I'm very, very close to finishing the first draft of my first novella. I find myself slowing down as I get to the end, perhaps because I'm afraid to finish it - because then comes the hard part: the second draft. It's the second draft that will determine whether this thing is going to work out. Right now my novella is like a two year old - cute and full of potential, but also garbled, erratic, and undeveloped. If I can fast forward this sucker into a painful adolesence, then it will be worth the nights waiting up, the fears of it falling in with the wrong crowd, the surliness and rebellion. If it insists on progressing at normal developmental rates, well, I don't have that kind of patience. So I'm crossing my fingers for a growth spurt.