I’m not going to make my goal.

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Yesterday I had a daily word count of 2477. My highest word production on this novel to date. So after giving myself a pat on the back for finishing my latest chapter and writing my butt off, I realized I only have 10 chapters left. My goal of 90,000 is definitely not going to be met. I will finish my first draft at 50,000, if I am lucky. I did notice that as I have gotten further into this book, it has been less about getting it right and more about getting it down. I made a deal with myself around chapter 9 that if I just finish this book, I can go crazy in the rewrites. And trust me, there are going to be plenty of those.

I have heard that some people review their previous day’s writing before starting their writing for the day. Doesn’t work for me. I give myself the last sentence I wrote and then just jump in head first. Which is why I will definitely have a lot to fix when I go back. Turns out, I like to kick people to the curb at the beginning of the chapter, but still have them there at the end of the chapter. Easily fixed. But if I read too much of what I wrote the day before, I am obsessing about the rewrite. Leaves me sitting with my pencil in hand, day dreaming about where I have to place things that I jammed into a middle of a chapter because I just remembered I never explained something. I also noticed that as I have been getting further along, the shorter my chapters have gotten. I just want to get it written down, I will fill in later. Which leaves me with a page and a half of just dialogue sometimes, and a promise to add description later.

The important thing is to remind myself that when it is all over, I will have a finished first draft. That is definitely an accomplishment and something I did not have when I started. So I will continue to celebrate my daily word counts, even if I only end up with ten words. Each word counts and it is one less word I have to write tomorrow.

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From Palace to Pig Sty in 3.5 Seconds

Three of my four little angels were gone last week. My parents picked them up for a week of Grandma and Grandpa time. My husband and I got to spend a week basking in the memories of a single child household. However, we had been left with the high maintenance child. She surprised both of us. We took her to Como Zoo for her first visit. The Sparky Show confused her (I’m sure in her limited experience, all animals wave and blow kisses), as did all the clapping, laughing and cheering. Like her sister before her, any of the exhibits that included water was her favorite. Overall, the whole day was great. My two year old had been replaced with a sweet, reasonable child.

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Marais enjoying her day.

Dad went back to work and we swam, swung, gardened, consumed all of the raspberries straight from the bush, and cleaned. My house was glorious! Both boys’ rooms were cleaned top to bottom, same with the bathrooms, the family room, the living room, and the kitchen. A glimpse of how my house would look without children. To be honest, I don’t hate the mess, I just hate stepping on a ‘Don’t Break the Ice’ block that’s been hidden under a blanket.

The other three came home and all was good. My babies were all back under one roof. With them came the temper tantrums. The two year old seemed to think she had to make up for the week she let me off the hook. And the youngest three went back to arguing. How could I have forgotten that?

To cut my boys some slack, it is my girls who destroy everything. How can a six and two year old cause such a mess? Sometimes my house is like a scene from Sharknado. The two year old floods the bathroom at bath time. There’s a body count in the kitchen (how does one six year old have so many dolls?). And I walk away at the end of the day exhausted, wet, bloody and feeling like I lost a limb along the way.

Turns out when all is said and done, I miss the chaos. A clean and quiet house is overrated. Of course, I could be a few crayons short of a full box. I don’t think so, after all, I am realllly looking forward to the new school year. T-minus 12 days. But until then, look for me in the mess. No, really, someone might need to send in a rescue team to find me in the pile of toys and blankets that has taken over my living room.

Something New

Something happened when I turned 40. Well, other than my husband crowing that I was finally the same age as him. For the record, we were born in different calendar years, so that makes him 1 year older than me. Give or take a few months. Outside of the yearly birthday battle with my spouse, I realized that I am a stay at home mom. Well, I always knew that’s what I was, the problem was that’s all I felt I was. I stood in the middle of my kitchen having a-well, midlife crisis. When these kids move out, who am I? When my youngest heads off to school, where does that leave me? So, I decided to do something I have been putting off for years. Write and attempt to get that first novel published. Other than a couple of short articles published, I had not written a single (fictional) word in almost 15 years!

Definitely not where I had pictured myself at this age. I had finished my first novel at 11, the next at 13, and another at 18 with lots of short stories and poems filling binders in between. Something that I had loved to do had fallen to the wayside. So, I looked at my family and told them I had 4 years (until the youngest is in school full time) to make my dreams happen.

So, please join me as I wade my way back into fiction writing while raising my four babies and making sure my husband continues to think it’s “rainbows and unicorn rides” while he is at work.