A Novel Finished — For Now

Last night, I finished writing the last page of The Swanson Shuffle. As I’ve blogged before, I began the novel in 2000. Am I really done? Nah.

Today I will print a hard copy of The Shuffle, as I fondly call it, seal it in an envelope, and then put it aside for two months or so while I go onto something else.

So what’s this novel about? It’s inspired by my experiences living and working in a psychiatric half-way house. It’s called the Swanson Shuffle — for now — because Swanson is the name of the fictional house and shuffle is what a few residents do because of the medication they take.

The main character, Bia Fernandes, is me, sort of, but her experience is far different than mine. Bia leaves leaves a dead-end job and relationship. She’s a lot hipper than I was. She handles the situation better. And as always, I love my characters — the staff and residents who live at Swanson House.

This novel has undergone different titles and versions. The other day, I found the first. It is embarrassingly bad. What was I thinking sending it out?

I had a breakthrough a number of years ago when I decided to write the novel first-person, present tense from Bia’s point of view. I got a great reaction when I did a reading so I feel I’m on the right track.
Over the years, I kept returning to The Shuffle in between writing projects. This fall I decided to stick with the novel, which I estimated to be at the two-thirds stage, until the very end. It was a challenge. But I did it. It now weighs in at 85,000 words.

Am I happy with The Swanson Shuffle? Yes. But I look forward to reading it again with fresh eyes. The first time, I won’t lift a pen. The second, I will go crazy marking it up before I get back to work. 

I’ll tell you about it in two months.




One thought on “A Novel Finished — For Now

  1. Bueno, congratulations! It is always good to put stuff on the back burner for a while. Hope to see it published soon. I like Bia a lot, she is muy cool!

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