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Opening the Proof- October 13, 2017

Opening the Proof

I had labored three years on my manuscript, alternating between gun-ho and ho-hum. There were days when I wanted to chuck the entire project and days when I couldn’t work on it enough. There was a time, maybe months, when my draft sat next to my computer, like a trusted dog waiting for a pat on the head. It stared at me, nudged me as I moved it over to make room for whatever other project I was working on or bills I was paying, but it never went away. It inhabited my desk and stared at me each time I sat at my computer.

Then one day I realized that my inner critic had me in a strong hold but I had the power to overtake my aggressor, just as Dr. Anita Stone, my main character, had the power to take back her life.

The ball starting rolling down the hill, gaining speed as I worked on my novel. Then, I hired an artistic book designer who created a thought provoking, gripping cover to go with my words. I met with my agent, hired an editor and worked on my website. The ball became an uneven boulder, heavy weighted and spiraling down the hill. That’s when sleep became elusive as the characters crept back into my life. They followed me around during my day; constantly talking to me at the grocery store, while I was making dinner, watching the news, or reading a book. They bombarded me with questions? Did you show this side of me? Did you tell them about the time when I…? Did you present me in the best light? Will the reader understand why I made certain decisions?

One day, it became obvious to me I had to be done with No More. I needed to sleep and put all the characters to bed too.

 I finally decided that my characters were presented to the world as I saw them. Their story was told.

Finally, with shaking hand, I opened the generic box sitting on my doorstep and pulled out two proofs of No More. “It’s here! It’s here!” There was elation like nothing else I had experienced when I opened that box. Finally I got to see the entire story in one place, to know that others would read about my characters and that these characters would come alive to the readers. Hopefully, Anita, Thomas, Barbara and Daryl will not follow the readers around for too long, just long enough to understand their story. I own every word on the pages of No More. My name, written on the cover, acknowledges all my hard work. I am ecstatic.                       

Antoinette Foxworthy