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Saturday, 30 June 2012

First Step, Final Step

This week I finished the first draft of the novel, all 100,500 words of it, and realised I had taken only the first step. It's quite a big step, I think, but still a first. I have put the whole thing away, together with all the books I used for research, the (now nonsensical) notes on scraps of paper and character cards, until 1st August. That gives me a few weeks to allow my heart to turn cold towards it. I'll sit down and read it with detachment and make copious notes. I feel a special new notebook wending its way here to make a home with me. A really nice one.

And in the same week of this first step towards producing a book, my eldest daughter took the final one of her degree course at Cardiff University. She achieved a First and we couldn't be more proud of her. Not just for this wonderful result, but for the wonderful girl she is. She has overcome serious personal setbacks to reach this stage of her life and never once given up. And it was a hard road to tread at times. Her result is a triumph for her as a person, as well as an accolade for her hard work. She is also very beautiful and has a smile that, if it were the last thing I ever saw while gripping to the edge of a cliff by my fingernails like Mufasa in the Lion King, I would be smiling back.

11 comments:

  1. Many congratulations on the first draft! It is a HUGE step. Yes, still plenty to do, but enjoy this time before the next stage starts.

    And congrats to daughter too - clever and beautiful - clearly takes after her mum.

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, Bernadette. That's really kind.

      I think you're right. I should see that first step as huge. As the days go by, I find myself thinking, 'Wow, I did that?'

      I really appreciate your lovely comments. x

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  2. Oh, well done, your daughter! That is fantastic news.

    And the novel. I envy you. I thimk this is one of the best stages. You don't have to think up wonderful new ideas - just polish the old ones!

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    1. Thank you so very much, Frances. I can't wait to see her later today in Cardiff. I've made her a birthday cake and was almost in tears of joy as I put the cake frill round it - it's the same frill I used for her very first ever birthday cake and it comes out for all the girls every year. Probably horribly unhygienic - I had to pick off some stale crumbs!

      It is a really nice feeling that I can just polish and polish that novel the next time I see it. That's a good way of looking at it. At least the framework is all there waiting for me.
      Thank you so much, Frances. x

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  3. Many, many congratulations on finishing such a huge number of words, Joanna - and what a good idea to put it away for a while! I'm sure it will be much better than you're expecting while you were so close to it. All the best with the redrafting.

    And huge congratulations to your lovely daughter! It's even more of an accomplishment if she has had obstacles of any kind to overcome. You should both be very proud of yourselves!

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, Rosemary. We saw her yesterday for a celebration and it was magical.

      I'm sure you're right about the novel. It's best to leave it alone and enjoy writing the short stories again. And when I go back to it, I may get a lovely surprise and find I like it. I miss it, which I hope is a good sign. I'm starting to look forward to the day I read it.
      Many thanks for all your kind comments. x

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  4. Well done, Joanna. That is such an achievement. Now you have the best bit to do, polishing it up for the publisher. The very best of luck.
    And congratulations to your daughter, too.

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    1. Thank you very much, Gail.

      I love the idea of polishing it for the publisher. It sounds really exciting and a lot of fun as well. I'm beginning to realise from all these lovely comments that I've got the best still to come. And that's a really nice thought. I feel fortunate to be at this stage now.
      Thank you. x

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  5. That's a great achievement, Joanna, on finishing such a lengthy piece of work.
    And congratulations to your daughter too!

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    1. Thank you very much, Vikki. It feels like the start and the end of a long road, both at the same time. And that's an exciting feeling, I've decided!
      I really appreciate your comments. Thank you. x

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  6. Many congratulations to your lovely daughter. And what a huge achievement to finish a first draft (especially one of 100+K) - congratulations to you, too.

    XX

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