An Ending and a Beginning

It is done.

At this point, Mrs. Medigovich, my senior English teacher at Bisbee High School, would be pounding the blackboard and saying, “Faulty pronoun reference, people.”  A pronoun is supposed to refer to the noun immediately preceding it.  As you can see above, there isn’t a noun anywhere in sight.  Nothing at all precedes the word ‘it.”  I have a sneaky suspicion that there are a number of young people out there reading this blog who have never heard of a pronoun, much less a preposition, but I digress.

To my way of thinking “It is done.” sounds a bit classier than “Downfall is done.”  Sort of Biblical.  (The preceding is NOT a proper sentence because it doesn’t contain both a SUBJECT AND PREDICATE.)  More words, I’m afraid, that have gone the way of the buggy-whip in terms of current educational dictates.  The thing is, I know that some of my readers are old school sorts, and those folks are probably smiling long about now.  Please, no blowing coffee out through your noses.  That would be bad for your screens.

So Downfall is done.  Yes, Joanna lives to tell the tale.  She’s older and wiser by the end of the book, and so am I.  

This book was written in a smooth-flowing stream—at least that’s how it felt on this side of the keyboard.  Bill and I have been in Tucson for six weeks now, but I’ve hardly poked my head outside the yard because I’ve been writing in long, concentrated stretches.  Yesterday was a doozy.  Writing?  Yes.  Steps?  No. I ended up with a paltry 6453, fewer than when Bill and I were down with the flu in November.  (Have I mentioned that the old saw about how getting exercise improves your concentration is a pile of you-know-what?)  

My goal when we arrived in Tucson just after the first of the year was to finish the book by the time the tour started, and I’ve managed to squeak by—barely.  The first TV interview is scheduled for this afternoon.  I’m off for hair, nail, and makeup appointments at my local “adequate” shop any moment.  (In most instances calling salons “BEAUTY” shops is overstating the case.)  

Here’s the odd thing.  I love Downfall.  That’s highly unusual.  By the time I fight my way to the end of a book, I often find myself hating it.  My trusty first readers are busy doing their jobs.  While Bill and I are traveling this weekend, I’ll be installing their edits.  The book will be in New York in my editor’s hands by early next week.

Here I am, taking a deep breath, and launching off on another book tour.


21 thoughts on “An Ending and a Beginning

  1. Congratulations on finish another book!
    I wouldn’t worry to much about missing a few steps. You will be back to your average soon enough I’ll bet.
    I know all about those English terms you referred to. My Dad was my 6th grade teacher and we spent a lot of time diagramming sentences! Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

  2. I recently put a request at the local library to read “Clawback”. Last week I was 59 on the list. I am looking forward to reading it.

  3. I’m on the library list too! I think I was about 49 so should be about 20 something by now! I don’t watch the countdown, I enjoy the happy surprise when I get the email. Best wishes for no “surprises” on this tour. Always look forward to your books.

  4. Enjoy your travels. I agree that children of this generation are lost in the world of electronic grammar. I’m older with health problems and really don’t care if I use a comma or a period. But that’son me.
    Oh how wonderful that you have finished another of your fabulous stories. I wait for your books. I RE-READ all of them . I do miss Beau, since he lives in my favorite city of Seattle.
    I know it’s a tough schedule but hang in there walk your walk and talk your talk…. JAN

  5. Yes, I am one of those old-time “grammar nazis.” As a retired English teacher and sometime writer, I cringe often when reading, especially newspapers and advertising. While I’m willing to cut the general public some slack, I firmly believe that people who write for a living should be able to do it correctly. Thanks for my morning moment of recognition that I am not alone!
    Still here in Bisbee, looking forward to the next Joanna Brady!

  6. I have told our activity director about your talks and how enjoyable they are. I have enjoyed 3 talks.
    She said a group went a couple of years ago and had a wonderful time. So if we can fit in someplace around Renton Wa. we will come see you.
    We are Merrell Gardens of Renton retirement center

    • Dear Marian,

      Thank you for the kind words. Just contact my publicist once you find a location. You can find her information on my website contacts page.

  7. Congratulations. I loved the adequate description. I really enjoy all the different characters but would like another adventure with Beau. You seem to be working too hard for a successful author. If you still have two publishers, I guess it is inevitable.

    I grit my teeth when I read messages from college grads that include me and so and so. Also, the sloppy could of instead of could have.

    Good luck with your tour, stay safe.

  8. A new Joanna! That is exciting – and I don’t care if you use pronouns, predicates, or minestrone soup! I love JP and I love Ali, but my first love was – and is – Joanna.

  9. Love your books. Congratulations on completing another one. I have been reading and listening to your books sine being introduced whilst visiting in Seattle and breakfasting at the Doghouse! I hope you will return to St. Louis after the poor attendance at your last appearance here. Had to be a change of venue thing, but if you come, I will find you! I am on the list at my local library, but buy copies when you are here in person and signing them. Can’t wait to see you again, but don’t know how far I will travel!S

  10. Congratulations! Retired English educator who doesn’t get too aggravated at writers—your books are the best! Can’t wait!!!

  11. I’m amazed at how hard a successful author must work nowadays to keep her name, reputation, and titles “up” in the current atmosphere. I commend you.

    And yes, although I’m not a teacher I grew up reading well-written books as well as in the environment of my parents and family who were all readers and who used English carefully. I often grit my teeth to stop correcting people around me saying “between you and I” or “me and him” or the like. Thank you for parsing your phrases!

  12. I thought of you today when my daughter brought home a box of Girl Scout cookies. Thin Mints. My favorite. I had only one altho the box says there are four in a serving. I notice they are a bit smaller than when my girls were selling them. I was a Cookie Mother one year and it was quite an experience. Then the girls went house to house and took orders. Delivery was a month or so later. Those were the days.

  13. I will never forget cutting your hair years ago. I told you i wanted to be a writer and that i wanted to be like you. This back when i had know clue who you where. You where protecting you gender back then. Im so thrilled to see you again you have inspired me since that day back in 2007. I just saw you on the news. Tucson festival of books. Im so thrilled. You are amazing ?.

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