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Four-thousand short, twenty-three thousand ahead

I typed two words for the first time on any novel I've ever started (and there have been a few).

Want to see them?  Here they are:

THE END

Yeah. I was a bit bummed because I didn't get to go up north today and do some writing with my NCOW family.  Sitting at home on the love seat trying desperately not to stream episodes of Arrow wasn't going to cut it for a Birthday Eve activity either, so I got my shit packed up and headed to Panera.

Not the Panera on Polaris where my C-bus writers' group meets, but the one that Tim hated for a write-in.

To be honest, this week it wasn't bad at all. I like it better than the Polaris one because it's bigger. And it's closer. So it might become my go-to spot when it's just me.

Side note--another benefit of writing groups is someone to watch your stuff while you go pee O_o.

Oh..so..yeah. I worked on a few chapters tonight and came to that spot just before the ending chapter that I wrote a week or so ago and I was like....

Hey.  Um. HEY!  I think I'm done.

No. Seriously.

Done.

So, I went back to where I had saved the ending chapter, and typed "The End" and Instagrammed and Facebook the fuck out of it...because

HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS I ACTUALLY FINISHED A FIRST DRAFT OF A NOVEL!!!!!

No. Seriously. I'm excited. I mean, I know I hide it well, but I'm completely jazzed here.

And if I were to leave it at that, I would "lose" NaNo. The goal in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is to hit fifty-thousand words.

As it stands, I'm at around forty-six thousand words. Or about four-thousand short of the goal for the month.

Only I'm not.

Not really.

You see, LAST November for NaNoWriMo, I started a little Novel I called The Treachery of Rainbows.  Now you might be asking yourself, "Hey, Todd. Isn't that the name of the novel you're writing (oops, you JUST FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT OF) for THIS Nano? "

Yes. Yes it is.

It's the same book. This year, I decided to continue what I started but couldn't finish last  year. In other words, I ponied up and said, "I'm finishing this fucker."

And, as a result, I have a first draft to play with that's nearly 70,000 words.

I am under no illusions about it.  It needs some serious edits and assembly to correct where I went sideways a few (dozen) times as I was writing it.

But the point is, the first draft is done.

I did it.

I'm sitting in the middle of a Panera and looking around and none of my family, friends, support, writing groups....none of you are here.

but you are all here.  you were all here with me as I typed, "The End."

And that, my friends, is a gift beyond measure.

The little girl in her spacesuit puffy grey winter coat can't be more than 6 or 7. She eats her macaroni from the bowl with her fork. Laughing as she leans across the table to feed her daddy a bite. She's laughing. I see the back of his head. He's laughing. I can't hear them, but I can see the love.

That has nothing to do with me finishing the book, but it's happening right now. At the same time.

I know that I will do some more writing this month. I'm going to hit fifty-thousand. I have a couple other works in progress that I can shift to and work on.  I'm not worried about that.

For me, I've already hit the biggest milestone of my career.

I have goals.  I have hopes and aspirations for my writing.

I want my books on the New York Times Bestseller list.  I want my books on the airport bookstore shelves. I want you to stop when you're buying your $7 bottle of water on the way to gate and see my name on the cover and I want you to smile.

And while those sound like big milestones (and they are)...they are not the biggest milestone.

You see in order for me to hit any of the other milestones and hopes and dreams, I had to hit this one first.

The biggest one.

Finishing my first first draft of a novel.

And I did that.

I am riding kind of an emotional high right now, I'm not going to lie.

Just...words....and stuff.

Alright. I think it's time to pack up and head home.  I'm sure I've got some poems that need written before I head to bed.

Peace out, my friends

-A.T.

Comments

Darrin said…
Awesome stuff, Todd. So awesome!
Todd S. said…
Thanks, Darrin. :-)

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