Oh my! If I squint and crane my neck at precisely the right angle, I can just about make out the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel! But I don’t want to get myself quite as excited as my little white dog was when we gave her a veal bone Sunday night, so let me pull in the reins a little. Okay. That’s better.

Against my will—and my better judgment, I might add—I was dragged away over the long weekend to the faraway paradise known as Amagansett. David packed up my big desktop computer into its original box for the trip to the beach, and although I protested all week long in anticipation, I’m immensely glad to have gone. Since I had completed the Intro and the first seven chapters by late last week, my editor pushed the deadline out a bit further, and told me to take a day or two and enjoy life over the weekend. I proofread aloud during the trip over, and then spent Friday afternoon poolside – with the manuscript on my lap and a pen in hand. Saturday and Sunday mornings I spent in my makeshift beach house office researching Chapter Eight, and then on the third afternoon, I rested. Actually lounged. In a bathing suit. By the pool. With a bloody mary in hand. Listening to awesome music on the outdoor speakers. And floating in the pool. It was absolutely scrumptious!

But that damn piper had to be paid, and I was back at the computer by 6:30 Monday morning. While the male Reisers frolicked in the splendid holiday weather, I wrote for 12 hours straight. As I listened to the boys splash in the pool and peeked longingly out my window at the bright sunshine and endless blue sky, David would pop in periodically and say, “Aren’t you so happy to be writing here?” I would often reply by removing a certain finger from the keyboard and prominently displaying it. We finally climbed into the car at 7:00 pm and I wrote on my laptop for much of the drive back to Westport. So now you now the secret that a good chunk of Chapter Eight was written along the Long Island Expressway.

This morning I transmitted all the contents of the Intro and Chapters 1-7 to my editor, and then completed Chapter Eight this afternoon. I have now written 57,604 words, including the word “toilet” – TWICE. I have two chapters and about 2,500 words to go. David suggested I write things like, “It’s very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very critical to recognize _______.” Or “We really, really, really, really, really, really can’t stress enough the importance of ______.” But I’m feeling rather loquacious about these two final chapters, so I truly, truly truly, truly, truly, truly think I’ll be fine.

All 20 stipple portraits are complete, and there wound up being only two that the artist needed to redo. They look amazing. We decided to have the artist do our author portraits as stipples as well. Hoping the technique eliminates eye wrinkles and neck fat.

I’m not quite sure how June rolled around all of a sudden, but when I finally send that final chapter to my editor, I think I’ll be mighty glad it’s here!

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