Weekday novelist

I’ve been writing.  Not here, obviously, but with this post that changes.

In April a friend and I caught up over brunch. Both of us had missed deadline after deadline completing our novels, so we made a pact: By the end of May, we both would be done, have traded copies, and met to offer suggestions.

You might guess what happened.  We missed the deadline.

We didn’t so much miss it as pause three weeks in. She had started a summer course and I was preparing for a weekend tenth anniversary getaway with my husband.  Excuses, yes, but good ones.  And really, finishing editing a novel only halfway edited to begin with, with scenes still to be written — all in one month — is pretty crazy. Last month I spent hours every day, morning and night, on this thing, and it still crept along at a snail’s pace. So we made a new plan.  Can you guess it?  Hint: Maybe we haven’t learned from the past …

Finish our novels by the end of June.

And how many days in June have I worked on my novel?  Zero.

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But good excuses come in pairs.  Like that 16-page story for a niece’s birthday I wrote last week, and that other novel I’m beginning to edit for a free online workshop with Shenandoah Valley Writers. The workshop is called Finish That Novel, and we’re following the advice of the book “The Weekend Novelist.” Most of us are reworking drafts hastily thrown together during National Novel Writing Month. And we’re doing several of the 52 weekends each week, so it won’t take us the full year or anything. Right?

Mornings with my second novel “Singing Stars” and evenings with my first love “Snow on the Mountain” — which is so, so close to done! — and work in between means I’m writing for most of my waking hours. But every day is different — heck, every morning is different from its corresponding night, and the drive to and from work has me plotting out other stories too, fixing storyline issues or characterization inconsistencies.

It’s like a writer’s retreat in my mind at any given point during my day, these days. And that’s just how I like it.

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