Finished up the last chapter of Circuit Magician yesterday around noon; spent the rest of the afternoon doing final clean-up of assorted things that had been tagged to fix but somehow hadn’t gotten fixed yet, and sent it off. This morning, I had notes from my editor and agent saying they received it, so the first draft is now officially put to bed.
Naturally, the very first thing that happened after I sent the thing off was that I spotted four typos and a missing word that I really should have taken care of during the clean-up. And got a quick note back from one of my dedicated first-readers, pointing out even more. Such is life.
Now I have a week or two to catch up on everything that’s been hanging fire during this mad rush to finish the book (i.e., laundry, dishes, errands…) But today I am going out with Lois for a celebratory dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant, and tomorrow I am taking my knitting up to my sister’s so I have something to do while cat-sitting. (Cat-sitting for my sister’s aged and somewhat neurotic cat involves hanging around for a couple of hours “keeping her company” while she hides under the bed. It appears useless, but if one doesn’t do this, she stops eating.)
The plan after that is to spend a month to a month and a half doing research and planning on the next one (for which I am still grubbing around looking for a title…one of my first-readers wants something with “Exploration” or “Expedition” in the title, but I want something like Circuit Magician that’s both a job title and has a suggestion of magic about it. Oh, well, I don’t actually need a title for another year or so…it can stay Frontier Magic Book 3 until then.)
Research reading is a review of several titles I’ve already been through on Ice Age megafauna and post-Ice-Age North American ecology, a thorough reading of the (abridged, unfortunately) copy of the Journals of Lewis and Clark, and a run-through of a wide variety of titles recommended by other folks on everything from guns and clothing styles to diaries of settlers to even more overviews of the history of the 1800′s in the U.S. and elsewhere than I’ve already gone through.
I do, of course, already have something of a plan for the final book, but it has changed quite a bit since the original plot outline for the trilogy, which was extremely sketchy anyway. And even though I know I won’t be following it, I need that outline. It’s how my process works.
So…a couple of weeks of catch-up and clean-up, and then I’ll have revisions in hand, and after that, on to the next one. Meanwhile, I’m walking around the house picking up odd socks and cat toys and breaking out in a random grin and saying loudly to the nearest cat, “Hey, you, I’m DONE!” Which is normal for the day after turning in a book, especially one that was this late and this hard to get to move.
Oh, and they’re coming to fix my stove on Tuesday. Life is good.