How do you celebrate when you finish your book?

I haven’t been a big one for celebrating finished books. People have launch parties. An author friend of mine held one on Zoom with storytelling—the kind that emerges in the moment even if it’s been planned and practiced. I guess I see the launch party as somewhat useless since one reaches very few people compared to well-planned social media. It’s nice to have an excuse to gather. For some, it’s appealing to have their book at the center of things. Maybe that’s what makes me hesitate. I don’t feel a need for that. Maybe I won’t know ’til I do it.

On another note regarding finishing books, I’ve had trouble ending a book, or series, recently. In 2020, I finished Book Three of my Braided Dimensions series. It was long—a big book to hold. Maybe 450 pages. Not that everyone wants a paperback these days, but some people really do. My daughter, after reading it, said, “You need to write a fourth book. The series isn’t over yet.” She’s one of my biggest fans and always reads the final copy before it goes to press. “And it’s too heavy. Hard to carry around,” she added. So I broke off a hundred or so pages, edited the ending, and published Book 3.

Since then, it’s been weighing on me. I’d already started writing Elf Stone of the Neyna, the first book in a sci fi series I’m planning. I’ve always thought of myself as someone who enjoys having more than one iron in the fire, multiple projects going. But no. Not this time. I’ve felt a kind of loyalty to Neyna and resistance to jumping back to the fantasy. It’s been terrible, frankly, because I wanted to make progress on both projects. I’ve stayed steady with Neyna while BD Book 4 languished. Then this week, during spring break, I finished editing the 147 pages I pulled off the end of Book 3, found new fire for the next part of the book, and came up with the title! That felt miraculous. Maybe it deserved celebration. What, I wonder?

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