Friday, October 25, 2013

A Numb Sort of Happiness

I just typed, "The End."

It's not really the end. In some ways, it's still just the beginning. There will be rewrites, line edits, revisions, type-settings, more line edits, typo-checks, more revisions, more edits, formatting, and so forth. There will be times when I love it, and times when I absolutely despise it.

And then it will go out to the reading public, who will also love and despise it. And I can't control one any more than the other.

But for the moment, I'm not going to think about that. I'm going to look (not too closely, 'cause I'm not ready for revisions) at the enormity of this manuscript which is now written. Not finished, perhaps. But written. Beginning, middle, and "the end."

As many of you know, I proclaimed this last week "Crazy Week," because I was determined to meet my deadline and finish this manuscript by the end of October. Would it have hurt anything to creep a little into November? No. Not really.

Well. Maybe actually.

When I sat on the brink of Crazy Week, looking ahead at what all had to be done before I could call this draft complete, I realized something. I would never be ready to write those last chapters. I would never be ready to write that climax or figure out that resolution. It was too big. Too hard. We're not talking epic here. I've done epic. I've done epic in my sleep. I can handle epic.

We're talking cosmic.

We're talking Marduk and Tiamat--but I am no ancient Babylonian poet.

We're talking Paradise Lost--but I am no Milton.

We're talking concepts and images and themes I barely understand, and definitely do not feel qualified to write. So, last Sunday, I faced the big moment: I must either take the plunge, not waiting for that elusive muse of inspiration, and write what I am not prepared to write . . . or I pack up and call it quits.

It's been very tempting many times to call it quits with this book. It's by far the longest and most complicated story I've ever written, aside from that cosmic climax. And besides all of that, this book will be published by a new house. That's right, dear imps . . . I will no longer be a Bethany House author after Shadow Hand, but will be publishing book 7 through a new venue.

And that venue hasn't even been decided yet, nor even a specific release date. I hope to release this story to the reading public by autumn 2014, and if all goes as I currently anticipate, that will still happen. But I don't know. Not for certain. Probably won't know until the end of this year. In the meanwhile, I must wait.

And wait, and wait.

Anyway, all of that to say Crazy Week has come to its end. I have clocked in a total of 35,000 words in one week, which might be a new record for me. Rohan says we should celebrate with cake. I would be all right with that.

Okay, technically, this is still a secret, since I don't even know the release date yet . . . but I really want to celebrate with you guys too! So I'm going to go ahead and give you the title and teaser for this story early:

What do you think? Does it look like something you might like to read?


Anonymous said...


For the record Anne, anything you write I want to read! Your novels are amazing and this one looks no different! In fact I love the unicorn can't wait to read it! Love the teaser!

J. L. Mbewe said...

Oh my goodness!!!! Awesome!

Congrats on typing "the end"! And what a teaser!

I have many questions...

Anna said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D I know what it's like to FINALLY finish a story and you must be thrilled! :D

And the book looks awesome. ;)

Hannah said...

SQUEEEE! Congratulations, Anne Elisabeth!!!

Oh man, COSMIC. This so intrigues me! I'm sure you did it in an earth-shattering way. How wonderful!

I would love it if this book came out in Autumn 2014. Such a hard wait. But we've done it before. Sigh...

Kara said...

WOW, way to go and congrats on finishing Anne Elisabeth!! What an inspiration you are :) Thanks so much for the teaser, it looks AMAZING!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the color, title, and unicorn :D Will definitely keep this in prayer as you deal with a new venue......Rohan is right, celebrate with a BIG cake :D
Hugs to you!

S.F. Gorske said...

Of course I want to read this! Great title, great poster (I LOVE the colors and especially the unicorn :)

I'm sure it'll be wonderful, and if it's as cosmic as I expect... so excited!

Rebekah said...

Words fail me ... but I will try anyway:
35,000 words in one week ... no more Bethany House publishing ... more about unicorns ...
Thank you so much for sticking with it, by the way! I haven't even read it yet, and already I have a pretty good idea that I will love it.
Now, go have your cake.

Beth said...

Of course it's something want to read - you wrote it! :) I've loved all of your books that I've read - though I still need to get my hands on Dragonwitch!

Wow, I can't believe the series won't be finished with Bethany House. You really brought something fresh to their line-ups. I was happy that fantasy was getting a nod, so I hope you keep writing no matter who you publish with :)


Jenelle Leanne said...

Oh gracious, yes!!!! I've only been a fan since August... but I'm sold. :)

I love the title :)

And have I mentioned that I love your take on unicorns? Brilliant.

Congrats on finishing up Crazy Week successfully! 35,000 words in one week... I can't even comprehend writing that much in one fell swoop (but then, I have a 5 year old and an 18 month old bopping about, so maybe that has something to do with it... perhaps...) haha

Jenelle Leanne said...

Oh, and cake is ALWAYS a good idea. And while I'm not a fan of store-bought cakes for the most part... Raleigh has taught me the joy that is chocolate cake from Whole Foods (or really, any cake from Whole Foods, but I figure if it doesn't have chocolate in it it's not really worth being a dessert) :)

orc blogger said...

Wow! Congratulations! I'm sooo looking forward to hearing more about Golden Daughter! This makes me want to go try to finish a first draft in a week. :P

Amber Holcomb said...

Oh my goodness, Anne Elisabeth - you are such an inspiration! And talk about a crazy week, indeed... Lots of work for you, and lots of news for us! I'm sorry to hear you won't be with Bethany House anymore, but I'm sure you'll do splendidly whichever route you go. :) And that poster?? Definitely shouts "cosmic"! LOVE the title and colors of the poster. Kind of reminds me of Lisa Frank, but in more mature way. :)

Congratulations on your accomplishment! Enjoy the cake!


Sarah Pennington said...

Congratulations on typing "the end"!

Cosmic? Wow. I'm intrigued. Even more so with the poster.

Kessie said...

Goodness, that's a long haul!! Congrats!!!!

Meredith said...

Oh, I knew you could do it! Will continue to pray for your journey in searching for another publisher.

Do I want to read the book? Definitely! I gather from the comments that a unicorn is featured in the teaser. If the unicorn is the one I think he is, then I'm so very excited to learn more about him. He is one of my favorite characters, so tragic yet ultimately triumphant. He made me cry. Cosmic sounds like a fitting description. Hymlume and her children is such a fascinating subplot, and I'll be delighted to see them expounded upon.

Enjoy that cake and have a relaxing weekend. God bless you.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Meredith: I just realized, your computer might not have let you read the text! It says

"Book 7 - Tales of Goldstone Wood
Beyond the Realm of Dreams is a world she never imagined . . . ."

Clara said...

Oh, Anne Elisabeth, I'm so glad you survived the Crazy Week! I knew you could do it. GOLDEN DAUGHTER sounds absolutely amazing...the unicorn is beautiful! Cosmic? Oh. My. Word.

Emily K said...

Yes, it looks like something I'd like to read! You're driving me crazy by saying what you are going to publish next when the book before it hasn't even been published!
Well, it's a good kind of crazy :)
And congratulations on finishing crazy week! Now go take a break.

Ryebrynn said...

Congratulation on typing "The End"! I know the numb, happy feeling. It's an amazing one, especially after you've worked so long. Writing is pure awesomeness put to words--especially your books. :)
Book Seven sounds epic. And Book Six.
Goodness, goodness. I could continue this comment on and on, but I don't want to bore you.
So, congratulations, and I can't wait to read it! So, anyway... I should really stop this comment before it starts getting too long.
Goodness, I want to read the book now!!


Hannah said...

Hi Meredith!

Just to give you a better idea of what the oh-so-incredible teaser poster looks like...

Stars and constellations spangle a sorrowful blue-lavender sky. Rising out of the cosmos, rears a white unicorn, resplendent mane flowing behind it. And its horn is stained dark with blood.

It's gorgeous and intriguing. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm pleased that you finished your journey, and I am eager to read all about it!

Unknown said...

Congratulations, Anne Elisabeth! We all wish you the very best of luck. As Gilbert (or Sullivan; I can never remember which) said, "May all good fortune follow you, may you succeed in all you do." Very true!

Joy said...

Congratulations Anne Elisabeth! Yes, I am sure I would love to read Golden Daughter =). It sounds wonderful!

Wow, what a writing record!!!! I love stories with such important and challenging themes... :). I loved, loved Dragonwitch so much. I am right now sort of saving up to buy your other books :D. And I loved Goddess Tithe too by the way =). So yes, I am excited about this novel!!

God bless and may He be with you and guide you in your work.
Joy @

Rina's Reading said...

Aaaaah! Love the glimpse of book seven! A beautiful image and I'm tearing up over the unicorn. If my housemates come in right now they're going to think me crazy.
Congratulations on finishing crazy week and "finishing" the book! I'm sure many here are hoping you figure out the new publisher soon so we can read it next fall!

Meredith said...

Oh, what an intriguing title. Thank you for putting the text in the comments.

And, Hannah: You are so very kind to describe the picture for me. Such a beautiful image, and you made me visualize it so well. I hope that all is going well for you. By the way, I'm jealous. Saw your review for Goddess Tithe on Goodreads. But, guess what? I received the advanced Braille e-file yesterday, so I'm ready to dive in. Have a fantastic weekend and God bless you.

Hannah said...

Meredith: I'm glad I was able to create an image. Enjoy Goddess're going to love it SO much! XD

Jemma said...

Sounds great:0

Unknown said...

Congrats, Anne Elisabeth!! I can't wait for "Golden Daughter", and pray all goes smoothly for you as you work to bring it into being. :)

Camryn Lockhart said...

This looks amazing! I was hoping there would be a seventh book. ^_^ I can't wait to read all your new books, Anne Elisabeth. :) I haven't been on for a while, so I'm just now seeing this, but I'm excited nonetheless!

In Christ,