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When Is It Finished?

As you already know, my happiest hours of the day are in the mornings when I’m writing and drinking coffee. I’ve really loved working on Storms of Malhado, but as I’m approaching the end of its ninth draft – carefully addressing the input of four beta readers, a historical expert, and an editor – I feel that maybe I’m approaching the end. I’m never sure about this. Are there still things I could imagine? Are there still things I could add or change?

I once asked an artist I briefly went out with when he knows a painting is finished. He said it was like knowing when a relationship was over — which left me totally in the dark as relationships are complex and often known to have nine lives, like cats.

But maybe something is finished when something new starts. So I will dedicate this time of social distancing to wrapping up Storms of Malhado and at the same time starting to imagine a new story. I don’t know yet how this story might unfold but I’m thinking the main character will be a woman who leaves New Orleans in the wake of a scandal, and ends up in Galveston working on the Line.

I’ve also decided to start recommending a book every day. After all, books make me happy and maybe some of my favorites can help others weather this period of social isolation and find an escape.