Now it's in book form. Copyright notice in my name. Bound pages. Cover. Just like every other book I'd read by—someone else. This stack of books didn't feel like my story.
Finally, I did what I always do when I get a new book. I picked it up and started reading. But this time I searched for specific parts. I looked for Chapter Twenty-four. It was fun to write. And when I saw the words rat face I remembered how I'd wondered whether the editor would leave those words in the story. She did.
Then the novel started to feel like my book. And now it was back in my hands. It's as if the characters have returned home, but they're standing on their own now.