Getting to the finish line on a treadmill

In addition to poetry, I’ve also been working on some novels for the past few years. I don’t know what’s the maximum number to constitute “a few”; would six years be considered a few? Because that’s how long I’ve been working on this one novel, on and off. I’m 75 percent done with the third draft.

The novel is called “Daughters of Janus.” It’s about a young, selfish woman named Isabel who’s put up with a lifetime of emotional abuse from her famous writer mother, Jackie. The mother, who’s going through emotional issues herself, takes advice from her new therapist to ask her daughter to move back into the mother’s mansion to repair their tattered relationship. Add to this already considerably dysfunctional family is Jackie’s sister, who feels compelled to take care of her sister; and Isabel’s ex-fiancé, who has to put up with Isabel’s wild ways – why? Because the two has a young daughter, for whom Isabel resolves along the way in the novel to mend her unruly ways.

A few days ago, I contacted Wheatmark about my desire to publish “Daughters of Janus” by September 30 – the month that would mark the 6th anniversary of this really long novel-writing process. I told the editor I’d get my book to him by middle of next month.

Over the years, it’s been hard to find time to write this novel. Between looking for a job and then working at a job, to raising my daughter,  it’s easy to push novel writing down to the bottom of the list. Add to that is my fear that it wouldn’t be good enough and sometimes (inevitably) writer’s block, and you have a well-rounded, typical list of excuses for not finishing a novel – or even starting one. But I’m glad I can get past these obstacles and move on to the next level, which is talking to an editor about this.

When I tell people that I’m working on a novel, I say that it’s like getting to the finish line on a treadmill. Maybe with blisters, I don’t know, but that finish line is just in front of me – and I’m excited to get there.

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