Looking back on this year, in light of the aftermath of so much political turmoil (national and local in my area), celebrity losses that saddened me, and my own personal health challenges, I’m happy to realize one cause of my life to celebrate. I finished my thesis! The entire final draft of my first novel is complete! After nearly seven years, I’ll finally receive my MFA. Hooray!
A few days after Thanksgiving, I was given the chance to type “The End” after the final line. I sat at my desk staring at my monitor for a long time. I didn’t really seem to know what to do with myself after that. For twenty or so years, many of the characters had been talking to me. It’s a saga spanning from the 1940’s to the present and I felt like I was leaving a world that I just didn’t really want to walk away from. I loved mingling with them. Thankfully, there is a sequel to come. Some of them aren’t completely silent, but still…
So, for the past few weeks, I’ve resumed reading other people’s books, organized my office (I knew where everything was, but my family thought a hurricane had swept through and that I was being swallowed up by piles and piles of notes and printed drafts), and resumed some time with my family without the wide-eyed glare in that faraway world full of people who were only talking to me. It’s been nice, but I must admit, I am looking forward to attacking that sequel – and other drafts that have had the nerve to form in my head within the past few months as I pounded away on the thesis.
Strangely enough, the hardest part of the book to write was the last two chapters. Not so much because of the challenge of just wrapping it up. More so, because they marked the inspiration of the story in the first place. A particular moment. I had to fully concentrate on the respective points of view of the main two characters to convey their events properly and in the manner they were given to me many years ago to write in the first place. It wasn’t very easy. I had to take my time with it.
The younger years of those characters captivated me so much as I wrote about their early days. I enjoyed living through their setting, their music, and even their struggles. Watching them reach their advancing years was an amazing journey. I discovered more about them through the various angles I was given that surpassed the one-dimensional ways that I’d only seen them. They really did share their story with me and proved to me just how real they are, have been, and how much a part of my life they will be.
Next year, as I work on the sequel, I’ll be in search of an agent. I’ve decided to go the
traditional publishing route with this one and I’m looking forward to it. Talk about a new chapter!!
Here’s to your new year’s goals and adventures! Cheers!