So I find myself at last writing/editing book 4, the final book in my Fallenwood Chronicles. I certainly never expected it to be four books long, and I find myself repeating some of the same themes that surrounded me when I wrote the original - uncertainty about where my life is going, feeling stuck and/or lost, thinking about the things and people I've lost over the years, who have come into my life only to wander out of it again.
When I wrote the original, I wrote it to remember, and to have some place I could always go back to.
I based the character of Ash on myself, and her experiences and my feelings were one and the same. Now, like her, I've probably never wanted anything so bad as to break the cycle of entropy that I feel like I've found myself in, and I don't know how.
I feel like my journey has been one I've had to take alone. Ash will go alone to face Malegaunt in his dark tower on the sea, no matter how many friends she started out with, no matter how resourceful she is, or what the odds are. She knows she might die.
And on a separate note, I find myself back at the beginning, in many ways. I've got the same retail job I started with when I wrote the original Fallenwood book, although it's a weekend job and not my main one I was using to pay my way through my B.A. college program back then.
The Fallenwood Chronicles span a 10-year time period, through Ash's life, from the age of 19 when the story begins, to 29, right before the ripe old age of thirty. I had hoped to finish up the writing by the time I turned thirty, myself, but it's taken a bit longer than I expected. With any luck, I'll finish up by the time I'm 32. Oh well. Close enough.
But anyway, Fallenwood is, for me, a chronicle of the things I've loved and lost. The characters are based on people I remember - often, amalgamations of several different people. I've known Terces, Will, Greymalkin, Edward - just not as they are in the books, exactly. Terces is sweet, Will is strong and inspiring, Greymalkin was a constant companion, and Edward was a handsome mystery. Akaji and Draeon were both charming, and wicked.
Where will this last story take me? How will it unravel itself? And will this aggravating cycle of entropy turn itself right around? Can the "center hold" or will I break it, somehow?