Yes, I’m up in Heber again and yes, the novel is “finished”.  I’ve learned, however, that novels are never finished. Sort of like life itself, I guess.
I tie up the loose ends; make the changes that are needed, the revisions, the edits. It’s easier in the writing, than in life, of course.
I’ve often revised my life; edited out people and events that weren’t working; changed my career, my marital status, my interests. Friends and lovers come and go. I buy a new house, a new car, take new classes, plan a new persona. All in the hopes of improving or correcting, and hopefully making my self better. I wish for a software program that would make it less painful. Changing ourselves is like ripping a bandage off and leaving the open scar for all to see. It is painful and is often fraught with fears and grief. The wonderful moments come after the change itself – if we’ve gotten it right.
The novel is much easier. On my computer, I can do a “find” and “change” process and suddenly Maxine has turned to Naomi. I can search for a date and change the ones I’ve written incorrectly. The delete button is a life saver. I can go through and mark red lines through phrases and words that need to be given a second look. I can color code a section that I’ve recently added to see if it has been an improvement. “Save” and “Save As” help me remember to keep the good parts, name the latest revision, and know that it will still be there when I return.
Oh, if life could be so easy.

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