And I know I'm dating myself by quoting a Boys II Men song. If you remember the somewhat surreal video with suave, soulful R&B black guys (I liked the one with the cane) crooning to a TV set with Michael Landon's image on it, then you may just be as old as I am.
But that's not the point.
The point is, that almost exactly 6 weeks after my Muse took hold of my brain, I have finished A Part of Her, and sent it out to the first stage reader (aka Mom).
And I'm done with the Emersons. I'm going to miss them.
True, they aren't really going away. I'm still waiting to hear from the editor on Marrying the Emersons. Any time she wants to call me up and talk about whatever rewrites she wants me to do, that would be super. And I'm still getting chunks of The Best They Could back from people (reviews still good). Tweaking will occur just as soon as I finish this blog. A Part hasn't even gotten any outside opinions. I could still wind up in South Dakota before October if Mom thinks the setting is weak (yes, another road trip, this time with a toddler in tow).
And let's not forget that I've queried The Best to exactly one agent. I'm going to be spending a great deal of time over the next month writing queries and polishing synopses, and getting on a first name basis with the Post Office people again. (They give the toddler suckers. Good times had by all!)
So the Emersons aren't going away. But there is nothing else I can do to my people. Nothing else I want to do to them. Everyone has suffered enough. It's time for them all to live happily ever after, free of interference from the cruel Authorial Mom.
And I have to admit, I'm a little bummed by this semi-ending. I've spent a lot of time in three generations of Emersons' heads. As of this weekend, it's been exactly one year since I had the idea of Rose and Billy's tangled love story. 80+ years of family history in 365 days.
I believe the technical phrase is "at loose ends."
Oh, I have plans. I have a lot of reading to catch up on. Querying and such. Editing Pauline Friday's book, How to Be a Spinster in 29 Years. Working with some new friends to launch a local critique group. I'll still be here blogging, too, while tweaking the website. And all the normal Mom stuff that goes with late summer - the aforementioned road trips, baseball games, back to school shopping, etc.
I have a few other ideas bouncing around my head for what comes next - everything from completely, soul-crushingly depressing widow story to another Native American (Navajo this time) story to a light contemporary romance about cooking.
But my Muse is pooped. She needs a break. And I need not to wake up at 4 having conversations in my head. I know that, when I'm ready, my Muse will grab me by the collar and refuse to let go until I know who's doing what.
So this isn't really goodbye to the Emersons, like you never really say goodbye when your mom leaves after a three day visit. Not goodbye. Just see you later.
Hopefully in print.