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Ending a novel is hard

I know there are some who are regularly visited by a muse, which I've always pictured as an ethereal being who plants kernels of truth in the subconscious and sprinkles them with the waters of inspiration.  I envy them.

My muse has long incisors and chews the wooden studs between the drywall behind my bed. It disturbs my sleep and my concentration and I've taken to pounding with my fist to silence it in moments of frustration.   At these moments I'm extraordinarily grateful no other human being occupies space on the other side of the wall and tremendously relieved the neighbors' dogs bark so frequently and loudly, there's little chance they'll hear the occasional thump, even in the wee hours of the morning or at the break of day.

This is not the mother my daughter remembers from her youth or from any other time in her life.   The mother she remembers carefully trapped tiny rodents between the cats' water bowl and a sheet of cardboard after said felines tired of playing mouse hockey, and released them gently into the wild.  The mother who now lives in a bat and squirrel-infested place has developed a constellation of newly acquired feelings towards animals and some people.  She doesn't find joy in teeth-jarring explosions of fireworks, disoriented bats, screaming children, barking dogs, icycles that break free from the eaves, punching holes in the ceiling and creating rather large puddles inside, or mountains of snow in the drive.

I don't like thinking of myself this way, so I am counteracting these evil thoughts by creating fictional characters who have integrity and nobility and occasional nice meals accompanied by a glass of very good wine at tables decorated with lovely china and fresh flowers.  These characters live in quiet houses with porches overlooking calm lakes and peaceful orchards. They are kind, generous and laugh easily.

They don't know what twerking is and they listen to Debussy while they work crossword puzzles and play Scrabble.  They don't own firearms, but they grow flowers and vegetables in their sunlit garden that produces so much more than they can use, they give away enormous bouquets and  boxes and crates and buckets of squash and tomatoes and peppers and peas to neighbors and friends.  They're not as boring as I'd initially imagined them to be and when they're together, they're particularly delightful.  Each of them has an interesting past and their individual futures seem uncertain, but that will change very soon. 

This makes me rather sad.  

 

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Comments
20 Comment count
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I think I know how you feel, Jane

Nodding, sighing, thinking.  Good post.  Cheers, M

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I thought writing the beginning would be the hardest part

I've a learned a lot.

Thanks for your kind comment, Michael.

xx

Jane

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I love this because it is as

I love this because it is as if you are sitting across from me at the kitchen table talking about this over a velvety glass of wine and a bowl of delicious olives. mx

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Another kindred spirit

It's 9 a.m.  I'm sipping my tea and will leave for court, soon.  I, too, wish I could drop by later this evening for a glass of wine and friendly conversation.  

Thanks, Mary.  Have a lovely weekend.

xox

Jane

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I love it, Jane! Brilliant!

I love it, Jane! Brilliant!

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I'm grateful for kindred spirits

Katia,

Thanks.

xox

Jane

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Very nice, Jane.  I think I

Very nice, Jane.  I think I want to live your world with the nice people. ~nan

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I want to live there, too

Nan,

I think that's why writing the closing chapters are the most difficult.  As I mentioned in reply to Michael's comment, I thought writing the beginning was hard.  I've learned a lot.

Thanks.

Jane

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Jane— How perfectly

Jane—

How perfectly delightful and perfectly true! I loved every word of your post!  XO B

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I'm not yet ready to say "goodbye" to my imaginary friends

Barbara,

I never intended to write this, or any other novel, but now that it's almost finished, I've realized how much I'll miss these quirky folks, who have taken up residence in my heart.  Their world, like our own, is imperfect, but they have such an enormous capacity to love and despite their individual and collective struggles, they haven't lost hope.  

Maybe I needed to write this, after all.  When I was younger, I wanted to change the world.  I guess I still do.

xox

Jane

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Finishing

I envy you, in the sense that you are at least writing the closing chapters.  I've been not writing my closing chapters for so long now that I am full of extreme self-loathing and nightly close to tears.  I am so close, and it is so good, that I am obviously fearing to finish it, though I have three or so other novels just waiting in the wings.

It is so frustrating, I'd tear my hair out--if only I could afford to lose more hair.

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I'm a gladiator in the arena of self-loathing, as well

Is it this hard for everyone?  I sometimes feel as though I'm pounding the wall with my head rather than my fist!

 

 

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Sitting My A$$ Down

I don't know if it's hard for everyone, but for me, the better it gets, the harder it is to finish--or even to continue working on.  When it's going great, it's like my muse has flipped me the bird and has walked out on me.  Once I sit my butt down and open the document--no problem, and out it flows, and it's really, really good.

I.

Just.

Can't.

Sit.

My.

Ass.

Down.

I never get writer's block in the traditional sense.  When I start typing, the floodgates open.  Always.  I don't see the stereotypical empty screen and blinking cursor.  Ever.  Once I sit, I type.  Once I type, it all comes out.

I just can't sit my ass down and start typing.

It has literally brought me to tears and self-hatred lately.

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Everyone's process is different

I simply don't want to return to reality, just yet, but it's time.  After I write the final words, I'm taking a break!

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Not in me...

I always stand in awe of anyone who even attempts such work.  I know I do not have it in me. And even if I had the form/structure in me, the characters would not be like those described here; I can't write those folks.

My hat, in your presence, Ms W, is off.

 

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You should reserve judgment

Ron,

It's not done, yet.  Thanks, though, for the vote of confidence.  I need lots of encouragement.

xox

Jane

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I'm nearing the end of

I'm nearing finishing off a novel too, Jane. I'm not sure how l feel about coming to the end but l know when l write any story, it becomes my second life, like l'm living two lives. I really enjoy that duality. Maybe it's a form of escapism!

 

Sometimes l get stuck as l'm finishing but l get through and when a story is done, l get this overwhelming feeling of satisfaction overcome me. I absolutely love that feeling!

 

So, happy finishing, Jane. X

 

 

 

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It's a virtual escape, for me as well

Moni,

I have many emotions.  One is these can easily be described as a multi-tentacled monster called "fear," which I'm sure most writers encounter at some point.   Another is a sense of loss.

I suppose I'm edging in on the feeling of satisfaction you describe  because I realize the story, or at least this portion of the story, will conclude.  Thanks for the reassurance.

xox

Jane

 

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The End Is Nigh - Long Live Your Novel

Congratulations and I wish you all the best with publication.

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I didn't see this comment until today

Nicholas,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I'm so grateful for our friendship.

xo

Jane