You guys, I've done it: I've finished the thorn girls short story.
And by short I mean 9,156 / 10,750 words (depending on whether you count by human rules or printer's rule), so, um, yeah, not exactly short. In fact, it's what I affectionately like to call one of those unsellable lengths between a short story and a novel.
And by finished I mean I have a working first draft that I'm not ashamed to show people, and will doubtless need more work but I'm pretty sure said work, from this point on, will be polishing only, not structural. (Please, please, please let it not need any more structural work. This story has been taken apart and put back into exactly the same shape only different so many times I've lost count. Not to mention numerous brain cells in the process.)
This poor little frankenstein of a story was first started halfway through 2007, which takes a bit of believing even for me. I always forget that writing a short story is no quicker for me than writing a novel — in fact sometimes it's slower. Although in all honesty a great deal of the slowness in this case had to do with the story being constantly temporarily abandoned in favour of higher priorities, such as the editing passes on Shadow Queen and Shadow Bound.
There's something heady about the moment you know you have an actual draft, a "finished" draft. Somewhat akin to the moment you pull your hands back from adding the final card to a house of cards, holding your breath for fear of triggering the collapse and realising no, it's steady.
If I had the means on hand, I would totally be getting celebratorily drunk right now.