Yesterday the pre-print proofs of Walking with Wolf arrived from the printer. Short of some unforeseen disaster (the printing company blows up or falls down? the world runs out of ink?) there is no turning back now. I received the package from the courier, ran to downtown Hamilton, hopped on a bus to Toronto, and met up with my two design guys – Ken and Bruce.  We looked over the proofs and decided that all was okay – well, actually, Ken scanned the cover and Bruce carefully looked at the pages while I slurped oysters & wine, too giddy to concentrate. Actually I’m afraid of looking too closely and finding something wrong that would slow the process down.  I know that it would be better to find an error now than to have it printed into perpetuity (or at least until the next printing), but at this point, I’m counting on all the proofreading that was done to have caught any mistake that would have been a serious faux pas.  I’m prepared for something small showing up – I’ve been told that is inevitable. As it is, we gave the big thumbs up to the printer and now it is in their hands.

That was probably the last event before the book enters the birthing canal.  I feel like I’ve been carrying this baby forever, so like all overdue mamas everywhere, I am beyond anxious to finish the process, lighten my load, and bring my child into existence. It’s still scary, but also exhilarating.  I can feel the weight lifting off my soul, even as a new fluffy white cloud starts building on the horizon – marketing, distribution, publicity, sales – the next stage.  But more than anything, I suspect it will be the waiting for reaction from readers that will make me toss and turn at night. 

It is the reaction of Wolf as well as his wife Lucky and their children, whose lives are exposed in this book, that I most anticipate.  Although Wolf worked with me on the text throughout the process, there are still a few surprises in there for him, stories from his family and friends added since I was last in Costa Rica in May 2007.  Lucky read the manuscript about three years ago, but it has changed immensely since then, although not in any way that she can’t live with, I hope. As soon as I receive the book, I will be on a plane, taking this tome down to the Guindons in Monteverde – no doubt that will be the longest flight I’ll have ever been on.

In the meantime, I expect that these next two weeks, waiting to hear this baby squeal (or is that me?), will be the slowest passing of time I’ve ever experienced. I can hear the clock ticking real slow…

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