I just sent the draft of my manuscript for Death from the Skies! to my editor.
This is a major step, of course. For one thing, it fulfills my contractual obligation of getting the book to the publishing house by November 12. :-)
But it's nowhere near the end! Once my editor looks it over and edits it, I'll have to revise it. You may be shocked, shocked, to learn it's too long. A lot of precious words will have to be savagely curtailed. I'll have to add technical edits as I get those from my posse of advisors. That's no big deal (assuming my science isn't totally screwed up). My first book had a single technical editor (my old friend Mark Voit) who did a great job checking up on my science. But this new book covers a vast amount of territory in some detail, so we needed a different tech editor for each chapter. They've been a tremendous help, and I am indebted to them all.
Even when the writing is all done, there are the matters of illustrations, photos, captions, cover art, planning my speech when I get the Pulitzer, and so on. It's a long road ahead.
But the first few steps have been taken. Now I can start getting ready for my trip to DC tomorrow, working on updating the blog, starting up an idea or two I have for new sites, getting my home life in order (geez, you should see my office; I haven't really unpacked since we moved in June), spending some actual time with the Little Astronomer, and tinkering around with an idea for my third book.
Y'know, relaxing stuff.