The last words in my book Living in Twilight were written last night. I celebrated in a not-very-bold statement on Facebook, tempered by my wuss-tastic addition of “I think” preceding “I’m done.” This raises these points:

The book isn’t done.

I have a lot of laundry to do.

My son is not impressed.

My skills as a writer will now be tested to pen a really excellent cover letter to faceless people who will judge whether or not my book is a worthy book or just another book.

If it’s deemed just another book, I will be depressed. Then I will look at the bookshelves in Powell’s and weep because there are so many “just another book” books being sold in great numbers.

If my book is a worthy book, it will be a very long time before I hold a copy in my hands.

Also, people will read all about my family and what a bunch of heathens we are. I fear a great backlash from the Religious Right.

On the other hand, nothing speaks to PR like backlash. Maybe I’ll send a copy to the Religious Right.

The title has nothing to do with vampires, Edward, Bella or werewolves. People who look at my book because they associate “twilight” with “Edward” will be gravely disappointed when they read a book about my Dad.

Dad really liked vampire stories though.

Maybe it is about vampires!

No, it’s really not. It’s about cancer.

The New York Times Book Review already hates my book because it’s about a parent with cancer. They said so in a column written last month. This is disconcerting.

Who the hell is The New York Times, anyway? Some old Grey Lady? Whatever. My book is a Four-Color Diva with attitude, bitches!

Speaking of color, because my book has full-color paintings and drawings on almost every spread, it’s going to be an expensive MF to print.


Wait. Am I cheating on my beloved books if I recognize the value of digital bytes?

Damn. This book really deserves ink and paper.

This is just a subjective opinion, of course.

Though the correct one.

The book is done in one sense: I wrote the last line. Now I have to find all the dimensions of all the art featured in the book. There’s a lot of it. All the titles. Dad was pretty crummy about writing titles on things. Re-shoot pictures which are blurry. I’m a fairly crap photographer. Thank god my brother is a pro – he shot everything else.

Oops. There are two unfinished chapters.

Lucky for me the last line of the book is, “There is no last chapter.”

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QUENBY MOONE used to be a graphic designer who wrote once in a while. After her father came down with a touch of Stage IV prostate cancer, she became a writer who did graphic design once in a while.

She's written a book called Living in Twilight (no relation to vampires - unless dying of cancer is a part of Edward's story) in which her design skills came in handy, and includes some of her stories featured on The Nervous Breakdown.

39 responses to “Notes on a Facebook Post: Holy Crap. I Think I’m Done.

  1. Art Edwards says:

    Hearty congrats, Q.

    Now get down here in the mud with the rest of us.


  2. Zara Potts says:

    Stuff the LIKE button!
    This is awesome news, Q. I am so proud of you. To have gone through all you have and managed to write it all down and finish – that is achievement with a capital A. A for awesome.

    • Quenby Moone says:


      But wait. What I went through is what every other schmuck on the planet has gone or will go through, so while it has a certain universality to it, also:


      Thanks, though. I’m proud that I just managed to write multiple chapters about the same subject.

  3. Take some time, do a few loads of laundry and revel in it all! Believe it or not… this next part is where all the fun begins. If the book is anything like your pieces here on TNB, well, the NYT might just have to change their mind about cancer memoirs…..

    • Quenby Moone says:

      The laundry. THE LAUNDRY! Spider Man has Octo-Dude, Superman has Kryptonite. I have laundry. I think I need to evaluate the supply chain and introduce disposables at some point in the process. It might be in the Milo chain; I’m thinking of taking out a patent on compostable shirts.

      I have no idea what happens next. You guys seem to live in a world populated by the Mysteries of Eleusis. Will I have to wear a funny hat or get hazed if someone picks the book up?

      Thanks, Robin. I live to watch the NYT eat their words.

  4. Gloria says:

    Dude. Congratu-fucking-lations.

    You forgot to mention the massive editing that comes next. Whoopee!

    Seriously, though. That’s fantastic Q. You wrote book. Rad.


    Good luck and reach out if you need me.

    • Gloria says:

      You wrote a book is what I meant to say. I didn’t mean to talk like a caveman.

      You wrote book. Book is good. You smash things now.

      • Quenby Moone says:

        Mmmmmm. Book good. Cavegirl write nice book. Get picked up by bloodthirsty tribal council.

        Thanks, Gloria. Be careful offering the reach-out (not the reach-around which is altogether different). You may just get taken up on it!

        Plus, cocktails!

  5. Lorna says:

    Yay! I’ll just be patiently waiting for it to hit the shelves. Congratulations, Quenby!

  6. J.M. Blaine says:

    Is there still a religious right?

    I wonder who the personification
    of that in 2011 would be?

    A guy here told me the other day
    that when Jerry Falwell died
    & all the religious figures
    started looking like beatniks
    & Kings of Leon roadies
    where do we go for villains?

    “There is no last chapter”

    I love that
    so much

    • Gloria says:

      Jerry Falwell died
      & all the religious figures
      started looking like beatniks
      & Kings of Leon roadies


      I’ll bet one day in your head is a trip, JM Blaine.

    • Quenby Moone says:

      This is an excellent point! I hadn’t considered that the Religious Right was sort of headless right now. Interesting. I don’t know who to send my book to now.

      Maybe I’ll just hedge my bets and send one to Palin and another to Glenn Beck. Not the Religious Right per se, but I’m sure they’ll know what to do!

      Thanks on the loving the last line. It’s particularly true since my husband just handed me a stack of edits.

  7. Joe Daly says:

    Q-Money (because you are)-

    Congrats. What a huge deal. This is an enormously helpful piece to people like me who are getting ready to hawk our literary wares. The apprehension and concerns you communicate are easy to relate to, which speaks directly to the strength of your writing style.

    I’ve found that compelling writing makes a book for me. I’ve been disappointed reading books on subjects I love, and blown away by books on subjects that formerly held little interest for me. What I’m getting at is that I’ve got to believe that as long as you write with authenticity and passion, your book will find a hungry public.

    Good luck and of course, keep us posted.

    • Quenby Moone says:

      Q-Money! That is the most bad-ass nickname I’ve received in years, and I’ve heard a lot with this name, lemme tell you!

      It’s terrifying, right? I’m not alone in my terror, even though isolated behind our little laptop screens in different places all over the country? Because it feels terrifying. Exciting and terrifying.

      It’s a fabulous point about the quality of the writing making the book. In fact if I go over the list of my favorite non-fiction, the books which are my favorite are almost always about things I might not have given a rip about were it not for the author’s skill in weaving a tale. I certainly didn’t care about how potatoes were grown until I read “The Botany of Desire” which positively changed my ideas about how non-fiction could be written. And I’m reading a book now (hopefully soon to be featured here on the ol’ TNB) which is stunning in its simplicity and about, of all things, snails. One of my favorites over the last year was “The Coldest Winter” about the Korean War, and I was not only engrossed by the story but the writing.

      Thanks, Joe. It’s always good to keep it in perspective. It’s about the writing, not necessarily the subject. You keep us posted too. I love to know where we’re all at.

  8. Simon Smithson says:

    Man. I love it when a plan comes together. I also love finishing stuff. It’s such a sweet goddamn feeling.

    Q-Money, keep it up!

    • Quenby Moone says:

      Finishing stuff! Wow! I love finishing stuff! I really love finishing 365 pages of stuff! That’s a lot of stuff to finish!

      (Although Lars already handed me a stack of edits….so, not finished.)

  9. Erika Rae says:

    I kind of have this dream. It involves the Reverend Phelps standing in front of my house with a bunch of wackos bearing signs and throwing things like turnips at my house. (The kids are safe at Grandma’s, of course.) Now I know that if this happens upon release of my book, I can call a friend. This brings me great comfort.

    Proud of you, Q-Money. I sort of dig that nickname, by the way.

    • Simon Smithson says:

      LOVING the nickname Q-Money.

      • Quenby Moone says:

        Again, I think the name is cooler than I am. I’m not sure if anyone should wear a name cooler than they are.

        • Joe Daly says:

          You know the rules- you don’t get any say in your nickname.

          Role with it, Q-Money!

        • Quenby Moone says:

          Damn. I know you’re right, because every time I got a nickname, I definitely didn’t have a choice. I’m just going to have to find my “cool.” I think I left it back in my twenties.

    • Quenby Moone says:

      Phelps! When I was but a pup and learning to be a video editor, I cut my teeth on a documentary which featured an awful lot of that bozo. I would be profoundly honored to know you if you had Phelps and his band of hateful bigots at your door. I would raise a counter-army with not only turnips, but rutabagas and really heavy squash, which I would catapult into his small band of douchebags with rub-on tattoos hidden in the flesh of the veggies, which would, upon hitting them, tattoo them with things like, “I’m gay and Fred is too,” or “In my secret life, I love to wear women’s shoes.” I hate those bastards.

      I look forward to it! I think the name Q-Money might be too cool for me, though.

      • dwoz says:

        I’ve actually seen the WBC troupe! They came to my hometown when the NH Anglican diocese consecrated a gay bishop.

        Really REALLY hard to imagine what’s going on in their heads.

  10. Irene Zion says:


    This is going to be a beautiful book.
    I am so proud of you.
    (HA! no last chapter!)

  11. Ronlyn Domingue says:

    Please forgive me for indulging in a dollop of writer envy. She’s done…God, do I even remember what that feels like?!!!!

    BUT REALLY, CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Yes, of course, there will be things to tweak and add and change a bit, but the first great leap of the work–the getting it down in the first place–is complete. You know that old line–there’s nothing new under the sun. But what IS new is the unique perspective you share. Hold your faith in that.

    YAY QUENBY!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Quenby Moone says:

      Writer envy! I never thought about it before, but that is something I’ve suffered from for years. Symptoms include coveting, pique and bouts of pouting. Yes, an affliction I’m very familiar with.

      Thanks, Ronlyn. It’s perhaps not everyday I get to spout “I’m done!” on TNB (sorry, Brad–it was a moment of impetuousness.) But damn, I’m never going to finish my first book again. My first book might be my only book, but it will always be the first–which is different somehow. The first Himalaya in a range of ever larger Himalayas, maybe?

      Oof. That makes me nervous again.

      Thanks, Ronlyn. You’ll hear from me soon!

      • Ronlyn Domingue says:

        I am now tempted to glance at the notebook I kept for my first book to see if I recorded when I was done with the first draft. I do remember the night I finished the final one and feeling a total buzz that lasted for hours. Nary a substance was involved.

        You know where to find me.

  12. Done is so nice, congratulations. I do think the most important next step is the laundry. Folding the nth sock for the nth time resets your focus and maybe even allows the brief indulged fantasy that from here you can release your writing into the world, up, up and away like a beautiful balloon, and never have to deal with it again. We can dream.

    • Quenby Moone says:

      Laundry. In a comic strip where I am the superhero, my arch nemesis is a pile of shifting laundry which follows me throughout my life, mocking me at every triumph and remaining unchanged, immovable, and immutable during every defeat.

      I cannot believe laundry is the one constant in my life.

      So as I do the nth sock, I will imagine my work rising freely into the world, a little sock-mantra of light and release–only to realize the dog has stockpiled about seven socks in his crate.

      Thanks, Nathaniel!

  13. angela says:

    yay, congrats!

    i just finished putting in the final (hopefully) edits for my memoir, which i’m self-publishing. now it *is* the fun part – cover design and marketing! (as much fun as marketing can be.)

    looking forward to hearing more about your book!

    • Quenby Moone says:

      I love the design parts! I guess that makes sense since I’m a graphic designer. And in truth, my book didn’t feel real until I began adding the images. Which I guess is a little weird…but it just didn’t gel for me until then.

      Thanks, Angela–and GO TEAM TNB!

  14. Jessica Blau says:

    CONGRATS! I’m happy for you and excited for you–and my fingers are crossed for ALL GREAT THINGS to come to you with this book (and in life, in general!).

    Also, I have found that the best way to keep my anxiety away from a finished book is to write another book. Or do laundry.

    • Quenby Moone says:

      Thanks, Jessica! Having just finished Drinking Closer to Home, I can say without question that you and I share some curious historical similarities–I’ll bet it would be a very, very entertaining meeting. If a book tour brings you to Portland, I will take you to fabulous restaurants and we can gab about wacky childhoods.

      As to the good wishes, I will take them because I need all the help I can get! And the laundry pile keeps growing, but I’m still not writing another book. Do you think this is a bad omen?

  15. Matt says:

    Great news to read, just as I’m getting ready to start writing one myself.

    Pour those voices a beer and tell them, in no uncertain terms, to shut the fuck up.

    You did it. It’s a big deal.

    Good for you.

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