Usually reading page proofs is one of the things you would rather not do in publishing, however it's an essential task. Reading page proofs of your own stories (author has to read as well as editor) is still tedious, if not downright frightening. Beset by things you want to change, but you're not sure about, or can't change because... because the editor may be right after all. Facts you checked thoroughly in the research phase now jump off the page asking if they're really correct after all.
So I set out to to read the page proofs of my next children's novel, slated to come out later this year, with, not quite mixed feelings, but rather ... hidden feelings, hidden from myself. However, I must tell you that I have a first class editor. Even when I realised that something had been cut, (usually an occasion for much distress on the part of the author) I was okay with it. I think that was because I was reading it like 'a story', rather than 'my story'. Consequently, I liked the heroine for herself, rather than for being my creation. Interesting!
So when I was finished, I asked myself how did I feel, - resigned? overwhelmed? unsure? frightened? All feelings I've felt before. I took me some time to get the answer. Suddenly it popped into my head. And it was 'I felt like a cat stretching in the sun'. I can't tell you what that means. I'm not a cat person, although I can and do like them. But I prefer dogs. Everybody knows dogs are the most loving animals and don't put on airs. So maybe I'm entering a phase where I'm going to filter all feelings through members of the animal kingdom? I don't know about that. I did feel a sense of accomplishment by us all, publisher, editor and author - getting to this point in the process. A cat stretching in the sun? Hmmm.
In the spirit of sharing writers' feelings I'll let you know when the artwork is done, usually another watershed moment. What animal will I be then, I wonder? (Wondering about the book covers? These are the only animal pictures I could find just now.)