No, I am not a survivalist predicting the end of the world as we know it, although I do happen to look fetching in mossy oak camo and make a delicious tree bark stew.

The end I am talking about is the end of the long process of writing and editing, editing, editing, editing (did I mention editing?) my manuscript for my soon to be published novel, In Search of Beef Stroganoff.

I can hear a collective sigh of relief from all you bloggers out there about not having to listen to me moan and complain and rant about how the editing process is endless. I could always find sentences in my manuscript I wanted to tinker with, things that needed to be added, sections to toss on the garbage heap, or scattered typos left in the wake of my editing.

My dear friend and fellow blogger, also happens to be a librarian with a fancy schmancy Master’s Degree in Library Science. She read a draft of In Search of Beef Stroganoff over the summer and gave me fantastic feedback, asked hard questions, and told me she HATED the ending. I took her comments to heart et voila (how French of me), the manuscript was in a state where I was happy with it and could quit gnawing on it like a pit bull. I could finally say . . .

Enough is enough.

It is finished.

Quit picking at it.

There is no earthly reason to change the word “happy” to the equally boring word “glad.”

I honestly didn’t think that day would ever come.

I sent the manuscript off to a talented and knowledgeable editor, who many of you know as the fabulous Madame Weebles of blogging fame. She is an editor with a keen eye, nose for accuracy, delicate touch, hears when dialog is stilted, and chewed up and spit out sentences that didn’t ring true. She used all five senses while editing my manuscript and I think she used her sixth sense as well. She gave the novel the polish it needed. The story is the same, but she helped me smooth out more than a few bumps.

My gifted and artistic (and may I be so bold as to add, beautiful) daughter is a graphic designer extraordinaire. She created a stunning cover for the book, but she won’t let me reveal it . . . yet. Because she is like her mother, she is never happy until something is perfect. She wants to play around with the design some more, but in my mind, it is already perfect. It captures the essence of the story.

Because, as I said, I leave typos in my wake when I edit, the manuscript is now in the capable hands of my best pal. She can spot a typo at a hundred yards. And by the way, she has found a few. Once she is finished, it is publication time.

Woooooooohooooooo! I will soon be doing a happy dance and I hope you all join in!

After doing much handwringing, gnashing of teeth, and hours of research, I decided to self-publish using Lulu Publishing Services. Have any of you used them? If so, how did it go? From everything I’ve learned about Lulu, they are author-friendly, you can do eBook and print book versions, and they don’t demand your first-born child as payment.

I considered trying to get an agent but it seemed like an impossible dream. The numbers are against anyone who would like to be traditionally published, except if your name happens to be Stephen King. There are so many talented writers out there. My goal is to hold a copy of my book in my hands, not to be rejected by an agent.

Stay tuned. I’ll be around the blogosphere more now and will try to not bore you with the details of getting my book in print. But I can’t make any promises.

So . . . enough about me. How have you all been?