The other day I took my son to our regular story time at a local bookstore. That day they happened to have Will Hillenbrand- a popular local kids' book illustrator- there to read his newest book, Bear in Love. It's a sweet little story and the illustrations are gorgeous, so I bought a copy for my friend's daughter, who has a birthday coming up. This is how Mr. Hillenbrand signed it when he found out it was a birthday gift:
Very cute. I love it when authors do something extra when signing. Of course, if you're Stephen King, you probably don't have time to personally sign all 4,000 copies of your latest novel for all the fans in line, but if it can be accomplished, it's something most people will never forget.
In other news, I have been painting our basement. After an unfortunate sewage drain backup (guess who got to clean the initial grossness up?) that soaked into the basement carpet, the insurance company decided to pay to recarpet the entire basement plus stairs- because our original carpet was SO OLD they couldn't find a match anywhere. Works for us! I'd been wanting to paint the basement for a while (it was industrial gray) so this was the perfect opportunity- and I don't have to use a drop cloth since the carpet is done for anyway.
It's been almost a week and I am nearly finished (I am doing every step of this solo, and the basement is about the same size as the entire upper floor, so...yeah). While I was working the other night I thought that painting is kind of like writing. You get it finished, realize there's a bunch of missed spots and places where the old pain shows through and where you got new paint on the ceiling, and have to go back and cover them up. And then you notice more after that and do it again. Which is great, you don't want to do a sloppy job. But at some point you have to say 'good enough' and put a bookcase in front of that chipped spot. Otherwise you'd be working on this paint job forever and never move to another. At some point you have to stop worrying your story like a terrier with a rat and say, "Good enough."
Of course, in writing more than likely an editor will come back at you with more changes and things you STILL missed after 14 read-throughs. And that's their job and you should take them seriously. But initially, when the project is all yours, at some point you have to let go.
Personally, I'm glad we have a lot of bookcases in the basement.