Submission Day

Today the manuscript and cover images got submitted for review. Hopefully, by New Year’s I’ll have a proof copy arrive in the mail. This is a huge milestone. I’ve written and edited, and had people read and send feedback, and edited some more for years, and at last I’ve sent the hundreds of pages off for the final step before the book is out in the world and, in a sense, no longer mine anymore. It deserves a celebration.

So I went to In-N-Out. I got a cheeseburger, fries, and a strawberry shake, and I brought into the restaurant my friend Nate Denver’s new book, Haunted Armor. Both the meal and opening up Nate’s book were my rewards for finishing my material for submission.

I loved the idea that as my own book is on the cusp of publication, I got to dig into a friend’s fresh creativity. The cover is gorgeously original, and every 50-word story within was packed with enough provocation that I only got through nine before I slurped the bottom of my shake.

Then I looked up to find an In-N-Out worker at my table. “Hi. I wanted to give you this card from the company and say, Merry Christmas,” she said. I recognized her because earlier she had asked me how my meal was. I said thanks and wished her a Merry Christmas too. I opened the envelope and inside was a custom In-N-Out card showing a scene with snow falling over the iconic palm trees of the company’s logo. I opened the card and covering both pages were signatures in different pens and in different colors from a few dozen employees.

Merry Christmas and Happy Submission Day.

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Three Years Learning as a Peace Corps Teacher in Lesotho, Africa