What’s done is done:
How now, my lord, why do you keep alone,
Of sorriest fancies your companions making,
Using those thoughts which should indeed have died
With them they think on? Things without all remedy
Should be without regard: what’s done, is done.
Macbeth Act 3, scene 2, 8–12
Lady Macbeth’s soothing words are odd, to say the least, coming from a conspirator. She intends her blandishments to calm her husband, who’s having more trouble than she forgetting that he murdered King Duncan. She means by “what’s done, is done” exactly what we mean by it today—”there’s no changing the past, so forget about it.” She’s trying to treat Macbeth’s guilty hallucinations with the blandest possible palliative. When Lady Macbeth herself succumbs to guilty dreams, she will sing the same tune, but in a different key. Sleepwalking, as has become her wont, she mutters, as if to Macbeth, “What’s done cannot be undone” (Act 5, scene 1, 68).
Two weeks ago I received the first of two boxes of ARCs, Advanced Reading Copies, of Sour Grapes, the second book in my Shakespeare in the Vineyard mystery series. At that time I wasn’t given a date to send changes back to my publisher. I let one week slide while I worked on the third book in the series . . . until I received that second box of ARCs last week and also an email requesting changes within three weeks of receiving the books. What was I thinking? That meant changes were due this week—i.e., wrong place, wrong name, spelling. The release date isn’t until October 22 so I thought I had plenty of time to read it and for my husband to read it.
As I settled in with my usual cup of tea to read, I remembered a comment a reader had made about Twisted Vines. She found typos/wrong word choice, and had a few of her own “choice” words to say about editors, spell check, and yours truly. Our eyes often glaze over words when we know the plot so well, but I read every word, line by line, checked the dictionary on a few words, and sighed when I reached the end. But was I done? I waited a day and then . . . read it again. Then I procrastinated before sending the handful of changes to my publisher: I worked all day Monday for the Livermore PD; Tuesday (yesterday) I reread my short list of changes; then I reread the first four chapters. Should I read the whole book again? NO! It’s done. I’m done. I sent the email off to my publisher wondering if she’s waiting for it. Her return email said she’s out of the office and will respond as soon as she returns. My brain told me I could have read the book one more time.