Someone thinks my writing is worthy of publication! How intoxicating is that? I have arrived! Right? Well...not exactly.
The first galley arrived two weeks ago with an encouraging note from the editor. She loves my stories. Strong voice, she says. But...(here comes the inevitable)...I have a lot of work to do.
Overuse of gerund. For those of you, who like me, are running for your dictionary because you slept through English grammar, gerunds are "ing" words. She says I've also overdone the punctuation.
My OCD kicks in and I go on a witch hunt, pencil-slashing through every colon, semi-colon and out of place comma. Gerunds, beware! You're going down next. Then I change words and questionable syntax.
At last I'm satisfied and ready to send it back and wait for the second galley. It arrived Monday with a nice long letter from the editor. Now she says she didn't mean for me to whack all the gerunds.
After a nice long chat with her on the phone yesterday, I feel less daunted. Gratitude for the opportunity to learn the craft floods me. It's good to have another pair of eyes with more experience to help me along. I turn the page to make more corrections. A printed book I'll be proud of can't be far behind.