Much to my surprise, I got into my zone quickly this morning and wrote for about an hour and a half, adding over 1,000 words to my manuscript.  But more surprising is that I stopped writing when I though I was going in a negative direction, but upon re-reading what I wrote, I wasn’t doing that at all!  Sure, I mentioned some negative occurrences, but was finding the lesson, the forgiveness and the understanding in it all! 

After a short break for food, I wrote for another hour and a half before I had to get ready to go to a nail appointment and get groceries.  As my friend, Candy, had said, I found a lot of material in my blog, though it had to be fit into what was already there, or new chapters created, massaged and what not. 

Nails done, groceries put away, meditation done and I sat down to write again, only to find that this session lasted almost 3 1/2 hours during which I kept forgetting to go get water to quench my parched throat.  The only reason I finally stopped was that I think I’ve actually said all I need to, at least for now.  The book is now almost 26,000 words, and most of the original 18,000 were actually not the drek I’d thought them to be!  Although I still need to come up with titles for some of the chapters and send it over to a couple of people for editorial assistance, I really think that I’ve gotten it all down!  Not only that, in the two years since I put it aside, I had to change a lot of things because I realized how far I had actually come!  What I wrote two years ago was, in some cases, woefully outdated, much to my delight! 

But the real beauty of this is that I feel a huge sense of relief.  Relief, not only because I finally finished what I started, but also because I realized that I have come a very long way in coming to terms with my parents’ deaths and relief that I can now start writing something else, though, for the life of me, my mind is blank of ideas.

I find it really interesting that, two years ago, I was completely stuck and could not write another word. In the last couple of days, with the help of about 6,000 words from my blog which I edited, tailored and inserted, I added about 8,000 words to my book, reworked, reworded and edited and have a document that is ready to be edited by eyes which are less intimately involved than mine. 

I also have another entire day in which to write, work out, and otherwise do things for myself alone!    I may just go back through my blog posts (and especially those whacky dream sequences) to see if there’s a good piece of fiction to be had in there! 

Interesting to me that I feel like I fiddled and futzed all day yesterday, despite the fact that I sorted through 338,000 words of blog posts and pulled out the pieces which could, potentially, become part of the book.  I guess that would be a lot like doing research.  Some days, you have to do research and others, you have to write.  I clearly needed to separate the two activities, though I didn’t really realize it at the time. 

I think that this first book was more of a learning experience for me.  I learned about the need to isolate myself , turn off Facebook and email during writing sessions(including my “do not disturb” sign on the front door) and the need to trust in what I’ve written in my blog. I also learned that I need to take breaks!  I learned to accept encouragement from friends, both old and new.  I also learned to be less critical of myself and what I wrote.  I also learned that I start way too many sentences with “And” and “But”!

But the most important thing I’ve learned is that I really can  write nearly 26,000 words on one subject!  (oh, and lest I not forget, I can and have written close to 350,000 words in my blog!) 

But now comes the tough part.  Letting other people look at it, critique it and give me suggestions on what I need to rewrite.  OK, maybe that won’t be the toughest part as I still have to try and get the thing published, so I need to really do my research into who might even be interested.   Then, I’m sure, I’ll get those badges of honor known as “rejection letters”, an integral part of the shift from writer to author.  But if I’ve learned one thing over the last few years, it’s that the rejection isn’t personal.  They are rejecting the book or the idea, not me, personally.  Eventually, I’ll find someone who appreciates what I’ve written (and edited a kazillion times) and my baby will be in print, or at least, e-book! 

For now, I’m going to take the evening off, clean some cat boxes, put out the trash, cook up the chicken I have marinating along with some lovely asparagus I bought this afternoon and bask in the warmth of a completed first draft!

My gratitudes are:
1. I am grateful to have completed the first draft of my book.
2. I am grateful that, in completing the first draft, I’ve discovered how far I’ve come in the last 2 years.
3. I am grateful for all of the love and support I’ve received while working on this project.
4. I am grateful for a day when I can do what I want, write if I want to, veg if I don’t, or whatever else might tickle my fancy, and especially since it is my birthday!
5. I am grateful for catharsis.

Love and light