This day trip is good, though. It gives me about eight hours of computer time. I've been working on the manuscript, putting in the maps and the photos. Drafting the document for the publisher on how I want things laid out (they're inserting the images into the manuscript, so they need to know how I want it to look).
I called my publisher's rep on Monday and found out, much to my relief, that their design staff will do the headers. I just have to tell them what I want and they take care of it. What a relief! I had read, in the instructions, "have the manuscript completely ready". I should have asked what "the manuscript" meant. Not headers, apparently!
It is very exciting to see the final touches come in. Art roughed out a map of a day of combat he describes early in the book, and my sister Alyx polished it up. It's now on a page of its own and boy, what a great addition it is! My neighbor Jason, a graphic artist, took a photo we took on the trip and designed a book cover. It's amazing what the professional polish is doing. I got to write a Dedication page at the beginning and an Acknowledgements page near the end. As I look at this I think, "Oh, my goodness. Look what we have done!"
I've read the comments to my last post. If you're a writer and you have a story to tell, don't be discouraged by the publication process. I decided against an agent and query letters and decided to work with a self-publishing company. They're doing most of the work. I paid a fee to sign up, which was fine. I'm not a bestselling author in the making. I'm not interested in huge sales and fame of any kind. I just want this story to be out there. It's my way to honor Art and all the other vets. And to say, "Yes, I'm a writer."
Fun and scary.
I think I'll be ready to send in all my materials on Thursday, the day after tomorrow. It has been a long slog for the last couple of weeks, and I'm ready to be done with this step.