Last night I finished the revisions on Linger, and so officially converted what began as a 3400 word short story to an 80,000 word novel. Because I like symmetry, I listened to the same song as I was finishing it as I had on constant repeat while writing that original short story (Clarion, week 5): "Take to the Sky (Russia)" by Tori Amos. One of the lyrics - "and here I stand with this sword in my hand" - was the beginning of the story. Well, one of the beginnings, anyway. But certainly a touchstone for me while writing, and for the character Aislinn, who sometimes had nothing other than herself, and the sword in her hand.
I began writing it when I got home from Clarion, so it's been about a fifteen month process from the beginning to The End. Which, honestly, is longer than I would like, but I also finished and defended a dissertation, and dealt with a Major Personal Upheaval. It's been through three major (addition and subtraction of thousands of words) revisions, two based on reader response, one based on my own realization that some things were missing.
I'm proud of what I've written, and proud of myself for writing it. I'm grateful to my Clarionmates, who workshopped it, to Neil who made me write it, and Geoff who told me it needed to be a novel. I'm grateful to everyone who generously read and commented on drafts, and who provided encouragement and support.
And I'm ready to find an agent.