“(To friends), With apologies for using their swimming pool as the scene of a murder.”
- Agatha Christie
I awoke on a recent morning with a jolt. There was something missing from my manuscript, that much my morning fog would allow. I tossed a little, turned a little, and then I sat bolt upright: The dedication. With all the other thousands of details to attend to in preparing A Certain Grace for publication, I’d forgotten to submit the dedication. And now the manuscript was in its final proofreading stages.
I tore off the covers and stumbled rushed to my desk to check the recently-proofread manuscript. Sure enough, no dedication.
WHO FORGETS THE DEDICATION?
I fired off a frantic note to Editor John, asking if we were beyond the point of no return, was it too late to include the dedication? (I may have begged a little.) I pressed “send” and spent the rest of the morning hanging around with my heart in my mouth, waiting for his reply.
It may have been slightly unreasonable of me to think I’d hear back straightaway, given the time difference – I’m in Atlantic Canada and he’s not – but the couple of hours between 6:00 am and when I heard back from him ticked along painfully. It was just enough time for me to contemplate what an unworthy so-and-so I was – one more time: WHO FORGETS THE DEDICATION? – and who did I think I was, being published?
When the email blipped into view, I pounced.
Sure thing, Editor John said. It may cost you a glass of wine next time you see me.
I heaved a sigh of relief. It was that simple.
I promised him a bottle.