This is the experience, surreal, exciting, scary, that every writer lives for: seeing their words in the form of a book. I’m reading the galley proofs of Loose Woman, trying to see my words as strangers will see them. But also, for a memoir writer, there’s the realization that strangers will be delving into the intimate details of your life and mind, your very soul.
Luckily, no one is around and I can sit on the deck. Yesterday my neighbour and her bellowing boyfriend were out, so I had to sit inside with my noise-cancelling headphones. Tonight, blessed silence on all sides. Just the computer with its precious cargo – MY 79,000 WORDS! – and the notebook for jotting mistakes or changes – a few, not many so far – and beyond, the great beauty of the garden. It’s a great moment, my friends, and a week before my 70th birthday. This book celebrates my 30th, when my life as a wife and mother and writer began.
I was awake at 5.30, got up at 6, tried to nap later but could not, so I’m not sure how long I’ll last. It’s 6.30 pm, I’ve had dinner and two glasses of rosé, and I’m on Page 103. Not quite half way through. Have to say – it has made me laugh out loud three times, and cry twice. And I know the story. Though maybe I know it a little too well. It made my eyes well up just to see it, professionally laid out, my child all gussied up and ready for her close-up.
Maybe I’ll go for a walk to stir my pooling blood and keep myself awake. More than 100 lovely delicious pages to go.