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Anticipating Typing “the end”

by Julie, enjoying the spring in Somerville

I am working on book #5, tentatively titled The Plot Thickets, which is due on May 1. Don’t bother to remember the title for next year, when it is released. There is a strong chance my editor will want to change it. But I digress.

This month, we’ve been talking about anticipation. As I anticipate typing “the end” and hitting submit on this manuscript, I will confess that I have a lot of conflicting emotions.

At this point, I’m sick of reading and rereading the book. There, I said it. Editing requires adding details and polishing. It also requires making sure that the book makes sense. Is the timeline accurate? Are all the right characters in every scene? Did changing a clue in chapter five completely screw up chapter twelve? Answer, of course it did.

Every time I go through it again, I find more to finesse. I do think part of this is due to the fact that I’m a better writer now, on what will be my tenth published novel, than I was at the beginning of this journey, and so I spend more time on the editing process. I purposely give myself a lot of time for this part of the work. As I mentioned, it’s easy to get sick of my book at this point. I vacillate between being amused and being convinced it’s terrible. By April 30 it will be in good shape, of that I have confidence.

But I also dread finishing the book. I enjoy spending time with Lilly Jayne, Delia, Ernie, Roddy, Tamara, Warwick and the rest of the citizens of Goosebush. When I’m writing, I transport myself there, to this place that only exists in my imagination. I can feel the warmth of Lilly’s greenhouse, taste the brioche Ernie baked, hear Roddy’s deep voice as he and Delia discuss clues, and see the wonders of Alden Park as it is being transformed. The plots are complicated, and require introducing new people and situations, some of whom continue from book to book. Though I know that I am the writer of Lilly’s adventures, there is magic in their creation. I’ll miss the magic when I type “the end”. Until the next book, that is.

But before I type those six letters, I have a few more things I need to do. Gardening friends, do you have any spring tips that I can include in the book? I’ll be sure to thank you in the acknowledgments. I always leave this to the last minute, and could use your help.

Click on the picture below to send them to me, or leave a tip in the comments below.

Dear readers, do you have anything you anticipate with both pleasure and dread?

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