Yes, the copy edit is back and I've been through the last of the questions, so technically you could say that it's all finished. Woo and hoo, dancing, celebrations, cake, here's your hat and what's your hurry? But no, for now comes the toughest test of all - now it must be read by She Who Must Read It. I made her promise she'd look at this one before it came back as an ARC and it was too late to fix anything.
You see, I'm lucky because Fiona is much brighter than I am - she's got a degree from St. Andrews University and everything (I dropped out of Heriot Watt after about a year and a half - thank God, if not I'd be an architect by now, rather than a write-ist**). She's the one I turn to for pointers on grammar and spelling and other such naughty word-craft things. And even though she's from Fife, she's lived in Aberdeen for a good few years now and has a much better idea of where places actually are than I do (well, I'm an ideas man...). This makes her well placed to spot where I've screwed things up, things that someone not from the area couldn't be expected to spot. Not unless they were psychic, or had some sort of winged monkeys to do their evil bidding. I don't think Sarah has any monkeys, but she does have an unfeasibly large handbag that makes the occasional, rustley ook-ing sound.
So when will the last and final edit be finished? Probably not until next week. I'd set Fiona to reading the thing tonight, but she's going to have difficulty seeing straight by the time she gets back from the annual company golf outing. The people she works for do bloody good nights out - though I don't get invited to nearly enough of them - and are generous to a fault when it comes to the odd drinkie. Most of them will be three sheets to the wind by the time they get off the golf course. This is because Fiona is in charge of driving the buggy at reckless speed, dolling*** out the beer. Last year, she and her boss nearly managed to jump the electric golf cart over a sand trap on the fourteenth green. Nearly, but not quite.
Anyway, such drunken golfing will mean that no reading will be done until the weekend. And little brother Scott, his wife Catherine (no potato jokes please) and their wee boy, Logan, will be back in Scotland for a visit by then. So that's going to cut into the old reading time. But it's going to be nice to see them all again.
Never mind, only a couple more days and I can get back to TSA! Hurrah!
--- UPDATE ---
Fiona is back - it's half eleven, and there's no champagne! She got too pished, and forgot to bring the bottle home! Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh! Worse yet, she's been having hernia-laughter at the expense of some bloke. And if that wasn't enough - she's been hooting and snorting about a wee bloke at work (let's call him Alan, to protect the innocent) who was desperately trying to sing 'Champagne Supernova', but couldn't remember more than half a dozen words.... Oh the irony, considering She Who Must Smell Strongly Of Booze forgot out champagne altogether! I disapprove wholeheartedly, as a good husband should. Unless a bribe of champagne is forthcoming, I may have to biff someone on the nose.
* With apologies to Sarah from HC for stealing her email title. Sinister though it is. What with the oncoming train connotations.
** Though a certain gentleman on the Guardian might think that might've been a much better option.
*** Dolling is like doling, only prettier.