I've spent just under a year writing my first novel and have had a ball doing it.
It was also one of the hardest things I've done.
And one of the most rewarding.
And this morning I typed "The End" and a wave of emotions flew through my heart and my head.
I thought I'd be a happy girl when I reached this point, and I am.
I did not know I'd also feel a little "oh my, what now?"
And I certainly wasn't prepaed for the scared part.
The scary part is on down the road, so we're just not gonna think about all that just yet. What happens happens. And if it doesn't happen - well, we'll just back up and do it differently.
What I DO know is that this novel IS going to see the light of day. If no one reads it except for my mom, so be it.
But the hardest part is what happens next. Immediately, really.
At least it is for me.
I've read things some of my writer friends have written about how much they love the revision process. I do not love the revision process.
The writing of my first draft felt good. Words flowed out and I loved every one of them. Loved them even when I knew they weren't exactly the right words. Or that they weren't exactly where they needed to be.
I fell in love with the story as I wrote it. I fell in love with the characters. Characters I had no idea were living in my head. Now I love them to pieces and can't wait to see what they're going to be up to in the next book.
My mean ol' editor (teasing, darlin'!) has been a tough taskmaster. He has taught me much. The last part of the book is way better than the first part. And there's a rather large portion in the early part that I've been told needs some help. Actually, truth be told, a good deal of help. I'm having trouble with it, but I'm also confident I'll eventually get it right. At least it will feel right until my mean ol' editor (just teasing, darln') sends it back to me telling me it's actually not right at all. And he'll explain why. And I will think "Huh, how come I didn't see it that way to start with?!"
When I squealed on Facebook this morning about typing "The End," I was once again overwhelmed by the gracious enthusiasm of my Facebook friends. When I say "i love my Facebook friends," that is not something I'm saying in a frivolous way. It's dead serious and it comes from my heart. There's a whole big group of people there who enrich my life every day and have lent support in ways that have meant more to me than I can ever express.
Two of my friends, Rick Helms and Deborah Crombie, reminded me that there won't ever be another day quite like this one. And they are so so right. How many times, after all, does a gal get to type "The End" for the very first time on her very first manuscript of her very first novel? They both suggested celebrating the day. Excellent suggestion! So I called my Donald and asked what should we do to celebrate. And bless his heart, he said, "It's your day. What do you want to do? You decide, and that's what we'll do."
Being the homebody I am, it took me all of two minutes to say, "Pizza, please!"
I'd rather have pizza at home (if it's good pizza!) than just about anything.
so here 'tis - The Celebratory Pizza
is that not a thing of beauty?!
Followed by - - -
A little Death by Chocolate.
And because it isn't possible for my mean ol' editor to be here with us to celebrate, won't he be surprised when he receives a box of his favorite fudge from his favorite spot on The Boardwalk in Ocean City, MD
and thank you, from the bottom of my heart.