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Call me crazy, but I'm humming Oh Happy See Jane Dig! Day with gusto. Find out why in this update on Book #4 in the West River Mysteries.

As a rule, my usual routine does not incorporate humming songs that topped the charts when I was in high school. But ever since I completed the first draft of See Jane Dig! (Book #4 in the West River Mystery Series) yesterday afternoon, I’ve found myself humming Oh Happy See Jane Dig! Day at the most unexpected times.

Eating supper with the fam: Oh Happy See Jane Dig! Day
Brushing my teeth: Oh Happy See Jane Dig! Day
Listening to my audiobook about William Tecumseh Sherman on my morning walk: Oh Happy See Jane Dig! Day
Baking breakfast muffins: Oh Happy See Jane Dig! Day
Balancing the checkbook: Oh Happy See Jane Dig! Day

Typing THE END after writing 70,000 words results in simultaneous and contradictory feelings.

Fear that the story is complete drivel.
Delight in ignoring the manuscript for an entire month.
Relief at having several free hours a day to catch up on everything neglected in favor of writing.
Satisfaction in knowing the bones of the story have been captured on paper.
Anticipation at returning to the manuscript in late October and discovering its more uncut gem than complete drivel.
The joy of revising what’s already written rather than filling a blank page.

For all those reasons, I’m humming Oh Happy See Jane Dig! Day again right now. The biggest reason, however, is that my goal to complete the manuscript by September 12 has been achieved. That’s the day my husband, son, and I embark on a trip through the Dakotas and Nebraska.

Our first stop is Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. The Little Missouri River along the fictional town of Little Missouri also runs through the national park. Our next stop is Camp Crook, South Dakota where we were living when our son was born and left when he was three. We hope to see many people who “knew him when” and loved him well. We’ll round out the trip with a visit to former Camp Crook friends who now live in southeastern Nebraska.

For the entirety of our travels, I don’t have to think about Jane, her students, Sheriff Sternquist, Velma, Merle, ol’ Snippy the cow, Dick, the general citizenry of Little Missouri, or bad guys. Just writing that sentence has me humming Oh Happy See Jane Dig! Day again. In hopes that my joy has somehow become yours, I invite you to hum along with me. All together now…

Oh Happy See Jane Dig! Day