Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Finished.


I've waited a week to write this post, just to see how my emotions would look like at this point. And they're the same, for the most part.

You see, I finished my book.

And it's a little depressing. Or disappointing. And such a wonderful relief. At any rate, when you write The End, you expect some sort of fanfare from the Angels or whoever has been watching over your shoulder. But instead, you quietly smile around the cafe you've been writing in and see that all is as it has been. The man with the stack of textbooks about Ancient Rome is still typing away at his dissertation. The scruffy man with headphones the size of dessert plates is still tapping away at his computer, and the gaggle of college undergrads, with their Clique-esque straight blonde hair, skinny jeans, and designer boots are still sipping at their lattes and talking about whatever those kinds of girls talk about. (I wouldn't know.)

No fanfare. No trumpets. Not even a kazoo. Instead, you close your laptop and smile a bit wider, to yourself. Because, really, does it matter to anyone more than it does to yourself? That book you've just finished----in all honesty, you wrote it for yourself. Not for your future fans. Not for your family. Not even for that English teacher who raised an eyebrow when you said you'd write novels one day. You wrote it Just. For. Yourself.

And so you should be the one pulling out the French Horn right in the Barnes & Noble cafe. (If you were brave and knew how to play such an instrument, which I do not.) Or you can pack up and wander the YA Fantasy shelves, spotting books written by friends/acquaintances/people you follow on twitter. And find your spot, just where this book that you've finished will fit.

Then you take a month off and do something completely different. I, for instance, got invited to participate in an art show at the local art museum. Can you believe it? Just when I finish my book and must take a month off, I am invited to sell my scarves among real artists and their wares. And I conveniently have time to make the scarves!

Also, I've been making myself a lot of chai, to deal with the chill in the house.

(Hmmm...My son isn't napping and is currently crying about something....*goes back upstairs* Well. He wanted his space rocket in his crib AND wanted to go ride on an airplane. A real one. Those aren't great for naps, and so he's crying again. Hopefully, he'll go to sleep. I've got scarves to make...)

So, back to finishing books... the world hasn't changed. It's the same as it was when the book was yet unfinished. And yet, inside myself, something's changed. Something's warmer, and more certain of itself.

There's lots more work to be done on this book, including a complete revision and some critiques to get from newer readers. Then another revision, and if I think it's as good as I can get it, I'll send it to my agent. And then....and then....the Future.

For now, I'll continue to daydream that I get whisked away by Dr. Who while I make stuff and play with my kids. And maybe try to clean the house a bit. And wish for Spring because I am really, really getting tired of having to swipe the snow off the car nearly every morning while trying to get the kids in, before 9 a.m., when all they want is to run off from me and get into the really deep snow in the middle of the yard. Or eat the gray icicles off the car (blech!).

So here's my late-Winter/Spring-better-come-soon plan:
March----make many, beautiful nuno-felted scarves that people will be desperate to buy at the Everson Museum of Art Greenhouse Art Show (there's a real name, but I've forgotten at the moment). And somehow manage this while the kids are home during their school break and hubby is in L.A. for a week-long conference, the lucky man.
April----REVISE the jinn book, which is in need of a title. (Incidentally, what do you think of The Jinn Bride???)
May----Give copies to readers, get critiques back, REVISE AGAIN. Make the book as perfect as can be. Then give to Super (and Very Patient) Agent.
June----Try not to fall completely apart. And start planning for new book (which I am so so so giddy about, you have no idea).

And finally, here's a little video of the best parts in life:

8 comments:

Amber Lough said...

Sorry about the crappy video quality. Oh well. This way was faster/easier than going through YouTube.

Rebecca said...

love the video
love the post
love that spring will be here soon :)

Kaylie said...

I finished mine recently, too. Glad to hear (well, not for your sake) that it makes someone else depressed, too. I think I have to go through a mourning period, you know?

Kelly Hashway said...

Hi, Amber. I found you through the Blue Boards. Finishing a manuscript is definitely an emotional thing. You're sad to say goodbye to the characters you love, but at the same time, you are elated that you finished the book. Congrats! And good luck with those scarves.

Sophia Richardson said...

Congrats on finishing the book! That's great timing with the end of one project and the time to embark on another, don't you love when life comes together like that?
- Sophia.

Val said...

Congratulations!
I'm waiting the edition impatiently.
The kids are awesome! Henry definitely is not "New Niccolo Paganini". But maybe "New Serj Tankian" is growing up.

Jacqui said...

Congratulations. I would add "terrifying" to the list of emotions. Glad you got a minute to enjoy it.

www.janicecoy.com said...

YAY! I'm celebrating with you - playing my imaginary french horn =)
Good for you, pat yourself on the back, YOU DID IT!!! All while raising two very active young children. So amazing and impressive. Go Amber!!!!!