Hurricanes and Rowboats

It’s a feeling I am familiar with. Anyone who’s finished writing a story might feel the same. I felt lost, like I was adrift in a boat with no oars or motor. The story had come to an end, but this time it was magnified. It was the end of a series – the cumulative drifting that began with the first book had become a category five hurricane after the fourth. I consoled myself with the first three books, knowing there would be another to follow – but now it was all over, and I had a death grip on the sides of the boat.

It Will Pass

Struggling and shouting got me nowhere, so I settled on the seat and hung on. Gradually the storm subsided, and the surface of the water became as smooth as glass. As the sun came out to warm and dry me, I sat quietly and let the feelings emerge. I felt satisfaction in completing a wonderful series (with my amazing co-author!) where we’d created memorable, fantastic characters and brought them to life. We let them live, love and suffer. And we’d shared those emotions right along with them.

I was sad that their story was over, but we’d done all that we could for them. We’d grown so attached to them, and it was heartbreaking to let them go. The realization came in that there was nothing else they wanted to say or do; they were done, and we needed to accept their decision. (I think part of the epilogue was a last-ditch effort to stay connected to them, but at some point they smiled patiently, turned away with resolve, and moved on.)

Not Really Gone

The series has ended, but the stories live on. I am so grateful for that! Maggie and Lennox’s story belongs to anyone who wants to know them. The adventure that takes place in Medieval Scotland lives on in paperback and electronic format forever – they would be impressed by that, I think! It brings me great comfort to know that while the story is over, it’s not gone. Ever. I can go back as often as I want and reconnect with the characters and the world we created for them.

Chart a Course

Secure in that knowledge, I knew I could move forward and start again. I could dream, imagine, and create. When I looked down, there were oars on either side of the boat, inviting me to take hold and begin the creative journey again. I took a deep breath, grabbed them, and pulled.

Image credit:  Anne K. Hawkinson

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