Wow! I wrote another book!
It feels very funny to say. I started writing The Ghost and the Raging Girl last October and finished it late February 27th. Now, here I am with another pile of pages and lots of words and some very odd characters. Par for the course.
When I last checked in back in January, I was sticking to my schedule and continuing to churn out the pages, like a dairy farmer waking early to squeeze the udders. I had hoped to finish by the end of February, and here we are! Not only was the first draft completed by the end of February, I actually had a few days to spare and enjoy myself.
I took some days off to visit the beautiful (and rainy 🌧) city of Seattle. I broke in my new shoes, tested my umbrella, and enjoyed the cold weather. Los Angeles, to those who have never been here, never experiences a proper winter. Or a proper Spring. Or even really Fall, but it can at least pretend to have a Fall season in the same way an actor pretends.
My time in Seattle gave me time to mull over the final chapters of the book and what exactly I wanted to do with each scene. How much should Kokera suffer, really? How happy should Pimiko be before badness befalls her? By the time I had splashed through my first puddle, I already knew how the book ended, but the degrees to which characters felt and fought were still misty. By the time I left, I knew what was coming.
Well, I knew what was coming for the most part. I ended up taking a series of scenes with Mogasa and some other gods, incorporating them into a foreshadowing or (more accurately) a forward-looking scene at the end of the book. I loved that. Mostly because I felt no inspiration to write the scenes, and when I'm not feeling something, usually it's because it shouldn't be written.
The night I finished, I was exhausted. And I had a full day with friends the next morning. I laid down at 9:00, mentally preparing to wake up early and perhaps squeeze in 500 words towards the ending, and after lying in the dark for a few minutes, I turned on the light. Then, I don't know what came over me. I just wrote the whole rest of it.
The next day, I was at the Getty, large museum on the West Side of Los Angeles, making a fool of myself and enjoying the view. There was also a wonderful exhibition on 17-18th century food festivals. Sausages hanging from trees, suckling pigs, sugar palaces... You name it.
Fabulous engravings and prints showing peasants and nobles feasting and parading. Also, they made an app game where you could search for specific foods or objects in the collection. If you found everything and confirmed it, you won a prize! Like Where's Waldo? It was actually not so easy...
But while it's been a wonderful couple days celebrating the end of The Ghost and the Raging Girl, I have to get back to work soon with a new project. It's been a ride telling Pimiko's story. In many ways, it's a story that's more difficult than I am capable of addressing as a writer. Between the magic Zen, and is-it-is-it-not romance, and interdimensional bears, I honestly have no clue if it works as a book. No one else has read it. But like a parent with a goopy newborn baby in their hands, sometimes you just have to say, "Well, that happened."
That's probably how the Germans felt about the sausage trees anyway. It could be bad. But fun times were had and it all worked out in the end.