Saturday, November 26, 2005


The first time I finished writing a book, I burst into tears and called my mother. I'd spent years working on the concepts behind The Crystal Tree, but start to finish, the writing had occupied only 15 working days--an average of 20 finished pages a day. Think of it as a two-week orgasm, and you won't be far wrong.

Today I crossed the NaNoWriMo finish line, but I am not bursting into tears. For one thing, I have more than 50,000 words, but I don't have a completed manuscript or anything like it. Moreover, my life is different. I'm not a full-time, home-based writer any more. I go to work and do one kind of writing, come home (or go out to lunch) and do another kind. Nor am I a 27-year-old newlywed. I'm 46, divorced, repartnered. It's not May in Stockholm, NJ. It's November in the Bay Area of California.

And yet--this is even better. That first orgasmic rush of words was grand, but this is craft as well as inspiration. This book is fiction, but like the first nonfiction book, it's based on ideas I've been pondering for decades. I have confidence in this book, in my skills, in myself. I'm considerably more sane than I was 20 years ago. I'm going to keep working on sanity and fiction.

Made my 50K? Sure. But I've only begun working on this book. I have months of joy ahead of me. Years of joy beyond that as I work on other books.

And now I have a write-in to attend.

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