My song for this week:

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Guys… Edits are as done as they’re going to be for major things. The proof reader gets the book for a final check in less than a week.

So anyways I’m freaking out. I don’t know about you. Honey just brought to my attention that the book will be released in about 5 months. 5. That’s… Not that many. That’s pretty soon. I’m just using a lot of synonyms now because my brain short-circuited at the thought of people having physical copies of my book in less than six months. 🤯

*deep breath* It’s happening. I’m almost done with the front and back end of my book (copyright page, title page, dedication, acknowledgment, about the author, etc…), which was pretty much the step I saved for last before handing it to the proof reader. I’m going to have a relatively complete copy of this book in hopefully about a month after I go through the proofreaders edits. This has not fully sunk in for me. It’s like halfway there, but I don’t think it’ll be all the way here until I get my first proof and hold the book in my hands. At which point, watch social media because I’ll definitely be posting to show you my author copy (ha, I can’t keep that to myself. I can barely keep spoilers on my patreon books to myself).

This entire process has been educational, but admittedly exhausting. There were a lot of steps I wasn’t anticipating, and even edits I didn’t realize I wanted until the last second. It’s weird to complete a book in such a final way. Sure, I’ve completed over a dozen on Patreon now, but the thing about that is… If I go through the post and find a typo, I can go in and fix it. If I go in and find I put a wrong name or something, it takes a couple seconds to fix. If I forgot to post a song I wanted you to listen along with the chapter, I can go back in and add it. But this? This is it. There is no going back and fixing once its out there. I mean, I can fix typos afterwards (oh boy with the amount of times I and several other eyes have gone through this, there better not be typos😂), but the copies that went out before will still have them. This is like the final final. No going back in to fix a typo or anything else. You know that feeling right before you do something risky but you know the reward will be worth it, so you feel both petrified but you’re so excited you can’t stop smiling? That’s where I’m at tonight.

Nervous? Check. I expected that. Excited? Hell yeah. I expected that too. Sad? Now that one I wasn’t as prepared for. If you checked out the song at the top, you’ll see it’s from a previous Muse album. Now I of course have listened to the new album because I’m a huge Muse fan, but I couldn’t post the song from that album I’ve been attached to because, well… Reason number one for sadness: it’s called “Ghosts (How Can I Move On)“. Those of you who’ve followed me for the last year and a half know that last year I lost my brother very suddenly. He was a year and a half older than me, and we grew up together. His loss hit me, and continues to hit me, unbearably hard. Muse was a mutual love we shared, and because of that I’ve struggled to listen to them. Until their new song came out a while back, “Won’t Stand Down“. That song just matched my late brother’s energy so well. It was so him both in the type of music it was, and in the message it sent. My brother, who would not accept me ever backing down from something. My brother, who marched with the Black Lives Matter protests. My brother, who once chased down a thief that robbed a downtown business. No hesitation, he sprinted after them, jumped onto the moving car and wouldn’t back down. My brother, who knew not standing down could come in different expressions. My brother, who calmly approached someone losing their shit on a camping trip, talking them down and listening to them until they calmed enough to realize their fault. My brother, who when approached aggressively by someone in a lot of pain, rather than escalating the situation calmly said, “hey, it seems like you’re going through something. I hear you’re mad at me, why don’t we talk about what’s going on?” That song felt like an anthem he could’ve written, and so with that, I went back to my motivational song. The one at the top of this post. It got me through some hard points in my life, and ever since Muse’s new songs released, I’ve been able to listen to it again. Not without tears, but at least without breaking.

What does this have to do with my book? Well, my brother was the only person in my family I was comfortable sharing what I wrote with. I come from a pretty conservative family, but he and I and my other brother deviated from that. He was the one I sent screen shots of messages or comments to when people left me wonderful and encouraging notes. He was the one I kept updated on when IASAD got popular. He was the only one in the family I felt I could hand the book to and he’d be pumped. My brother was the ultimate hype man. No matter how small your accomplishment, he treated it like the biggest thing in the world. So today, when I basically completed my final draft of the book, in the format it’s going to be in for publishing, I was bursting with excitement and thought, who can I tell? Who should I give a first copy to? He was the first person that came to my mind. It sent me down a grief spiral that ended in a lot of ugly crying, and then when I had to pick myself up and get back to work, I put the song at the top of this post on.

Sad? Unfortunately check. But not without hope. The good thing is, even with the sadness, I know he’d want this to be a happy moment for me. He would hate if any part of this was dampened by his absence, and so I’ll find a way. I’ll find a way to dig down and find faith in myself and what life has in store for me. In the meantime, I’ll cuddle his wonderful puppies that now have a home with me.

Photo courtesy of my honey

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