This week I had one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever lived. I read EOLYN from start to finish, "cover to cover", in a handful of sittings. No longer do I have a chapter 1 that has yet to read smoothly, a chapter 8 that needs to be rewritten in another pov, a chapter 12 that has 1000 words too many, or a battle sequence that stands like an insurmountable wall between me and the end of my novel. It’s done. It’s done, and it’s beautiful – the end of each chapter urging me forward with the desire to read more, even though I know what’s going to happen. The story makes me laugh, cry, love and fear. But mostly, it just fills me with awe.
I’m the one who wrote this. Not George RR Martin or JRR Tolkien or Ursula LeGuin or Kage Baker. I wrote this, and it’s one of the most wonderful stories I’ve ever read.
Where did it come from? To what do I owe this miracle of the mind? Can it even be called a miracle? After all, it's not like I snapped my fingers and it suddenly appeared. Nearly four years of hard work, possibly twenty years of imagination, and shaping and molding and countless obsessive moments with my journal or in front of the computer, the thoughts and ideas and feedback of so many friends and fellow authors feeding into my creative journey. All of it to weave 119,000 words into a novel only I could write. Pure magic. EOLYN.
I am awed and humbled and deeply grateful for whatever forces brought this story to me, for whatever power it was that gave me the talent and the perseverance and the resources to write it. Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto! Thank you, life, for giving me so much!
Today's photo is from "Rio Rita", a 1920's production by the Albertina Rasch Dancers in New York City. My grandmother, Rita Gastreich (then Rita Pueschel) was a soloist with this company. She's the second dancer on the right. Her life story inspired some of the characters, scenes and situations in EOLYN, a fact I've come to fully appreciate only recently. But more on that in another post...