The Dancing Room

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Another Sunday. Another day to enjoy life. I had a lot of life to enjoy around here on Saturday with both sets of grandbabies (nine of them, but sometimes it seems like a dozen or more) here to give the new room a test run. Since I don’t have any new furniture and only an entertainment center and side table and rocking chair out there, there was plenty of room for the grandkids to play. I sort of like the wide open spaces and they liked playing on that new hardwood floor. It looks great. And it looked even better with circles of grandkids playing with each other on it. Katie, my three and a half year old granddaughter, told me she wanted to go out and play in the “dancing room.”

Maybe that’s what Darrell and I should do tonight to celebrate his birthday. Dance in our new “dancing” room. Only trouble is neither one of us is much of a dancer. Even as a teenager when the twist and such dances were all the craze, I never had the nerve to actually try doing any of them anywhere except in the privacy of my own room. Too self-conscious at the time. Too awkward now. So we’ll probably just celebrate without fanfare by thinking about how cute all our grandkids are while enjoying the peace and quiet now that they’ve gone home. I used to always make him a pecan pie, but now he’s continually on some kind of diet. So it’s not fair to cook something to tempt him off it. Guess I can wash some celery sticks for him. Or make him something sugar-free. Won’t be good, but I could make it.

Anyway with my WV son and his family here Thursday to leave the twin boys and go on to Kings Island on Friday and my close-by son and his family coming over on Saturday to help celebrate Dad’s birthday early, I ran out of writing time to find those elusive two words. I told everybody I was just going to say they (my characters) rode off into the sunset and lived happily ever after. The reader won’t know how they got up on those horses to ride off or even when the sun started going down, but the story will be finished. Then my younger son said he hated books where it seemed like the writer did just that. Just ended without letting the reader in on what happened. But then he also said he hated just as much the writer who wrote an extra fifty pages after the characters should have ridden off into the sunset. I really don’t want to be guilty of either thing. I want to nail the ending. Make it perfect.

Some of you know Darrell is in a gospel quartet, The Patriot Quartet, and you know it’s that ending on a Southern Gospel song that really packs an emotional punch for the listeners. If a group can nail the ending, then the audience will sit up and notice. So I’m thinking the ending of a book is some the same. It has to be done right. It has to be emotionally satisfying. It has to come at the right time and make the reader nod and say, yes, that’s what happened. And that’s what I’m trying to do. What I’ve been trying to do for at least a week. Get to that perfect ending and nail it.

I think I’ve nailed a few endings in my stories in the past. I liked the way Summer of Joy ended with Wes and Jocie talking since their relationship had been such a fun part of all the Hollyhill books. The Outsider had a very dramatic ending. The Believer has an emotional ending that I hope will be satisfying to readers. And that’s what I’m trying to find with this new book, The Seeker. The right ending. Tomorrow for sure. Even if I have to stay up all night. And then I’ll have to do some fast editing. Gee, how did May and June zoom by so fast? Don’t you think we need to put some speed limits on these summer days?

Hope all your days are speeding by with happiness in every mile. Talk to you Wednesday.