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Finishing is a good verb, even if it’s imprecise. It can scoop in a lot of time, and usually implies a circle, though one hopes they get quicker with each round.  Maybe you can guess from my plans for the next few weeks what I finished?

Get a new toothbrush. Bake. (Apple cake or pumpkin chocolate chip cake?) Hang out with my husband. Clean the house. Tend to the garden. (i.e, wrestle with sumac and bittersweet.) Read poetry. Write poetry. Read books not set in the nineteenth century. Climb October Mountain. Blog more (it’s sad that I’m writing from a file I’ve named spring 2012). Mull over and wade into new projects. Wait. Try not to obsessively check email. Savor the yellow and orange leaves before they’re gone. Remind myself not to write another 500 manuscript-page novel (which I think is about the right length for this historical novel for adults).

Which is what I finished, until, you know, I start getting pulled into again. Peter is kindly using his eagle eyes to go over my draft, but I hope to send it to my agent next week. And in a spirit of celebration, I broke away for a trip to see my daughter. We spent a weekend in Santa Barbara by the beautiful sea, and returned to her home. where we ate good food with great people. Em’s friend Jesus took this picture of us with some lovely fall flowers he brought us, with a light L.A. laugh around that word “fall.” Now I’m back to fall in Massachusetts, which means serious scarves and fingerless gloves. With a few picture books on my mind.



I'm touched you saved the encouraging email. Even if the specifics changed, you know I'm rooting for you. It's wonderful to know you're moving toward that finish line, though I love your image of closing the circle more. We always do leave just enough broken there to step back in. Which is nice, as after spending so long with these people, it's hard to feel them leave. They will be back!
Congratulations!!! I hope your agent loves it, and I can't wait to read it.
Thanks so much, Stephanie!
Hooray for all!

Thanks, Jo! Hope to be writing with you soon, though I'm not sure what will be on my computer. I'm hearing wee voices from here and there...
I was just wondering how you were doing, Jeannine, and I'm thrilled to hear that you're finished with your story! And I can't think of a better celebration than to take a trip to visit your beautiful daughter.

You're an inspiration, and I am so glad that you share your journey with us.

All the best to your hefty manuscript on its path toward bookhood. Raising a teacup to you: let the baking begin! xo
Hi, thanks for all your warm thoughts, and good company on this journey. So many raised teacups that mean so much. xo
Congratulations, Jeannine! I know you feel relieved and excited at the same time. Enjoy the falling leaves. Fingers crossed that your agent loves it.

Thanks, Dori. So many feelings, joy, lightness, missing it, trepidation -- but yes, I am enjoying the colored and falling leaves! Thanks1
Yay for being finished! And for the restorative time with your daughter on the far coast. Still in the 80s 'round these parts, but we are getting some yellow and red. xo
Yes, great to spend a few days with my daughter, and we saw some yellow cottonwoods out in the mountains. Thanks for the cheers!


Sounds like you've earned a well-deserved break, Jeannine. It's a great feeling to say "Finished" even when revisions are most likely on the horizon. Because the fine tuning that creates a wonderful book can begin at last. Congratulations!
Thank you! Still things to do, but all with a lighter sense.
Isn't "finished" such a wonderful word? Even if it's only temporary, enjoy it! :-)