As parents, we all must steal ourselves for the day when our offspring decide to flee the nest. I can well remember how upset my mum was when I left home (I am the youngest of four), but I know her sadness was also tinged with pride that we were all ready and able to make our way into the world, and that the cutting of the apron strings was just another step on life's ladder.
And so it is with the latest novel. Admittedly, I haven't spend 18+ years nurturing this, but nor have I had to deal with teenage tantrums and cries of "I hate you!" (that I might be dealing with those in real life is, of course, an entirely different matter), but it has been an interesting six months: good times and bad times; doubt and uncertainty and, finally, that warm glow that comes with typing the final words.
The editing process on this one has been painful. The timing of the World Cup didn't help as my beta-readers had their attentions drawn elsewhere. In addition, I can hardly demand to be their top priority, no matter how important their views and feedback are. Perhaps, one day, I'll be able to pay them for their time and then I can be as unreasonable as I want, though that might have an affect on how they view my work, so there's a bit of a flaw to that plan...
But, it's done. Finished. I've even written the synopsis (which I very nearly forgot, and only some suitably timed tweets - not aimed specifically at me - reminded me of the need to do it). And it is now on its way across the sea to our agent.
And so the waiting begins, again. This time, though, I'm ready. I don't expect to hear for a few weeks - probably not until early September (even though that seems like a lifetime away).
So, as we bid farewell to LAST MAN STANDING and wish it well, our thoughts turn to the next project. I'm pretty sure I know which one it's going to be; I've already written about 300 words of it, but I know they need to change as the character I've introduced is much more likeable than intended. As with every book so far, there's only the scantest outline of what this story is about, and it's very possible (as with NUM63R5 earlier this year) that this will barely get off the starting blocks before being returned to the ideas tank, and another candidate selected.
I don't think that's going to happen, though. All I need is a suitable abbreviation for it. Y'a is probably accurate, though that shouldn't be confused with YA (Young Adult fiction) because, if this turns out as expected, it's very definitely not for a younger readership...