— Truman Capote
I don’t have the experience, yet, of being an author finishing a book so I don’t know if Capote’s words are apt. It seems to me the writing-publishing experience is more like being a parent and having a child leave the nest. As the parent of a soon to be 19-year-old still in the nest but beginning to make her own way I marvel at how what I’ve “created” has taken on a life of her own; how the countless hours spent shaping and imagining and agonizing over just the right word has inspired dialogue with subtleties, nuances and complexities I never realized were possible, and how a true character has emerged fully-formed and bursting to go forth.
For years this book was mainly blank pages; pages that consumed my life and were never far from my thoughts no matter what else I happened to be doing. Day by day those pages were filled, and while there are things I’d like to go back and rewrite there’s no guarantee that the story would be even better than it is now; even so I wrestle with the temptation/obsession to continue to tweak and polish.
Will anyone else understand the humor of page 112, or appreciate how difficult it was to write Chapter 19? Certainly not at the level I do, but that knowledge is for my own book, the one written on my heart. Now, though, it is time to see this through; to be proud to see all the time, work and love realized in a tangible package; to admire not just the cover but the spine; to breathe deep the aroma of the fresh pages and the glue that holds them together.
It is good.