It has been a little over a week since I started writing furiously on my new novel. Here’s my A Thousand Years – NaNoWriMo update: I’ve written 18,154 words so far. I’m so proud of myself. Why even deny it? I’m excited.
I am working really hard at not doing things I normally do when it comes to writing. The biggest thing that slows me down is that I can’t resist the urge to edit as I go. I will often go back and read my fiction to remember what I’ve written. That inevitably leads to me editing, as I pick at the first draft. Nearly every writer I have ever read says this isn’t such a great idea. And yet I’ve always done it. Doh!
I haven’t done much reading this time. When I did read a couple of days back, I definitely saw the issues. But I let it go. I’m focusing on getting the skeleton of this novel down and reaching at least 50,000 words this month.
With the election this week and watching non-stop news, I fell behind on the momentum I gained early. Mostly because my anxiety over the results kept me . . . uninspired. That said, I did write here or there – just not as much. I’m still doing pretty good though. The NaNoWriMo counter consistently shows I need to write less than my own personal word count goal (which I love).
I hit my word count goal a little before 4:00 PM today and decided to take a break, to work on getting ready for my work week and decorating more of my apartment for Christmas. But a true sign that the words and inspiration are flowing, is the fact that I’m bummed I had to stop (when I reached my word count goal for the day). This is a great feeling. I’m sure my fellow writers understand.
Are you writing? Are you hitting your word count goal? What’s keeping you going these days?
I am made of salt and sand and the deep jade green of the Atlantic. The salt air courses through my veins. This place, these waves, the sea glass and shells with rounded edges, beaten constantly in the surf, are the pieces and places of my very soul. The heady scent of the ocean air tells me I’m finally home, though I’m not at all conscious of having lived near this shore. In the setting sun of a July evening, the billowing thunderheads in the distance play with the sun. Shadows and light dance on the surface of the ocean at once bringing out the sparkle, and then moments later shrouding the light in darkness. “So this is it?” I ask no one. Home. The word and all of its implications fill me with competing emotions. I look back towards the car, parked a hundred yards away in the parking lot of the town’s traffic circle. It’s the center of this beach town, on the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina.
I turn back to the ocean and breathe deeply, taking it all in. Just up the road is the house I bought, sight unseen, sitting first row, pointed towards the sea. I have spent a lifetime, nearly thirty-eight years, dreaming of what it would be like to find the place where I began, to return to my beginnings. To the place where I had been knit together in my mother’s womb. When I was a child, before I had been adopted and floated between countless foster and group homes, I made day trips to the beaches of Southern California. In the course sand of those crowded beaches, I convinced myself that I might as well have been a mermaid for all I really knew. One thing I knew for sure, in the deepest part of my being? I belonged to the sea.
Somehow, as I would stand there, as a kid, wearing my church charity last year’s style bathing suit, I knew that the sea called me, and would continue to call me . . . home.
On Facebook, I’ve shared some quick, “new” fiction.
One, flash fiction of sorts, can be found HERE. It’s a love story in less than 500 words. It sounds like something from my Macon & Ava’s story. Maybe it will go in the sequel?
“He, the beautiful man of the hard way, is a challenge I am sometimes convinced I can’t meet. Even after all these years. Today, in a quiet moment in the midst of a busy day, I thought about the way his eyes hold mine. There has been fire and light for me in his eyes – for me, for as long as I can remember. Me. His fierceness lights me from the inside out with just one look.”
Brushing a girl’s hair
behind her ear
once a day
will solve more problems
than all those
I’m writing a love story. I thought I was stuck. Last weekend, I thought I’d never get past this mess of my own heart. The pieces still broken – fearing hope.
But the story lay hidden beneath the fear – the fear living closer to the surface.
Something changed yesterday though. I’m writing the story. I found the words. I found what I needed through a quiet challenge from God in the middle of my CPR/First Aid class – have faith. Someday maybe I’ll explain that in detail.
But for now, the love story I most want to write, is being written.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. – Maya Angelou
This love I have wanted to write about? It’s the kind of love that is rooted in friendship. It’s the kind of love that gives you a vision of your future in someone else’s eyes. It’s the kind of love that ignites your belief in another’s gifts and talents far beyond what they even see for themselves.
It’s the kind of love that is passion and fire but comfort and normal. It’s the kind of love that brings a sense of calm in the midst of trial, when he brushes your hair behind your ear – his tenderness toward you is all you need. Or maybe how with one look, he knows what you need before you even speak. And above all else, it’s the kind of love shared by two broken people that didn’t fit anywhere else.
It’s the kind of love you do the hard way.
So I guess we’ll have to do it the hard way. – Keith Urban
I’m responding in faith in a lot of areas right now, my writing is no different. This is the story I most want to write.