Jilly: Not Perfect, But Done

Spring is here! The days get lighter, the weather improves (at least if you’re in the northern hemisphere), flowers bloom, birds sing, and suddenly everything seems fresh and new and exciting. I usually find this is my most creative and productive time of the year, and I’m starting to get that lovely buzzy, sparkly feeling.

If ’tis the season to begin new projects, it’s also the time to make room for them by closing out old ones, so I’m super-happy to report the closure (or imminent closure) of three big time-eaters that have kept me busy for the last year or more.

Please forgive me if I indulge in a little trumpet-blowing 😉

1. Last week, in my non-writing life, I made the final payment required to finish the administration of my late mother’s estate. My mum passed away in January 2018, which means it has taken me fourteen months to finalize her affairs, and it hasn’t been for lack of effort. I can’t tell you what a relief it is finally to be able to draw a line under the whole process.

2. In the next week or so, I’ll send the finished first draft of The Seeds of Power (Christal’s book) to my content editor, Karen Dale Harris. I started writing this story in spring last year as a way to get back into my fantasy world after a complete break of three months. The book is far from perfect, but it has been a joy to write. I really like the main characters, and as they all return later as important secondary characters in Alexis’s story I think I’ll be able to bring added depth to my edits when I settle down to polish that book. Double yay!

3. And on Thursday the finalists for the RWA Golden Heart contest are announced. It’s not that I’m expecting to final (of course I would love to) but that last summer I decided to make a concerted effort to polish up three entries and make them as good as I possibly could. It’s the last year of the contest, and my last year as an unpublished author, so I wanted to close that chapter of my writing life knowing I’d given it my best shot. I’d guesstimate that I put almost six months of hard work into my entries. I learned a lot, and I’m happy with where I finished up, so whether I final or not, Thursday will be a day of closure. I’ll be celebrating my efforts, not the outcome 😉 . I’ll also be toasting Jeanne’s RITA and Justine’s Golden Heart entries.

I plan to publish The Seeds of Power later this year. If I’m going to achieve that I have a whole daunting laundry list of things to do and learn in the next few months. It’s all too easy to focus on the next task, and the one after that, and to forget to take a moment to breathe and celebrate a milestone passed.

So, before I move onwards and upwards…cheers, m’dears!

What did you finish or start lately? Or what do you have planned?

8 thoughts on “Jilly: Not Perfect, But Done

  1. Congratulations, Jilly! What a wonderful accomplishment, to have finished so many things—so many difficult things—in such a short time. It takes a lot of focus and energy to do that, and it must feel great to be able to clear the slate that way. Best of luck with your upcoming revision letter and especially the Golden Heart! I’ll be checking on Thursday to see all the Ladies’ names.

    You’re so right that it’s important to celebrate, as well as make out a new to-do list. Here’s lookin’ at you, kid. 🙂

    • Thank you, Kay! It doesn’t feel like a short time, it feels like forever, but it’s very satisfying to be able to move on. I think the trick is to point oneself in the right direction and then just keep plodding on, one step at at time.

      Fingers crossed for the edit report. And then a new website, a cover for Christal, a newsletter, perhaps a novella for Daire and Annis, edits for Alexis, and…and…and… Anyway, no need to think about any of that till next week. *clink* Cheers!

  2. It is so great to hear that you are able to close the books on these things . . . that just leaves space to open up new books, and I can’t wait to see what those books are!

    I’m closing a chapter, myself, but won’t be able to digest and put it into words until April . . . if then. We’re busy moving my daughter to a different island, and trying to figure out the logistics of stocking a third-floor apartment. She’ll probably do a year abroad, which means everything that goes up must come down in two years.

    I’ve been “in training” since late October for walking around during her tests in Tokyo. Now, I’ve got to stay in shape for the move . . . and I better keep up my motivation so I don’t have to start from zero the October before she moves out of the apartment. I’ll be older and wiser, but also creakier and grumpier. Maybe I can add lighter and stronger to the list.

    A REAL writer would simply vow to publish something that would pay for a fancy moving company in two years’ time . . . . Maybe? Ha-ha, maybe not.

    • Helping your daughter leave home is HUGE, and not just in the logistical sense. You made me remember that my mum cried the day I went away to university, and I was so excited I barely noticed. Bad eighteen-year-old me 😦

      Lighter and stronger sounds good! And trips to Tokyo to visit her? Is this going to mean a big change in your day-to-day life? Good luck to both of you.

      • She’s been in a boarding house for the past three years (about 40 minutes away by car), so it’s not going to be a huge day-to-day change. But the weekends will be a bit sad. First weekend on my own, whoo-hoo. Second weekend, ummm. Third weekend, where’s my sous chef and trashy TV partner? I’m excited for her, and I’m excited for myself, but it’s going to be a bit rough for a little while, I’m sure.

        (-: Excuses to visit Tokyo two or three times a year are really a great thing, though. Makes me feel so cosmopolitan!

    • Thank you! And Woo-Hoo! indeed. I had two entries in fantasy/futuristic/paranormal, and the one that finalled (Alexis) is not the one I thought had the best chance (Christal). I’m not complaining 😉 I was sitting by the phone for ages, willing it to ring, and then I got an email saying they’d been trying to call me and couldn’t get through. Argh.

      More than anything I wanted to be able to join The Golden Network, because they seem like such a good group of people. I have that now, which makes me super-happy, whatever happens next.

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