Archives for May 2009

She Dribbles, She Shoots, She Scores!

OK, that’s about as close to any sports talk you’ll get on this blog and I’m not even sure I said it right.  And what I mean to say is I hit 50,000 words on my book!  It feels GOOD to see 50,435 on my word count!  Things are starting to wrap up in the book.  Just a few scenes left and I ended on a good note tonight.  So for now, I’m all smiles.

State of the Union at 49,541

Not sure why I’m being so dramatic about this but here ya go…

Melissa wanted me to join Nanowrimo in November 2008.  Nanowrimo requires a participant to write 50,000 words to be considered a winner.   I didn’t participate but at first I tried to keep up with the 2600 minimum word count per day.  Near impossible.  We were right in the middle of TV season (which requires extra blog work for me), the girls’ birthdays were in November and Thanksgiving and Christmas were just around the corner.  50,000 words became a maybe-in-another-lifetime, or at least another-year, goal.
But a plot was forming in my head and characters and suddenly I was excited about getting the story on paper.  Not because it was the best  plot ever or the best characters or full of the best page turning moments but just because I had thought of enough ideas, that strung together, someone could, if given the time, write 50,000 words about.
But writing was still an effort.  I started with one scene that became the opening and then another that I figured would sit 3/4 of the way through the book.  The rest though?  I struggled through.  Filling in all the gaps of the plot was hard.  Figuring out who my characters are and where they came from and why they do what they do was really hard.  I started calling it my non-novel because surely I would never be able finish.

But I plodded on, maybe more out of a Type A, must-finish attitude than anything.  Or maybe it was just something else to fill my quiet nights with.  I don’t know but it’s six months later and it’s another one of those quiet nights.  I think I’ve figured out my characters, the plot has been written and I’m 459 words away from 50,000.

And it scares me to death to write them.

You would think being that close I would just start spouting off at the fingers and type any conversation I could come up with just to put me past the word count. I remember being in school and adding in all kinds of unnecessary words just to get to the word count goal.  But not with this.  I’ve spent all day fiddling with the end of my plot, recalculating the “big scene” and picking through my main character’s flaws.  I’ve written ideas and stared at the sky trying to come up with the best thing to say.  I think because part of me knows when I hit 50,000 words, I’m really close to the end.  And when it ends, I’m scared I’ll never go back to revise it, which it needs so desperately.  And if I don’t carefully write those last words, I’ll know that I didn’t do my best, that the words I wrote aren’t something to be proud of.  And maybe it’s not just the last 459 words before my goal, maybe it’s the whole book.  Maybe I’m scared that when I get to the end I’ll look back and six months of work and countless hours of planning, worrying and strategizing later, realize that it’s just 50,000 words strung together than no one wants to read.

Yes, I’m scared to fail.

And I guess in art, there is no such thing as failure.  But there is something to be said for the millions of manuscripts that go unread every year, written by millions of authors set out with so much hope and ending with thousands of words to themselves and no one with whom to share them.

Or worse yet, words that they don’t want to share.

So yeah, I’m scared to reach my goal, scared to finish. And yet, I’m going to type this last sentence, open my manuscript and write the best story I know how and just hope I’ll be able look back and smile.

Better Day

Yesterday was bad. Today was better. Oddly I had some good dreams through the night. So much that when Scott was getting Emma ready for school, I was smiling in my sleep and he asked me what I was smiling about. I was half asleep and remember that I was going to explain…right after I woke up more and could speak coherently. Now, I don’t recall what it was but I knew I had had good dreams. Funny how that affects you after you’re awake. A few other (VERY RANDOM and UNRELATED) things that made my day good:

1 – I have to thank Amanda for recommending this Staying In Love series by Andy Stanley.  Really good.  If you are married, take the time to listen.

2 – These two t-shirts

3 – And this one is going to be very unrelated to the last two, but pictures of New Moon filming came out today and squeeeee.  Does that make me a BAD Little Miss Christian??

Rough Morning

I’m sleepy.

I’m sore.

I’m tired of forgetting things for my kids at school. Or worse yet, not looking in the first place.

I’m tired of work.

I’m tired of doing favors for others.

I’m tired of politics in churches.

I’m tired of working out and eating stuff I don’t like and not losing weight.

I wish someone would take care of me.

And I have PMS.

Rough morning for me.

This song is helping.

Open Letter to a Little Girl

twirl-girl-quinn To the little girl I saw last week,

I caught a glimpse of you last week.  You were playing with a friend that looked like she could pass as your twin.  Long brown hair, brown eyes, both skinny and tall.  I would have called you a bean pole like everyone used to call me.  I have to admit I was jealous of you.  You seemed so happy, smiling at your friend’s silly ideas, running as fast as you could to catch up.  Innocent as a lamb.  You’d follow her to the slaughter if she tried.

I wondered what you would think of me if we met.  Would I seem familiar?  I have that brown hair and brown eyes you and your friend share.  The same freckles across your nose.  Would you say I was nice?  Polite?  Happy?  Would you see my daughter and think she looked familiar?  The same freckles splayed across her nose and the legs that seemed to go on forever.  Bean pole she is too.

Would you like the kind of mother I am?  Be proud of the job I have?  Wish you would have a husband like mine one day?

Would you hope that one day you would grow up to be just like me?

Because you did.

And I wonder where you went.

Because sometimes I can’t find you.

And on those days I miss your smile, your laughter, your innocence.  Even your long brown hair.  And especially your friend.

I hope I see you more often, little girl.  I miss you.