154,070 words. That’s The Willful Inheritor as of the end of 2021. Of course, quantity does not speak for quality by any means, but this is my longest, most involved book. It’s two Korinniads. It brings the total for Vacancy to somewhere around 383k words. That’s, like, 25 and a half hours of reading for the series. I wrote that. All those words. Me.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be cleaning it up for release on…I think January 19th? All of the current prose have already gone through this process multiple times, read, edited, torn apart, rewritten, read again, and so on, but a lot of the third act is “newer” in that I have consistently been changing things around. But today, I got it. I know how it’s really supposed to go. And it does. And I’m pretty happy (despite all the tears).
It’s the most fitting way to end the year. On an absolute high, for sure, but also completely emotionally drained. It’s 40 minutes to midnight where I am. I should have been asleep three hours ago–I’m an old lady! But here I am, blogging, after already devoting my whole day to words. I just had to get it out.
I was thinking about 7th grade today. Wild curve ball in paragraph four, I know, but stick with me, Dear Reader, this might go somewhere. When I 12, I was having a bad time. Everything was off, my body, my brain, my world, and I had no one to talk to about it. Since it was so long ago, I’ve pushed passed that year and balled it up with a thousand other things that went wrong from 10 to 22, but for some reason today had me reliving that year. I remember the people from the middle school I attended (for only that year) vividly. I remember the place I lived like I just walked past it yesterday afternoon. I remember the loneliness of struggling to make friends, the uncertainty of who I was, the fear I would be stuck in this weird, Groundhogian-loop for the rest of my life of starting over again and again, alone, scared, powerless.
I think I broke out of that loop today. I’m not alone, I’m not scared, and I’m not powerless. Not like I was then, anyway. Sure, we moved three times in 2021–that was a big, fat bummer–but I’m here. And I made a thing. I finished a thing. I committed to a thing, and it’s almost real. I did it. I did the thing I’ve been trying to do since I was five years old.
My future is hopeful. My present is weird for reasons I won’t get into here, and my past is cumbersome, but what’s coming feels…right.