Closing on the Finish

It’s a weird thing, actually, but then, the writing process, organic and raw, often strikes me as a weird thing. In this case, as I wrote yesterday and today, I thought that I’m closing on the books’ finish. By that, I mean the beta draft, of course.

This isn’t a matter of page or word counts. The first is three hundred twenty-five Word pages, and the second is seventy-seven thousand words. I’ve cut away whole chapters as the story found shape.

No, this is just a feeling suddenly that it’s all coming together for a final rush toward the ending. I wrote a sense of the ending a few weeks into the novel-in-progress, sort of a light in the tunnel to aim toward. I’ve not revisited it in over a month, I think, so I know it’ll require major revisions to incorporate all the threads and ideas that’ve germinated into storylines since.

As always, I have a mixed response to this feeling that I’m coming to the end. It reminds me of being on vacation and realizing that I’m going home in a couple of days, that vacation will end. It’s been a good time, but I’ll go on to another phase of living.

I can be wrong. The muses might be pranking me. They may jerk the rug out from underfoot at the last minute, laughing as I fall on my ass.

Or I might finish and begin reading it and then discover that it’s a miserable load of dinosaur feces masquerading as a manuscript. It’s all happened before.

I address that with a shrug these days. Writing is always a process of discovery, re-thinking what’s been found and presented, twerking changes, refining what I think I know and what should be told. Editing and revising is a shift of how it’s done but it’s a continuation and refinement of the process. That’s my view, and I’m sticking to it.

Been another satisfying and productive day of writing like crazy. You know the scene: the coffee is gone, my ass is asleep, my stomach is rumbling, and the day awaits. Time to save and close the docs and walk away, at least one more time.

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The Gold Dream

I was in a house that felt familiar, like something built in the seventies, two stories or more. The bottom story is a garage.

I’m a spectator off to one side, watching this dream. The dream begins with me standing in a room, looking at the clock, and saying, “It’s time to go.” I know that it’s very early, dark, and rainy. The others are up. They’re ready to go, waiting, like me, for the moment. We didn’t want to go too early, but it’s something that we all need to go and do.

Several of the others are my sisters. One is a brother-in-law. Others are not recognized as anyone from my life but I know that they’re more family. There are eight of us.

After I make my announcement, I go downstairs to the garage to wait. Down there, I see water pouring in from the garage’s ceiling. That’s not good, I know, wondering where it’s coming from. It’s an impressive amount. Although not consistent, it seems like the strength and volume available from a garden house.

I’m impatient to leave and call back upstairs to the others to come on. There said they were ready, so why is there now a delay? My brother-in-law comes down first. I point out the water and tell him that we’ll need to check that out later. He agrees, and we speculate about where it could be coming from.

The others come down. The garage door is opened. We go out into the rain. Crossing the dark street, we come to a field. The ground is sodden. I walk forward and find eight markers. They look like brass grave markers with raised letters. They have our names on them.

I find mine. Rain water is collecting on it. The others are talking about what they’re supposed to do. They don’t know.

I think I know what I’m supposed to do. I get down on my hands and knees in the soaked, muddy ground, and put my head on the marker. After I do that, I draw back to confirm that something is going on with the marker and see that a red dotted circle has formed on the marker. It spirals around and around and then goes green.

I tell the others that they need to lay down prone on the ground and put their foreheads on the markers. They don’t want to because of the rain, water, and mud. I tell them, “We can’t go until we’re all in position.” Reluctantly, they get down.

I watch each, confirming that their grave markers show the red dotted circles. I expect them to turn to green. My sister’s circle doesn’t turn. I tell her that she needs to put her head on her marker. She complains but does it. The light goes green. We disappear.

We end up at a complex series of highways, bridges, and tunnels. I’m in Pittsburgh, PA, but it doesn’t look like the Pittsburgh that I know, except we’re at the point, where the Ohio forms from the other two. We’re looking for a VA complex. Nobody knows where it’s at, so we walk around, trying to find it. It’s exasperating.

I talk to the others about the roads, bridges, and tunnels. Suddenly, I’m very knowledgeable. I tell the others about a similar place of roads, bridges, and tunnels, and how they found gold. Since it’s so similar, we can probably find gold here, too, I tell them. That gets them all excited. We begin walking around, looking for gold.

I break away from the group. Turning and looking out, I see a green vale. Gold nuggets dot its sides.

“There,” I say to the others. They come over. I point. “There it is.” I smile at them. “I found the gold.”

 

Floofgenitor

Floofgenitor (floofinition) – 1. housepet who is the precursor; 2. housepet who originates a practice; 3. housepet that’s in the direct line of floofcestors.

In use: “Candid was the floofgenitor that established the animals’ habit of wanting to drink the bath water. Once she started doing it, the rest also took to the practice, as if the bath water was a magical brew.”

Floofcestor

Floofcestor (floofinition) – one from whom a housepet is descended and who is usually more remote in the line of descent than a grandfloof.

In use: “Although he weighed but nine pounds, Andi was certain that Jon Snow’s floofcestors included a saber-toothed tigers, given the black cat’s amazing hunting prowess.”

Deliveries

The delivery trucks were lined up on Main Street as he took his morning walk. The doors opened up. The ramps came down. People began walking down them.

It wasn’t encouraged to stand and gawk, but slowing, he watched with a sly side gaze. The newcomers seemed like an older lot and mostly white, which gave a grimace to his face. He preferred it when they brought in young people, especially when they brought in young men. Spilling out on the sidewalks, they had the befuddled look that he’d seen before on others, the look that asked, “Where am I? How did I get here? What’s my name? Do I know you?”

He wondered who they’d be, and whether any would become friends. Ambivalence hedged his thoughts about the answer. On the one hand, he wasn’t supposed to remember these things. Meeting a new delivery always fueled temptations to share his secrets with them. He wanted to whisper to them, “Psss, did you know that you died and were resurrected? You’re just like Jesus.” He always wanted to giggle about it.

Not that it was a laughing matter, having a dead population that was always being resuscitated and put into communities to give them a lived-in look. That’s how it goes when you lose the war.

The victors dictate the terms for peace.

Book Light

She loved reading books, and not just reading them, but researching what to read next, talking about her reads with her friends and family, and prowling book stores with her book list in her hand. Non-fiction, fantasy, young adult, historic novels, mysteries…they were all on her list. She read everyday, often reading four or five books a week. Finding a new author that she enjoyed was her greatest pleasure.

Then her mother died, her mother, who’d always encouraged her to read, introducing her to The Three Detectives series and Nancy Drew Mysteries, her mother, whose idea of a day out was taking her girls to the public library, where each was allowed to check out one book.

With her mother gone, she no longer wanted to read. It was like her book light had gone out, and would not come back on.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

“Smile Like You Mean It” by the Killers was released in 2005. I always took it as a song about putting on a brave face when you run into the ex or something goes wrong. We have so many other expressions to cover it, like don’t let them see you cry, never show weakness, and never let them see that you’re hurt. That’s pretty much how I was raised, to keep pain private, to always be tough and strong. Part of that seemed to be all about being manly, but it was also about not letting others take advantage of you through a perceived weakness.

Don’t Anger the Muses

I love it when I get in here to write, and I seem to know exactly where to begin and what to type. Little thinking is demanded; it’s just go, go, go. 

I know it’s not from ‘nowhere’ or some mysterious regions of my brain, or a gift from the muses. Truthfully, I’m agnostic. I’m not going to be categorical and say that it isn’t the muses. Maybe it is. Don’t want to outrage them by denigrating their contribution, you know. If it is due to the muses and they cut me off, I’d be bereft.

In my defense, I know that I stopped in the middle of a scene yesterday. I was following a trend. Once I’d shut down and was walking, thoughts arrived about what to do. Walking frequently acts as a laxative on my thinking, out there, going somewhere that only requires me to think, left, right, left, right — which out for the bus — permits to me to think.

I’d not been planning my thoughts and wasn’t actively thinking about the novel in specific ways. It was more a part of multi-streaming that I often do, especially while walking, surfing a little of one before jumping to another. This idea popped up, found its roots, and grew. More grew, developing new angles, as I showered and shaved this morning.

I guess it’s probable that I was thinking, but the muses were directing the streams and deciding what came to what. How’s that for a compromise?

Got my hot coffee. I’m in my chair. Time to write again, at least one more time.

 

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