Here it is, the first part of the last chapter of my novel, What Would Water Do. After this chapter, it’s done, I’m done, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. A mixture of amazement, sadness, and boredom, I guess. Amazed that I did it, sad that I didn’t do more with it, and frankly bored by the whole thing.
I know, I know, writers are not supposed to say things like this, for the same reason a mother is not allowed to look at her child with anything other than a proud smile, eyes brimming with tears of loving happiness; it’s just unprofessional. I’m always supposed to pretend like my writing is a beautiful, fascinating genius.
It’s not a good feeling, to fall out of love with one’s own writing. After almost 70,000 words, I was hoping to work myself up to something more than a yawn.
Does this happen to everyone or just me?
Their last writing group meets at the heart of historic Hollywood at the Starbucks on the corner of Highland and Franklin Avenues. Their final discussion is a summary of the highlights from previous meetings. Drew has been talking for several minutes because she knows that when she stops they will say goodbye and they will move apart in various directions like matter disintegrating in water and that they probably never meet again.
“Sometimes you find that you chose the wrong person to write about. Sometimes you write all the way to the end just to discover that some other character has emerged as the real star of the show, or that it adds up to nothing, or that nobody cares. If the ending doesn’t hurt a little then, as writers, we failed.” Wayne would surely have asserted something clever if he were here. She looks at these thoughtful faces around the table: Isabella’s kissable red lips and ebullient cleavage; Kinko, so goofy and pimply and stoned you just want to pull his skinny ass into your lap and feed him with a spoon; Karen, who probably wouldn’t stop smiling if her poncho caught on fire; Aiden, who has clearly been working out at the gym and who, she must admit, was a great kisser; and Liz, who juggles motherhood and a full-time job and somehow managed to show up for the group half the time. And Drew herself, wearing denim and tweed for her last appearance as Writers Group Leader. She takes a deep breath and tries not to cry.
Isabella’s screenplay was optioned by Finn Cameron, the famous rockstar/writer/actor/producer/director, so they spend the rest of their time together pumping Isabella for details before the final hug goodbye and promise to stay in touch and it’s over.
Drew walks alone to her car thinking about Mae Beacon, the poster girl for the power of optimism, with all the prizes to show for it, including her Oscar for best female lead in Deep Water, a bestselling autobiography, and a beautiful baby boy, whose first tabloid pictures fetched more than three million dollars. Drew stuffs her hands deep into her coat pockets and walks slowly. She’s in no rush. These days, she has plenty of time to think.