About ten minutes after that, there was a fairly substantial earthquake. I'm trying not to read too much into it.
Earthquakes are scary for everyone. If you're from California, like me, you grew up under the shadow of "the Big One," a massive earthquake that is supposedly long overdue. It's been impending since I was in sixth grade. If you've never experienced an earthquake before, it can be equally terrifying. You have no idea what to expect. And long earthquakes likes this one (approximately thirty seconds) are the worst: they give you plenty of time to contemplate what the hell you should do. Run outside? Find the nearest doorway? Wake up the baby and risk disrupting his nap?!
I'm ashamed to say I stood in the doorway downstairs and prayed Jack wouldn't wake up. It was not one of my prouder moments.
Fortunately, nothing was broken. A few pictures fell over and my cuckoo clock (which is normally dormant) came to life at some point during the quake. I was just grateful I wasn't on the treadmill when it happened.
I'd been planning this post for the past few days, excited to share the news that in roughly six weeks I completed a 293-page, 81,000-word rough draft. I wasn't expecting it to coincide with the largest area earthquake in recorded history. As the house continued to sway and I stood poised to spring upstairs to get Jack, I had to wonder if "The End" hadn't possibly taken on a far more sinister meaning.
Writing this book has reminded me why I love writing. If nothing comes of it, at least I can say I enjoyed writing it and I didn't waste too much time. I plan on taking a brief hiatus before editing it and sending it to my "readers." After that, the real work begins: editing, editing, editing; writing a query letter and searching for agents; sending out queries and preparing myself to wait. And wait. And wait.
I don't know if this book will be "the one." I hope so. I believe in it and I think the fact that I enjoyed writing it so much can only be a good sign.
Earthquakes, I'm not so sure about.