Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Catching Up

This morning the rain has come. It is dark, dreary. A good day for books and tea--and blogging! Since it's been a while, let's catch up, shall we?

Back in January, it snowed. We built a snowman.


We have done much exploring.

 Visiting a Chinese Garden

 Hiking by the river

 Floating in the river on a hot summer day

 Wading in shallow streams

In February, C turned six. A few months later, D turned four. In June, C celebrated the end of her homeschool kindergarten year with a big recital for her ballet/tap class. I thought she might be nervous for the performance, timid onstage, but she was neither. Instead, she relished it; her dance moves were extremely animated, and she adored the applause. Afterward, she told me, "I watched my tap shoes get dimmer and dimmer [as the lights went down], and the audience was so loud, cheering for us."

We presented her with a bouquet of flowers after the performance. She said that was her very favorite part.

D, meanwhile, finished up his first year at our beloved co-op preschool. He watched in envy as the older children were given felt crowns and wooden swords upon graduating, already anticipating the day next spring when he will receive his.

In just over a month, C will head into first grade at our neighborhood school, and D will return to preschool. This will mark a huge change in our days. While I'm looking forward to having more time to work on the book, I know I'll miss having the kids around as much as we do now.

But, right now, summer is in full swing, despite the rain. And, for the next few weeks, we have all the time in the world to just enjoy it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Returning

Hello there!

As mentioned in my last post, I've been keeping my head down these past months. Writing a couple hours every single morning, chipping away at a novel that seemed like it would never be done.

Until it was.

The day before D's fourth birthday in early June, I worked on the final scene late into the night. At 2:30am, I wrote the last words. And then I slept.

It's a strange thing, finishing such an all-consuming project. On the one hand, it feels amazing to have created something out of thin air, to have taken my clumsy first draft and turned it into a story I'm proud of. But on the other, it feels weird, to have so much brain space suddenly free. No more plot knots to ponder on my walk to work, no more not-quite-right sentences to stew on. At least, not until I get the next round of feedback from my beta readers.

Once I complete my final edits, it's time for the next step: pursuing publication. To be honest, I'm nervous about what lies ahead, about nudging this little fledgling out into the world, and seeing what becomes of it. I hope, hope, hope that someone out there loves it and understands it and wants to help it become the best it can be.

But even if it never sees the light of day, writing this novel has changed me. For better or for worse, I uncovered a need to write, a hunger for it. Now, everything I see and hear and read and watch and live becomes potential inspiration for future stories. And that knowledge compels me to look more closely, pay attention more deeply--when I'm not lost in my own thoughts, that is.

During my absence from this space, I did manage to get out of my head enough to enjoy visiting wonderful places like these, all in the name of book research:


 


 

And now, the book is done. (Or at least done-ish.) I have returned, emerging bleary-eyed from my writing cave to find that it is summer. There are parks to explore, creeks to splash in, blueberries to pick. There are sunny mornings and bright-blue hydrangeas and tiny fruits growing on the grapevine we planted years ago. It's a good time to take a little break, to rejuvenate after two years of hard work on this project.

Because, soon, it will be time to start on the next one.