Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013! It seems we are all present and accounted for, so I suppose the world didn't end this time either.

The year's end got me thinking about endings and beginnings. Every twelve months you come to both- an end and a beginning separated by only a second. Come to think of it, the same thing happens every day on a smaller scale, when night turns over to day. On one side, the end. A second later, a beginning.

I am nearing the end of the roughdraft of my second novel. I had hoped it would be completed by the end of 2012 but that wasn't in the cards; it will be a few days more, I think. It's all right. I've always played fast and loose with deadlines- things end up finished around that time, which is good enough for me.

Ending a novel is both exciting and a bit sad. You hate to say good-bye to your characters, but it's temporary- you'll see them again in a month or so when you start revisions. It's exciting to think that now you can move on (though of course the novel will still draw you back off and on for some time, the bulk of the work is done).

Some friends lent me a book called The Gift by Patrick O'Leary. I think they liked it more than I did; it was enjoyable to me but nothing particularly compelling. At its core the book is about the power inherent in storytelling: to communicate ideas, morals, warnings. One thing O'Leary says in the novel I really liked.

Some endings are endings.
Some endings are pauses.
Some endings are beginnings.

It's very true, and I can say I've written all three. My first novel is an ending; there is nothing more to say about the characters- they don't all die or anything, but their tale is finished. The novella I recently sold to an e-book press is a pause; there is more to say, but there's a delay in saying it (I eventually plan to write a sequel). My second novel ends with a beginning. There may someday be a sequel to that too, but for now I think it's appropriate to end it as it does, with the promise of a whole new adventure in store.

Endings and beginnings, and today we are on the beginning half of that vital second of time. Happy New Year, and I hope everyone has a fantastic 2013.

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