|Carl and Madonna Ahrens - 1935|
This will be a short post from me today, but I know you will all forgive me when I explain why. As many of you know I’m working on a novel called The Oak Lovers, based on the true story of my great-grandfather, landscape painter Carl Ahrens, and the woman who inspired him, loved him, nursed him, infuriated him, and at times quite literally held him up. The research and writing of this labor of love has taken me (cough, cough) many years, but I am now within thirty pages of typing ‘The End.’
Yes, you read that right.
It’s spring break now, and this week my life revolves around my children and the long overdue replacement of carpet in part of our house. During rare quiet moments, I’ll check in with Carl and Madonna, adjust the outline for the final three chapters, and decide which part of the original opening chapter will be reshaped into the near-end.
Instead of dreaming the next scene, as I have for years, I now imagine walking down a tree-lined path in Toronto’s Park Lawn Cemetery. I sit beside a modest ground marker bearing the name Ahrens and place a finished book on the grave. A promise kept. A legacy (I hope) resurrected.
I’m ready – to finish, to edit, to query.
Wish me luck.