I finished a novel today. I reached Canto One Hundred and Eighteen (I inexplicably call chapters cantos and pretend that they are really parts of an epic poem or story-song). I put an ending on the story I have been working on since the Summer of 2012. Now, it probably is not obvious to you, especially if you are a writer who takes a rough draft and reworks, rewrites, revises, and does several other things to it that start with re-. I don’t work that way. I build a story with stone blocks, and am loathe to take foundation stones out of it once I’ve constructed the castle in the air. So this story, The Bicycle-Wheel Genius, starts with gossip in a post office, and ends with tears and laughter at a wake for a beloved character whom I never expected to die when I started the story. It can no longer be changed. Like any stone structure, all I can do now is polish the surface. So, I am elated. The worst of the birth pangs are over. Have you ever tried to pass a stone castle? Painful is a total understatement. And I have to say, I love this story now with a passion, even though when I reread it out loud to polish it, it is going to tear my heart out all over again. But it is done, and the celebrations must now begin!