I dug out this photo from last summer – at Epcot Center after the RWA conference and me all shiny from winning the RITA® Award. Sometimes that still feels as fantastical as my troll friend here.
Our topic this week at the SFF Seven is one writing/publishing-related skill we want to learn/improve on this year. I’m looking for recommendations on which authors write really good endings. Come on over!
Full summer is here with all that brings – warm evenings outside, time spent in the garden or working on the patio. I’m getting a nice tan. And lots of plans to do fun things all the way past Labor Day in September. That always seems to be the way of it, looking ahead to the end already. Human nature, perhaps?
My mom and I were talking yesterday about a friend of hers with cancer, which she calls “the bad stuff.” She’s an irrepressibly cheerful person who refuses to dwell on the fact that the bad stuff has come back and her prospects are dim. My mom said that, when she feels blue, she reminds herself that she’s not facing that. I do the same thing, to focus on the moment, to enjoy my life so that shadows of future endings don’t taint what I have now.
But looking forward to future fun builds anticipation, too. Our end-of-summer plans involve celebrating my birthday, along with my aunt’s and stepdad’s. My late summer birthday has always been a bittersweet event for me. On the one hand, I love my birthday and look forward to it. Birthdays are a big deal in my family (obviously) and are celebrated with panache. As a Leo girl, I soak up my moment in the sun, unabashedly savoring the gifts and good wishes, all the petting, eating and drinking. But my birthday has also always meant that summer is coming to a close and that school would start again, usually within a few days. The two have been entwined in my head from my earliest days – the indulgence of my birthday with the ending of another summer.
I’m at another ending right now. I’ve hit 120,000 words on The Talon of the Hawk, book 3 in my Twelve Kingdoms trilogy. By tomorrow, it should be done. It’s a big ending, because it ties up not only this heroine’s story, but that of my other two heroines also. I’ve talked about how I’m past deadline and going long on this book. What that’s done is made me very focused on finishing. I’ve been pushing hard towards this goal and looking forward to completing this project.
But then… it will be over.
I’ll miss living in this heroine’s head, miss the world of The Twelve Kingdoms. For my readers, the adventure has just started – they’re reading book 1 and anticipating book 2. It’s a funny place to be. I have all the rewards of finishing – which are considerable – but also that twisted up bittersweet nostalgia that summer is drawing to a close.
All in all, good problems to have.
This weekend, my local RWA chapter, LERA, had our biannual conference. Two of our guests were Jennifer Enderlin, editor for the fabulous Darynda Jones at St. Martins, and NYT Bestselling author Deanna Raybourn. On Friday, Darynda and our two conference organizers, Tammy Baumann and Kari Bovee, made the trip up to Santa Fe. We did lunch and shopping and I got to play tour guide. Such a fun day for me!
You can read more about it, and about what the most difficult part of the story is for me, over at Word Whores today.