Insert panic here

Suddenly we’re at the end of October. As I type, my bacon and goat cheese grits aren’t sitting well as my stomach is turning inside itself with worry. I have six weeks left in the semester, which means I have six weeks to finish the novel, edit it, design the front and back matter, write a synopsis, and complete a fifteen-page companion paper to introduce the project, explain my process, and cite sources of influence.

I also have to complete four big assignments for Genre Writing, homeschool the kids, do a few photos shoots, and say hi to Chuck every once in a while.

There’s a temptation to pull back and say no to certain things, but that’s really hard to do when you love everything you’re doing. I mean, when I’m taking photos like this, I don’t want to say no:

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(By the way, if any of you know to whom this sweet baby belongs, DO NOT talk about this photo to the baby’s grandmother, unless you want to spoil her Christmas present surprise.)

So anyway, I’m loving all the stuff that’s keeping me busy, but I’m starting to panic a little with only six weeks left in the semester. It’s important now more than ever to use my time wisely.

The novel is coming along swimmingly. I wrote a large chunk of the last chapter (out of sequence) because the words came to me on a run and I needed to type them out before they evaporated. It felt strange to write a piece of the story that had not happened yet, chronologically anyway. I even have the last sentence of the book written down on the back of an offering envelope from church. The words arrived while the choir was singing and if I hadn’t written it down immediately, I was afraid it would get lost in that place where good ideas go to hide. I’m hovering at 124,000 words and I suspect I have about ten thousand to go. It will take a heavy hand to edit and weed out the unnecessary parts. Like Thomas Wolfe wrote in The Story of a Novel, it will be a bloody execution.

For your enjoyment, this was my writing music this morning:


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