Aack. If you ever wondered what authors do minutes after finishing a book manuscript, you are looking at it. After a year of spending ten months thinking about “Redeeming Power” (still a tentative title) during every minute I wasn’t doing something else, I just finally hit “send” to my wonderful editor Eileen and ran downstairs to tell my husband who simply said, “I don’t believe it. You’ve said this before.”
And, in his favor…. I have. I said that I was done on Saturday at 4:51 p.m. and then on Sunday I decided the introduction was still dreadful. I said it again last night at around 9:32 p.m. But then decided I needed to read it through one more time today. But now, really, this is it. It has to be because I am leaving for several weeks of catechist formation in Florida tomorrow and haven’t even started packing yet.
Because I know you are far more curious than my husband about these details: The book has 54,384 words and 1999 sentences. Maybe I should just go in and write one more to make it even. No, then I would have to go back on my word to my husband and he’d have a field day. So… the book has 1999 sentences. There are 12 chapters, plus a lengthy introduction and very short conclusion. There are 151 footnotes referencing everything from statistics about the use of opium in China in the late 1800’s to the Memoirs of Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli, OP written around the same period. Machiavelli, Euripedis, Hildegard of Bingen, and the Jewish Talmudist Ralbag all get a mention. I bet you are especially curious now! And the end result is 202 pages in double-spaced Palatino Linotype, because I think that this Ave Maria’s preferred manuscript font last I checked, and I’d like to be nice to Eileen. She has put up with a lot from me in the last year, mostly in the form of emails saying, “Oh yes, I should be finished by December” to “Definitely by St. Patrick’s Day” to “For the love of God, will you give me till the end of May?” I want you to know that I sent it in with 2 hours and 10 minutes to spare. Whew.
I am looking forward to sharing more with you about the project in the months to come leading up to publication. It really has been a very exciting one to work on. But meanwhile, I’d like to share with you my preaching for June 1st. Nothing like having two deadlines at the same time. I’m calling it “The Dominican Heart of Bartimaeus” because I think this passage goes to the heart of Dominican spirituality, which is all about the quest for sight. And for another Dominican link… check out this interview I had the chance to do with Kiki Latimer Tuesday for WCAT radio/TV (the project of lay Dominican Sebastian Mahfood). It’s a lovely conversation about the many faces of truth.
Talk to you again from Florida!
(PS – Thanks Miguel Bruna for the picture that captures how I’m feeling right now.)