49/365: Mystery Story

I am working on the mystery again. This requires reading a previously untapped P. D. James novel sitting on my shelf (naturally), pulling out the 106 pages of first draft I’d churned out before the baby was born, and stacking on the bedside table any number of reference books of social history and notebooks of random comments like “everyone must have secrets!” and “absolutely NO monologuing villains!”

Important things.

I’ve only gotten far enough to revisit the outline, revamp the characters, reread the first draft chapter and pick out paragraphs and pages that might be salvageable. No actual writing. It’s hard. Iris usually only naps for about half an hour, and to be honest it’s frustrating to nicely get in a groove just in time to hear her polite where-are-you cry that isn’t really a cry but will become one if unattended. I like being happy to hear her, and so far that means no writing during the day.

I do hole up in coffee shops a couple of evenings a week—or rather I was, until Carl’s work schedule got insane. But I will again.

Right now I’m just enjoying the windy rainstorm blowing through Michigan, drinking my coffee, reading a mystery novel, and trying to take one tiny bite out of the project every day. Less than baby steps. Baby turtle steps.

Any kind of progress feels good.




3 thoughts on “49/365: Mystery Story

  1. Splendid! Splendid. I think you are an exceptionally wonderful mother to arrange life so that you can just be happy when Iris wakes up. It definitely takes most of us a while to get in the groove of writing. I’m so glad Carl gives you some breaks when he’s not overwhelmed with work. You have such a gift…it’s great that you’re continuing to develop it!

    • Thanks! I keep reading those cheesy self-help/find your calling type books hoping that they’ll tell me I’ve been horribly mistaken and was never meant to write and will actually be most deeply fulfilled by baking the world’s best brownies. Literally every time I end the self-help book convinced that I was designed to write novels and there’s no point in trying to escape. Self-help is an enlightened form of procrastination for me…

  2. Haha. Yes. You are made to write. It’s in the Ward blood. Some of us are happy enough just writing *something,* an article here or there, but some have to write novels, and you are clearly one of those. Even I get depressed when I don’t write, and I’m not one of the novelists. I’m glad you can plug away at it.

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