when the ending isn’t the ending


The whole time I’ve been rewriting Ready for Air, I assumed it would end the same way my first draft ended. I mean, there is a whole narrative thread that leads to—no, demands—this particular ending to my story.

There was a problem, though. I’ve had several readers—one of them an editor who wanted the book (really wanted it—damn her editorial board!)—who suggested that this narrative thread should be cut from the book. I’ve been told that it’s distracting. I’ve been told that it needs its own book!

But I wasn’t ready to part with it. I felt it gave more texture to my character; I felt it offered necessary contrast to the claustrophobic urgency of the NICU. In the rewrite, I’ve pared it down a bit, but I haven’t been willing to chuck it completely. Because, well, how would the book end, then? I love the ending, and I couldn’t bear the thought of kicking its legs out from under it.

But this very morning I woke with a different ending simmering at the edges of my consciousness. A different ending!

I don’t know if it will work yet. I have to sit with it a while, let it percolate as I make my way closer and closer to the final pages. And when I get to there I hope I’ll know—I have to know, right?—which ending will best serve the book.

I would keep my fingers crossed, but then it would be difficult to type. And I still have lots of work to do. So will your cross your fingers for me? Send me perfect-ending vibes?


  1. Endings are so hard. But so are beginnings. And middles. And titles.

    Good luck! Crossing my fingers for you!

  2. Oooh, exciting. Sending ending vibes.

  3. fingers crossed for you, for the right ending, the right words, the right inspiration.

  4. Fingers and toes all crossed!! And lots of good vibes headed your way:)

  5. Well, of course that it's now come to you, you will have to make it happen. But you knew that, right? Even so, as you feel your way, know we are right here, holding your metaphorical hands in support. Good luck! (I'm so excited!)

  6. if crossing my fingers works for you, would you mind doing a little of the same for me to smooth out the transitions where i shifted paragraphs to new parts of my manuscript, please?

  7. Oh, this is exciting! I hope it works for you – please keep us posted. I honestly would so love to read your memoir one of these days.

    I've been away (physically and mentally, ha ha) and I want to catch up soon on your posts. Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my blog last month! I hope you're well, Kate.

  8. absolutely. i'm so excited for you! almost there. : )

  9. Thanks, everyone. It's coming, slowly.

    Cath, I'll send good vibes your way, as well!

  10. That's exciting, Kate! I just feel your new energy!

  11. I'm sending positive vibes and crossing my digits too. I'm excited to read the whole thing some day!

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