When I was a child, I read all the Paddington Bear books. Paddington used the phrase “at lewis ends” instead of “loose ends”, and it became a byword in our family for that state of not knowing what to do with oneself.
I am at lewis ends today, because on Tuesday I completed the seventh draft of The Swan Harp. It’s as ready as it’s going to be, and I sent it off this morning, a few days ahead of schedule. Yesterday I got out the supplementary notes I took at the critique meeting, and found I’d dealt with everything we’d talked about. I even cleaned up some misspellings and technical glitches such as doubled commas.
What do I do now? I’ve lived with this book for most of three years – more than three years. I’ve seen it go from a fairly simple story-reversal to something that demands more tales in this complex world. I’ve learned to understand the characters and their lives, and I feel like I’ve made something that now exists independently of me.
In fact I know what to do now. I have some articles I want to pitch. I have notes for the next two novels in Kiar’s world. I have two other unrelated novels to write, one of which I’ve been thinking hard about lately, in between the work on The Swan Harp. I plan to start that one at the October writing binge, and carry on with it through NaNoWriMo. I need to start my print archive for the year.
But first, I have to write some grant applications. One, at least, has to be in by October first. There are others that I need to get on quickly, too. I also want to get feedback on my unsuccessful grant application.
In the world outside of writing, my gardens need to be cleaned up and put to bed. I have to do something with all those tomatoes. Turkeys will be going to the butcher next week, and chickens some time after that. There is clearing up to be done in my studio, and I’m going to get rid of some pottery stuff. I’m going down to my sister’s place for Thanksgiving, and in November we’re going to the Royal Winter Fair to look at breed chickens.
So the lewis ends are only temporary. And there is always knitting.