Ages ago I used to listen to all sorts of Christmas music; now I stick to instrumentals, specifically Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas and John Fahey’s The New Possibility. This afternoon, after much running around town, I’ve read through the last chapter of The Timeless Nature of Patience. The last novel of the Alvin’s Farm series is done. As in put a fork in it DONE. Other things are finished too, like Christmas shopping (whew!), getting my car’s oil changed (been stewing about that for weeks), my husband with work, but not me, not quite. I wanted to publish Timeless Nature before the end of the month, so that meant a bit of poking at it, but after that lovely comment from Shelia, I decided not to wait until after Christmas. Eschewing writing on the WIP, and in between Christmas errands, I’ve been reading the final installment of a six-novel series, and just moments ago, I read the last sentence, saved the document, then smiled.
Alvin’s Farm is finally ready to be put out to pasture, ha ha.
But it’s more than that; I started publishing that series this time last year, the first of December 2011 to be precise. All of 2012 has been touched by that collection of novels, thirteen months of concentrated effort on a large cast, but really it’s three families. For many months, the Cassels, Smiths, and Harrises have been on my mind, sandwiched between my daughter’s wedding, and two other novels published this year. But to be honest, it’s Alvin, Jenny, Tommie, and Sam. And today, well, it’s sort of like Christmas; lots of prep work for one day.
Many words written, plenty of tales told. Now one last novel wraps it all up; I’ll tie a bow and say Happy Christmas to all who have read those books. Bless your hearts from the bottom of mine!
Usually I don’t note this stage, the I’m done with revisions but there’s still the formatting to do and synopsis to write and dedication and Liner Notes and… It sort of goes on forever, kind of like Christmas; I still have presents to wrap, stockings to fill, garlic potatoes to assemble. I have made the candy cane ice cream (crush a dozen candy canes and add to your favourite softened vanilla ice cream), and when my daughter, son-in-law, and Buttercup arrive tomorrow, we’ll plot out Sunday’s holiday baking (more butter, chocolate, and nuts than you can shake a stick at). Christmas Eve is pretty quiet, usually. We hang out at home, the have dinner at whichever good Thai restaurant is open. I’ll either be on a high from my 49ers beating Seattle on Sunday night, or be slightly fuming that San Francisco got their butts kicked. Meanwhile I’ll ponder the joy of all of my kids here for the holiday while speculating what might be waiting under the tree. Oh yeah, I’ll be publishing a novel on Monday. That might seem a little odd, but the reasons are threefold; 1) It will be nice to have it out of my hands for Christmas proper and the subsequent days afterwards. 2) It’s a Christmas gift to all who are waiting for it. 3) The Timeless Nature of Patience is sort of what those who long for Christmas are feeling, whether it’s small children or forty-something authors, and any in between. My three-year-old nephew is dying to open presents, but my brother tells him he has to wait for Christmas Day. Right now it’s Christmastime, and that nephew has figured out the difference. Patience is a hard virtue to learn, sort of what I’ve been feeling for the last year, in releasing this series. Good things do come to those who wait, and on the shortest day of the year, I’ve reached the end to all that Jenny, Alvin, Sam, and Tommie and their loved ones have been seeking.
It’s a lovely feeling, amid John Fahey’s gentle guitar. It’s the end of the year, end of the Alvin’s Farm series. Also a wonderful way to close the book (heh heh) on my indie publishing adventures for 2012. More to come on that subject, and on Timeless Nature. Look for it sometime on Christmas Eve…