The Final Stretch

8/30/2018 11:21:00 AM Lexie Dunne 1 Comments

So when I was thirteen and fourteen, I was on a canoe racing team. Hashtag relatable, I know. It was through Girl Scouts and we met at a campsite every Sunday and raced laps around a lake in preparation of the General Clinton Canoe Regatta. You were either bow or stern and each spot had its jobs. Stern was in charge of steering, bow kept a look out for dangers up ahead, etc.

The two best events of the year were thus:

The camping weekend where we were dropped off on Friday and picked up Sunday night and in between, we had to pass a swimming test, learn how to portage, successfully empty and right a canoe that had been overturned in the water, and do things like paint the canoe trailer. Everybody stayed in a giant cabin on the campgrounds and we all listened to our coach, Cecil, tell us the tale of the Jersey Devil (to this day, my favorite cryptid). Important detail: the campground was in the middle of the Pine Barrens.

The big race up in upstate New York where we stayed on campgrounds and put on lavish demonstrations of animosity towards our biggest rivals. This included a very long lecture from Cecil about the drunks we would encounter on the river. Upon arriving in New York, a member of each crew was selected to go down the river, in order to be familiar with its hazards.

The hazards are the important thing to bring up. My race involved three segments. We were the last leg of the relay, which meant we crossed the finish line for our team after five miles of having nobody but each other (and we did not get along). Right before the finish line, there was a giant, open space where the crowd could see us coming.

That space also contained a wind tunnel. So after five miles of arguing, our muscles tired, throat aching from counting, neck and neck with the other racers, we had to fight through the wind to reach the end. It. Was. Brutal.

Right now, I feel like I’m back in that wind tunnel.

#HEROFAIL will be on e-shelves on November 6th, 2018. It’s a book that’s more than a year behind deadline due to illness, anxiety, bad luck, writer’s block, and editor woes (though I’ve worked with some very lovely people and consider it an honor). It’s a story that constantly causes me to teeter back and forth between love and absolute loathing. Some days I call it a masterpiece (vanity, thy name is author) and other days it makes me doubt my very existence.

Currently, I’m on my final edits. Apart from some copy-editing, I won’t touch the book again and then you’ll see the finished product in November. Chapters 1-3 will be on the website starting on my birthday (because I can do that) and then throughout October. I’m not having issues letting go of it for once. I’m actually super happy to hand it over and dust off my hands and return to another project1.

SUPERHEROES ANONYMOUS began on November 1st, 2008. It was a way to distract myself from a job I hated and to make myself feel powerful. As a series, it will end 10 years and 1 week later. Here is a spoiler: it does not end on a cliffhanger. My goal was to give this book—and its series—a proper ending. I can see that finish line in sight. I am excited to reach it, and when I get there, I hope whatever melancholy I feel about walking away from Gail Godwin and her glorious adventures will be vast outstripped by a sense of pride and happiness in what I’ve accomplished.

I just have to get through the rest of this wind tunnel first. And hopefully, I’ll see you on the other side.

Stay sexy,

PS - This week's #bookqw cracks me up so I'm sharing it here.

1 - On September 1st, I am embarking on a project called Shitty Book September (+October) where I am giving myself permission to write the worst book possible. I'm really tired of high standards, guys. It's 1230 words a day and they don't have to be good words. Feel free to come along.

1 comment:

  1. Wait.... It's the last book?? Noooo!


Please keep it PG. My mom reads this blog.