Friday night (okay, Saturday morning) I finished my third book of 2010...and I'm ridiculously proud of myself because I didn't write at all for about six months earlier this year. I spent years getting myself in the habit of writing nearly every day and those months off--while ultimately good for me--hurt like you wouldn't believe. Writing is a muscle that has to be worked all the time; it was *so* hard to get back into writing daily after that because I was out of shape.
But after I finished Wounded I swore I wasn't going to start the next book right away. I did, ultimately...about three or four days later. It's been a tough couple of months getting the third done, mostly 'cause I'm always busy. A few weeks went by when I had only the weekend to get any writing done. But I did it.
Which brings me to a couple of points I want to make.
I've written three books this year; three books that, when I started the first one in January, I had no intention of writing. I woke up one morning in January with Abandoned in my head--or at least the plot of a five book series and most of the first in my head--and I just sat down and wrote it.
But I'm not magical. I don't have special powers*. I have no cybernetic parts.
Yesterday we had a vet emergency; my furbaby Sophie has seasonal allergies and scratches a lot. Well, I heard a yelp and found out her eye was sore. The vet squeezed us in and I was right--she has a scratched cornea.
So she got a shot of a painkiller and two ointments, and we have another appointment for next Friday to make sure it's okay. I now have to put ointments in her eyes a combined five times a day (three for one, two for another). Have you ever tried to shove something in the eye of a forty pound beagle cross on your own when she's both wise to you and has the upper torso strength of an adult male German Shepherd? Yeah, it's not fun or easy.
Meanwhile, I'm determined to kill the book once and for all this weekend because I'm officially out of clean clothes, bedding, and towels, and I won't be fit to see anyone with only smelly clothes. So: dead book, then laundry. And dishes. Because I can't keep living like a college student.
I'm at 91K words and I had only intended the book to be 75K, like the first. AND I have about four scenes left to write. I think the muse is pushing the word count up on me again (that bitch) by extending a couple of scenes past what I knew would happen. Le sigh.
I'm full into the stage known as "This Book Will Not Die." I got a taste of it around 65K, slogged through, and now at nearly 85K I just want the damn thing dead.
There's no other way to describe this part of the process. You're nearly at the finish line but not quite far enough to breathe with relief yet. It consumes every thought you have from the time you wake up after only five hours of sleep to when you go to bed a few hours after the point when you're exhausted. Eating is a chore, bathing is a chore, chores are...well, chores. You go through the day job like a maniac and keep checking the clock to see if it's quittin' time yet because the book is giving you its Siren Call of Death and you can't ignore. It NEEDS to die already.
I've completed fifteen other novels (and started countless others but we won't go there). I know this process now; I KNOW soon I will be standing over this book's corpse victorious, sweaty, and probably smelly with a bloody knife in my hand. I know it's putting up a fight now, but in those final moments, it'll accept the inevitable and death will be a mercy.
But it just can't come fast enough.
And the end of a book tends to be the most draining; this is where hearts are broken, the stakes are impossibly high, and my heroine just wants to curl up and kick the proverbial bucket. And I almost want to join her because I'm just so damn tired. I'm sitting in that corner with her now, begging for it all to be over...and I know that soon it will be and I'll then I'll have to wind down from the teary exhaustion. Worse still, I'll get that twinge of excitement and dread because I'll do it all again with the third book in a few months (hopefully for NaNo).
Ah, writers. We're a crazy bunch.
Now I'm off again to get day job stuff done and feel vaguely guilty for not getting laundry done and cutting my treadmill time in half. I'll keep my head down, push through while thoughts of the final scenes swirl in my head, then bring in an air strike to try take down the book's defenses tonight.
In the meantime, here's a couple of lines from the WIP that I think best sum it up today:
Clouds above me were blackish-blue, like ugly bruises on an already weary night. We were beaten down, this night and me, and now both of us hid and hoped for morning when the fists would stop pummelling.
I just don't know if I'm the pummelled or the pummeller this time.