What Now?

- by Eileen Dreyer

For a while there, I thought I would never be able to say these four words. I finished my book. I kept seeing all these people posting on Facebook, like I should be happy for them that they’d typed that magical The End on their screens and closed their laptops, comfortable in the knowledge that no matter what else happened, they had a completed manuscript. Hmmph! I dutifully congratulated them,(all the while thinking bitch! in my head), and struggle back to the never-ending book.

But now, after a marathon session of writing that sent my husband running for Chile and my cats to hide under the couch, I. Am. Done.

Now what?

I’m not one of those people who just opens a new file on the computer and swings into the next book. I have to clear the miasma from the last one first(and stay on alert for the dreaded revisions). I have to decompress like Jacques Cousteau coming up off the ocean floor(and after this last few days, I think my hair smells just about as good). So productive I cannot be, for at least a week.

Okay, busy work. I can do that. I’ve put off learning Twitter and Tweetdeck and filling up my accounts on Goodreads. I promised myself that as soon as I would finished I would 1)complete the ritual office cleaning 2) get around to reading Bel Canto, which has been languishing next to my computer for about a year now 3) update my website(which seems to be on a par with typesetting the Gutenberg Bible and 4) getting out Christmas cards….oh, wait.

I’ve managed some of it. American Express is thrilled to hear from me after so long. I’ve sat an entire evening skimming all the info I could on Twitter(which still makes no sense. Can’t I just visit Facebook?). I’ve even cooked a few meals(okay, so they’re Trader Joe’s frozen dinners. Heating is cooking). But I’m afraid what I’m mostly doing is sitting in front of my newly expanded TV channels watching the Food Network and whatever Showtime channel it is that shows really old, really cheesy movies. I don’t actually drool, but I can’t get my brain to kick into gear yet. I don’t want to miss the Cake Boss’s efforts to build a cake that looks like Big Bird, or a showing of that Lana Turner movie. I want to watch the same episode of Storm Riders just one more time, in case this time they actually spot a tornado(sadly, they miss it this time, too).

I’m calling it research. You never know when you’re going to need to know how to spot a mesocyclone, or roll a perfect fondant or  track a ghost through an old Revolutionary War pub(yeah, okay, so I also watch all those darn ghost chasing shows). On the other hand, I’m also getting to finally catch up on the movies that have Oscar buzz…from last year. I can post those reviews on Trip Advisor from my trip to Ireland in May. And I can think about absolutely nothing, because for at least this week, I can. Because, baby, my book is finished.


  1. Typing THE END is such a wonderful feeling, and yet a little sad. I always hate to see a book end and have to say good-bye to the characters who are so real to me.

    Now that so many of us are putting our backlist books into ebooks, I’m surprised more of us haven’t had our heads explode. Enjoy a few weeks off to recharge and do research. I watched a program starring an exterminator going after a raccoon the other day and thought it quite exciting!

  2. Ooh, I saw them go after snakes. I draw the line at insects and small rodents, though.

    And yes, it is also sad. I’ve spent so much time with those people, and now I have to move on. But it’s like kids. I’m glad they’ve graduated out of the house.

  3. I’m on Twitter, and Twitter indeed makes no sense. So go have fun instead with last year’s movies! :-)