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My cramped fingers fly over the keyboard at warp speed, and a wave of excitement and relief washes over me as I type the two final words on the manuscript: The End.
“Fucking finally!” I whisper to myself, leaning back in my chair and stretching my arms. Finishing this novel, 12 Inches, has been a true marathon, but I’ve finished it just in time.
Getting up from my seat, I leave my home office and amble out to my living room. “Ugh,” I groan as I draw the curtains back, the orange glow of the setting sun hitting me straight in the face. I’ve been writing for so long that I lost all track of time; that’s what happens when you get up at five in the morning and work like a woman possessed. Yeah babe, a writer’s life doesn’t mean you spend your day sitting at a café, sipping on coffee and looking stylish and hot all the time. More often than not, it means that you’re a night owl that spends the day in her pajamas, hair tied up in a bun. Sometimes you kinda even forget to wear pants.
But not everything’s bad: it’s only 7pm, so I guess there’s still some time left for a little celebration. Picking my phone up from the coffee table in the middle of the living room, I dial up Lana’s number and put the phone up against my ear.
“Please, please—tell me you’re done,” she cries out the moment she picks up, her voice fraught with anxiety. That’s Lana, always on the verge of a mental breakdown whenever I’m close to missing a deadline.
“When have I ever let you down, Lana? The final chapter’s done, and I’ve already emailed it out to you,” I tell her, a smug smile on my face. Some writers hate deadlines, but I thrive on them. When time starts growing short, that’s when I become a productive demon from hell.
“Thank God,” she sighs, anxiety being replaced by relief. “I’ll send the manuscript out to our editor, then. I guess we’re done, uh?”
“Yup, we’re done,” I chirp happily, sitting down on my couch and propping up my feet on the coffee table. “What do you say we go out for dinner? Or, even better, for drinks? A little celebration is in order, don’t you think?”
“Ah, I don’t know, Em…” She mumbles and, even though I can’t see her, I know she’s playing with a lock of hair as she ponders her next words. “I was thinking of having dinner with Michael, and —”
“Oh, come on! Don’t ditch your business partner like that!” I protest with a bright laugh, fully knowing that I can sway her easily. You see, Lana isn’t just my writing partner; she’s also my best friend. I so love her.
We met in college and hit it off straight away. It was as if we were two sisters separated at birth, even our literary tastes matched. And, most important of all, we both enjoyed writing. We left college with lofty dreams of becoming writers, and we decided to partner up; much to our surprise, the starving writer phase only lasted for two years or so.
We really hit a stride once we published a few romance novels, and now we’re well off enough to write full-time. In fact, the writing is awesome. Top 100 in the Rainforest.com store, baby! Totally blows our minds that we’re able to do what we dream about. Like go to work every day and write smut. It’s so fulfilling. It’s so fun. It gets you so wet. It’s amazing. Just look at Lana: even though she’s a responsible adult, married and with one kid, little Savannah, she still writes full-time. We’re living the dream, I guess.
“I don’t know…” she repeats, but I know that, unconsciously, she’s begging me to convince her. Which of course, is exactly what I do.
“It’s not up for debate, Lana,” I tell her. “We’re going out tonight, come hell or high water. Is Michael home tonight?”
“Yeah, he is… He can look after Savannah,” she sighs. “Where do ya wanna go? Please, no clubs, I’m too old for that.”
“You’re as old as I am,” I protest but, truth be told, I haven’t been in the mood for clubbing in some time now. “Okay, no clubs. Let’s go somewhere fancy, what do you say?”
“Fancy sounds good.”
“So…” I start, closing my eyes and trying to think of a place where we can go to get a nice buzz going. Most of the places Lana and I enjoy usually require a reservation, and it’s a bit late for that. But there’s still one option left on the table.
Jumping up to my feet, I cross my living room in three wide strides and go straight toward the window. Looking down, I let my gaze wander to the new wine bar that has opened across the street. Getting wasted at a walking distance from my place? Sounds about perfect.