- Finish writing novel originally started as a means of staving off depression and cabin fever (should be done by the end of the day, or the wee hours of the next day).
- Draw detailed maps of the District, the Factories and Markets, the Outskirts, the Ruins, the Plains, the Northern Ocean and Islands, the town of Seven Winds, the island of the Stone School, and the Forest region.
- Hack book to pieces and reassemble it into something actually worth sending off with a hope of publication.
- Find a publisher that will accept the last four months of my brain’s of literary ejecta.
- Sell enough copies to keep myself in Rickard’s Red and Lucky Charms until the next book tears its way out of my frontal lobe.
It ends today. Even if it means that I won’t leave this computer until dawn breaks, I will have the book finished before my head touches my pillow. For once in a very long time, I will have a completed work.
I still remember the feeling of doing this more than ten years ago. I decided to write a novel when I was 16 (mostly due to the fact that I didn’t have any friends and I lived in the country). It took me a year, and the end result was a piece of drivel so full of cliche and stock that it was entirely unreadable. I still loved it, as one loves a very ugly, awkward child when it is one’s own (Mom, Dad, you guys can relate to this feeling, what with my brother looking like he did (I kid, I kid)).
The day I finished it, the sky was dark and ominous. It actually was a dark and stormy night. A lightning storm kicked up, but I refused to shut down the computer because I was too close to the end. I knew that I was risking losing everything I had worked on that day, but I pushed on, head down and fingers clattering away. I hit the last period, saved, shut down the CPU and watched as all the lights in the house blinked out in the inevitable power outage (again, I lived in the country, where the power grid is more of a power string).
By that time, however, the clouds had broken over the house. I went outside and sat on the old, rickety deck. I watched the open red wound in the sky where the storm had torn itself apart, the sunset’s light kicking off of the charcoal clouds. They roiled and twisted all round the edge of the sky, lightning jumping from them, thunder slowly rumbling out to mumble angrily past the house. It was a profoundly wild and beautiful night.
I found that book again a month ago. The original manuscript was in an M and M’s chicken strips box (8.5 x 11″ paper fits really well in those boxes, but only those ones; the pork riblets boxes are too small). There probably isn’t much worth salvaging in that old story, but I decided to take it home with me anyway. It sits on my shelf next to my OAC art sketchbook and my old journals.
I won’t let Emily Rose suffer such a neglectful fate.
As they walked down through the waking town, down to the water’s edge, Emily smiled, happy to have met the warm-hearted giants. It would be hard to bid them a final goodbye, but she was starting to get used to leaving people behind. Maybe it was just the lot she had drawn in her life. Maybe it was the price for being driven on by the dreams her plants gave her.
Or maybe it was the way of all people. Didn’t everyone have to leave their friends and family behind in one way or another? Emily mused to herself that it seemed that life (or fate, or God, or whatever it was that moved the things of the world) exercised its power in the breaking apart of things.