You know why? Because I finally finished This Damned Book!!! That's right, at 9:00 last night, this monstrous, out-of-control thing finally wrapped up. I'm thinking it might have one of the longest, most drawn-out endings in YA history, but I don't care. I love it. It makes me happy to see it all tied up in dozens of pretty pink ribbons.
And I managed to finish it while distracted by day job angst, Christopher Plummer's loin cloth, a jackwagon neighbor who seems to believe that the way to fix a car is to repeatedly rev the engine right outside my window all flipping day long, and my deep concern over the fact that Dante Falconeri currently lies bleeding to death on the floor of Sonny Corinthos' coffee warehouse! That, my friends, is dedication.
At this point, I choose not to think (too much) about how many years I spent writing this thing. (Because A#1, I choose not to make myself any crazier than I already am.) Though I do wonder why I stuck with it. It's not like it's going to rival War and Peace or change anyone's life or anything. It ain't that kind of a book.
But it is my book and my characters and once they had taken life inside my head, I couldn't walk away from them. Oh, I tried. There was a whole year in there where I just completely abandoned them. But I kept thinking of them, home alone, living off of saltines and ketchup, and I had to go back and take care of them. Because that's the thing my writer friend keeps telling me. You are your characters' only chance. If you don't care about your characters, nobody else will. You owe it to them to give them every chance to live and breathe.
At this point, I'm not going to think in terms of revision or the possibility of having to cut drastically. (Maybe it's a blessing it did take me this long because if I'd finished a book this size five years ago, no one would have considered it. Now, a door stopper like this doesn't raise an eyebrow.)
But it's hard not to wonder if it will sell, if anyone but me will love not just the characters, but the frivolous details, the relatively pointless asides and extraneous interactions.
Whether it sells or not, it's done. It pleases me. It pleases me that I finished it. And now my terrier brain can move on to the Next Damned Book.
3 handsome men
1 cold mama
3 dresses made out of curtains
1 snippy housemaid
and a curse