Holy crap! I did it! I finished my second book, and literally eight minutes before the bell rang and I had to pick my eleven-year-old up from school. SO glad you all couldn't see me doing the happy dance in my living room. That would have been waaaay embarrassing. Although it's a completely craptastic first draft that needs much revision and polishing, the bottom line is, I did it, and in just 2-1/2 short months. So I guess it's official: I'm a writer. :) It's not some fluke that I happened to write a book; this is something that I can do over and over again. Maybe the speed with which it was written was part pressure of feeling like I needed to have something else other than just the novel I have on sub, but part of it too is this time I had a much better idea of what I was doing. I understood more about structure and outlining, I caught careless mistakes because I'd learned so much about grammar and punctuation from the first one that I could teach a course, and I actually tackled this with a fully formed story in my head.
On top of that, my friend and one of my crit partners spent yesterday fielding multiple offers of representation after just a couple of months of searching, which kept a huge grin on my face. It's always wonderful when good things happen to people who truly deserve them. Her story is so different than mine (literally and figuratively) and it just serves to show that you can't hold yourself up against anyone else's experience to determine when and how things should happen for you. Everything in its own time. As George Michael would say, "Ya gotta have faith."
I'm so relieved to have draft #1 behind me and have committed to not even touch it for a few weeks so that I can enjoy immersing myself in my daughter's last few days of elementary school, because neither of us gets that back again. And that's the good stuff that makes up the fabric of our personal stories, the ones we keep just for ourselves. :)