I'm almost finished going through the pages for my upcoming novel, 40. This will be the last time I read through it to mark up any changes that need to be made.

This has been one of those weeks of dealing with a household of sick children and coming down with a miserable bug myself. Maybe this impacted the reading of 40. There have been times when I wondered what in the world people are going to think about this novel. But as I reach the finish today, I know something.

40 might not be the best story I've written to date. But the word "best" can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.

I do know this: 40 is my most important. And it is the end of the first phase of my writing.

What will phase two look like? I have ideas but would rather write them than share input on them too soon. We're not promised tomorrow, so I don't want to start looking too far down the road.

I've tried to put up a mirror and write about what I see. I've done a lot of that for better or for worse. But maybe it's time to ditch the mirror and see what else I can see and discover.

40 comes out in May, and if you've been following my career, I hope you get a chance to pick it up. It's a beautiful but sad song. But I'm deeply proud of it and hope some readers embrace it the way I have.