I have spent the last four months or so with my eyes down, working on my novel non-stop. Some nice bits of competition news from short stories I entered earlier in the year have been welcome, but otherwise my writing time has centred on my funny fictional family's road-trip. I love them all dearly and hope I've done them justice, but not as much as I love my real family for encouraging me so much.
The ms is out of my hands now, which feels exciting and daunting. I'll just have to hope that an agent likes it enough to take me on. I have had some good feedback when I sent out a tentative earlier draft, but there are never any guarantees. Although I like to remain hopeful, I have absolutely no expectations at all. If it isn't published, then what stays with me is still important - the huge amount I've learned and the masses of fun I've had from writing it.
In a way, I wish I could keep working on it, but the ridiculously small adjustments I was making during the last week have had to stop. I was in danger of terminal tinkering.
I did make some sweeping changes - deleting scenes and axing minor characters as if I had murderous intent and a scythe - but I'm happy that I've polished it as much as I can.
The road-trip is over and the wait begins. I don't know whether to turn to a new novel or short stories first, but I might have a short break before I start and this is the perfect time for that. Wishing all of you a very happy Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous New Year during which I shall continue enjoying all your lovely posts and lots more news of your writing successes.