“Draft one?” That’s what my daughter said to me yesterday morning over breakfast. I’d just announced that I was preciously close to finishing my first draft of my novel. My first novel. She looked at me in utter disbelief, or disgust, or dismay, whatever it was it was dis … “You’ve been working on that for, like, a year!” She’s ten, and sound like me in the 1980s. It’s disturbing and almost cute. Her sing-song lilt, thankfully, nowhere near Valley-speak.
Our son, who’s six, chimed in, “Ya, and you’ve been working on it every day!”
I couldn’t help but to smile over my bowl of fruit and slices of toast and marmalade. “Yes, I’ve been working on it every day for like a year, and that is why I’ve been able to finish my first draft.” They shook their heads and like I was nuts, or something, more like something;( they don’t use the word nuts unless it is playground talk and someone’s been kicked.)
And so the day came and went. It was Robert Burn’s Birthday, Virginia Woolf’s birthday, and the day I finished the biggest writing project I’d begun since I finished my doctorate 9 years ago; at least I don’t have a defence to look forward to.
I thought about this book for a good year before I put any words down about it, then I researched for a about six months then I vowed to write a page a day until I finished. That mostly worked. I wrote, for good or bad. 301 pages over the course of a few weeks plus a year. During which time, I took some time off to travel, to injure my knee, to get it fixed, and to learn to sail! Oh, ya, and my day job and raise my kids.
I read the final pages to Wolf and Graham after dinner, despite the ‘you’ll ruin the ending for me!’ mock protests. They know how it ends, they’ve heard it all before. I pulled a tear from my not-at-all sentimental husband. I win. That wasn’t from the pages I read to him, I read the rusty climax. What moved him was the epilogue, the pages I can’t read aloud, not yet. Maybe after draft 2 …
Let the fun begin!!!!