Fifteen years. Five books finished. The final chapters in the lives of my best friends soon to be sent off to the editor. I feel like I want to die.
Or maybe write an epilogue? Maybe another spin-off? My issue with God and writing books is that I followed the instruction to love my neighbor (in this case fictional) but hate the part after opening my heart where I have to say good-bye to people I so love. I used to ask: why love anyone if they’re only going to die or leave you heartbroken?
For fifteen years every book I read and every library I visited was in quest of information related to my characters and their world. I want to believe I was unearthing a real world in another dimension because at times I felt these characters urging me on and applauding the moments when I got them right. I want a near-death experience where these characters meet me at the end of the lighted tunnel. I want to say like Steve Jobs did before dying, “Wow. Wow! WOW!”
There you are, John Weldon, and looking so well!
It’s raining outside, echoing my gloomy mood. I consider taking my dog’s anti-depressant but I won’t. I don’t like meds. I know mourning takes time. I’ve lost “real” people in my life. I’ve even lost favorite characters before, but to lose over ten people at once and to feel the loss so keenly is more than a little surprising to someone who only expected to write a cynical novella to prove I could.
I have ideas for the future but right now they don’t matter to me. I want to have an Irish wake but I have no one to invite. I want to wear a black arm band and sorry face so no one feels comfortable intruding on this sad time.
Someone will say, “You should be celebrating accomplishing something you didn’t think you could! You stuck to something, finally!”
I know I still have marketing to do and a final cover to enjoy being a part of. I have wonderful readers who encourage me with their reviews and comments. I’m happy with the ending of the series, but I’m afraid that everything now will feel changed like when you see an old flame on the street and find it painful to remember all of the good times between you. Maybe someone will be sad to read the final chapters of THE TENAFLY ROAD SERIES one day. We shall see.
So I’m not quite closing my writing shop for good. I’m just putting a sign up: Closed due to death in the family. I know in a few weeks I’ll want to get started on another novel, but for now I’ll grieve.