I finished the draft of Arbitrary Passions today. Wrote the last 1300 words, bringing the grand total up to 44,535. It's a very short book, but it's a book. It's hard to take in that I've actually finished -- I've been working on this book, off and on, essentially since I left for my Sri Lanka trip, in April 2005. I can't quite believe I've really finished a draft. And I think it's a good draft -- the beginning is strong, the ending is in the right place. There's a lot of muck in the middle, I'm afraid, but that's what workshop and revisions and a second and third draft and final draft are for. I'm pretty sure it needs expanding, possibly in several places. But for now, I'm going to let it be.
Kevin will hopefully have a chance to look at it in the next few days -- if he does, I'll try to implement his comments Saturday. And then I'll send it out to workshop, and they'll have a month to read it before we meet. In that month, I'll try not to touch it -- I have a great deal of prep to complete for the Asian American Lit. class I'm teaching at Northwestern this spring. If there's any extra time (hah!) I can go back to work on the YA fantasy book.
I actually finished writing a draft of a book, for the first time since the whole novel debacle, and all the grief that came with it. I feel oddly peaceful and satisfied, as if I now have some sort of weird confirmation that I'm still a real writer. It's not so logical, but ah well -- we'll take peace where we can get it these days.
My fingers hurt.