For nearly forty years I have had a story in my head. One of those stories that never leaves, and continually seeks answers to mostly unanswerable questions. A childhood friend who had such an influence on my life, that to this day, my memories of him are as vivid as the day they were made.
He was a complete mystery to all who knew him. Especially me. Whatever he told me always needed to be thought about, imagined, dissected and half believed.
Twenty years ago, I had my first real thought about writing his story, but for one reason or another, there was never the opportunity or time. Again, ten years ago, I began to make notes in preparation, but alas time moved on yet again.
Finally, a year ago I started again. Slowly at first. Researching, noting, organising, wracking my memory and generally making a lot of messy notes, files and filling space on my hard drive. The more I investigated, the further I was away from starting to write the book, as I kept finding one answer that led to a whole bunch of new questions.
So today is a very big day for me. I wrote the last words in the last page of the last chapter of my first draft. The most surprising part for me was that I almost had tears in my eyes as I wrote the final paragraphs. Emotions not connected to myself in finishing, but emotions I felt for the characters. The combination of sadness and joy I felt was quite overwhelming.
Hopefully this is a sign that I may have got the story out right. I didn’t have this feeling with my previous books, so hopefully it is a sign of a good read.
Now is the time for the hard work to begin. I really appreciate the comments to my previous blog entry about editing and correcting, so I will approach it with a lot more enthusiasm.
For now though, I am so relieved to have finished what has been forty years in the making. A truly wonderful story, I hope.
Time for a celebratory beer!