Friday, January 9, 2009

Hafan Deg - my Novel-in-Progress - is Complete

I finished Hafan Deg today, well, about half an hour ago. I'm not putting up the final four chapters until Monday, because I'm tired, and slightly punch-drunk that it's done. I can't trust my own judgement right now when it comes to the proofing. It looks perfect, but we all know what that usually means.

Another chapter emerged from the three I thought I had left. It was necessary, and I think that's why I was baulking at reaching the end. I knew I had something else to say. Well, as writers, I hope we always have something else to say, although not necessarily for our current manuscript.

Writing this blog was so helpful to me, although I knew there was just a handful of people out there actually reading it, but it gave me the resolve to complete it, more or less in front of you. You were the teacher to my homework, if you like. I see my little group of followers, and there are perhaps others who choose not to join the group, but still read the blog, and I am grateful to all of you for being there. I wouldn't have finished this without you, honestly, because there would have been no obligation. After spouting about "flow" and so on, how could I just let the blog slide? Without you, at the tricky points, particularly this past week, I might have stopped again, put the ms away for a bit, until I was ready. And we are never really ready to finish our books.

I intend to leave the whole book up for about a month, through February, let's say, but then I want to start getting it into the hands of an agent. I'm not sure what the etiquette is for novels-on-line, but it's possible some agents could find it a bit difficult to sell, considering I'm flogging it for nothing through Blogger.

After that, I'll send you the website, if you request it, so you can complete the read, if you haven't done it by then, sort of invitation-only.

I joked on Wednesday about how a Mac might have done all the clean-up work, and wouldn't that be nice if they really could invent a program that could do that? Our technology is oh-so-clever today that someone really should have done it. It would be able to deal with the usual punctuation problems, recognize when a semi-colon is the only way to go, know when italics are called for, when "she said, he said" are superfluous, know the spelling of every word, including foreign ones, and proper names. It would advise when to finish a paragraph, when to end the chapter. And it would remind you that you forgot to mention that Jeremy had his teeth cleaned in Chapter whatever, and you had never mentioned it again. Stuff like that. My dear Kit in England said she would like such a program, so I know there's a market for it.

Oh, and at the end of the book it would tell you if this is Women's Fiction, Women's Literary Fiction, Old-Hen Lit, or pure Horror. It helps to know what genre you write in. It could even have little faces, you know, a happy one, a sad one, and a really sneery one for when you've just written a bit of utter tripe.

Through all of my ramblings, including that nasty review I got a couple of weeks back, no one has actually commented on the book itself, which is a bit alarming. One or two of you were following me at my writing site, and you were always more than generous with your praise, but the rest of you...well, what are you getting out of it? Is it a good read, so-so, or what? The whole purpose of this blog was to get feedback, to recognize when I was doing something right, or way off the mark. I would still respectfully ask that you send me your comments. Perhaps you're waiting until the end to give your final verdict.

I remind you that this book is intended for women of a certain age, women who have been-there, done-that more than once, possibly several times, women who've struggled with love, making ends meet, bad marriages, working 9-5, unsympathetic men, and the huge sacrifices of motherhood, all the while trying to keep houses clean, serve appetizing meals, whip up a little something for the church bazaar, remain perennially attractive and sexually fascinating, brilliantly read, and young-ish.

My novel salutes you all.

See you on Monday.

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Quotes to Consider

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, Either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing." ~Benjamin Franklin

"Well behaved women rarely make history."~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”~William G.T. Shedd (1820-1894), theologian, teacher, pastor

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." ~Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd U.S. president

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), essayist, poet, philosopher

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
~ Wayne Gretzky