Even as I am washing bed linens and towels, and starting a final load of dishes in the dishwasher, I FINALLY completed the Christmas novella I was determined to finish this week on vacation. Whew! I made it, but just barely.
Last summer, I got an idea for a new manuscript, wrote about 10 pages, and then tabled it. I don’t know how other writers do it, but I can’t flip flop while I’m working on one work-in-progress. But inspiration can strike at any time. When I get a new idea, my approach has always been to jot down a quick intro to the story, or sometimes even the first couple of chapters. Then I save it under a working title and get back to the project at hand.
This year, Kate Patrick and I challenged each other to write a short novel, centered around a Christmas theme. I thought about the different WIP’s I have “parked in the vault”, and wound up choosing the one from last summer to develop into a holiday story. I started working on it in earnest after No Regrets was released earlier this month. And my goal was to get about 25,000 words written for a short novella. But a week of R&R has a funny way of making me extra creative. I couldn’t seem to find a stopping point. When I finally saved the completed manuscript this morning, it clocked in at just over 41,600. That’s my shortest manuscript to date (by far), but considering at the time I arrived last Sunday I’d only written 13,000 words, I think that’s not too shabby!
The best part is that I wasn’t a total hermit this week, focused only on my laptop and how many keystrokes I could make. We did have a lot of rain, so that lent itself to staying inside part of every day. But we also had movie marathons, we read books (both paperback and e-books), played board games and built Lego sets, and we went shopping too. And our favorite diversion was listening to my son play his guitar, while he and Kate Patrick sang out on the deck overlooking the water. For those of you who don’t know, that girl can SING!!!
Reluctantly, I have to head back home soon. It’s sad for me, because I am so aware this was the last get-away of summer. My son returns to Tuscaloosa in two-and-a-half short weeks. That same week that my daughter returns to grade school.
Looking back, it’s been a perfect summer. I suspect this is the one our family will always look back on as “the best”. And even though it has been tempered by my father’s illness, that same illness has brought a whole new level of togetherness for us.
We’re about to load up the car, and wouldn’t you know it – today’s absolutely beautiful and there’s not a cloud in the sky. But I’d have to say it was a pretty spectacular week, despite the near-daily showers.
For those of you who have yet to go on that final vacay of Summer 2012, here’s hoping it’s your best one yet, too! Have fun and stay safe!
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