Posted on 241 Comments

Universe

 This is the end of the story for Geoff and Nia. It is tremendously sad but somehow life-affirming. Some of the scenes I wrote here were so difficult to get through and yet I enjoyed every minute of it.

Universe is a love song to this couple.  I spent so much time with them I’m shaking at the thought of having to move on. This is a 300,000 word story about one family. Holy cow.

Funny thing is, I have to keep reminding myself, the universe bestowing gifts to them—when it does—is me. I’m their universe and to me, they exist.

241 thoughts on “Universe

  1. Wait, OK whoa, I'm feeling dumb and now there's a free story on the line, what are we doing!?

  2. Ohhhh! OK Rocco's kid comes to mind.

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  5. Lol I'm so confused, and I want to play the game but I don't know if it will post.

  6. 2B2H: ha ha, your posts are not showing here but they're coming to my gmail. I guess we'll count that as one, sure! there are more…One is really weird…

  7. Ohhh… Could it be Geoff's obsession with maple syrup or am I thinking too deep?

  8. Ah, you already got your free story…Was maple syrup in the first LHW?

  9. I took all the easy one's. Sorry guys I got lucky staying in right now!I was thinking Mapplethorpe … maple syrup … meh, it crossed when I read it.I know you Canadians like Maple syrup, but it sticks out to us down in the states. LOL

  10. BTW, nothing wrong with your blog. I've just never experienced the moment when I need to “load more” at the bottom of the page.

  11. I know parts of Alaska are inaccessible by car…that's kind of what I imagine Moosonee is like.Yep, I'm in the good old USA, with our stubborn usage of miles per hour and fahrenheit…32 degrees may be hot for Downsview in August, but it would an ordinary winter day down here 😉

  12. I was going to say Pete but you beat me to it…took me a sec to see the “load more” button…almost posted my message twice.

  13. 32 yes, but 50 with the humidex! that made me laugh because I know Americans don't have a humidex. That's an approximate 120 in your degrees.

  14. Pete wasn't one I was thinking of as on purpose. A lot of Italian babies are called Peter after the saint…There are two more but they are tough…

  15. Oh I thought of another one! There's 3…

  16. Yes, lots of Peters, Pauls, Joes, Frankies (for Francis), Anthonys, Johnnies, etc. in any Italian family.

  17. We call it the “heat index” here, what it actually feels like when you factor in the relative humidity. And if it was that hot in Toronto, I can only imagine what it was like in Manhattan, where Augusts are intolerable. Hope Krista's air conditioning was working!

  18. OK, I am curious but you can tell me to bow out. I'm thinking Rocco and Tyler's tats? Or is that just obligatory bad boy detail? Lol

  19. Been in the air all day getting back home. Just saw some of these posts.First, I've always thought the emotional edginess you do better than anyone else I've read, combined with a stronger male character (stronger, tougher than the bull, assuming a hotwife genre), but maybe suffering from some emotional damage like PTSD or some other big emotional event. Character would be a true alpha, big, strong, but with a caring soul that provides his direction in life.Not sure what you're looking for as shout outs or callbacks in LHW1 in LHW2? I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere, or fell asleep during your senior level Creative Writing class discussion that goes on in this blog. Although I probably don't have a chance of winning anyway with hotshots like 2B=2H.As you properly guessed, you made my day with your announcement of restarting Cayman Proxy. I would send you flowers if I knew where to send them. Anyway,thanks.

  20. Are you looking for common themes or?

  21. Actually have made maple syrup from scratch a few times… 40 gal of sap for 1 gal of syrup. Makes great Christmas gifts for my brothers and sisters though

  22. Oh well,kinda feel like I am playing a game but don't know the rules, or if I am even on the right field.

  23. Hey Guhrka. They're references in LHW2 that sort of are a nod to the first book. Like the “Book of Choo” and Pete's love of trains.

  24. How about the dog? Both families have dogs?

  25. Thanks for the help

  26. It's a stretch, but Pete put his fist thru his car dashboard, and Rocco put his through a wall, and so did Tyler?

  27. Not sure that is a nod between the two books though

  28. Well, I give up, been up too long today. Good luck everyone, assuming the game is still going on.

  29. What happened to the blog entries i0i just put in?

  30. I'm about to paint a bright red target on my chest. I haven't read every post here, but the consensus for this last book in the series seems to be very positive. I'm afraid my assessment is different. I don't say so to upset or offend anyone, but I think honest feedback is very important in any line of work. It's a means of quality control that keeps talented and dedicated people performing according to their gifts.To me, the happy ending of “Universe” seemed false and contrived. All of Nia's preferences, dark desires, and character flaws seemed to vanish into the ether. Her about-face was so sudden I felt like I was reading about a new character. I may appear to be a nihilist, but I was expecting a tragedy. It was anything but. Life seldom turns out as rosy as it did for Nia and Geoff, especially after what they went through. It was just too pat – Geoff gets rich and semi-famous, Odie is Geoff's baby, as is the one currently growing in Nia's belly. In the last scene, we are left with a Norman Rockwell-type picture – a happy family in a beautiful, cozy home. There's even a dog to complete this tableau of domesticity. The only thing missing was a picket fence. By the time I reached this point, I was no longer able to suspend disbelief. It was a big disappointment. To illustrate my point, how famous would “Romeo and Juliet” be if the final scene saw the two of them in a passionate embrace with members of both families smiling at them in affection and approval? It would be about as well-known as “Triolus and Cressida.”Fantasy has its place in storytelling, but so does tragic reality. The latter is real, relatable, and allows us to examine and hopefully expunge our own demons within the context of make-believe. I think KT is a brilliant writer, so I'm not going to leave a review at Amazon that reflects what I'm saying here. My thinking is that she was under a great deal of fan pressure to paste a happily-ever-after ending to this saga. That's on us.I think these readers' forums have their place, but I get concerned when said readers assume too much of a controlling interest in how the characters develop and what direction the story takes. When you're dealing with substantive characters like Geoff and Nia, they take on a life of their own. However, we must remember that they are the creation of the author. They are her “babies,” if you will, and a baby should have only one mother.If I've offended anyone, I apologize. That wasn't my intention. It's just my way to be honest with people, though I always try to couch this honesty in the velvet glove of consideration for others' feelings. Hopefully, I've done a decent job of that here.

  31. Not offended here. I'm on record as saying the ending was happier than I expected. I do disagree with you PS, but that is ok. Intelligent readers SHOULD have different takes. And I hope you are wrong in the thought that KT felt any pressure from the posters here, though she wouldn't be the first Author to react to the fans. I don't get that from the read though. No, the characters stayed remarkably consistent throughout from my point of view, especially after a reread. But again, it's ok that you took something different away. I for one appreciate your honesty.

  32. I don't take issue with any of your criticisms of the story; everyone has their own opinion. I don't agree with a number of things you wrote, but I'm certainly not offended.But I do think it's unfair to theorize that KT was influenced to change the story by readers. I think its pretty clear that's not the case; that she had a very clear vision of the story, and any changes were made because her vision of the characters changed as she was writing. The characters are her “babies” as you say; or as she describes it, she's the universe bestowing all things on them. She would never allow an outside influence to change something she felt in her heart was the right thing to write. IMO, when you say things like that you are minimizing all the effort she put into the story over the last several months. I think if you go back and read the thread, especially her own comments, its clear she put an extraordinary level of detail and thought in every aspect of this story.

  33. Guhrka! I'm putting this where you can see it (hopefully). All of your comments are shown. We have so many comments that you have to press “load more” at the bottom of the screen. I just learned this too 🙂

  34. PS – I think this is how you should go about criticizing a writer! It gives deference to someone who everyone on here knows has done INCREDIBLE work, or if that doesn't please you, put an INCREDIBLE amount of effort to put this together. I disagree with your assessment, and this as a person who kind of agrees that they wanted to see the tragedy you were hoping for. I think you could see that ending coming for a long ways. As far down the path as Nia was, she never lost sight of her love for Geoff, not in one scene. Personally, I wanted those scenes I mention to be evidence that Nia is clinging to her dying love of Geoff … I think the ending shows that it never waned, we just needed a stronger Geoff to be willing to believe it from her. I'd love for KT to let us know when she knew Odie was actually Geoff's because maybe that should put that thought to rest, but even if it's last week (like her choice not to kill Rocco that she talks about above), I'm confident those were the best choices in her eyes, regardless of how the readers may have received it. Incidentally, KT writes above that she was toying with the “Rocco dying” ending that was going to lead Geoff and Nia (perhaps begrudingly) getting back together months ago, before anyone could have possibly influenced her ending. That was a happy-ish ending before opinions started being passionate from her readers.I think you underestimate KT's ability to tune us out, and forum contributors' ability to adapt to whatever KT ultimately does. Yes she's said that she is inspired by her readers, but only to clarify, and to possibly entice/tease. I don't know, I'm not sure what she does with our input, but she's never given any indication that she reacts to our input to the point where she's influenced by it. She's already stated that she's going to write her stories the way she wants to, in the survey she wrote us however many months ago, she just wants to see how things are landing. Recall she said in that blog that she's concluded that people want her to just keep doing what she's doing. That should show you that her feedback amounted to her keeping the status quo that INCLUDES tragedies, because that was at a time where the only ending to any series was LHW1.As for the posters, most of the HEA crowd has been here since LHW1, and so they've all seen what she's capable of. They hadn't gone anywhere then, and they won't now. She may even be convinced they secretly like the opposite of a HEA ending but won't admit it. Having a go right there, I have no idea what she knows or they think. None of these posters have even given her any indication of an ultimatum of their support based on a happy ending, so to think she even feels guilted into a happy ending isn't true, imo. Besides, you might be wrong that even a plurality of her readers want the kind of ending we got, she may have actually been taking a tougher stand giving us the happy ending we got.Finally, is the ending that happy? KT has already weighed in on the concept that this was a happy ending above. She agrees, but to an extent, it's more nuanced, as is usual with KT. I personally have been able to take that grey area and insert some darkness, and she has not been willing to change that perspective, or perhaps better stated, doesn't care what I do with it. Because she doesn't care HOW we feel about it, just that we care. If that makes sense.She'll continue to write whatever ending fits. “The endings are the endings” she says above, we'll see tragedies again when they arise. It feels like a coin toss to me, which keeps me more intrigued than knowing she'll always write bad endings.

  35. Specifically that they involved Dragons.

  36. Shoot, you'll never see this unless you actually press the “load more” button. Hope you figure it out.

  37. Gurhka gets a story! Dashboard and dragon tattoos. Rocco and Pete both put a beating on their car stereos.

  38. Thank you PS, I appreciate your honesty. I'm writing a response and I will post it as a new blog post when I'm done. Comments can move over there because it's getting a little flooded in this one…

  39. Omg KT I burned thru the 8 books in four days and if were not for work and other obligations I'd have finished in two. You amazed me with the first LHW series and now absolutely blew me away with this one.I was half way to a heart attack when Rocco got mad at Nia in the bathroom..then you did it again on the road. Throughly enjoyable story. Amazing attention to detail..looking forward to reading your next story after I fully recover from this one.Great job! Keep writing, and I'm going to purchase this as a gift for a friend of mine..

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