Or whatever. Okay, so here's where I'm at. Yesterday my editor sent me her text edits of the second draft of the manuscript. And HIP HIP HOORAY! --- it held up under her expert scrutiny and there's not much left to do on the manuscript.  

Relatively speaking, of course: Given where I started seven years ago, the amount of work left to do is dinky, teensy-weensy. Practically nothing. You've NO idea how great I feel about that.

The plan is to finish the revisions by the end of February and send it along to her, and unless something horrible happens (like: I DON'T finish these revisions by the end of February), the book will land in bookstores in October or November. (Or wherever it is we'll be buying books by that time. God knows.)

This is where things start to move at the speed of light and one measure of that lightening-like speed is this item, which landed in my inbox about an hour ago: The first go-round of the jacket design:

First "draft" of the jacket design. January 2013.

Do I like this design? Actually, I do.

BUT: there's one tiny problemo with both this jacket design and the title: the book is about beef, pork, and poultry. (*1)

See any hogs or chickens there? Nope, and neither do I. According to my beloved editor, whom I adore and worship, this is the "first round" of possible jackets, so. . . . We shall see, eh? (*2)

Anyway, I'm still away from my observation post here at the ol' website, but yeah, baby, I'm getting SO. CLOSE. to the time when I can get back here regularly.

Again, that's barring some unforseen disaster. Let's all pray that there is none, okay? Anyway, aside from having been sick for most of the past ten days (at least the timing was good: I was waiting around for these revisions), I'm feeling fabulous. Relief of a sort that you probably can't imagine.

Anyway. That's what's new in my part of the world. See you SOON, my friends, SOON. (*4)


*1: Although as my editor pointed out, at least it does NOT include what I really didn't want: cowboys, the western range, or a barn.

*2: No, I had no input on the title (well, sort of not. *3). And no input on the jacket design. (Because Rule 1 in publishing is: Authors are not entitled to jack shit unless they're a) already famous; or b) are mega-bestsellers.)

*3: Here's the story behind the title: Waaay back in 2006, about three weeks before the beer book came out, I cranked out a proposal for this book about meat and sent it around to agents (because I needed to find a new agent). I needed to attach some kind of title to my proposed book, so in a ten-second brainstorm (I'm not kidding), I came up with IN BEEF WE TRUST.

My new agent, in turn, sent the proposal to my editor, who agreed to buy it. In no way, shape, form, or universe did I intend IN BEEF WE TRUST to be the title of the book itself. And believe me, in a zillion years, the first title someone comes up with is almost never, and I do mean NEVER, the actual title of the finished product.

So wouldn't you know that this is the zillionth year: the people at the house (that's publishing speak for the publisher) loved it. Never mind that the book isn't about beef only. They liked it. And then they took a subtitle that I came up with somewhere along the way and added that and --- Voila! Title. Sigh.

*4: Honesttogod, I hope I'm the only person who manages to include three footnotes in a 600-word post. Because if I'm not, the future of civilization is in doubt.