Snakes and Chapter Titles

Unless, at this very moment, you are staring into the beady eyes of a rattler about to strike, fear is something you need to dump from your life. Whether real or imagined, it keeps us from following our dreams, experiencing new adventures. And except for the real instances of life-threatening moments, in which case fear is a normal, expected reaction, it hinders us from living a truly authentic life. We cannot embrace all that is possible if we are afraid to try.


So I gave myself the pep talk. I pulled the trigger. I did it. I sent the book manuscript off to be formatted, convinced that one more read-thorough and a tweak or two wouldn’t make a difference. The guy who has taken on this task has the patience of Job, the courage of Thor, and the kindness of Mother Theresa, having answered my incessant questions and calmed my insecurities about margin size and proper headings. He returned it to me to give it the once-over before he finalized it. I nervously downloaded the file, my heart racing in anticipation. It was beautiful and looked like a real book. My words danced on the page, and I beamed with pride.


And then, I spotted it.


Chapter Twelve, followed by another Chapter Twelve.


I dashed off an email to my formatting guardian angel, certain that he had made the mistake. After all, hadn’t I paid someone to proofread for errors? Hadn’t six beta readers given it a once over (and thankfully, a thumbs-up)? How could this have happened? When he returned the parts in question for me to check, I saw that I had indeed misnumbered the chapters. Even my own hard copy had the offending error. Rookie or careless mistake? I’m not sure. Goodness knows, it has been a challenge to perfect all 394 pages.


But bless his sweet heart, my hero of a formatter sent me a template with the book all laid out, advising me to double check everything in a final edit before resubmitting it to him. I am re reading it for the twenty-fifth time. The chapter titles have been corrected. I am focusing on being grateful for having discovered the error. And desperately trying to keep the fear at bay as I keep my eyes peeled for snakes


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