truth is stranger than whatever.

After a patchy autumn and a hit-and-miss holiday season and--well--a rough January, I think I can confidently say: the writing is back on track.

Such a good feeling, too. When the work hits a wall, I feel like I'm being eaten alive. Slowly. By a million tiny jaws.

For it to be moving ahead steadily... well, it's a relief. Warm, buttery, sunshiny relief.

I've been stalking this project for a while, now, and longer than I originally planned. (I know, I know. Surprise.) Oh, those plans. They always get me in trouble. I've discarded about a dozen plans for how to make this book work, how to make the writing fly onto the page, how to get all the characters singing their perfect parts.

In the end, what has worked? A series of somewhat monotonous days at a desk. Carefully putting in my time. Asking the questions I know I need to ask. Waiting--not forcing--just waiting for the answers.

And suddenly, yesterday, one of my characters showed up. A very old, sharp-tongued woman, with zero tolerance for self-pity, and a no-nonsense stance on everything else.

I was--well, okay, I was taking a shower, and thinking, and staring at the soap suds around my toes, when I heard her voice in my head, scolding me.

I tried scolding back: Is nothing sacred? I'm showering, for Pete's sake!

She didn't really care. I guess I didn't expect her to. And in the tirade that followed, I gathered that she's ready for the plot to move forward. It's high time, she said, for this book to continue.

I'm still unclear on some things, I explained.

Does that really matter? she answered. We're waiting.

I forgot. You don't try to argue with her.

Today? Today, major plot pieces are sailing into place. Simple. Easy.

She was right.

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