Okay, I’m almost there.
Last night at about ten minutes to ten, I typed the final words of the climactic chapter in “Ithani,” the last book in the Oberon Cycle trilogy.
There’s still a bit of wrap-up to do – what I euphemistically call the “return to the Shire” part of the book, where everything else is put in good order. But the hardest part is over. Most of the loose ends are wrapped up, and I’m about to send the novel off to Beta this week.
Logically, I know it’s a great thing. I’ve been working toward this point for four years, and to actually be here… it’s a bit stunning, actually.
How do I feel about it? That’s a bit more complicated.
You see, when you reach the top of a mountain peak, it’s an amazing experience. I know. In my teen years, I climbed to the summit of Mount Baldy in Arizona – 11,592 feet above sea level. That altitude is ingrained in my mind, and I might even still have the T-Shirt somewhere commemorating the event.
While it’s no Mount Everest, the experience of having panoramic views for miles and miles in every direction at the top of Mount Baldy was nothing less than uplifting. But I also realized that, sooner or later, I was going to have to go back down. And I didn’t know if or when I would reach this place again.
Now I climb a different type of mountain, and each one takes a lot longer than a day.
In my case I will probably be there – at the apex of another series – in about six months, when I pen the final book in the “Liminal Sky” trilogy and reach its inevitable end.
But still… I am chuffed, as the British say, and also a bit sad. I don’t want it to end. This has been an amazing journey with characters who grew out of my own blood, sweat and tears to become their own creatures, and who are now leaving me to set out on the road alone.
As writers, we are serial parents, raising a new child every few months and then sending it away, hoping it finds its way in the world.
So… yeah. I am a bit happy. And a bit sad too. But then again, a new adventure beckons.