A labor of five years ends: I finished “The Valley of Forever” tonight.

vof finished header

A few weeks ago I did an article, unusual for this blog, describing the writing project I’ve been working on, off and on but very intensively lately, called The Valley of Forever. This book, which falls not in horror but the speculative fiction category, has been a labor of love–and hate–for more than five years. (The Valley of Forever is technically a sequel to a short story I wrote in 2011, called The Antimeridian, which is available for free on Amazon Kindle). This is the most unusual, intensive, and I think meaningful book I’ve ever written.

Tonight, January 10, at 6:31 PM I finished it. Well, “finished” may be the wrong word–there are still revisions, editing, tweaking, etc., much of which may be very extensive. But I reached the end of the book, which now exists as a cohesive, completed whole. It is 109,682 words long, and I agonized over almost every one of those words. As this was the ninth draft, some of those words were written as many as five years ago, while others were written today. But, it’s over. As such I thought a commemorative blog post was worth it.

The Valley of Forever is a non-linear narrative, what you might call metafiction, with several story threads and a number of mutually exclusive (or concordant, depending on your point of view) endings. It’s essentially the story of two people. The first is Jerusha, a 44-year-old mother of two from Seattle, who has run away from her failed marriage to take a Caribbean cruise with a mysterious man she met backpacking through Mexico nearly 25 years before. The second, Ronan, is a mentally disturbed man coming to grips with demons from his past, who winds up on the same ship for reasons he does not entirely understand. Although Jerusha (the hero) and Ronan (the villain) never meet, when the ship is struck by a debilitating epidemic and is forced to endure a lengthy quarantine while anchored off an uninhabited island in the Bahamas, both characters begin to experience time in a very unusual and transformative way–which takes them both to the farthest limit of human consciousness and possibly the universe itself.

I’m at the end of the book, but now begins the long process of trying to bring The Valley of Forever into the world and into a form where all of you can read it. For right now, though, I’m going to have a celebratory glass of wine. After five years and nearly six million words, I think I deserve it.

The header photo at the top of this article incorporates (with changes) a photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bjoertvedt, which is used under Creative Commons 3.0 (Attribution) license.
Follow SeanMunger.com on WordPress.com

3 Comments on A labor of five years ends: I finished “The Valley of Forever” tonight.

  1. I’m in the same process with my book. Best of luck with your work!

22 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. I need beta readers for my book, “The Valley of Forever.” Do you have what it takes? | www.seanmunger.com
  2. The strangest Christmas: My experiences in the great Northwest snowstorm of 2008. [Part II] | www.seanmunger.com
  3. Earth: Mayan ruins at Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico. | www.seanmunger.com
  4. A thinking machine: My retro typewriter and why it’s better than writing on a computer. | www.seanmunger.com
  5. So much more than Spock: Remembering Leonard Nimoy. | www.seanmunger.com
  6. Historic Painting: “Brudeferden i Hardanger” (Bridal Party) by Adolph Tidemand & Hans Gude, 1848. | www.seanmunger.com
  7. Metal for Friday: Helloween “March of Time” [live video]. | www.seanmunger.com
  8. Stone cliffs and mind mysteries: Some new photos of Hanging Rock. | www.seanmunger.com
  9. My Top 5 “Twisted Time” Movies. | www.seanmunger.com
  10. Retro Book Review: You Are A Shark (Choose Your Own Adventure). | www.seanmunger.com
  11. Historic Painting: “View of Mont Blanc” by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, 1813. | www.seanmunger.com
  12. The Dissertation Push: An open letter to the readers of my blog. | www.seanmunger.com
  13. Masterpiece or bomb? The baffling experience of “Last Year At Marienbad.” | www.seanmunger.com
  14. The Strait of Magellan: A passage through time and space. | www.seanmunger.com
  15. The master editor of horror: A salute to Don D’Auria. | www.seanmunger.com
  16. The year in pictures: My favorite blog images from 2015. | www.seanmunger.com
  17. Houses of my dreams: Exploring the architecture of my subconscious mind. | www.seanmunger.com
  18. An empty chair in the library: Remembering the brilliance of Umberto Eco. – www.seanmunger.com
  19. Coming Soon! “The Valley of Forever”: The podcast. – www.seanmunger.com
  20. The podcast is live: Episode 1 of “The Valley of Forever” is now up! – www.seanmunger.com
  21. Earth: Meeks Patch Island (uninhabited), near Eleuthera, the Bahamas. – www.seanmunger.com
  22. “The Valley of Forever” podcast: Episode 14, “The Globe of Time,” is now available. – www.seanmunger.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: