Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

Pat here!      6f36

I have spent the week attempting to end the book That Would Not End. I had an emotionally cathartic dark moment and an exciting climax with waving flags and cheers and…the hero and heroine walked off in different directions. I could have just swatted them! So I've spent days knitting them back together again, pulling threads from all sections of the book, but…but…I need another book. I really do.

So while I was pouting and throwing tantrums over this ending, I asked the other wenches for stories of ending books, and really, the last minute rush to an ending does resemble Mr. Toad's Wild Ride upon occasion! Here's a few examples:                                      

From Sarah Gabriel/Susan Fraser King: I've been through some versions of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride while finishing up books … like the time I had one day to write the last chapter of my Sarah Gabriel historical romance, To ToWedAHighlandBride_SarahGabrielWed A Highland Bride, to get the book in on time — just as my college-age son and his friends decided to brew their first batch of beer in my kitchen — but I learned enough about the mess (and the stink!) of the "barley bree" to inspire the whiskey-distilling hero of The Highland Groom!Highland Groom Reduced
JPG

When Laird of the Wind was imminently due, all three kids got strep, requiring multiple trips to the doc and pharmacy, and more story reading, board games and vats of chicken soup at home. The only way to finish that book was to go without sleep for days…but it got done!

Now and then I resort to off-the-cuff, frantic last-minute writing, hoping the last chapters make sense as I race the clock…and yet those wild pages can turn out to be some of the best stuff in the book!

From Mary Jo Putney:

I don’t have extravagant stories about ending books while driving across prairie vastnesses, nor beer being brewed in my kitchen sink.  Just tales of me becoming ever more crazed and hostile as deadlines Oneperfectrose150 thunder down.

I used to think in terms of finishing a book in time to do a final read-through to tweak and fix.  I’ve given up such elusive goals.  By the time I finish my book, I’m hysterical and sick of it.  (Someone said that you know a book is done when the thought of it makes you want to throw up.  There is truth to that. <G>)
 
By the end, all I want to do is hurl the manuscript into cyberspace, moving it from my desk to my editor’s.  Since I’m an edit-as-I-go writer, this generally works out okay, though the last chapter is invariably rewritten after I’ve had time to calmNeverlessthanalady150 down and think about it.

But I have one technique that virtually always goes into ending a book.  When I’m several chapters from the end and feel like I’m juggling chain saws, I sit down with a yellow lined tablet (wide space, letter size) and a blue felt tip pen, and I write down all the events that need to happen before the story is over.  What is the logical action sequence?  What event A needs to take place before event B can happen?

Slowly, working in longhand and probably accessing a different part of my brain, I figure out how the puzzle pieces go together.  When that’s done, I can write the ending of the book.

Then I hurl it toward New York.

And then I sleep. <G>

——————

From Anne Gracie:


I usually think I know how a book will end. I write slower in the
beginning of a story and by the time I get to the end I'm usually
galloping. But then in the last fifth the story tends to explode, a bit
like a mushroom cloud, getting bigger and bigger. Which is quite
panic-making as a deadline looms. When I've finished,  I usually have
to go back and prune a lot of words from the book. The cutting is
necessary, as these days publishers encourage writers to write shorter
books rather than longer – mainly to keep the pr
AG-PWaltzice affordable. If one
ignores one's editor's gentle hints about the desired word count, the
print in the final book gets shrunk, which makes it harder for people
to read. (If you haven't noticed this, go and look at some recent
 books by different authors and compare the print size and line
spacing) So I cut. The book is always better for the cutting anyway, I
think, so I don't mind at all.


As
a reader I like a story that ties up all (or at least most) of the
loose ends, so I try to do that, too. I also try to give the reader a
sense of how the couple will go on in the future — not those
"report-in" kinds of epilogues, such as "Bert and Flossie were married
for 63 years, had seven happy, kind  blue-eyed children, three of whom
were senators and one a world famous mime artist," etc. I much prefer a
scene from their not-too-distant future, and if I can tie up a loose
end as well, I'm happy.
Probably
my favorite ending in one of my books is at the end of Perfect Waltz,
where the secondary romance is tied up as well as the main one. The
hero makes his best friend eat his words from the opening of the book,
which starts, "
But she's got no bosoms! You can't marry a woman with no bosoms!" You can read it here:

http://www.annegracie.com/extracts/WaltzExtract.html

From Jo Beverley:

I always seem to finish a book in deep immersion and in a rush. I build a book
slowly over most of a year, but then the end seems to have to come like that.
Long days tucked in my study, at my writing computer, in my Aeron chair, Winnipeg
everything else ignored….

Tricky, then, when my deadline came around during our drive across Canada! I
tried to get The Secret Duke finished before the end of July, when we set off from Victoria, but for me, forcing a book is like pulling on a plant to make it grow. So  I wrote in the car and in motels, appropriately fueled. 

I think perhaps this gave the traveling parts of the book extra oomph!

Cara Elliott/Andrea Pickens:

I am a slow writer, so the idea of having a mad rush to finish a book terrifies me. I try to make sure my contract allows for plenty of time, and then I tell myself that the book is actually due a month before. I'm pretty good at hitting my required pages per week to keep on schedule, and with extra time built in Cara for any unexpected emergency, I haven't yet had to resort to duct tape—or whips and chains—to spur me on to a finish.

Saying goodbye to a character is usually not hard—by the time a book comes to an end, my hero and heroine are like house guests who have overstayed their welcome—I'm ready to boot them out the door! That said, I had a real soft spot in my heart for a secondary character in my Spy trilogy (Lord Lynsley, the spymaster), and was dying to write his book . . and in fact did a good chunk of it before my publisher decided they wanted to move on to a whole new series. It's still sitting there in a file, and I stop by to visit him every so often. Someday, I hope to write "The End" on his story.

Pat back again:

Now that you see the wild and wacky world of writers, how do you meet deadlines? Are you the kind who packs their suitcase a month in advance for vacation or are you still throwing things in as you walk out the door?


110 thoughts on “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”

  1. Ah, Anne, poor Giles…but at least in the end he saw her bosoms for the perfect little things they were. And he was happy :o)
    I don’t have deadlines.
    Yet.
    I do have to admit though that by the time I get to the last chapter, I am often so sick of seeing “John and Marsha” on the page, I can’t wait to say goodbye to them, so I have to make sure I take my time and not rush through so it seems like it’s not been well thought out.
    I don’t like books that have rushed endings. Recently, an author who has been writing a series for a long time released her latest book and then ending was so abrupt and so out of character for the characters…those are wallbangers for me.
    You all on the other hand, have been very kind to Mr. Toad as far as I’m concerned ;o)

    Reply
  2. Ah, Anne, poor Giles…but at least in the end he saw her bosoms for the perfect little things they were. And he was happy :o)
    I don’t have deadlines.
    Yet.
    I do have to admit though that by the time I get to the last chapter, I am often so sick of seeing “John and Marsha” on the page, I can’t wait to say goodbye to them, so I have to make sure I take my time and not rush through so it seems like it’s not been well thought out.
    I don’t like books that have rushed endings. Recently, an author who has been writing a series for a long time released her latest book and then ending was so abrupt and so out of character for the characters…those are wallbangers for me.
    You all on the other hand, have been very kind to Mr. Toad as far as I’m concerned ;o)

    Reply
  3. Ah, Anne, poor Giles…but at least in the end he saw her bosoms for the perfect little things they were. And he was happy :o)
    I don’t have deadlines.
    Yet.
    I do have to admit though that by the time I get to the last chapter, I am often so sick of seeing “John and Marsha” on the page, I can’t wait to say goodbye to them, so I have to make sure I take my time and not rush through so it seems like it’s not been well thought out.
    I don’t like books that have rushed endings. Recently, an author who has been writing a series for a long time released her latest book and then ending was so abrupt and so out of character for the characters…those are wallbangers for me.
    You all on the other hand, have been very kind to Mr. Toad as far as I’m concerned ;o)

    Reply
  4. Ah, Anne, poor Giles…but at least in the end he saw her bosoms for the perfect little things they were. And he was happy :o)
    I don’t have deadlines.
    Yet.
    I do have to admit though that by the time I get to the last chapter, I am often so sick of seeing “John and Marsha” on the page, I can’t wait to say goodbye to them, so I have to make sure I take my time and not rush through so it seems like it’s not been well thought out.
    I don’t like books that have rushed endings. Recently, an author who has been writing a series for a long time released her latest book and then ending was so abrupt and so out of character for the characters…those are wallbangers for me.
    You all on the other hand, have been very kind to Mr. Toad as far as I’m concerned ;o)

    Reply
  5. Ah, Anne, poor Giles…but at least in the end he saw her bosoms for the perfect little things they were. And he was happy :o)
    I don’t have deadlines.
    Yet.
    I do have to admit though that by the time I get to the last chapter, I am often so sick of seeing “John and Marsha” on the page, I can’t wait to say goodbye to them, so I have to make sure I take my time and not rush through so it seems like it’s not been well thought out.
    I don’t like books that have rushed endings. Recently, an author who has been writing a series for a long time released her latest book and then ending was so abrupt and so out of character for the characters…those are wallbangers for me.
    You all on the other hand, have been very kind to Mr. Toad as far as I’m concerned ;o)

    Reply
  6. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Bert and Flossie. You are bringing me back to books I haven’t thought about in years. Well OK, did think about Mr. Toad at Disney World last year. I always liked that ride.
    Here’s to endings, but more importantly new beginnings.

    Reply
  7. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Bert and Flossie. You are bringing me back to books I haven’t thought about in years. Well OK, did think about Mr. Toad at Disney World last year. I always liked that ride.
    Here’s to endings, but more importantly new beginnings.

    Reply
  8. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Bert and Flossie. You are bringing me back to books I haven’t thought about in years. Well OK, did think about Mr. Toad at Disney World last year. I always liked that ride.
    Here’s to endings, but more importantly new beginnings.

    Reply
  9. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Bert and Flossie. You are bringing me back to books I haven’t thought about in years. Well OK, did think about Mr. Toad at Disney World last year. I always liked that ride.
    Here’s to endings, but more importantly new beginnings.

    Reply
  10. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Bert and Flossie. You are bringing me back to books I haven’t thought about in years. Well OK, did think about Mr. Toad at Disney World last year. I always liked that ride.
    Here’s to endings, but more importantly new beginnings.

    Reply
  11. What fun insights into the writing process! Not the glamorous stuff we usually hear about! LOL!
    I am definitely a last minute person. I wrote my best college papers at 2 in the morning when they were due at 10! 🙂
    Dh is the same way. He’s a pastor and is always finishing his sermons at 2 in the morning on Sunday morning! But don’t tell his parishioners! LOL!

    Reply
  12. What fun insights into the writing process! Not the glamorous stuff we usually hear about! LOL!
    I am definitely a last minute person. I wrote my best college papers at 2 in the morning when they were due at 10! 🙂
    Dh is the same way. He’s a pastor and is always finishing his sermons at 2 in the morning on Sunday morning! But don’t tell his parishioners! LOL!

    Reply
  13. What fun insights into the writing process! Not the glamorous stuff we usually hear about! LOL!
    I am definitely a last minute person. I wrote my best college papers at 2 in the morning when they were due at 10! 🙂
    Dh is the same way. He’s a pastor and is always finishing his sermons at 2 in the morning on Sunday morning! But don’t tell his parishioners! LOL!

    Reply
  14. What fun insights into the writing process! Not the glamorous stuff we usually hear about! LOL!
    I am definitely a last minute person. I wrote my best college papers at 2 in the morning when they were due at 10! 🙂
    Dh is the same way. He’s a pastor and is always finishing his sermons at 2 in the morning on Sunday morning! But don’t tell his parishioners! LOL!

    Reply
  15. What fun insights into the writing process! Not the glamorous stuff we usually hear about! LOL!
    I am definitely a last minute person. I wrote my best college papers at 2 in the morning when they were due at 10! 🙂
    Dh is the same way. He’s a pastor and is always finishing his sermons at 2 in the morning on Sunday morning! But don’t tell his parishioners! LOL!

    Reply
  16. Typepad disappeared the post from my computer and I’m experiencing some “interesting” technical difficulties today, so forgive me if I wander in and get lost. And I don’t even have an excuse of a deadline crunch!
    Isn’t it odd that the endings of books–the most important part, IMO, are the ones we rush through so madly? I wish I could write my endings first. It would make life easier.
    I don’t do stress well–I don’t know how anyone manages that last minute stuff!

    Reply
  17. Typepad disappeared the post from my computer and I’m experiencing some “interesting” technical difficulties today, so forgive me if I wander in and get lost. And I don’t even have an excuse of a deadline crunch!
    Isn’t it odd that the endings of books–the most important part, IMO, are the ones we rush through so madly? I wish I could write my endings first. It would make life easier.
    I don’t do stress well–I don’t know how anyone manages that last minute stuff!

    Reply
  18. Typepad disappeared the post from my computer and I’m experiencing some “interesting” technical difficulties today, so forgive me if I wander in and get lost. And I don’t even have an excuse of a deadline crunch!
    Isn’t it odd that the endings of books–the most important part, IMO, are the ones we rush through so madly? I wish I could write my endings first. It would make life easier.
    I don’t do stress well–I don’t know how anyone manages that last minute stuff!

    Reply
  19. Typepad disappeared the post from my computer and I’m experiencing some “interesting” technical difficulties today, so forgive me if I wander in and get lost. And I don’t even have an excuse of a deadline crunch!
    Isn’t it odd that the endings of books–the most important part, IMO, are the ones we rush through so madly? I wish I could write my endings first. It would make life easier.
    I don’t do stress well–I don’t know how anyone manages that last minute stuff!

    Reply
  20. Typepad disappeared the post from my computer and I’m experiencing some “interesting” technical difficulties today, so forgive me if I wander in and get lost. And I don’t even have an excuse of a deadline crunch!
    Isn’t it odd that the endings of books–the most important part, IMO, are the ones we rush through so madly? I wish I could write my endings first. It would make life easier.
    I don’t do stress well–I don’t know how anyone manages that last minute stuff!

    Reply
  21. I come from a long line of people who showed up at least an hour early for everything, so so far meeting my deadlines has not been a problem. I’m always weeks if not months ahead–it’s a little scary, really. I know I’ll have to stop for revisions/copy edits so I try get as much in the wordbank as possible. Because I still have the day job I make myself get up in the dark and write, telling myself sleep is way overrated. (If only I could make myself exercise at that hour…)
    I have also on occasion written the ending way before I ever get there, and then work my way toward it. It’s the 2/3 mark that I hate and get bogged down in.
    I did write one book that I thought would never end—the last 10,000 words were stubbornly elusive. But I know if I’m crying at the end, I’m done. 😉

    Reply
  22. I come from a long line of people who showed up at least an hour early for everything, so so far meeting my deadlines has not been a problem. I’m always weeks if not months ahead–it’s a little scary, really. I know I’ll have to stop for revisions/copy edits so I try get as much in the wordbank as possible. Because I still have the day job I make myself get up in the dark and write, telling myself sleep is way overrated. (If only I could make myself exercise at that hour…)
    I have also on occasion written the ending way before I ever get there, and then work my way toward it. It’s the 2/3 mark that I hate and get bogged down in.
    I did write one book that I thought would never end—the last 10,000 words were stubbornly elusive. But I know if I’m crying at the end, I’m done. 😉

    Reply
  23. I come from a long line of people who showed up at least an hour early for everything, so so far meeting my deadlines has not been a problem. I’m always weeks if not months ahead–it’s a little scary, really. I know I’ll have to stop for revisions/copy edits so I try get as much in the wordbank as possible. Because I still have the day job I make myself get up in the dark and write, telling myself sleep is way overrated. (If only I could make myself exercise at that hour…)
    I have also on occasion written the ending way before I ever get there, and then work my way toward it. It’s the 2/3 mark that I hate and get bogged down in.
    I did write one book that I thought would never end—the last 10,000 words were stubbornly elusive. But I know if I’m crying at the end, I’m done. 😉

    Reply
  24. I come from a long line of people who showed up at least an hour early for everything, so so far meeting my deadlines has not been a problem. I’m always weeks if not months ahead–it’s a little scary, really. I know I’ll have to stop for revisions/copy edits so I try get as much in the wordbank as possible. Because I still have the day job I make myself get up in the dark and write, telling myself sleep is way overrated. (If only I could make myself exercise at that hour…)
    I have also on occasion written the ending way before I ever get there, and then work my way toward it. It’s the 2/3 mark that I hate and get bogged down in.
    I did write one book that I thought would never end—the last 10,000 words were stubbornly elusive. But I know if I’m crying at the end, I’m done. 😉

    Reply
  25. I come from a long line of people who showed up at least an hour early for everything, so so far meeting my deadlines has not been a problem. I’m always weeks if not months ahead–it’s a little scary, really. I know I’ll have to stop for revisions/copy edits so I try get as much in the wordbank as possible. Because I still have the day job I make myself get up in the dark and write, telling myself sleep is way overrated. (If only I could make myself exercise at that hour…)
    I have also on occasion written the ending way before I ever get there, and then work my way toward it. It’s the 2/3 mark that I hate and get bogged down in.
    I did write one book that I thought would never end—the last 10,000 words were stubbornly elusive. But I know if I’m crying at the end, I’m done. 😉

    Reply
  26. Maggie, my father was just like that — early for everything, and making us all do that, too. It used to drive me wild, which is probably why I’m a last minute rush person — I don’t like to waste time doing nothing, so I try to cram more in.
    Pat, I often know what the last part of the book is, and have written it in my notebook, but when I get to it, it usually isn’t the very last bit of the plot, not the last part of the book. I like to have an ending you can wallow in a little, and that’s often hard to get right. As MJP said, I sometimes send it off because I’m fed up with the manuscript, and then after a bit of time, the exact right ending comes to me.
    Theo, I’m smiling at how well you remember that book.

    Reply
  27. Maggie, my father was just like that — early for everything, and making us all do that, too. It used to drive me wild, which is probably why I’m a last minute rush person — I don’t like to waste time doing nothing, so I try to cram more in.
    Pat, I often know what the last part of the book is, and have written it in my notebook, but when I get to it, it usually isn’t the very last bit of the plot, not the last part of the book. I like to have an ending you can wallow in a little, and that’s often hard to get right. As MJP said, I sometimes send it off because I’m fed up with the manuscript, and then after a bit of time, the exact right ending comes to me.
    Theo, I’m smiling at how well you remember that book.

    Reply
  28. Maggie, my father was just like that — early for everything, and making us all do that, too. It used to drive me wild, which is probably why I’m a last minute rush person — I don’t like to waste time doing nothing, so I try to cram more in.
    Pat, I often know what the last part of the book is, and have written it in my notebook, but when I get to it, it usually isn’t the very last bit of the plot, not the last part of the book. I like to have an ending you can wallow in a little, and that’s often hard to get right. As MJP said, I sometimes send it off because I’m fed up with the manuscript, and then after a bit of time, the exact right ending comes to me.
    Theo, I’m smiling at how well you remember that book.

    Reply
  29. Maggie, my father was just like that — early for everything, and making us all do that, too. It used to drive me wild, which is probably why I’m a last minute rush person — I don’t like to waste time doing nothing, so I try to cram more in.
    Pat, I often know what the last part of the book is, and have written it in my notebook, but when I get to it, it usually isn’t the very last bit of the plot, not the last part of the book. I like to have an ending you can wallow in a little, and that’s often hard to get right. As MJP said, I sometimes send it off because I’m fed up with the manuscript, and then after a bit of time, the exact right ending comes to me.
    Theo, I’m smiling at how well you remember that book.

    Reply
  30. Maggie, my father was just like that — early for everything, and making us all do that, too. It used to drive me wild, which is probably why I’m a last minute rush person — I don’t like to waste time doing nothing, so I try to cram more in.
    Pat, I often know what the last part of the book is, and have written it in my notebook, but when I get to it, it usually isn’t the very last bit of the plot, not the last part of the book. I like to have an ending you can wallow in a little, and that’s often hard to get right. As MJP said, I sometimes send it off because I’m fed up with the manuscript, and then after a bit of time, the exact right ending comes to me.
    Theo, I’m smiling at how well you remember that book.

    Reply
  31. Fun post, Pat!
    It feels as if ending should be easy. After all, we’ve done 90% of the work and just have to tidy up and throw a party for the happy couple….
    If only.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  32. Fun post, Pat!
    It feels as if ending should be easy. After all, we’ve done 90% of the work and just have to tidy up and throw a party for the happy couple….
    If only.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  33. Fun post, Pat!
    It feels as if ending should be easy. After all, we’ve done 90% of the work and just have to tidy up and throw a party for the happy couple….
    If only.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  34. Fun post, Pat!
    It feels as if ending should be easy. After all, we’ve done 90% of the work and just have to tidy up and throw a party for the happy couple….
    If only.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  35. Fun post, Pat!
    It feels as if ending should be easy. After all, we’ve done 90% of the work and just have to tidy up and throw a party for the happy couple….
    If only.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  36. I have a ticking timebomb in my head that’s constantly aware of the time and a neurological compulsion to prevent it from going off. “G” So like Maggie, my soul sister, I’m always done early. Although I’m not necessarily done right. I often end up sending new endings after I’ve had time to think about it.
    And I show up at airports really early!
    Jo, we might have 90% of it done, but all those balls we threw up in the air during that 90% have to be brought down safely!

    Reply
  37. I have a ticking timebomb in my head that’s constantly aware of the time and a neurological compulsion to prevent it from going off. “G” So like Maggie, my soul sister, I’m always done early. Although I’m not necessarily done right. I often end up sending new endings after I’ve had time to think about it.
    And I show up at airports really early!
    Jo, we might have 90% of it done, but all those balls we threw up in the air during that 90% have to be brought down safely!

    Reply
  38. I have a ticking timebomb in my head that’s constantly aware of the time and a neurological compulsion to prevent it from going off. “G” So like Maggie, my soul sister, I’m always done early. Although I’m not necessarily done right. I often end up sending new endings after I’ve had time to think about it.
    And I show up at airports really early!
    Jo, we might have 90% of it done, but all those balls we threw up in the air during that 90% have to be brought down safely!

    Reply
  39. I have a ticking timebomb in my head that’s constantly aware of the time and a neurological compulsion to prevent it from going off. “G” So like Maggie, my soul sister, I’m always done early. Although I’m not necessarily done right. I often end up sending new endings after I’ve had time to think about it.
    And I show up at airports really early!
    Jo, we might have 90% of it done, but all those balls we threw up in the air during that 90% have to be brought down safely!

    Reply
  40. I have a ticking timebomb in my head that’s constantly aware of the time and a neurological compulsion to prevent it from going off. “G” So like Maggie, my soul sister, I’m always done early. Although I’m not necessarily done right. I often end up sending new endings after I’ve had time to think about it.
    And I show up at airports really early!
    Jo, we might have 90% of it done, but all those balls we threw up in the air during that 90% have to be brought down safely!

    Reply
  41. Thanks for a fun post! You brought back great memories of Orlando’s Disney World – Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride used to be across from “It’s a Small World”. Now it’s “Winnie the Pooh” adventure.
    I pack at the last minute (and quickly vacuum, too) as my husband is backing the car out the garage.
    Since I will be “on the mainland” for six weeks before I fly to Nashville, I can always pop into a real mall for anything I need to take to the RWA National Convention. See you all there!

    Reply
  42. Thanks for a fun post! You brought back great memories of Orlando’s Disney World – Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride used to be across from “It’s a Small World”. Now it’s “Winnie the Pooh” adventure.
    I pack at the last minute (and quickly vacuum, too) as my husband is backing the car out the garage.
    Since I will be “on the mainland” for six weeks before I fly to Nashville, I can always pop into a real mall for anything I need to take to the RWA National Convention. See you all there!

    Reply
  43. Thanks for a fun post! You brought back great memories of Orlando’s Disney World – Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride used to be across from “It’s a Small World”. Now it’s “Winnie the Pooh” adventure.
    I pack at the last minute (and quickly vacuum, too) as my husband is backing the car out the garage.
    Since I will be “on the mainland” for six weeks before I fly to Nashville, I can always pop into a real mall for anything I need to take to the RWA National Convention. See you all there!

    Reply
  44. Thanks for a fun post! You brought back great memories of Orlando’s Disney World – Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride used to be across from “It’s a Small World”. Now it’s “Winnie the Pooh” adventure.
    I pack at the last minute (and quickly vacuum, too) as my husband is backing the car out the garage.
    Since I will be “on the mainland” for six weeks before I fly to Nashville, I can always pop into a real mall for anything I need to take to the RWA National Convention. See you all there!

    Reply
  45. Thanks for a fun post! You brought back great memories of Orlando’s Disney World – Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride used to be across from “It’s a Small World”. Now it’s “Winnie the Pooh” adventure.
    I pack at the last minute (and quickly vacuum, too) as my husband is backing the car out the garage.
    Since I will be “on the mainland” for six weeks before I fly to Nashville, I can always pop into a real mall for anything I need to take to the RWA National Convention. See you all there!

    Reply
  46. You vacuum before you leave on vacation? You do realize it will collect dust when you come home and have to be vacuumed all over again? I use leaving on vacation as an excuse NOT to vacuum! Just remembering to take my sun screen at the last minute is the most I can handle. “G”

    Reply
  47. You vacuum before you leave on vacation? You do realize it will collect dust when you come home and have to be vacuumed all over again? I use leaving on vacation as an excuse NOT to vacuum! Just remembering to take my sun screen at the last minute is the most I can handle. “G”

    Reply
  48. You vacuum before you leave on vacation? You do realize it will collect dust when you come home and have to be vacuumed all over again? I use leaving on vacation as an excuse NOT to vacuum! Just remembering to take my sun screen at the last minute is the most I can handle. “G”

    Reply
  49. You vacuum before you leave on vacation? You do realize it will collect dust when you come home and have to be vacuumed all over again? I use leaving on vacation as an excuse NOT to vacuum! Just remembering to take my sun screen at the last minute is the most I can handle. “G”

    Reply
  50. You vacuum before you leave on vacation? You do realize it will collect dust when you come home and have to be vacuumed all over again? I use leaving on vacation as an excuse NOT to vacuum! Just remembering to take my sun screen at the last minute is the most I can handle. “G”

    Reply
  51. There’s also that panic at the end when you realize you haven’t a clue how to do the final weaving together of the various strands – some of which seem to be floating free in a way you hadn’t expected.
    I usually go for a very long walk and do a lot of mental ‘Suppose’ and ‘What ifs…’ By the time I get home, it’s sorted.
    I console myself with the thought that, if I haven’t a clue what’s going to happen, then the readers won’t complain that the book’s ending is predictable!

    Reply
  52. There’s also that panic at the end when you realize you haven’t a clue how to do the final weaving together of the various strands – some of which seem to be floating free in a way you hadn’t expected.
    I usually go for a very long walk and do a lot of mental ‘Suppose’ and ‘What ifs…’ By the time I get home, it’s sorted.
    I console myself with the thought that, if I haven’t a clue what’s going to happen, then the readers won’t complain that the book’s ending is predictable!

    Reply
  53. There’s also that panic at the end when you realize you haven’t a clue how to do the final weaving together of the various strands – some of which seem to be floating free in a way you hadn’t expected.
    I usually go for a very long walk and do a lot of mental ‘Suppose’ and ‘What ifs…’ By the time I get home, it’s sorted.
    I console myself with the thought that, if I haven’t a clue what’s going to happen, then the readers won’t complain that the book’s ending is predictable!

    Reply
  54. There’s also that panic at the end when you realize you haven’t a clue how to do the final weaving together of the various strands – some of which seem to be floating free in a way you hadn’t expected.
    I usually go for a very long walk and do a lot of mental ‘Suppose’ and ‘What ifs…’ By the time I get home, it’s sorted.
    I console myself with the thought that, if I haven’t a clue what’s going to happen, then the readers won’t complain that the book’s ending is predictable!

    Reply
  55. There’s also that panic at the end when you realize you haven’t a clue how to do the final weaving together of the various strands – some of which seem to be floating free in a way you hadn’t expected.
    I usually go for a very long walk and do a lot of mental ‘Suppose’ and ‘What ifs…’ By the time I get home, it’s sorted.
    I console myself with the thought that, if I haven’t a clue what’s going to happen, then the readers won’t complain that the book’s ending is predictable!

    Reply
  56. Deadlines of any kind drive me insane, so I always try to do as much as possible in the beginning. Yes, I’m the one who packs for vacation a month early.
    Anne, I hate the trend toward shorter books. I heard one editor say the biggest complaint she got about books was that the type was too small. I don’t care if the type is small–I want a longer book. People can put their glasses on.
    Andrea, I’m sorry you didn’t sell the book about Lord Lynsley. I wondered about him, too, and would have liked to see him have his happy ending.

    Reply
  57. Deadlines of any kind drive me insane, so I always try to do as much as possible in the beginning. Yes, I’m the one who packs for vacation a month early.
    Anne, I hate the trend toward shorter books. I heard one editor say the biggest complaint she got about books was that the type was too small. I don’t care if the type is small–I want a longer book. People can put their glasses on.
    Andrea, I’m sorry you didn’t sell the book about Lord Lynsley. I wondered about him, too, and would have liked to see him have his happy ending.

    Reply
  58. Deadlines of any kind drive me insane, so I always try to do as much as possible in the beginning. Yes, I’m the one who packs for vacation a month early.
    Anne, I hate the trend toward shorter books. I heard one editor say the biggest complaint she got about books was that the type was too small. I don’t care if the type is small–I want a longer book. People can put their glasses on.
    Andrea, I’m sorry you didn’t sell the book about Lord Lynsley. I wondered about him, too, and would have liked to see him have his happy ending.

    Reply
  59. Deadlines of any kind drive me insane, so I always try to do as much as possible in the beginning. Yes, I’m the one who packs for vacation a month early.
    Anne, I hate the trend toward shorter books. I heard one editor say the biggest complaint she got about books was that the type was too small. I don’t care if the type is small–I want a longer book. People can put their glasses on.
    Andrea, I’m sorry you didn’t sell the book about Lord Lynsley. I wondered about him, too, and would have liked to see him have his happy ending.

    Reply
  60. Deadlines of any kind drive me insane, so I always try to do as much as possible in the beginning. Yes, I’m the one who packs for vacation a month early.
    Anne, I hate the trend toward shorter books. I heard one editor say the biggest complaint she got about books was that the type was too small. I don’t care if the type is small–I want a longer book. People can put their glasses on.
    Andrea, I’m sorry you didn’t sell the book about Lord Lynsley. I wondered about him, too, and would have liked to see him have his happy ending.

    Reply
  61. Thanks for putting this together, Pat! It’s always fun to see how others deal with “The End.” Susan, I love the beer story! It reminds me of the old adage . . . when you have lemons, make lemonade.
    Linda, I’m so glad you liked Lord Lynsley too. With all the new self-publishing technology coming out, maybe I’ll think of offering his story to readers on my own.

    Reply
  62. Thanks for putting this together, Pat! It’s always fun to see how others deal with “The End.” Susan, I love the beer story! It reminds me of the old adage . . . when you have lemons, make lemonade.
    Linda, I’m so glad you liked Lord Lynsley too. With all the new self-publishing technology coming out, maybe I’ll think of offering his story to readers on my own.

    Reply
  63. Thanks for putting this together, Pat! It’s always fun to see how others deal with “The End.” Susan, I love the beer story! It reminds me of the old adage . . . when you have lemons, make lemonade.
    Linda, I’m so glad you liked Lord Lynsley too. With all the new self-publishing technology coming out, maybe I’ll think of offering his story to readers on my own.

    Reply
  64. Thanks for putting this together, Pat! It’s always fun to see how others deal with “The End.” Susan, I love the beer story! It reminds me of the old adage . . . when you have lemons, make lemonade.
    Linda, I’m so glad you liked Lord Lynsley too. With all the new self-publishing technology coming out, maybe I’ll think of offering his story to readers on my own.

    Reply
  65. Thanks for putting this together, Pat! It’s always fun to see how others deal with “The End.” Susan, I love the beer story! It reminds me of the old adage . . . when you have lemons, make lemonade.
    Linda, I’m so glad you liked Lord Lynsley too. With all the new self-publishing technology coming out, maybe I’ll think of offering his story to readers on my own.

    Reply
  66. Great post Prof. Pat! I love reading how you all go about things.
    Love your “blue marker & yellow lined tablet” idea Mary Jo. Much more practical than the haphazard sticky notes stuck all over my walls.
    And Cara, I’d love to know Lord Lynsley’s story. Maybe someday…
    To deadlines, color me weird, but I like them. Without, I’d never get a thing done. Deadlines tell me what to do first (the laundry), then second (pack) and what can wait until last (toiletries). It’s when I don’t have a deadline (like now) that I feel most lost.
    Maybe that’s why the ending of a story always comes to me before the beginning. I like to see my h&h happy before I strip them naked and try to make them look like the “picture”, again. Then I know for sure that they deserve that HEA. Good lord, I’m mean too, aren’t I?
    Nina, slinking back to the ms.

    Reply
  67. Great post Prof. Pat! I love reading how you all go about things.
    Love your “blue marker & yellow lined tablet” idea Mary Jo. Much more practical than the haphazard sticky notes stuck all over my walls.
    And Cara, I’d love to know Lord Lynsley’s story. Maybe someday…
    To deadlines, color me weird, but I like them. Without, I’d never get a thing done. Deadlines tell me what to do first (the laundry), then second (pack) and what can wait until last (toiletries). It’s when I don’t have a deadline (like now) that I feel most lost.
    Maybe that’s why the ending of a story always comes to me before the beginning. I like to see my h&h happy before I strip them naked and try to make them look like the “picture”, again. Then I know for sure that they deserve that HEA. Good lord, I’m mean too, aren’t I?
    Nina, slinking back to the ms.

    Reply
  68. Great post Prof. Pat! I love reading how you all go about things.
    Love your “blue marker & yellow lined tablet” idea Mary Jo. Much more practical than the haphazard sticky notes stuck all over my walls.
    And Cara, I’d love to know Lord Lynsley’s story. Maybe someday…
    To deadlines, color me weird, but I like them. Without, I’d never get a thing done. Deadlines tell me what to do first (the laundry), then second (pack) and what can wait until last (toiletries). It’s when I don’t have a deadline (like now) that I feel most lost.
    Maybe that’s why the ending of a story always comes to me before the beginning. I like to see my h&h happy before I strip them naked and try to make them look like the “picture”, again. Then I know for sure that they deserve that HEA. Good lord, I’m mean too, aren’t I?
    Nina, slinking back to the ms.

    Reply
  69. Great post Prof. Pat! I love reading how you all go about things.
    Love your “blue marker & yellow lined tablet” idea Mary Jo. Much more practical than the haphazard sticky notes stuck all over my walls.
    And Cara, I’d love to know Lord Lynsley’s story. Maybe someday…
    To deadlines, color me weird, but I like them. Without, I’d never get a thing done. Deadlines tell me what to do first (the laundry), then second (pack) and what can wait until last (toiletries). It’s when I don’t have a deadline (like now) that I feel most lost.
    Maybe that’s why the ending of a story always comes to me before the beginning. I like to see my h&h happy before I strip them naked and try to make them look like the “picture”, again. Then I know for sure that they deserve that HEA. Good lord, I’m mean too, aren’t I?
    Nina, slinking back to the ms.

    Reply
  70. Great post Prof. Pat! I love reading how you all go about things.
    Love your “blue marker & yellow lined tablet” idea Mary Jo. Much more practical than the haphazard sticky notes stuck all over my walls.
    And Cara, I’d love to know Lord Lynsley’s story. Maybe someday…
    To deadlines, color me weird, but I like them. Without, I’d never get a thing done. Deadlines tell me what to do first (the laundry), then second (pack) and what can wait until last (toiletries). It’s when I don’t have a deadline (like now) that I feel most lost.
    Maybe that’s why the ending of a story always comes to me before the beginning. I like to see my h&h happy before I strip them naked and try to make them look like the “picture”, again. Then I know for sure that they deserve that HEA. Good lord, I’m mean too, aren’t I?
    Nina, slinking back to the ms.

    Reply
  71. LOL, Elizabeth, I like to kid myself that way, too, until my secondary readers point out that I give no clue to the ending until the last slapdash race to the end, which kind of leaves readers gasping. So I try to at least know who the villain is first. “G”
    Looked at from that POV, Nina, I guess deadlines are good things, but I’ve worked without them so often that I’m an old hand at it now. I just scribble my fears away while waiting for the Universe to recognize I’ve got a book here, someone needs to buy it! And like Andrea, I’m thinking we do have alternatives these days…

    Reply
  72. LOL, Elizabeth, I like to kid myself that way, too, until my secondary readers point out that I give no clue to the ending until the last slapdash race to the end, which kind of leaves readers gasping. So I try to at least know who the villain is first. “G”
    Looked at from that POV, Nina, I guess deadlines are good things, but I’ve worked without them so often that I’m an old hand at it now. I just scribble my fears away while waiting for the Universe to recognize I’ve got a book here, someone needs to buy it! And like Andrea, I’m thinking we do have alternatives these days…

    Reply
  73. LOL, Elizabeth, I like to kid myself that way, too, until my secondary readers point out that I give no clue to the ending until the last slapdash race to the end, which kind of leaves readers gasping. So I try to at least know who the villain is first. “G”
    Looked at from that POV, Nina, I guess deadlines are good things, but I’ve worked without them so often that I’m an old hand at it now. I just scribble my fears away while waiting for the Universe to recognize I’ve got a book here, someone needs to buy it! And like Andrea, I’m thinking we do have alternatives these days…

    Reply
  74. LOL, Elizabeth, I like to kid myself that way, too, until my secondary readers point out that I give no clue to the ending until the last slapdash race to the end, which kind of leaves readers gasping. So I try to at least know who the villain is first. “G”
    Looked at from that POV, Nina, I guess deadlines are good things, but I’ve worked without them so often that I’m an old hand at it now. I just scribble my fears away while waiting for the Universe to recognize I’ve got a book here, someone needs to buy it! And like Andrea, I’m thinking we do have alternatives these days…

    Reply
  75. LOL, Elizabeth, I like to kid myself that way, too, until my secondary readers point out that I give no clue to the ending until the last slapdash race to the end, which kind of leaves readers gasping. So I try to at least know who the villain is first. “G”
    Looked at from that POV, Nina, I guess deadlines are good things, but I’ve worked without them so often that I’m an old hand at it now. I just scribble my fears away while waiting for the Universe to recognize I’ve got a book here, someone needs to buy it! And like Andrea, I’m thinking we do have alternatives these days…

    Reply
  76. Pat – I quickly vacuum because a neighbor cares for our cats. I don’t want her to think we are slobs. Rest assured, the rest of the house is in chaos … but at least the neighbor (and cats) have a clean floor!

    Reply
  77. Pat – I quickly vacuum because a neighbor cares for our cats. I don’t want her to think we are slobs. Rest assured, the rest of the house is in chaos … but at least the neighbor (and cats) have a clean floor!

    Reply
  78. Pat – I quickly vacuum because a neighbor cares for our cats. I don’t want her to think we are slobs. Rest assured, the rest of the house is in chaos … but at least the neighbor (and cats) have a clean floor!

    Reply
  79. Pat – I quickly vacuum because a neighbor cares for our cats. I don’t want her to think we are slobs. Rest assured, the rest of the house is in chaos … but at least the neighbor (and cats) have a clean floor!

    Reply
  80. Pat – I quickly vacuum because a neighbor cares for our cats. I don’t want her to think we are slobs. Rest assured, the rest of the house is in chaos … but at least the neighbor (and cats) have a clean floor!

    Reply
  81. I’m exactly the same as Mary Jo. The first few pages of a just-finished manuscript have only to flash up as I open the file, and I instantly feel nauseous. It’s a real struggle to force myself to do line-by-line edits at that stage. Luckily, I too am an obsessive ‘edit-as-I-go-along’ writer, so there’s not usually much to do by then anyway.
    I also have a powerful need to start a new book as soon as the old one is finished. Usually the same day, even if I’m only typing up a chapter plan or fleshing out a character sketch. The new book will start to percolate about two thirds into the WIP, and I keep it quiet by jotting down notes as they occur to me, and then, as soon as I get to THE END, off I go on the new story …
    Is that normal?

    Reply
  82. I’m exactly the same as Mary Jo. The first few pages of a just-finished manuscript have only to flash up as I open the file, and I instantly feel nauseous. It’s a real struggle to force myself to do line-by-line edits at that stage. Luckily, I too am an obsessive ‘edit-as-I-go-along’ writer, so there’s not usually much to do by then anyway.
    I also have a powerful need to start a new book as soon as the old one is finished. Usually the same day, even if I’m only typing up a chapter plan or fleshing out a character sketch. The new book will start to percolate about two thirds into the WIP, and I keep it quiet by jotting down notes as they occur to me, and then, as soon as I get to THE END, off I go on the new story …
    Is that normal?

    Reply
  83. I’m exactly the same as Mary Jo. The first few pages of a just-finished manuscript have only to flash up as I open the file, and I instantly feel nauseous. It’s a real struggle to force myself to do line-by-line edits at that stage. Luckily, I too am an obsessive ‘edit-as-I-go-along’ writer, so there’s not usually much to do by then anyway.
    I also have a powerful need to start a new book as soon as the old one is finished. Usually the same day, even if I’m only typing up a chapter plan or fleshing out a character sketch. The new book will start to percolate about two thirds into the WIP, and I keep it quiet by jotting down notes as they occur to me, and then, as soon as I get to THE END, off I go on the new story …
    Is that normal?

    Reply
  84. I’m exactly the same as Mary Jo. The first few pages of a just-finished manuscript have only to flash up as I open the file, and I instantly feel nauseous. It’s a real struggle to force myself to do line-by-line edits at that stage. Luckily, I too am an obsessive ‘edit-as-I-go-along’ writer, so there’s not usually much to do by then anyway.
    I also have a powerful need to start a new book as soon as the old one is finished. Usually the same day, even if I’m only typing up a chapter plan or fleshing out a character sketch. The new book will start to percolate about two thirds into the WIP, and I keep it quiet by jotting down notes as they occur to me, and then, as soon as I get to THE END, off I go on the new story …
    Is that normal?

    Reply
  85. I’m exactly the same as Mary Jo. The first few pages of a just-finished manuscript have only to flash up as I open the file, and I instantly feel nauseous. It’s a real struggle to force myself to do line-by-line edits at that stage. Luckily, I too am an obsessive ‘edit-as-I-go-along’ writer, so there’s not usually much to do by then anyway.
    I also have a powerful need to start a new book as soon as the old one is finished. Usually the same day, even if I’m only typing up a chapter plan or fleshing out a character sketch. The new book will start to percolate about two thirds into the WIP, and I keep it quiet by jotting down notes as they occur to me, and then, as soon as I get to THE END, off I go on the new story …
    Is that normal?

    Reply
  86. I really enjoyed ready about how you ladies “end” your stories because to me that is the test of a good author.
    Some books I really enjoy and build and build all through the book and then it’s as if the author says,”that’s it-enough length–so I’ll just end it” AND nothing follows any pattern through the book–it just suddenly everything is solved bang bang it’s over–I don’t buy that author’s books again!
    My question is–do you ever write a book and have a sub-character really “bug” you before sleep or in your sleep that you have to write a book for her or him? Do the characters (even other than the main ones) that really come alive suddenly to you?

    Reply
  87. I really enjoyed ready about how you ladies “end” your stories because to me that is the test of a good author.
    Some books I really enjoy and build and build all through the book and then it’s as if the author says,”that’s it-enough length–so I’ll just end it” AND nothing follows any pattern through the book–it just suddenly everything is solved bang bang it’s over–I don’t buy that author’s books again!
    My question is–do you ever write a book and have a sub-character really “bug” you before sleep or in your sleep that you have to write a book for her or him? Do the characters (even other than the main ones) that really come alive suddenly to you?

    Reply
  88. I really enjoyed ready about how you ladies “end” your stories because to me that is the test of a good author.
    Some books I really enjoy and build and build all through the book and then it’s as if the author says,”that’s it-enough length–so I’ll just end it” AND nothing follows any pattern through the book–it just suddenly everything is solved bang bang it’s over–I don’t buy that author’s books again!
    My question is–do you ever write a book and have a sub-character really “bug” you before sleep or in your sleep that you have to write a book for her or him? Do the characters (even other than the main ones) that really come alive suddenly to you?

    Reply
  89. I really enjoyed ready about how you ladies “end” your stories because to me that is the test of a good author.
    Some books I really enjoy and build and build all through the book and then it’s as if the author says,”that’s it-enough length–so I’ll just end it” AND nothing follows any pattern through the book–it just suddenly everything is solved bang bang it’s over–I don’t buy that author’s books again!
    My question is–do you ever write a book and have a sub-character really “bug” you before sleep or in your sleep that you have to write a book for her or him? Do the characters (even other than the main ones) that really come alive suddenly to you?

    Reply
  90. I really enjoyed ready about how you ladies “end” your stories because to me that is the test of a good author.
    Some books I really enjoy and build and build all through the book and then it’s as if the author says,”that’s it-enough length–so I’ll just end it” AND nothing follows any pattern through the book–it just suddenly everything is solved bang bang it’s over–I don’t buy that author’s books again!
    My question is–do you ever write a book and have a sub-character really “bug” you before sleep or in your sleep that you have to write a book for her or him? Do the characters (even other than the main ones) that really come alive suddenly to you?

    Reply
  91. LOL on cat hair, Kim! That makes sense.
    Jane, I don’t reach the stage of upchucking until the copyedit arrives, but I think we all have dancing images of the new book in our heads by the end of the old. There’s just so much more possibility in the one that isn’t written!
    Martha, secondary characters are dangerous. Unless I know I’m writing a series, I try not to flesh them out so much that they walk into my dreams. But it’s happened, I know. And it’s usually the bad guys who are impossible to reform that suddenly take on new life. Really, I ought to kill these guys off!

    Reply
  92. LOL on cat hair, Kim! That makes sense.
    Jane, I don’t reach the stage of upchucking until the copyedit arrives, but I think we all have dancing images of the new book in our heads by the end of the old. There’s just so much more possibility in the one that isn’t written!
    Martha, secondary characters are dangerous. Unless I know I’m writing a series, I try not to flesh them out so much that they walk into my dreams. But it’s happened, I know. And it’s usually the bad guys who are impossible to reform that suddenly take on new life. Really, I ought to kill these guys off!

    Reply
  93. LOL on cat hair, Kim! That makes sense.
    Jane, I don’t reach the stage of upchucking until the copyedit arrives, but I think we all have dancing images of the new book in our heads by the end of the old. There’s just so much more possibility in the one that isn’t written!
    Martha, secondary characters are dangerous. Unless I know I’m writing a series, I try not to flesh them out so much that they walk into my dreams. But it’s happened, I know. And it’s usually the bad guys who are impossible to reform that suddenly take on new life. Really, I ought to kill these guys off!

    Reply
  94. LOL on cat hair, Kim! That makes sense.
    Jane, I don’t reach the stage of upchucking until the copyedit arrives, but I think we all have dancing images of the new book in our heads by the end of the old. There’s just so much more possibility in the one that isn’t written!
    Martha, secondary characters are dangerous. Unless I know I’m writing a series, I try not to flesh them out so much that they walk into my dreams. But it’s happened, I know. And it’s usually the bad guys who are impossible to reform that suddenly take on new life. Really, I ought to kill these guys off!

    Reply
  95. LOL on cat hair, Kim! That makes sense.
    Jane, I don’t reach the stage of upchucking until the copyedit arrives, but I think we all have dancing images of the new book in our heads by the end of the old. There’s just so much more possibility in the one that isn’t written!
    Martha, secondary characters are dangerous. Unless I know I’m writing a series, I try not to flesh them out so much that they walk into my dreams. But it’s happened, I know. And it’s usually the bad guys who are impossible to reform that suddenly take on new life. Really, I ought to kill these guys off!

    Reply
  96. I am afraid I am a last minute person. I have hemmed my dress (while wearing it) in the car on the way to an event. When we go on trips, I am usually up all night doing laundry and packing. I start a box of things I don’t want to forget, but the suitcases, etc are very last minute.
    I haven’t noticed it in any of your books, but lately too many authors seem to run out of steam at the end of their books and I’ve noticed other people making the same observation. The story is good, the characters well developed, and the plot well draw. Then you get to the last chapter or two and bam it is done. It is like they got tired of the story and just wrote something to be done or ran out of time (which seems to be a problem) to do a good job. It is very disappointing to read and enjoy a book only to have the ending be a rushed or careless affair. It makes the reader feel cheated.
    Funny, the image that just came to mind was having a wonderful gourmet dinner and when you get to dessert, having a Twinkie in its wrapper plunked down in front of you. Not what you wanted or expected.

    Reply
  97. I am afraid I am a last minute person. I have hemmed my dress (while wearing it) in the car on the way to an event. When we go on trips, I am usually up all night doing laundry and packing. I start a box of things I don’t want to forget, but the suitcases, etc are very last minute.
    I haven’t noticed it in any of your books, but lately too many authors seem to run out of steam at the end of their books and I’ve noticed other people making the same observation. The story is good, the characters well developed, and the plot well draw. Then you get to the last chapter or two and bam it is done. It is like they got tired of the story and just wrote something to be done or ran out of time (which seems to be a problem) to do a good job. It is very disappointing to read and enjoy a book only to have the ending be a rushed or careless affair. It makes the reader feel cheated.
    Funny, the image that just came to mind was having a wonderful gourmet dinner and when you get to dessert, having a Twinkie in its wrapper plunked down in front of you. Not what you wanted or expected.

    Reply
  98. I am afraid I am a last minute person. I have hemmed my dress (while wearing it) in the car on the way to an event. When we go on trips, I am usually up all night doing laundry and packing. I start a box of things I don’t want to forget, but the suitcases, etc are very last minute.
    I haven’t noticed it in any of your books, but lately too many authors seem to run out of steam at the end of their books and I’ve noticed other people making the same observation. The story is good, the characters well developed, and the plot well draw. Then you get to the last chapter or two and bam it is done. It is like they got tired of the story and just wrote something to be done or ran out of time (which seems to be a problem) to do a good job. It is very disappointing to read and enjoy a book only to have the ending be a rushed or careless affair. It makes the reader feel cheated.
    Funny, the image that just came to mind was having a wonderful gourmet dinner and when you get to dessert, having a Twinkie in its wrapper plunked down in front of you. Not what you wanted or expected.

    Reply
  99. I am afraid I am a last minute person. I have hemmed my dress (while wearing it) in the car on the way to an event. When we go on trips, I am usually up all night doing laundry and packing. I start a box of things I don’t want to forget, but the suitcases, etc are very last minute.
    I haven’t noticed it in any of your books, but lately too many authors seem to run out of steam at the end of their books and I’ve noticed other people making the same observation. The story is good, the characters well developed, and the plot well draw. Then you get to the last chapter or two and bam it is done. It is like they got tired of the story and just wrote something to be done or ran out of time (which seems to be a problem) to do a good job. It is very disappointing to read and enjoy a book only to have the ending be a rushed or careless affair. It makes the reader feel cheated.
    Funny, the image that just came to mind was having a wonderful gourmet dinner and when you get to dessert, having a Twinkie in its wrapper plunked down in front of you. Not what you wanted or expected.

    Reply
  100. I am afraid I am a last minute person. I have hemmed my dress (while wearing it) in the car on the way to an event. When we go on trips, I am usually up all night doing laundry and packing. I start a box of things I don’t want to forget, but the suitcases, etc are very last minute.
    I haven’t noticed it in any of your books, but lately too many authors seem to run out of steam at the end of their books and I’ve noticed other people making the same observation. The story is good, the characters well developed, and the plot well draw. Then you get to the last chapter or two and bam it is done. It is like they got tired of the story and just wrote something to be done or ran out of time (which seems to be a problem) to do a good job. It is very disappointing to read and enjoy a book only to have the ending be a rushed or careless affair. It makes the reader feel cheated.
    Funny, the image that just came to mind was having a wonderful gourmet dinner and when you get to dessert, having a Twinkie in its wrapper plunked down in front of you. Not what you wanted or expected.

    Reply
  101. I am not a fiction writer, though I really love reading. But I do have deadlines in my academic job. If I am behind on grading papers the students whine in person and fill up my email box with whines, so I try not to get behind. Nevertheless there is always a big crunch at the end to get everything graded and returned, final exam administered and graded, then the final grade calculated and submitted. But it is better than being in medical practice because at least there is a time when the grades are submitted and I have about 2 weeks of peace before the wild ride starts up again for the new semester. In medical practice you are never done and the charts keep piling up. However you get it done, I appreciate all your hard work and love the outcomes! KathyK

    Reply
  102. I am not a fiction writer, though I really love reading. But I do have deadlines in my academic job. If I am behind on grading papers the students whine in person and fill up my email box with whines, so I try not to get behind. Nevertheless there is always a big crunch at the end to get everything graded and returned, final exam administered and graded, then the final grade calculated and submitted. But it is better than being in medical practice because at least there is a time when the grades are submitted and I have about 2 weeks of peace before the wild ride starts up again for the new semester. In medical practice you are never done and the charts keep piling up. However you get it done, I appreciate all your hard work and love the outcomes! KathyK

    Reply
  103. I am not a fiction writer, though I really love reading. But I do have deadlines in my academic job. If I am behind on grading papers the students whine in person and fill up my email box with whines, so I try not to get behind. Nevertheless there is always a big crunch at the end to get everything graded and returned, final exam administered and graded, then the final grade calculated and submitted. But it is better than being in medical practice because at least there is a time when the grades are submitted and I have about 2 weeks of peace before the wild ride starts up again for the new semester. In medical practice you are never done and the charts keep piling up. However you get it done, I appreciate all your hard work and love the outcomes! KathyK

    Reply
  104. I am not a fiction writer, though I really love reading. But I do have deadlines in my academic job. If I am behind on grading papers the students whine in person and fill up my email box with whines, so I try not to get behind. Nevertheless there is always a big crunch at the end to get everything graded and returned, final exam administered and graded, then the final grade calculated and submitted. But it is better than being in medical practice because at least there is a time when the grades are submitted and I have about 2 weeks of peace before the wild ride starts up again for the new semester. In medical practice you are never done and the charts keep piling up. However you get it done, I appreciate all your hard work and love the outcomes! KathyK

    Reply
  105. I am not a fiction writer, though I really love reading. But I do have deadlines in my academic job. If I am behind on grading papers the students whine in person and fill up my email box with whines, so I try not to get behind. Nevertheless there is always a big crunch at the end to get everything graded and returned, final exam administered and graded, then the final grade calculated and submitted. But it is better than being in medical practice because at least there is a time when the grades are submitted and I have about 2 weeks of peace before the wild ride starts up again for the new semester. In medical practice you are never done and the charts keep piling up. However you get it done, I appreciate all your hard work and love the outcomes! KathyK

    Reply
  106. Kathy, you remind us of far more important deadlines than books and travel! I guess I have it easy in comparison.
    Patricia, I know what you mean about rushed endings and I have to wince, thinking mine probably are, although not for reasons stated. “G” I just have so many balls juggling in the air that they all seem to crash down at once when I reach the end. And I have less time to straighten out the mess than I do for the beginning. I’ve got a reader going through the latest tome as we speak, and she’s screaming at me over the ending. “G” I fear it’s the nature of my particular beast, but I do attempt to flesh it out when I know what’s wrong. And I’ve had editors point out very succinctly when I don’t get it right. So I have to wonder about editorial status on the rushed books.

    Reply
  107. Kathy, you remind us of far more important deadlines than books and travel! I guess I have it easy in comparison.
    Patricia, I know what you mean about rushed endings and I have to wince, thinking mine probably are, although not for reasons stated. “G” I just have so many balls juggling in the air that they all seem to crash down at once when I reach the end. And I have less time to straighten out the mess than I do for the beginning. I’ve got a reader going through the latest tome as we speak, and she’s screaming at me over the ending. “G” I fear it’s the nature of my particular beast, but I do attempt to flesh it out when I know what’s wrong. And I’ve had editors point out very succinctly when I don’t get it right. So I have to wonder about editorial status on the rushed books.

    Reply
  108. Kathy, you remind us of far more important deadlines than books and travel! I guess I have it easy in comparison.
    Patricia, I know what you mean about rushed endings and I have to wince, thinking mine probably are, although not for reasons stated. “G” I just have so many balls juggling in the air that they all seem to crash down at once when I reach the end. And I have less time to straighten out the mess than I do for the beginning. I’ve got a reader going through the latest tome as we speak, and she’s screaming at me over the ending. “G” I fear it’s the nature of my particular beast, but I do attempt to flesh it out when I know what’s wrong. And I’ve had editors point out very succinctly when I don’t get it right. So I have to wonder about editorial status on the rushed books.

    Reply
  109. Kathy, you remind us of far more important deadlines than books and travel! I guess I have it easy in comparison.
    Patricia, I know what you mean about rushed endings and I have to wince, thinking mine probably are, although not for reasons stated. “G” I just have so many balls juggling in the air that they all seem to crash down at once when I reach the end. And I have less time to straighten out the mess than I do for the beginning. I’ve got a reader going through the latest tome as we speak, and she’s screaming at me over the ending. “G” I fear it’s the nature of my particular beast, but I do attempt to flesh it out when I know what’s wrong. And I’ve had editors point out very succinctly when I don’t get it right. So I have to wonder about editorial status on the rushed books.

    Reply
  110. Kathy, you remind us of far more important deadlines than books and travel! I guess I have it easy in comparison.
    Patricia, I know what you mean about rushed endings and I have to wince, thinking mine probably are, although not for reasons stated. “G” I just have so many balls juggling in the air that they all seem to crash down at once when I reach the end. And I have less time to straighten out the mess than I do for the beginning. I’ve got a reader going through the latest tome as we speak, and she’s screaming at me over the ending. “G” I fear it’s the nature of my particular beast, but I do attempt to flesh it out when I know what’s wrong. And I’ve had editors point out very succinctly when I don’t get it right. So I have to wonder about editorial status on the rushed books.

    Reply

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