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.
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.
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.