Monday, May 12, 2014

The mother of all days

OK, I know I'm cheating here because I'm blogging and not noveling, but I feel that after more than two years of blogging about noveling (and probably more than four years of attempting to novel) that I wanted to offer proof that progress is being made. So here it is:

This is  a screenshot of the current word count of my work in progress. Since 50,000 is the benchmark for winning in NaNoWriMo, I was really excited to reach this point. And, though I still have many thousands of words more to finish, it's all seeming so much more … I don't know … attainable right now. 

Of course, that's 52,157 raw, unedited and partially disorganized words that I'm half dreading/half thrilled to be able to go back and revise. But it's something.

And I owe this week's progress to my super-thoughtful husband who on Wednesday sat down with me and told me that for Mother's Day, he wanted to give me the weekend to do whatever I wanted to do. 

I've long held this secret desire to escape for a weekend and do nothing but write in some secluded, inspiring place -- so it seemed like he was reading my mind. 

While I didn't write the whole weekend, I did have two long stretches devoted to working on the novel. I kicked off Saturday with a yoga class, I wrote for three hours in a coffee shop then visited one of my best friends in Virginia -- who graciously allowed me to invite myself over and crash at her place for the night and also gave me the opportunity to eat a whole dinner without having to clean up a spill or share my plate with an always-mooching 2 year old. I woke up early on Sunday and drove up to the farm and spent another few hours writing here: 

The desk.
The view.
Then I came home. 

And the girls were so happy to see me -- which was the best Mother's Day gift* they could give me. (All stay-at-home moms need to experience being the one coming home to the delighted shrieks and hugs of their little ones, who apparently have no concept of time because even when you've only been gone for a day, they greet you as if you've been disappeared without a trace for at least six months). 

They gave me these adorable and Pinterest-worthy pieces of art (assisted by their super-crafty dad):

Suck it Hallmark.
And I haven't even gotten to the best part, which is that the kitchen floor was clean. Like, glistening, freshly scrubbed forget-the-five-second-rule,-that-piece-of-food-can-spend-20-minutes-on-the-floor (unless the dog gets it first)-and-you-can-still-eat-it clean.

It's glorious.

See, I told you Brad was wonderful. He wrangled two nap-averse kids, crafted, cooked and cleaned the house all in 24 hours. 

That's how you do Mother's Day.

So … if anyone has suggestions for out-of-this-world Father's Day gifts, I'm all ears.

 * I have to admit, that given all the mom-spending-the-day-with-her-doting-children images on Facebook, goopy Hallmark commercials, and the long line at the Dunkin Donuts Sunday morning, I did feel like a bit of an asshole spending the day on my own. On the other hand … absence does make the heart grow fonder ... 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Re-prioritizing my to-do list

Dear family, friends and various readers in China and the Ukraine who Google stats say are loyal followers (I only wish I knew how you ended up on my speck of sand in the world wide web, but alack, all of the referring sites are in Cyrillic.), I am not on a celebrity cruise, nor have I been kidnapped by squirrels or severely dismembered by my overly excitable dog during yet another ill-conceived walk through my neighborhood.

The outline: Here it is in all of it's better-late-than-never,
non-sensical, incomplete and indecipherable glory.
For the past two and a half years I've tried to blog weekly about whatever was on my mind (i.e.: whatever annoying thing the dog had done recently) as a way to keep my writing skills sharp and air out my musty brain. In the process of blog maintenance, however, I've neglected my other inside voices -- those characters in my novel that I'm perpetually whining about yet secretly miss every day. Their voices have been louder lately -- as have those of various friends who keep insisting (and rightfully so) that I just finish the damn thing already and move on with my life. 

So I'm doing that. Like for real this time, I'm doing that.

I dusted off my 'ol novel outline. Typed it up. Revised it. Highlighted unfinished parts. And now I'm going to go back and finish them.

So I'm going to neglect the blog instead of neglecting the manuscript. Which should've been the plan all along, but you know, we humans are easily distracted. 

I'm hoping future updates will detail progress and the resulting thrill of progress. In the meantime, I'll keep on typing on. Or something like that. Catch you at the end. (Well, that's not precisely true, I've already written the end. So I suppose I'll catch you in the middle somewhere … but who knows, maybe the end will change. Life and noveling is funny like that.)