Novel is done as of last night. Came in at 77.5K words. We lost a few weeks to traveling to see family, plus I’m heading to a 2-week novel revision camp (this weekend!), which meant pausing at the top of Act 3 to put together a synopsis and clean up the first few chapters for the workshop’s consumption. I wish I were faster; James and I started the 90-Day Novel back in January (so, more like the 150-day novel, oof) and we began trance-writing pages back in early March. Still, this is the most hopeful about long-form writing I’ve been since my wrists decided they hated my career choice.

I’m hoping to return from novelcamp with a completely overhauled synopsis, ready to redraft this sucker, though probably not until next January…want to let it rest so we can see it afresh. Now it’s James’ turn to novel: we’re planning to brainstorm his book together in July, and then I’ll work on my never-ending memoir plus short form (stories and essays) while he’s pounding out word count.

Today we went on a bike ride through the nature preserve (very flooded, but also gorgeous with green) and ended with a fancy lunch downtown to celebrate. Our 2-year wedding anniversary is coming up while I’m away at revision camp. It’s been five years since Clarion, which is the anniversary of when we met. Pretty much since then, James & I dreamt of writing together — it’s something we both wanted, but we had such different processes and styles, it felt impossible, and early attempts ended in fire&tears. It took my wrists saying NO to the writing life — funnily enough, it was at this same novel-camp three years ago when things got bad enough for me to quit my daily wordcount goal completely and let myself heal.  It took his willingness to give up some of his writing time to type for me.  It took a lot of grief&pain for us to get this thing we’d always wanted.  So often, horrible things I’ve been sure would destroy me have turned into twisted little gifts.  This novel seems like another one of those.  I still can’t believe it exists.

June 17, 2016. Novel down draft complete. Even if we never do anything else with this particular manuscript, today I am so, so happy.  Thanks, love, for being my arms.