Friday, February 4, 2011

That Last Bit

I finished writing my second book. Or rather, I finished writing the book except for that last bit. It’s always hard to end a story, to finally cut the cord and prepare the baby for the world. I danced around that last bit for months, knowing the end was near but always having an excuse to avoid it. The book was easy to write since it’s full of sarcasm, a language I speak fluently. As I neared the conclusion, however, that old familiar chanting began in my head: Perfect ending, perfect ending, perfect ending.
An impossible task, said an almost inaudible voice. I pretended to ignore that voice, promising myself I would end the book with a bang. It’ll be the greatest ending in the world. My readers will cry, cheer, yearn for more. I’ll work on it tomorrow. No, tomorrow’s no good. Maybe next week. Next week turns out to be a busy week. Then there are holidays and birthdays and…..well, a little video gaming (hides face in shame)….and books to be read, and thoughts to be thunk. It all just adds up.
I have a manuscript graveyard, a garden of nearly complete stories, each having met its fate through umbilical rot. Each story had dozens of lives inside, characters with feelings and histories who depended on me for closure. I failed them. Decades have gone by. I still promise myself that I will bring them all back to life and finally set them free. Perhaps I will.
I already made a commitment to move each new child through swiftly, from beginning to end, and send them on their way. To honor that commitment, I first have to admit to myself that there may not be a bang. The ending, I have to accept, may be completely anticlimactic. As Nike says, “Just do it.”
To my readers (if my readers ever read my blog), I apologize in advance. I can’t promise a fireworks show at the end of every book. I will do my best, but I need to keep the line moving. That means everyone out of the pool as quickly as possible. No loitering.