It is finished. Distorted Dreams is finished. 50,303 words. 190 pages, double spaced.
Or at least as finished as it needed to be to cross the finish line. There are a few holes in my plot, with stronger writing at the end than at the beginning. I will go back and fix those later. Those who have done this before say to wait at least six weeks, to take a break and detach myself from my own story, just to see if I still like it in a few weeks. It in no way resembles what I started with a month ago. which, of course, is the entire point of it all.
I feel like I’ve been in one of those crazy videos that shows the running of the bulls. It makes little sense to the outside world, but once you’ve been a participant, and survived, you were amazed to be a part of all the craziness.
I got started a week late, toying with different ideas in my head, a dangerous place to stay for long. I spent five days in Tennessee, where little writing ever gets done, although I do end up with some great material to pull from at a later date. We had some special guests in for Thanksgiving, so I was thrilled to sacrifice a few more days of writing for that purpose.
But the story continued on, like a drumbeat, a cadence that beckoned me each morning in a new direction. With fiction, the possibilities are endless, the story becomes the master of its own domain, taking even the author captive in the process. There is no way to stop midstream. You have to follow the flow of the river until the it all settles at the end of the rapids. And in my attempt to follow the flow of the story, I ignored a few things along the way, things clamoring for my attention along the riverbank. So, I thought I would create a list, an apology of sorts, to all that I neglected during this past month.
1.) Walking Bodacious. (Bless his chunky little heart.)
2.) Exercise. (While we are at it, why don’t we just go ahead and bless my chunky little heart as well.)
3.) Grocery shopping. Overrated, in my opinion.
4.) Housework. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Whatever.
5.) Checking the mailbox. This involves trips outside in the cold. If I were going step that far away from my computer, I might as well walk the dog.
6.) Taking out the trash. See number 5.
7.) Calling friends or family. Sorry, but the truth is that if I spoke to you this month at all, you most likely ended up as a character in my novel. Be thankful if you did not hear from me, and congratulations if you did.
8.) Christmas decorating. I realize this is a problem, as I stare at my ornament-less tree, but you can barely notice in a dark room.
9.) Search for Christmas Tree ornaments in storage. See number 8.
10.) Read other people’s books. It just seemed like I would be cheating on my own story, in a weird kind of way.
The point is, I’m a winner. Or a chubbier-than-thou participant, at the very least. I crossed the finish line, a much better writer than when I started a month ago. The outside world can unpause itself now as I seek to rejoin the ranks of the living, and the thinking, and the normal.
I guess I’ll start with number 1, as the dog waits for me by the door. He clearly is not a big fan of National Novel Writing Month.
Well, technically, he’s bigger than he used to be.