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.