Whew. I just finished what I believe are the final edits for White Pine, which should be released before the end of this month. I find myself somewhat out of sorts. I reread the story over the past few days. Again, I experienced that strange distance that a writer gets from his or her work once it is complete. I remember the creative process of writing the story. I know what inspired it, and I vividly recall all of the work that went into it, but now the characters and the tale have gained a life or an identity all their own. I guess I read the book as a reader not as the writer for the first time. I recall reading that a story comes to life through its connection/interface with readers. I believe this to be true.
I find that sometimes I struggle when discussing characters or events in my books. It's kind of like thinking about a friend whom you haven't seen in a while, qualities about them or memories of them come back in spurts. It was like that for me when reading about Sevy's adventures. Of course, I knew everything that was going to happen to him, but there were moments when I got a little choked up, when I was really invested in his life and his adventures. I must admit that I want to be a little teary eyed or feel my heart is full when I complete a work.
I have a love/hate relationship with Ernest Hemingway, but once when asked about how he wrote, he responded something to the effect that he cuts himself open and bleeds all over the page. I find writing to be a similar experience. The weird thing is that you pour yourself into a book, you bleed all over that page, and then that story and those characters sort of take off on their own, leaving you, the writer behind. And this is as it should be.