Thrilled. Not as thrilled as William is with his stick, but pretty close.

Do you know how you know when your epic, year-long, blog-destroying novel revision is finished?  When your agent e-mails you and says, “nice work.”  Just like that.  I feel like William looks.  It’s so nice to be finished with something like that.

So now, it’s back to:  books, food, and why a stick is more exciting than anything you could possibly imagine.

Books:  Robert Caro.  The Passage of Power.  The fourth in this big-ass biography of Lyndon Johnson.  Whatever Johnson was (and he was a lot of things — talented, flawed, tragic) he was huge.  He was also 6’4″.

Janet Flanner’s Letters from Paris:  Her New Yorker columns from the late 1940s after the war until the early 1960s.  Wonderful evocations of daily life in Paris as the city and the country picked up after the war.

And now, I’m off to see how everyone is doing.



24 thoughts on “Finished!

  1. Oh, Lily! Lily! Lily!!! This is such wonderful news. I’ve been holding my breath waiting to hear. I am so excited for you. This is HUGE!!! And I love the picture of William and the stick. Yay–you’re back to regular life. Congratulations! He’ll sell this book in NO TIME, you’ll see.

  2. Sandi — It’s lovely, as you know. I didn’t chronicle it blow by blow here, but I’m grateful to you for listening to most of it. So patiently and kindly, I might add. You’re the best.

    Marie — You have another baby!!!! You made jam!!!! On a serious note, you have been through something that is terribly difficult, and described so clearly, as only a poet can describe something. I’m wishing you so many good things I can’t actually write them all down at this moment.

  3. Hmmm, I seem to remember a blog post long, long ago about the excitement of sticks. Hope you have great news soon! Meanwhile, my husband just got all the Caro books on Johnson, and (sigh!) based on what he has to say about the first, it seems I’m going to be plodding my way through them all soon (a 20th-21st-century Gibbon?).

  4. Congratulations, dear Bloglily! Such fantastic news! Can’t wait to see your book in the shops, where I have absolute faith that it will be very, very soon.

  5. Hurray!!! It may not compare to a stick but this is wonderful news! Congratulations! Now for a publisher to leap into action and bring this to me at warp speed. – Wonderful to have you back.

  6. One of the singular pleasures of the internet is the way it gathers together people who’d never otherwise know how much they like each other. Looking up there in the comments, I see people I’ve never met who live in my back yard (Bora and Tai) — I probably walk right by them at the Berkeley Bowl — but unless I crash into them while we’re both reaching for the apricots, I’d never know them. And even then we might not meet each other, not if the apricots were calling our names.

    And then there are the people you know both virtually and from being out there in the world, people like OP (Gail, actually) and Dorothy Potter, who was my freshman year roommate, and has stayed exactly the same interesting, kind, generous person she always was. The twenty five years I went without knowing what she was up to shocks me.

    There’s also a web of people from when I started writing this blog — five years ago maybe six? — beginning with litlove, and then Charlotte (of the actual web), Emily Barton, and Cam.

    And then there are the little miraculous meetings that came from fortuitious things, like poking around blogs and discovering… David Marshall!

    Sandi Shelton actually came across something I wrote one morning about how all you really need to get things done is somebody to put tea on for you and have some biscuits ready. And from Sandi, Gail Benson (who’s herself a writer.) And Tamara, another writer, who came from writing world and Marie, poet, editor, mother — amazing that she does all those things.

    Finally, there is Lokesh, who lives in a mysterious place, and is a mysterious presence, and always makes me feel really good about writing in this blog.

    I’m so glad I’m finished with that book. I loved writing it, and I hope I get to write many more of them — I just hope I can do that AND blog at the same time.


    • Dear Lily. Your written voice is inimitable and, besides the gratifying fact that you remember kindly that skinny, scared 1.0 version of me that lived with you a few decades ago, it is particularly sweet to see a writer remembering how she knows and meets her readers. So many blogs emerge a place of broken ego that only wants to shout ever louder so as to be paid attention to. You, on the other hand, are always lifting the edge of the napkin, peeking around the corner, and whispering a few encouraging syllables to a mysterious friend somewhere because, one gets a sense, you love the world. And that is why the world will always love you.

      On another note, I am reading Loving Animals by my Durham neighbor Kathy Rudy who was fortunate to get a nice review in the Times about it. Kathy has strong personal relationships with animals, and was driving up and down from NC to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to rescue abandoned dogs. In her book she looks closely at all the ways in which human and non-human animals interact and searches for ways to reframe our relationship with all the creatures with whom we share the planet. It’s a very good and unusual read.

      xo D.

      • Dodie — it sounds like a wonderful book, by a woman who should be read! . And thank you for that observation. It means a lot to hear things like that.

  7. Lily, This is great. What a feeling, eh? I’ve neglected my blog for a while because of work but missing it and my friends…I’m very excited for you, can’t wait to read the book!

  8. That is great, fabulous, wonderful news, Bloglily!!! I wondered where you went, and there you were, writing on your novel. Here’s hoping there’s good news soon, so we can all read what you were writing! Congratulations too, by the way.

  9. Thanks Susan! I’d cross my fingers on the book’s behalf, but it takes so long to sell a book that I’d lose all feeling in them!!

    Hello Mari — I’ve missed hearing your voice and seeing your cookies. Did I tell you that I love your book? It came a few months ago (Gack, how could I have gone so long without saying this?), and although I haven’t yet begun cooking from it, I’ve been admiring those pictures. And the text is wonderful. Next time I’m in LA, I’d love to get together, eat cookies, do some toddler admiration, etc.

    You know what Edwin? I can’t imagine this blog without you. You have been so kind to me for so long — and yes indeed I’ll be telling you exactly where you can march to get that book.

    Debbie! Good to be back. If the blog talked, it would say something like, “well that was a good long nap and although I feel a little stiff I think I can get going again.” Actually, it’d be funnier.

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