Jam was achieved. All the jars sealed properly, so now I'm set for at least the summer. I may do another batch at the end of the summer when they put the last of the season's strawberries on sale, depending on how much I use during the summer. Normally, the jam is for getting me through the winter, since that's when I'm more likely to bake stuff like scones and homemade bread. But I discovered last night that since this is a rather soft jam, not a firm jelly, it makes an excellent ice cream topping, so I may go through more of it during the summer than I usually do.
I did not, however, get to the end of the story, mostly because the end moved on me, thanks to the insight I had while writing yesterday's post. I'd been worried I was setting myself up for a Return of the King type ending -- the big, climactic battle, and then an hour of resolution as we tie up each character's individual story and say our good-byes. Though in this case, it was big, climactic reveal->big, climactic rescue->big, climactic battle->sad farewell->resolving one character's personal story->some happy farewells. I had written up to the big, climactic battle and thought all I had left were the personal resolutions and farewells. Now, though, it goes more like big, climactic battle->resolving one character's personal story, which leads to gaining an additional ally->final confrontation with the villain->farewells. I spent most of yesterday figuring this out and rewriting the big, climactic battle so that it was actually more of a battle than a "y'all stop that." I still have some work to do on that. And then I have the final third or so of the book to write. I may still have to flesh things out a bit -- in re-reading the previous few scenes so I could figure out my next moves, I added more than 500 words just to clarify the action.
I will be commemorating D-Day tonight by watching stuff blow up (the weekly fireworks show at the lake). I discovered recently that I now have the American Heroes Channel (I think it used to be the Military Channel), and they're carrying all the WWII programming the History Channel used to have when it was actually about history, so I've spent way too much time this week watching D-Day-related programs. This is making me realize that it's been 20 years since I had knee surgery. I had the surgery in late April, but in early June I was still on crutches and still doing physical therapy, and I remember watching hours and hours of 50th anniversary commemorative programming while doing my home exercises or lying collapsed on the couch because just getting through the day was still rather exhausting. The scope of D-Day and the enormity of what those men did boggles the mind.
Then Saturday will be a working day, and I have an early Sunday because I'm singing in a quartet for the early service. I teased the choir director that he was trying to torture me because he knows how much I loathe this particular song. Really, it's the style of music I'm not fond of. It's a pop-style praise song in a choral arrangement, and that just doesn't work well (trying to get 50 people to sing together in random, irregular rhythms and patterns never works unless they're highly trained professionals). I figure that I'm allowed to have one kind of music I'm really not crazy about singing. I get ecstatic about early music. I'll sing Baroque and classical. I actually kind of like the modern tone-poem stuff. I'll sing opera and Broadway, old-timey Southern gospel and rocking African-American soul gospel. I'll sing in Latin, Spanish and French without complaining. I've even tackled a bit of Hebrew (probably badly) and could deal with German. I'll do Sacred Harp a capella stuff. There's very little they can dish out at me that will make me groan and roll my eyes. In fact, there's many a time when I'm the only person in the choir grinning about a piece of music. So I'm allowed to have one kind of thing that I really don't like. I guess it's good for my soul to have to confront my dislike and still do my best. What's funny is that the alto assigned to the quartet also doesn't like it. When the other people in the choir were saying it was just like you hear on the radio, we were the ones saying we don't listen to that kind of stuff on the radio. We listen to the classical station (and for me, also the big band station).
Ooh, I just found out what my first quarterly payment for the Enchanted Inc. series audiobooks will be, and I should have bought some champagne while I was at the grocery store this morning. It's far more than I expected, and far above what they were offering as a flat up-front payment for ten years vs. a smaller advance and royalties. I'm very glad I took the smaller advance and royalties.
Though the champagne may have to wait because I need to write and I have that early Sunday. I may have a nice me party when I finish the book, though. And I may finally buy that new dishwasher -- a purchase I've been putting off for four years now.