“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” Lao Tzu
During the Question and Answer period at the end of my reading in Edmonton, someone asked, “How do you feel when you finish writing a novel? Is there some relief? Closure? Or?”
Great question with a complicated, and as always, emotional response.
I felt a deep sense of sadness at the completion of Finding Callidora. With the first two novels, I already had the next book in mind and had begun to write outlines and content. I looked forward to getting those previous novels out into the world and starting a new project. I had no such thoughts after my latest novel went to print.
At first, I blamed this on busyness. I had lots on my plate. Maybe that was why I didn’t have an idea for a new project. I have a tendency (okay, stop laughing) to delude myself until I have no other choice but to face what it is I’m avoiding.
Finding Callidora is more autobiographical and so with its completion I felt as though several lifetimes had come to a close. More importantly having found and connected with some of my own family history in this novel, I wondered who would care or be the guardian of that history after me. Who would maintain contact with the past so that our stories could be handed down? Who would ensure the connections made would be kept and nurtured? Would our history be lost again?
I don’t have any answers to these questions. The stories and the connections could very well be lost to time again. I’ve come to accept this. My journey through the completion of this novel and finding my place of belonging has been an enjoyable and satisfying one. And it will reap the same reward for someone else one day. Perhaps a granddaughter will come along in 30 years and want to know who her grandmother was, where she came from, and what her roots were. In the same way I took on my search, she will begin her own. It was a wonderful exploration for me and it will be again for another one of my descendants. Endings, after all, do bring new beginnings.
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