Posted by: jeannineatkins | October 11, 2012


Finishing is a good verb, even if it’s imprecise. It can scoop in a lot of time, and usually implies a circle, though one hopes they get quicker with each round.  Maybe you can guess from my plans for the next few weeks what I finished?

Get a new toothbrush. Bake. (Apple cake or pumpkin chocolate chip cake?) Hang out with my husband. Clean the house. Tend to the garden. (i.e, wrestle with sumac and bittersweet.) Read poetry. Write poetry. Read books not set in the nineteenth century. Climb October Mountain. Blog more (it’s sad that I’m writing from a file I’ve named spring 2012). Mull over and wade into new projects. Wait. Try not to obsessively check email. Savor the yellow and orange leaves before they’re gone. Remind myself not to write another 500 manuscript-page novel (which I think is about the right length for this historical novel for adults).

Which is what I finished, until, you know, I start getting pulled into again. Peter is kindly using his eagle eyes to go over my draft, but I hope to send it into the world soon. And in a spirit of celebration, I broke away for a trip to see my daughter. We spent a weekend in Santa Barbara by the beautiful sea, and returned to her home. where we ate good food with great people. Em’s friend Jesus took this picture of us with some lovely fall flowers he brought us, with a light L.A. laugh around that word “fall.” Now I’m back to fall in Massachusetts, which means serious scarves and fingerless gloves. With a few picture books on my mind.



  1. Congratulations, Jeannine!

  2. Wonderful! Congratulations!

    • Thanks, Amy. Happy you’re in sort of the same place. Now we have to get together!

  3. Congrats! What a nice place to be. Hoping both Peter and your agent love it and have nothing more to say than, “Could you fix this one typo?!” 🙂

    • Thanks, Becky. So far we are happily in the typo realm, and Peter is so sweet, commenting such as did you mean to leave out that word, such as “the.” No major structural advice, but righteous anger on my character’s behalf, which is satisfying.

  4. Hooray! For finishing and for breaking into new territory. And I vote for the pumpkin chocolate chip cake.

    • Thanks, Sarah. And I’m not surprised you are voting on the side of chocolate.

  5. Jeanine,
    Send me bittersweet! We don’t have it down here. I love it. We don’t even have leaves that turn till Christmas!

    • Oh, Patty, if you lived near here you’d probably know bittersweet, while beautiful, is an invasive. I’d love to send you some, but your whole state could end up mad at me: it takes over like kudzo.

  6. What a happy photo! And such happy news, too. Hooray on completing another circle, and on having something to send out soon!

    • It’s nice to be making the circles with you, Amy.

  7. Yay for you! You are amazing!! I vote for apple cake :).

    • Thanks, Jama. I might have to do both apple and pumpkin…

  8. HOORAY for “finished”! So happy for you! And you deserve much celebrating and relaxing. I’m voting for the pumpkin chocolate chip cake (I will have to beg the recipe from you). Glad you had a lovely time with your daughter! I hope we can get together soon! xoxoxo

    • I hope you are enjoying sweater season and pumpkins, and I can get you that recipe. I look forward to seeing you soon!

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