Whenever my oldest daughter and I are in the car together, when she doesn’t want to talk about her latest craft idea or friend question or life question, we listen to Harry Potter on Audible. We’re currently in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. As we were driving home the other day we were listening to chapter 34, Priori Incantatem and we were at the part where Harry is describing what happens when Harry and Voldemort’s wands meet. I was fighting back tears. I have read this story time and time again. My hardcover copy of this story is dog-eared, the pages speckled with tea and the binding comfortably worn from so many late-night reading sessions. I still get emotional reading it, and the rest of the series. But I realized something I hadn’t on that ride home: the things that I notice that make me emotional have changed as I’ve grown and THAT is the power of those stories.
As I was listening to the chapter, I felt the need of Harry hearing his mother say, “it’s going to be OK”, thinking of how much he needed to hear it from her. But, it was a lance through my own heart, thinking of it from his mother’s perspective and imagining having to say that to one of my own children. Then, hearing Rowling write, “James followed after his wife” cut me to the quick again. And I felt struck anew of Rowling’s amazing-ness, because that struck me as a partnered person in a relationship reading it in such a different vein than if she had described it as, “Harry’s mother” because she was giving each of those things to different audiences. Describing it the way she did, was giving that emotion and that part of the moment to her partnered and parenting audience.
I wrote 20,248 words in a month. Hooray! I now have, again, a completed version of SB that is so much fuller, and has SO much more potential than any previous version. All of the chapters I drafted are in need of lots of revision, but the foundations of each are set, and that’s what I needed to move forward with. Missing backstories, relationship building moments, events that led to decisions characters will make are now all included, and those things that I knew of my story isn’t just living in my mind, but in the pages of the manuscript. And it feels. So. Good. Before I do anything else, I am going to stop and celebrate this success with a night by the fire.
What was the last success you celebrated? What’s your favorite indulgent non-writing thing to do to celebrate a success?