This morning, I surprised myself – or the book surprised me -or the universe aligned – or I was giving a special gift of grace . . . . all that’s to say.

I finished a draft of my book that is tentatively called Steele Secrets.* 

I knew I was getting close to the end – how I knew that I’m not sure?  A feeling, a sense of the fact that I’d written myself to the place I read in books that are ending?  I haven’t ever tried to put language to that feeling before.

But the draft is done, and I’m exhilarated. 

I’m also convinced that most of the draft is complete hokey schlock, vague scenes, terrible dialogue, and overly abundant adverbs. (See there’s one!)  I have much revision to do.

I have gaps in research I need to fill, and I probably made up some stuff that I will have to fact-check and revise.  Plus, since the book deals with hard questions about the legacy of slavery and racism, I want to read carefully with an awareness to my own privilege and be sure I either expose that or eliminate it completely in the story.

Still, I have a full draft – with beginning, middle, and end – and I can edit a draft.  I’ll be loading up on printer ink and sending this baby onto a stack of recycled trees in just a moment.

Then, tomorrow, I’ll be up with my blue Uniball Vision Elite, slashing and drawing arrows and filling up the backs of pages with notes.

Goodness that’s exciting.

Thanks for taking this journey of words with me.  If you’d like to share how your work – writing, research, child-rearing, plumbing – is going, I’d love to hear what we can celebrate together.

*Actually, I finished the second full draft of this book. I wrote one last year, but the book needed a different point of view – and in this process, the story changed in major ways.


Spaces in the Painted Steps Writers Group are filling up for February.  Only 8 spots remain, so reserve yours now –