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Oh the joy of sending off the page proofs of A Triple Knot, three years in the birthing! The joy and the terror, actually…. As I handed them over to Jim at the FedEx desk I shivered, knowing that somewhere in that 4 pounds of paper with the purple post-its fringe there lurks a horrible mistake that we’ve all missed. What if I’d kept it one more day? Perhaps I should take it back. He’s asking if it’s a book–well, Random House as the recipient, and using their account number, he would guess that, wouldn’t he? And I hesitate–is it a book? Yet? “Yes,” I said after that brief hesitation, and thanked him for being so pleasant to deal with. He truly is a joy, always smiling and making small talk as he enters all the info, “and we’ll get rid of this 11th floor and put in the mail stop you’ve included, and let’s see whether they have a bulk discount… Yes! No wonder they’re sending this on their dime…” He gives me a moment to breathe. He said I wouldn’t have said he was pleasant if I’d come in the day before, actually 23 hours earlier, when he’d not had lunch by 2:30 in the afternoon. I laughed with him. And felt the tension recede. One human being to another. Thanks, Jim. By the time I walked out the door I was feeling great again.

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