we’ll have until December 22nd together without any days apart so that’s what I focus on.
My kids are good. Everything’s good. Life’s good.