I finished my book last night. My novel. It feels strange to say, like after you get married and say “husband” for the first time.
I finished the first real finished draft. There’s still bits and pieces, like I know there’s a thing I forgot to put in near the end, and some moments and small threads that need to drop in and weave. But I got to the end and I felt… well I felt I needed to commemorate that. It’s been years I’ve been writing it. This story about a girl and her best friend, and what they go through together, and what she goes through alone, and the perils of a divided heart, and the dangers of truly pretty, deadly things, like comfort and flooding basements full of missing books and library databases with as many citations as there are drops in the ocean.
I ride the subway to work. I try to avoid being late, on this crowded subway. When you have a gig that is one day per week it’s essential to keep up appearances. I imagine each one these commuters as books, each of these people, bundled and gloved, holding coffee cups, playing iphone games, carrying lunches, checking their twitter, as writers finishing up books of their own. Gah! If we could all tell our stories… I’ve told mine, time and time again, pages using pages. And I’ll tell it again, bc what are we if not the stories we tell, the stories we consume, the stories we heroically lead through our own defiance against the slow, plodding March of consumption.
Soon I will be miserable. I will come down off this high of feeling fulfilled, feeling finished. I will panic about getting an editor, a publisher, a lit agent. But for now, for this moment, stuck in a bridge in a tin can perched high above the frigid East River w it’s roiling currents, I wanted to acknowledge what I have done. It was excruciatingly difficult. I wrote encouraging missives to myself in my notebook, and gilded them w gold and shining watercolors. “You can do this!” I wrote. “Trust that the book is good!” I wrote. I wrote enough that I believed it.
I look forward to beginning again. But for this moment… for this moment there is this.