What do you do at the end of a draft?

Thanksgiving is coming, and so is my family. I also finished an official draft of the wretched manuscript. Finished may be the wrong word. I sent it off to another person. Let’s leave finishing to the furniture makers; it’s easier that way.

It is a time-honored tradition to make maple whiskey for Thanksgiving. The recipe couldn’t be easier. Buy a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of maple syrup. The ratio is 2:1 whiskey:maple syrup. The first time I used fancy rye and it was fantastic. The second time I made it, I used a cheaper bourbon and it was fantastic. This time I made it with Granddad’s bourbon, which is cheap, harsh, but tasty, and I tried it a few days ago and it is fantastic.

Combine the whiskey and maple syrup in a big mason jar and store it in a dark place. Shake it for two minutes every day. After two weeks, serve it to your most irritating relatives, and watch them calm down. It tastes like alcoholic maple sugar candy.

To celebrate the end of my [number redacted] draft, I’m going to make dried cherry bourbon. This recipe is entirely courtesy of my local Trader Joe’s. I have a bottle of Trader Joe’s Kentucky bourbon (cheap and not bad) and a package of tart dried cherries. According to my sources I will combine 6 oz of cherries with 3 c of bourbon in a big ole mason jar.

Yum. It’s a little too early to start these projects so I guess I’ll get back to my paper on (and I’m not even making this up) vampire bats.

How do you celebrate milestones other people don’t care about?


12 responses to “What do you do at the end of a draft?

  1. Honestly, most of my milestones are personal — or at least meaningful to me in some special way — and I sort of resent having others participate in them. When I had my first short story accepted by a lit mag I didn’t tell my wife for months. I guess my celebration was in the holding and cherishing of the achievement, all on my own terms.

    My running is a bit different. It has helped to have a cheering section for these. In fact, when I ran that half marathon last month, a friend insisted he would run it with me. I was resentful that he was intruding on my private torment, but I was really wrong about that. I’m not sure I would have finished the half if he hadn’t been at my side, keeping my mind off of the agony and then later at my side keeping me moving toward the end.

  2. I buy a big, fancy box of chocolates, throw away the map, and invite the family to taste test.

    (and then I send the draft to three people and start pacing off the calories until they sent back their comments . . . )

  3. I tell everyone who will listen, and even the ones who don’t want to listen, just how wonderful and successful I am as a columnist. Eyes roll, they clear their throats and get that glazed over look. Nah, not really, I’m kind of humble when it comes to talking about what I do but I am confident. I keep very little to myself when it comes to my columns but fiction…
    who am I, where am I from and where the hell did I ever get the idea that I could write?

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