The most important part of a novel is how it ends. It is the ending of the story that does the most to establish the theme, make the points the author wants to make, or gives you the all-important feeling that the story is complete.
I have written nine good novels and ended the story nine times. I have reason to believe they are good books. Two of them were contest finalists. I have gotten no bad reviews (of the minimal number of times someone besides me has actually read one of these books). And even experienced editors have told me that my books are competent and good enough to be potential best sellers. But, of course, they have little chance of ever reaching a wider audience. I am an Indie author and have either published through pay-to-publish publishing companies or the free Amazon/Kindle publishing services. The way the story of me being a published author will end, though, is not a story of success and wealth and critical acclaim. I am dissolving into abject poverty and fatal ill health. I will not last to see my books hit the big time. And when I croak and become worm food, my books will be forgotten and mostly ignored, even by my family who look at it as a pie-in-the-sky dream rather than reality. Reality, unfortunately, really sucks.
The fact is, all the greatest and most worthwhile people that ever lived have suffered terribly and they were forced to endure much. Greed, villainy, injustice, inequality, bullying, rape, murder, and income taxes prevail in an unbalanced and unjust world. If Guy McPherson in the opening video is to be believed (if you haven’t already watched it, I suggest you don’t. Hearing that message from a credible climate scientist like him is very depressing.) then greedy, rich, and powerful people made the decision to murder us all decades ago, and there is nothing we can do about it.
So, here is how my story ends; I will continue to tell stories and write essays like this one until the very end. And, for me, that will come any day now. It is the only thing worth doing for me at this point in my life. I also hope that you will take heed of my example and endeavor to be the author of your own story’s end. And I am not suggesting you commit suicide or hole up in a bunker somewhere. I suggest you spend every day as if it is your last one on Earth. Cherish your loved ones. Do what pleases you to do. And, most of all, be the author of how your own story ends… plotted out with grace, theme, and meaning. A tribute to how you lived. And maybe you will be able to tell me sometime in the next life about what a colossal fool I was when I wrote this essay.