In the meantime, it does mess with a person. It does. And the bad fall I took Thursday evening on the driveway has not made my life any happier, because, among other things, I gave both elbows a good bruising. Do you know what you use your elbows for? Lots of things. Do you know what you use your elbows for when you are vertiginous? Three-point balance against the desk, the table, the kitchen counters, the bathroom counters, etc. Brushing my teeth, for example: I bend to spit in the sink, and I automatically stabilize myself with my elbows against the counter. I didn't realize I'd been doing that, until doing it was rather painful. Oops. Also, my desk chair is nearly impossible to sit in without either being rather tense or having my elbows rest lightly on the arms, which immediately hurts. Oops.
As a result of this lovely thing, all the new insights into fitting yet more cool into this book with a yet larger mallet are taking awhile. I am trying to find the line between whining-making excuses and acknowledging a genuine difficulty. I think right now I'm doing all right with "reasons to work slowly" vs. "excuses not to work." I think that while "if it hurts, take a break" isn't the only way to figure these things, it's not a bad one. So that's what I've been doing.
I don't know if I'll get this book to critiquers before Christmas. I'd like to, but it doesn't make sense to send it to people to critique with things I know I'm putting in yet to be put in. (For some reason I'd be a lot more casual about things that need taking out. But that's not the issue here.) I'm trying to be diligent and sensible all at once. The good part is that I am now excited again over the shininess of this book, because I keep finding ways to make it more shiny. And being excited over book shininess in conjunction with actually doing things to the book seems like it could hardly be a bad thing at this juncture. We'll see.