Monday, June 22

The end of a story...almost...maybe...

          This is my grandson Eamon. He’s five, the youngest of the Magnificent Seven.

          I’m sure you will remember simply because I’ve said it so often that when I retired I announced  I would make a bed-size quilt for each grandchild.This is his. Aren’t the colors pretty? His mother picked the fabrics and the quilt coordinates with—though does not match—his brother’s.


          Look at the quilting. My friend Carolyn Moon does it on her long-arm machine and I am amazed every time at how perfect it is. I spend more time looking at the backs of the finished products than I do the fronts.

          The quilt’s not finished. I have to put the binding on. This takes me a long time. While the binding is attached with the sewing machine, it’s finished out by hand. I’m not all that arthritic, but an hour of working with tiny needles leaves my hands looking like claws and it takes me many hours to finish a quilt. I whine, Duane rolls his eyes, and I thread more needles.
          God, I love it.
          I have several excuses reasons for the quilt not being done. I haven’t had time. I can’t face the whole sore hands scenario. I haven’t had ti—oops, already used that one. I may as well fess up that I’m reluctant to finish it because it is the last grandchild quilt and there is such bittersweetness in the finishing of anything that matters.
          Whole lot like books, isn’t it? I’m doing revisions on one project now, am half-finished with another, and the third is formatted and will be available for pre-order on June 29. Here's that one, in case you've forgotten.



          I’m reluctant to finish the revisions because then the second round will begin and I’m at that “God, I’m tired of this story” point. I always get afraid the reader will be tired of it, too. I tend to forget that the reader will only have read it once—or maybe twice if I’m lucky—whereas I have read it 746 times at last count.
          I’m dragging my feet on the next project because I don’t know yet how it’s going to go. It’s only my second novella and I don’t think I’ve mastered the shorter format yet, though I like it. I like it a lot.
          Then there is the third. It’s my very first venture into indie-publishing and I’m nervous. It’s all ready to go now and even though I’m excited, there’s some angst and some...crap, there’s an error! Right there! See it?
         When I finish the quilt, I have to accept that there are errors in it; it will never be perfect. Even worse is the feeling that I’m letting go of the last grandboy’s childhood, and it’s not like I have the excitement of starting a new book waiting there at the writing of The End. Nope, he’s the last one. It’s the last grandchild quilt.
          Bittersweetness.
          But, you know, they’ll probably all set up housekeeping one day, maybe get married and have families. If I started now, I could make them all “you’re all grown up!” quilts. Hmm...Mari’s first...she loves purple and...
          What was I thinking? There’s nothing any better than a new story—or a new quilt. Just let me get that binding on.



20 comments:

  1. You know how the song goes - every new beginning is just some other beginning's end...but I know how you feel. I just turned in AA's for my next book and while that is exciting it also means no more playing with those characters and that makes me sad. :D Of course, it also means playing with new characters and fleshing out scenes and getting into motivations. And dealing with another Dreaded Middle...

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    1. Oh, the Middles. We have them in quilts, too, have you noticed? All kinds of parallels there!

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  2. It's nice to write stories you love so much you hate to see them end. But, your characters want resolution, just as Eamon wants his quilt to cuddle, so get to it! (smiling) And as far as the quilts, well you could always make a crib quilt for that first great grandchilld...

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    1. Thanks, Ashantay. My daughter has a couple of grand-nephews who need wallering-around-on-the-floor quilts--I think they may be next!

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  3. What an adorable grandchild. Making quilts for each one is such a precious thing to do!! As far as writing goes, I so identify with the weary part of finishing up! but don't worry. Your story will be terrific!

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    1. Thanks, Barb. I think we've all had that particular kind of weary!

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  4. You're never at the end, Liz. In the past year we've had two grandsons after thirteen years of seven granddaughters. Also, my son added two new step-grandchildren. To top it all off, we had our first great-granddaughter. I'm wondering what's next!

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    1. What a year you had! Exciting, stuff, though, and grandkids are just the greatest gift.

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  5. Your grandson is adorable! I'm sure he'll love the quilt you're making him. My mom makes quilts for us and her grand kids all the time. They are treasures. :)

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    1. Thanks, Chrys. I am so glad I learned to make quilts, although I'm never going to be artistic at it. It's just very satisfying.

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  6. A great aunt made quilts for my 2 boys and they are something that will always be treasured. Right there with you on the hating of a book after a few rounds of revisions. :)

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    1. Thanks, Angelina. It's always kind of nice to read back over parts of a book post-publication and realize that, hey, it's pretty good! :-)

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  7. Lovely quilt, and cutie grandson, Liz. Good luck on the last round of edits. I know that seen-it-tried-of-it pain. Best of luck on the release.

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    1. Thanks so much, and thanks for coming by!

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  8. Fun post, and good luck with the novella. I love writing short! Enjoy.

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    1. I love it, too, but it's like starting over as far as the learning process goes! Thanks for coming by, Judy!

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  9. Lovely post and lovely quilt, Liz. It can be hard to let things go to that final stage, especially with writing. On the quilting side, however, there are always decorative machine stitches to finish that binding! LOL.

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    1. I do that on everything except bed-size quilts, Valley, but when it comes to them, I keep that little piece of hand-sewing tradition. Thanks for coming by!

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  10. Your kids and grandkids are so lucky to have those quilts! I love them. Nobody in my family was ever into sewing. Although my great-great aunt Marge--who I'm named for--did make intricate crocheted doilies and I treasure the ones I have from her.

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    1. Thanks, Margie. I remember those doilies!

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