It was the week that felt like a year. It started very well with an intimate evening of music, listening to Eddie Jobson and Marc Bonilla pay tribute to prog rock greats John Wetton and Keith Emerson by telling stories about them and interpreting their songs rather impressively for a two-person gig. An actual date night with hubs, so one of my weekly goals met immediately in an environment entirely conducive to getting the creative juices flowing.
By Wednesday, though, the cold I thought I was getting over morphed into laryngitis with a burning sore throat. So I spent two days sleeping. Thursday, I began panicking: I had four days to write 7K words to meet my editor’s deadline. Thursday night, I managed 400. Friday night, I reconnected with my #wordmongering buddy and managed 1,810 words. It was the first time I’d been that productive since I’d begun my MBA in September 2012. Last night… I blew that effort out of the water and wrote 3,052 words. I woke up this morning knowing that I could finish the story I’ve been promising my readers for at least four years.
I did it.
The story only needed another 1,393 words to reach its end, and then there was much rejoicing. I’ve had finishing Fire to Dragon as a ROW80 goal for longer than I care to admit. I did a cover reveal for it almost exactly two years ago. The second book in the series came out in March of 2013, so it’s taken more than four years of teeth-gnashing to get myself to a completed manuscript.
I’ll tease you with the page I had open to spur on my creativity to blast through the final stretch.
(Pro tip: Finish what you start when you start it, and don’t go chasing after plot bunnies. I’ve released five other stories in the interim.)
That I would manage to finish on Mother’s Day, when a component of the transformation Anne undergoes includes becoming a mother, is bittersweet to me. (It’s not a coincidence that the three Russian dragons she meets have the initials IVF.) I ran across a reference to artist Martin Hudáček, a Slovakian who created a memorial to the child who was never born. It blew the scab off of my recent sorrow, and reinforced the irony that the woman who campaigned for the creation of the holiday died hating how commercialized it had become.
On the other end of that spectrum, I learned about Brene Brown this week, and the quote from her book: “We are the brave and brokenhearted. We are rising strong.”
Which leads me directly to an article hubs shared about the current American psychiatric dogma that labels anti-authoritarian folks as mentally ill. It makes a lot of sense when you consider how hard it is to follow a herd when there’s an outlying voice drawing your attention away from the common conclusions of your society. So I’ll pour fuel on that fire and point you to a link that helps you submit a comment to the FCC to advocate for a free and open Internet.
For my final weekly goal, I still kept my average daily step count over 3K–despite two days of barely leaving my bed. It’s a testament to how much Tashie has improved that she races out the door with as much enthusiasm as the two younger ones these days, and has the stamina to keep going for well over a mile. On one of our walks this week, we learned that one of our neighbors is originally from Tibet. When she heard me calling Tashie’s name (because Tashie was DETERMINED to be the family ambassador and meet this lady!), she told me that in Tibetan, Tashie means “joy”. A nice congruence for how much happiness she brings our family.
I’m at such loose ends having completed my major goal for this round I’m almost light-headed. I’m not sure which project I’ll pick up next, either. (If you want to vote, I have an idea for another in the Katarr universe; I have the trilogy that builds on Wytchfire; I have the option of a follow-on to Dementional; or even follow-ons to The Builders; or a story based on a dream about sentient caves that needed humans to give voice to their needs; or some more nebulous, entirely new ideas…) This week, though, I think I’ll give myself space to breathe. We’re talking about a date night to go see Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which has me entirely too excited. I have a number of big deadlines at the office, though, too, so it will be good not to be worrying about personal deadlines for once. In the meantime, here’s the link to the rest of the ROW80 crew. I’ll be back next week to let you know if I’ve come to any decisions.