I have one more chapter to write tonight and the first draft of Book 24 is complete. I am so ready to be finished.
When I began writing these stories, one thing that I never wanted to have happen was that the books would be formulaic. Oh, there would be little bits and pieces in each book that tied the series together (other than characters), but I never wanted to write those stories where a murder was presented, the action took off, and then the main character solved the murder. Okay, I guess that happens sometimes in my books, but for me, the characters and their relationships were of much greater importance. And the one thing I’m certain of – life is not formulaic.
Now, while that gives me a great deal of freedom, I find that people react differently to different books along the way. Some like one book or another, while others expect that I should tell more about so and so, or they become concerned when a character isn’t quite as prominent. And I think to myself … life isn’t that easy either. We move in and out of our stories. We spend time with one friend while they are dealing with something important, knowing that in the not too distant future, we’ll incorporate other friends and family into our lives.
Ahh, the afternoon musings as I avoid the beginning of the end. The last chapter is always hard to write, though I look forward to those last few words. It’s hard to leave everyone where they are, knowing that their stories fade into the ether while I polish this book and prepare for publication.
This last week, as my brother and I chatted about this crazy journey, I got emotional at the realization that I am living a life where my creativity has been let loose. The stories that I love are part of my every day. Whether I’m writing, reading, or editing, I fill with joy at the written word and its potential.
As a child, I remember the physical sensation of something ready to burst forth from within when I read great stories. When I grew older and knew that I could write my own, I remember feeling the sensation of desperately trying to draw the words from myself. I could taste them as they coalesced before finding their way through pen to paper. There has always been a visceral link between creation to words to stories for me.
For all of this, I am grateful. I have found the release. The best part of that is that as I release more words, the flow never diminishes. In fact, it has increased and I spend time desperately looking for ways to corral it so that it is usable.
Next Sunday is the 25th of the month. Newsletter day. I can’t wait to share the cover and title for Book 24 with you, the Christmas card, and of course another short vignette. Until then, I’ll be tearing the story apart and putting it back together, snuggling with kitty cats, and having a little turkey.
Let’s hope this strange stream of consciousness writing that I chose to employ in this post is subdued by the chocolate covered pretzels before I write this last chapter. Polly would beat my butt. She’s much too pragmatic for this stuff, especially when there are so many people in her family to deal with.
Book 24 begins about two weeks before Thanksgiving and ends just after the holiday. Polly’s family has so much to be thankful for, no matter what has happened.
So do we. As I’ve watched thankfulness posts fill my Facebook feed, I’m grateful that we have ways to express that joy. What are you most thankful for today?