Hi Tarts,

I’m just up from my after-deadline marathon sleep-in.

So this is a fast ‘hello’ to let you know that I’m finally awake and coming back to myself.

I missed you!

Writing a book is a lot like climbing a mountain.

The only way to get to the top (aka The End) is to keep going until you get there.  Always putting one foot in front of the other until you do, come what may.

Do that and you’ll get where you’re going, sooner or later.

The above picture shows steps near the summit of Edinburgh’s Arthur’s Seat.

Every time I am in Edinburgh, I make this climb.

It’s a ritual.

And when I reach the top, there’s such a feeling of satisfaction and delight..

 Here’s the view..

There’s nothing quite like the feeling.

Except, well, finishing a book!

It. Is. Glorious.

When I reach the summit of Arthur’s Seat, I spend a while up there, just sitting on a rock and loving the view.  And the accomplishment of the climb, which is always invigorating.

When I finish a book, I also take a while to glory in the triumph (for it is that!) and I take time to recover.  The recovery is crucial, leastways for me.

My book had to be in New York on Thursday.  It was.  (yay!)  But the journey saw me writing just over 40 hours nonstop.

Yes, that’s right.

Not a typo.

I sat here at my desk for 40 straight hours finishing this book.  No sleep in all that time, not even a quickie power nap.

My fingers didn’t bleed on George (my keyboard) as I said they might.  But I did break the tips off of most of my fingernails.

As soon as my agent okayed the final chapters (she LOVED them .. woo-hoo!), the new book zinged its way to my editor’s desk and I went to bed.

I only got up to take out Em.

Otherwise, it was all zzzzzzzzzzz’s.

I’m still groggy, but have seen that terrible things have been going on in the world.  In respect, I didn’t want to post anything funny or whimsical.

I have something very magical to share with you in my next post.  I’ll try to get it up soon.

Monday, I start a new book.

For now…

This weekend belongs to recovery.  Today and tomorrow, I’ll be cycling loads, walking miles on the beach, and just vegging.

Total zone-out time.  Only so can I refresh and revitalize.  Writing 40 hours nonstop with no sleep is not for the faint-hearted.  And requires lots of recovery.

So that is where I am right now.

If anyone has emailed me and is waiting on a response.. I have not yet opened email and probably won’t until after the weekend.

My mind is still too fried to read and answer emails.  Sorry!

Thanks so much for being such great and loyal readers.  It’s knowing you are out there that keeps me going when such crunch times arise.

You’re the best!

And now I am going back to sleep.

For the curious, yes, that’s my shadow in the picture.  I took the photo about halfway up Arthur’s Seat.



Filed under On Writing, Scotland, Uncategorized, Writing Life

23 responses to “Waking…

  1. Ginny

    Congratulations Sue-Ellen on finishing your book and surviving! Take more than a couple of days to recover though!

  2. Janelle Hart

    Congratulations!! I hope you recover this weekend. I cant wait to read the book!!

    • Thanks, Janelle! It’s always such a great feeling to wrap one. The last chapter and epilogue made my eyes mist several times and then some, so I’m really pleased. That’s always my measure of how the book turned out – if the ending makes my eyes water, I’m happy. :)

  3. Woo-Hoo! Take all the time you need to rest. I knew I sensed stinging nettles. Now I have to do breakfast and then find out what is going on at the hospital.

    • So sorry I missed the news of your family emergency. I sure hope she’s doing better now.

      Yep. The infamous wall of stinging nettles was raised. I don’t think I have ever typed nonstop for 40 hours. I was a zombie by the time I finished. A ZOMBIE. ((:O Slept solid from early Thursday morning until about 1 a.m. last night (late Friday night) I’ll sleep some more later this afternoon.

  4. YAY, Sue-Ellen! I’ve said it before but I admire you and what you do. I know it isn’t easy but the final outcome is extremely satisfying. Gorgeous pictures of Arthur’s Seat! I hope to one day be able to make that climb. Stunning!

    Enjoy your rest. I’m sending you and Em big (((HUGS))) :)

    • Bless you, Leah. :) You’d LOVE Arthur’s Seat. And it is more than just a great climb. There are all kinds of neat things along the way up… the ruins of a medieval chapel, an ancient sacred well, all kinds of stuff. Like you, I love hill climbing and this is one of my favorite hikes.

      I am enjoying my recovery weekend, thanks. Em was a real trooper, snuggled against the backs of my knees all through my marathon sleep-in.

  5. Mary Morgan

    Good Morning, Afternoon, and Evening, Sue-Ellen… :)

    You take all the time you need to recover, since you have just spent the past week putting all your heart, soul, and blood into finishing your book. You were literally swept away with the pages of writing…

    Your pictures are stunning! I’m putting Arthur’s Seat on my places to visit when I return to Scotland.

    Wake slowly, put your feet in the water, and play! (((HUGS)))

    • You’re so funny, Mary. Love your 3-way greeting. :) It’s very appropriate!

      Yes, this one was a real bugger. Holy moly! I have never worked 40 hours straight without sleep before. 24 or so, yes. But never this long. But I am so pleased with the ending and LOVE the book, so it was worth it. I did fall into a DEEP and LONG sleep, though.

      You’d LOVE Arthur’s Seat. See my comment above to Leah. It’d be just your cuppa, too.

  6. librarypat

    What an awesome climb and sight. I have just saved this in my file for our trip to Scotland someday.
    Congratulations on finishing the book. It will be worth the read I am certain. Now take the time to relax, enjoy, and prepare for the next project.

    • Librarypat, the climb up Arthur’s Seat is fabulous. You should definitely do it when you go. See my comment to Leah above. It’s just the most wonderful hike and so great to be at the top, Edinburgh spread out in all its glory. I usually sit up there for hours before heading back down.

      Thanks re the book. It’s always such a wonderful feeling to finish. (even if it knocks me flat for a few days afterward)

  7. Tarts – HELLOOOO!!! It’s so good to be back in the tea room. I’m enjoying my recovery weekend. Went for a very long cycle run this morning. Saw the most beautiful swan (took his picture and will share soon). Then I walked the beach for miles, saw fresh sea turtle nests, a few dolphins, and then napped for a while, loving the sea breeze and the sound of the surf. Glorious!

    Later today I will start another after deadline ritual – cleaning my office. Has to be spic-n-span before I can begin the new book on Monday.

    More napping is also on the agenda for this afternoon. (yay!!)

    Have fun in here. I’ll look in again later this evening.

  8. Barb R

    Hey Sue Ellen! So very happy you have finished your book but then I knew you would – I have such great faith and admiration for your capabilities! And oh don’t you know my eyes got a wee bit misty looking at the beauty of those pictures – ‘one day’ I keep telling myself . . . .

    Love ya!!!

  9. Trudy Miner

    So glad you finished your book! I don’t know how you went without sleep for that long; I simply am incapable of going without sleep everyday! I’m glad you got out to the beach though. Be careful in the sun; it’s murderous at this time of year. We had a really terrible T-storm here this evening; I hope you missed it.

  10. I think my flying years help me in such crunch times.

    Like riding a bicycle – the skill comes back when needed. I always flew International, long-haul flights that were often all night due to the distances.

    Ha ha! Despite slathering on the sunscreen, I’m beet red tonight.

    Stormed here, too. More rolling in now.

  11. Kathy Luehrs

    You have been a busy girl – Take your weekend – you surely deserved it – Enjoy the fresh air, relax and play with Em. I’m sure he missed your attention.

    • Yep, Kathy, that was an unusually tough wrap-up stint. I’m really pleased with the book, though. So it was worth it. I have been enjoying the weekend. Em, too. We’re just back from a long and lovely walk in a drizzle. Loved that!

  12. Karen C

    Congratulations on finishing the book – can’t wait to read it. The view looks to be well worth the climb – simply breathtaking!

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