I just had the pleasure of archiving and deleting 300 MB off my laptop. That might not sound like much, but it was an important 300 MB.
One folder was called "MWT.com" and the other was simply named "Book."
The first folder contained all the Marie-mails, graphics, and duplicated files off of MariesWorldTour.com. The other had the original Slow Boat to Everywhere book proposal that I used when looking for an agent, the revised one after an agent expressed interest in it as a graphic novel, and then the re-revised one after she decided that wasn't going to fly and asked for one similar to what I'd sent her originally (grr).
The agent never sold anything for me and finally gave up.
Then I sold it myself, though it became just about Africa and not about the world (the buyer's request) and I renamed it Stalking the Wild Dik-Dik.
So the folder called "Book" had multiple revised Table of Contents, 17 or 18 chapters, a bunch of revisions, and lots of notes off my blog and comments from friends and strangers. I had received helpful feedback from a lot of sources, including my editor Karen Bleske, a writer I haven't seen in 21 years named Ed Ward, cartoonist Shannon Wheeler, and writer Edward Readicker-Henderson. My most invaluable feedback was from an email correspondent in Sweden, who tirelessly and relentlessly encouraged me even when I thought I couldn't hack it as a writer and that I basically sucked.
After years of working on Damn Book, it's gone. Out of my life and in the hands of my editor and a small publisher in the Bay Area.
"Now what?" I ask myself.
It's been about Damn Book for over four years. Now I can get back to my life, get on with things.
What exactly was I doing before this? What am I getting back to?
I'm not sure. There's no shortage of things to do. Edit for Kuwaiti comics, color for Gemstone, possibly work on the Amtrak online newsletter, possibly write the copy for a children's atlas, unpack and move back into my apartment, and the like. There does seem to be a lack of clear goals, though.
It's an exhilarating, funny feeling, having Damn Book gone. I wonder if I'll have a sort-of crash in a few days.