D-day is coming

I have officially entered D-day, 'D' standing for deadline. I have roughly 30 days to get my manuscript completed on time. This is always an exciting time, because it means I'm almost done with a project I've been working on since late last year.

This encompasses a couple of key points:

1) Pulling out my synopsis and making sure that I haven't forgotten any major plot points (since I refer to the synopsis during the writing process, this is merely a formality; I don't really expect to discover that I left out anything imperative).

2) Polishing all those key scenes I wrote out of sequence and then inserting them in an appropriate spot (which has been known to change from spot A to spot B before it's all over).

3) One last read-through before printing, during which I continue to edit, suddenly noticing little nuances that I somehow missed in my earlier 50 or 60 read-throughs. (It's been said before - writing is re-writing.) Often I'll notice something after I've printed, in which case I insert additional text on a separate page numbered "154-A". If that was good enough for the publishing world before there were computers, it's good enough for a writer struggling to meet her deadline (and who has a limited budget for ink and paper).

4) Making sure all the loose ends are tied up. No making readers guess what happens, and certainly no leaving situations open-ended so I can address them in a sequel. This would be fine if I was writing for As the World Turns, but this is a novel. Even if I do a sequel eventually (I'm not crazy about sequels, but that's a column for another day), I'm a firm believer each book should be a stand-alone story.

The feeling I get when dropping my latest "masterpiece" off at the Fedex office is only equaled by the rush I still get at seeing the finished product on the store shelves. It's proof that I ran with the course and completed a project from start to finish.

Satisfaction comes in different ways, just like happiness.