A few minutes ago, I typed two of my favorite words: THE END
(I'm also quite fond of "book contracts" and "chocolate, anyone?")
I actually expected to finish the novel sooner, since I've been pushing to get the manuscript done in time to get it out on submission before the holidays slow the publishing world to a crawl, and I also needed to clear my plate to make jewelry and concentrate on running the shop during the busy season.
But I'd been figuring the book would end up being about 90,000 words...and someone kept moving the ending :-)
As of right now, the book stands at 105,105 words (really...I should play the lottery or something) and 348 pages. Of course, it isn't really finished. I still have to go over the chapters I wrote tonight, and do one last polish edit before sending it out to my agent, Elaine Spencer. (I do serious editing as I go along, so the final so-called first draft is usually pretty shiny.)
And it is out with a few first readers, my main critique partner Lisa and author pal Alex Bledsoe, as well as my pal Skye, and they'll have feedback that will lead to changes, as, no doubt, will Elaine.
But still. THE END.