Thursday, March 13, 2008

Finishing Things

I've been remiss! I'll try to do better. My husband had a second surgery in January and I was busy trying to finish my novel due April 1 that will come out in April of 2009. It's based on my grandmother's life -- she was a photographer in 1910-1915 in Minnesota. I have a couple dozen glass plates that either she or my grandfather took and I've worked five of them into the story. Getting them printed was a treat and it was done by a local photographer so I didn't even have to travel more than 50 miles to get them. My husband is doing well!

I had line edits for a book coming out next month, A Mending at the Edge, last in the novel series due too this past month. That will be followed in September by a nonfiction book about the Aurora Colony in Oreogn that inspired my Change and Cherish series. That book is called Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt and Craft. I hope you'll look for it. My husband took a lot of the photographs and I just finished the line edits for it too. Now we have the photographic part to manage. The museum is quilting a replica of one of the original quilts done by Emma Wagner Giesy, the woman I've written about in my novel series, and there'll be a way for anyone to put their name into a drawing for that quilt come December...no purchase required!

In between I taught a class on writing with a mentor of mine, my first writing instructor, Bob Welch. That was pretty amazing, humbling and encouraging all at the same time.

What I wanted to say though is how good it feels to finish something. I know the novel comingout NEXT April is in it's first draft stage and I'm now doing revisions before sending it off to the editor. And I'll get to relook at it after she's considered it and makes suggestions. But there is something truly liberating about reaching for something I wanted -- like finishing the book before I leave for Italy next week for a conference I'll speak at but will also be a time of relaxation. For a lot of writers, that "finishing" thing is really tough. I try to remind them and myself that perfect does not mean "without errors" but rather "complete." Things that are complete are perfect. It helps me actually write "the end" and it helps me keep going even on the days when the Harpies sitting behind me are saying that what I've written is drivel.

I hope whatever your harpies are telling you that keeps you from feeling the joy of being finished that you'll put Duct tape on them. Someone gave me red duct tape and it really quiets those voices. But if you don't have real duct tape handy, just put a mental tape across their mouths and keep going until you've, well, finished! Stay well, warmly, Jane

1 comment:

Becky said...

A book about your grandmother's photography sounds worth reading. I will have to get that one. Well I do own most of your books any way!! Thanks for your email to me that I recieved this evening. Am limping along with my arm that I have bursitis in, per dr. at appt. today. Got a shot and now my arm is ok but will see how 3 days of work goes! ARG!! Have a safe trip to Italy. I look forward to seeing you in Aurora on Mother's day again or maybe at the breakfast the day before in Tualatin. That's the church my boss and his family go to. God Bless!!