I tried to do the Proper Professional thing and keep working on what I could work on (revisions on book two, first-drafting on book three) but increasingly found myself staring at the screen and imagining the manuscript mangled by train wheels...a sodden mass in the Hudson or East River, being chewed by hungry crabs or washed out to sea...or forgotten on a subway seat, to be tossed into a trash can by subway cleaners and thence to a landfill...and also the copy editor, who in my imagination was variously stricken with a heart attack, killer flu, ruptured blood vessel in the brain, attacked by muggers and in a coma somewhere, run over by the same train, drowned in the same water, or so enraged by my book that it had seemed necessary to rip it to shreds or burn it....or maybe the copy editor had fallen madly in love and run away to wherever copy editors in the northeast do run away to, to live in a barn/mansion/houseboat/tent/commune with his/her new love, who was variously rich/poor/brilliant/disabled/on the run from Homeland Security/working for Homeland Security and not really in love with the copy editor but trying to find a suspected terrorist among the copy editing community....
You can tell that my imagination is apt for a novelist, able to spin out plots with great ease...along with this came the irresistible temptation to go play on another venue and talk about writing instead of actually writing (always a sign of an unquiet mind--for me, anyway.)
At last, today, I heard first that they were reassigning it and I would probably not get the copy edits for two weeks, but not to worry--(a little late for that, but a welcome suggestion anyway.) Then later, Editor emailed that the lost had been found. Copy editor had been sick. Tomorrow, Production is expected to have it copied and ship off the great lump to me. Whew!
If I really were the calm, sensible, businesslike person I would like to be, there'd have been more progress on the revisions of book two. After the second message today, I was able to settle down and untangle a revision-knot that had been bugging me for weeks. Oh, of course...this comes out, and I write that instead. I was able to contact M's social worker, and the job coach, straighten out some misunderstandings, find out what had really happened last week, etc.
So tomorrow morning, I expect to start the day with a much more settled mind. It would be really good to make substantial progress on this round of revisions, instead of staring vaguely at a chapter for hours. Great relief.