And, so, Children of the Resolution is slowly coming to a close. The final chapter is almost complete and the epilogue should only take a day or two. The end of next week, at the very latest, should see me proofing and editing.
I’m not sure how I’ll feel once its complete. I do know that I’m happier with it than anything I’ve ever written before. It does everything I want it to do. It tells the story — a fairly unique coming-of-age story — but also succeeds in making the points I wanted to make concerning the first attempts at integrating disabled kids into mainstream education back in the 1970s and 1980s. It says something important but I think I’ve managed to do this without being overbearing, unnecessarily political or heavy-handed. It’s there if you want to look for it, but the story and the characters (largely based on real people and real events) dominate.
That isn’t what concerns me. Leaving those places and times… a part of me wants to remain, to tell all the other stories that I couldn’t tell in this novel, but I know that I can’t. Not yet. Six months spent in one’s past is long enough, I think, and however nice it may have been to stir up some of the happier memories, I wouldn’t want to do it again for a while.
But I’m going to miss the old gang. I’m fairly sure of that. Over the years, for example, I’ve tried to find a way to write the “Johnny”-character (who is based on a childhood friend of mine who died when I was just sixteen) many times, with varying degrees of success. This time, he’s there. I’ve captured him exactly how he deserved to be captured and whilst this is incredibly satisfying, it’s also just a little bit sad, because I very much doubt that I’ll ever write about him again. If I do, I’ll need a good reason — something important that I’d forgotten about… but I can’t really see that happening, and I certainly wouldn’t want to risk doing anything that would cheapen what I’ve already achieved. It wouldn’t be fair to me as a writer, and it wouldn’t be fair to the memory of Johnny.
The second point being the most important, of course.
The manuscript — hopefully, the book — will always be there, though. That in itself is a consolation. I will probably never write him again because I won’t need to. If I want to say “hi” to an old mate all I’ll have to do is turn the page.
It isn’t a bad life, being a writer.