Just like the nesting that comes before birthing a baby, I hunkered in this past fall and into winter, and got ready for the big push. I worked steadily on book two of the sixties trilogy until I flew off to Singapore, mid-January, to work with 7th-graders and their teachers at Singapore American School, and to speak at a children's lit conference there.
The novel flew with me. I did a final read-through, high in the sky, and during the first three days of the time in Singapore, then clicked "send" and off it went to Scholastic. It's missing the last chapter, although I have it sketched out. There are small moving parts still missing, as well, in this documentary novel, but most of it is done. The story arc is known. The characters have played their parts, and so have I.
I've been quiet, recovering from the four-month daily push at the page, all day, every day, Jim having to help me out of the pink chair by the fire when I've been there so long I'm molded to the chair. The way I finish a novel is ridiculous, I suppose, but it's what I do. It feels good to have it done. Now I'm waiting for revision notes.
In the meantime, a no-knead, crusty, yeasty bread, you can find here. It's the perfect Hallelujah, Mississippi to welcome a newborn story into the world. Serve warm, with lots of butter.