Step 1. Set up a firm schedule of steps to be taken and vow not to deviate from it.
Step 2. Obsess over the first proof your publisher sends back to you. Once you've spotted major errors, decide you must examine every single word separately. Why not? There are only 105,000 of them.
Step 3. Spend three days with nose buried in computer screen, barely looking up long enough to take a sip of water or run to the bathroom.
Step 4. Ignore the fact that you are feeling really strange.
Step 5. Finish your proofing exercises and send scathing message back to publisher. "Let's start over, shall we?"
Step 6. BLAM! Major health crisis erupts, making all other items on schedule irrelevant.
All of which is meant to let you know where I've been for the past eleven days--fighting bronchitis, a stomach bug, dehydration, and dangerously low electrolyte levels. I'm much better now, feeling almost normal and ready to get back to work. I'm a bit wiser, I hope, so I'll be taking things at a slower pace. After all, we still have 24 days before launch day.
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