Friday, March 16, 2012

Almost Done Now - Really!

Carl and Madonna Ahrens - 1935
By Kim

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.

I will also prepare myself emotionally. Writing the last few chapters will be much the same as standing by a long-suffering loved one’s bedside and waiting for the inevitable. There’s so much I want to say and so little time left, so I must choose my words carefully. Goodbyes are excruciating, the future is uncertain, and yet there’s a part of me that is now anxious to mourn and move on.

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.


  1. Good for you, Kim! Best wishes for the "next phase."

  2. Thank you, Cindy! Angell is a family name of mine. If your line traces to the Providence, RI area, we may be distantly related. :-)

  3. God, I'm emotional already. I can only imagine how you're feeling. So happy to be at your side while you march toward 'the end.' Godspeed, Kim! I'm rooting for you!

  4. Vaughn, you are one of my biggest cheerleaders and I feel so blessed to know you! I can't wait to be able to send you the whole thing! Even better is that I get two beta readers for the price of one since Mo said she'd read it, too. :-)

  5. I'm so excited and proud of you, Kim! You are right about finishing your work with such a tangle of emotions. Can't wait to read your finished work! Much love

  6. Thank you so much, Lindsey! Make sure you tell me when yours is available as well!


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