Today I had lunch with a long-time friend. Years ago, we wrote a book together. The book is good; the writing was hell. Or I should say the editing was hell. Frustrating, painful. But we got through it and remained friends. Didn’t actually do anything much with the manuscript except edit it.
I hadn’t seen her in ages. She divides her life between Austin and Florida. She was in Austin and emailed, so we got together and caught up on our lives and kids and writing. It was good to see her. She hadn’t changed. Still young, still interesting, still Susan.
She had a surprise for me, an early birthday present. First, I was surprised because I had brought nothing for her. Second, I was surprised by the wonderful gift.
She brought me a bound copy of our book. Not published with an ISBN or anything, but a printed copy with a cover. She, and her husband, had worked for hours to get it formatted like an actual paperback. She’d worked on the cover art. She said the cover she ended up with was not the one she’d spent hours creating because in the end she couldn’t get it to work, but what she had was slick and very nice. The title, our names, a gun.
What a treat to see what our book might actually look like. The weight it would be in your hand. The thickness of the book, the number of pages, the size. The feel. The joy of reading our manuscript on the printed page.
It was a very special gift. Thank you Susan.
1 week ago