It's amazing how things can change in two days. My last entry spoke of all that had held me back from writing, and the rough patches that come up, but today is new and last night I finished my 29th chapter! I tentatively call it "Goodbyes" and it's the beginning of the end - of the first book, that is. After over 70,000 words and a year later, I'm nearly finished with it. I haven't worked on it full-time, and I haven't worked strictly on writing. (I've also done research and character design.) But I've kept at it, and encouraged myself even when I was tempted to throw in the towel.
I'm excited to be coming to the end of it, but the way it's setting up, I'll be diving right into the second book within a couple months of finishing the first. I have to sketch illustrations, ink illustrations, and consider cover art. I have to do a mockup of how I want the layout of the first few pages to look. But then it's ready to be sent off to an agent, and I'm crossing my fingers that Ms. Andelman and I will be a good match.
I'm just so thrilled that I am on the precipice of a lifelong dream coming true! Honestly, I didn't expect this to be happening for years, but here it's landed in my lap and I'm only two years out of grad school! Since I was in junior high I told people casually, "I want to write and illustrate my own stories," not really knowing if I would be able to get them published. But one thing I've learned through living, and watching other dreams come true along the way, is that the very deepest, most desired of your dreams will come true because they are the most desired. Anyone, anywhere can have it happen. You only have to set the wheels in motion and keep driving.