Endings are hard.

My book is finished.  Okay, not finished finished.  Not on-the-shelf finished or even as-done-as-it-gets finished, but it is finished.  The first draft is complete. I keep saying that thinking that I’ll feel something like joy or relief or even accomplishment, but I don’t.  I feel sad, lonely, a little proud, I guess, but mostly just kind of listless.

Is this what parents feel when they drop their kids off for college?

I should be jumping up and down like everyone else, but the truth is, I’m a little heartbroken.  I loved writing this book—even when I complained about it (which was, let’s face it, a not small percent of the time).  I love Moira and her broken heart, I love Jack and his honesty (and his grid-like abdomen), Mack and Charlie learning how to be friends as siblings, Rory, Betty, Tom Hanks…

I love all of them.  And now they’re all kind of grown up and done and I don’t know what to do with myself.

So while I pretend I’m not obsessively checking my email every thirty seconds (nothing new, I just looked), I’ve made a deal with myself that I won’t even look at the manuscript for 30 days.

And since I’m absolutely incapable of starting something new, I think I’ll just keep clicking through my Mack & Moira Pinterest board and listening to the Official Soundtrack.  That's not pathetic...right?

Anyway, special thanks to the following people, places, and things who helped me get through the last 3 years:

-My couch and laptop, without whom I would not have a 300 page manuscript or a place to rest my atrophying ass while I created it -My husband, who will never ever ever get all the credit and thanks he deserves.  It is because of him I have clean clothes, food, bills that are paid on time, and a full wine glass to celebrate. -Kassy, who must have heard the plan for the last 8 chapters forty-five times before she finally got me to admit that I was no longer blocked, just stalling -Jillian, who supplied me with a four-volume soundtrack of the most amazing word-inspiring music I've ever heard.  How this girl knows how to pick songs for scenes that haven't been written yet, I will never know.  She's got a gift. -Doc who read and reviewed each available chapter (sorry, you can't read the rest--it's not ready) -Alllllllllll the people who have read and reviewed and especially those who helped me get ready for the conference: Leah, Brittany, Mariah, and Adri -And the amazingly patient and wonderful Elizabeth who has loved and supported this project since we reworked the original idea (the one we'll never speak of.  ever.) at our first writers' weekend retreat in 2010:

3 summers ago :-)

So I know it's not really the end, because I will likely be editing until the cows come home (though hopefully not to my home, because I'm not certain where I'll put them) and I'm sure I'll eventually be so sick of Mack and Moira and all their wacky pals that I'll want to just do a Select+A+Del and start with something new...right now, I wanted to take a minute to remember this feeling of sadness and nostalgia and remember how much I've adored these characters from the beginning.

"Endings are hard. Any chapped-ass monkey with a keyboard can poop out a beginning, but endings are impossible. You try to tie up every loose end, but you never can. The fans are always gonna bitch. There's always gonna be holes. And since it's the ending, it's all supposed to add up to something. I'm telling you, they're a raging pain in the ass. ... No doubt, endings are hard.  But then again...nothing ever really ends, does it?" -Chuck, Supernatural