At the beginning of November when I was gearing up for National Novel Writing Month, I was under the impression the book I’ve been working on with my mother, UCC minister and author of 17 (or so) books, was due on December 1. I think it was around a week later that we actually dragged out our contract and realized we had until December 13 to get the book done (there was much rejoicing), but we decided that given how busy we were, we should still mentally consider the 1st to be our deadline. Once we were both done with NaNo, we would see where we stood and go from there.
Well, December 1st came around and we were not finished. Both of us had made our 50,000 word novel deadline, but had fallen a bit short on the project we actually get paid for…We were close, but not close enough. We still had an introduction to write, plenty of editing to do, and a final major read-thru. We were two days away from one of the busiest times in the church year, and let’s be honest, our social calendars, and we were not done.
Rejoicing over – panicking, commence. The last two weeks have been insane. It feels like we’ve talked on the phone almost every day, and during each of those conversations, we have lamented the 3000 miles between us that make finishing a book stupidly difficult. She has gotten up early. I’ve stayed up late. Both of us have left notes for the other (mostly in CAPITAL LETTERS with plenty of ?????s) like the book was some sort of time capsule. I don’t know about her, but I have gained and lost the same five pounds in an alternating frenzy of binge eating comfort food and working straight through meals with heady adrenaline to keep me going. I haven’t slept well, but when I’m awake I’ve been AWAKE in a way I have rarely felt before.
And I think I know the reason for that. This book has pushed me and asked more of me than any of the others we’ve written before. My name comes before hers for the first time, and that responsibility is huge and precious to me. Somehow, I have managed to live up to what I wanted in this book too, and I attribute that, almost in its entirety, to you.
Yes, you, my generous and thoughtful readers. In the year that I have been writing about books here, I have demanded more from myself as a writer. I have wanted to share my passion for the tiny books no one has ever heard of and for the ones so popular even my brother can make jokes about them. I have tried to stretch myself for you because you have been so wonderful and present for me. You have encouraged me to read differently, to explore ideas more fully, and to embrace a community so much bigger than myself. Writing for you has changed me, and I have seen that manifest itself in this manuscript we have sent out.
And so today, instead of a review, I just want to say thank you. This has been a wonderful year, and I look forward to sharing this adoration for the written word with all of you in 2013.
(Thank you thank you thank you)