Jeannine Atkins: Finished!

From: Jeannine Atkins
October 11, 2012 at 10:46AM

Finishing is a good verb, even if it’s imprecise. It can scoop in a lot of time, and usually implies a circle, though one hopes they get quicker with each round.  Maybe you can guess from my plans for the next few weeks what I finished?

Get a new toothbrush. Bake. (Apple cake or pumpkin chocolate chip cake?) Hang out with my husband. Clean the house. Tend to the garden. (i.e, wrestle with sumac and bittersweet.) Read poetry. Write poetry. Read books not set in the nineteenth century. Climb October Mountain. Blog more (it’s sad that I’m writing from a file I’ve named spring 2012). Mull over and wade into new projects. Wait. Try not to obsessively check email. Savor the yellow and orange leaves before they’re gone. Remind myself not to write another 500 manuscript-page novel (which I think is about the right length for this historical novel for adults).

Which is what I finished, until, you know, I start getting pulled into again. Peter is kindly using his eagle eyes to go over my draft, but I hope to send it to my agent next week. And in a spirit of celebration, I broke away for a trip to see my daughter. We spent a weekend in Santa Barbara by the beautiful sea, and returned to her home. where we ate good food with great people. Em’s friend Jesus took this picture of us with some lovely fall flowers he brought us, with a light L.A. laugh around that word “fall.” Now I’m back to fall in Massachusetts, which means serious scarves and fingerless gloves. With a few picture books on my mind.



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