After months of wavering between contempt and delight, the breakthrough has arrived. My husband returned the latest draft to me with his comments. Instead of dreading the declaration that it was all “cliché,” I was greeted with comments in line with my writing goals. Finally! A step forward.
With the good news in hand, I scanned the draft and decided that it was time. I would try to work with the princess, her unwieldy betrothed, and their adventure through the political intrigue and deception once more.
I winced as I read over the first page–home of some of the strongest prose. Then I found myself on the second page. Then the twenty-second. My frustrations with the plot, the characters, and the prose waned. I began rewriting and tightening the mediocre prose and actually enjoying it.
Weaving the words together again felt good. But the satisfaction of a paragraph well stated didn’t prepare me for today.
The administration of the school I work with know my ultimate intention–my greatest goal–is to be a published writer. So as prospective parents and students were herded through open house days, I suppose it is inevitable that my quest to finish this novel slipped out. (And being poised to be the writing and literature teacher next year, it isn’t dreadfully out of place.) Little did I know that one of those students was in the science class I’ve subbed for the past few months. And she quickly told the rest of the fifth and sixth graders.
After two months of them obsessing over any little detail I would tell them about the novel, I decided to read a very short excerpt to them today. I’ve never seen them so riveted. The hung on every word. They sat on the dirty linoleum floor just so they could be closer to my laptop and me. They begged me once again to tell them when it’s published. (I think they believe it’ll be out on shelves by Labor Day at latest.) And, for the rest of the day, they mentioned how much they loved it and that they wanted to hear more next week.
Needless to say, the past two days have reinvigorated me. Maybe it’ll be enough to bring me to the finish line…. wherever that finish line may be…