by Molly Jo Realy @MollyJoRealy
I know, y’all just had an update not too long ago. Thing is, things are getting good. They’re getting done. They’re getting, well, you know. Out there.
So, earlier today I had a tiny emo moment on the FB NOLA Swarm Group page. It went something like this:
“Feeling a bit stressed as I sit to write today. Wrenched my back earlier which makes sitting . . . or standing . . . or walking . . . or breathing . . . uncomfortable. It’s the third time in a month this has happened, so I know today isn’t debilitating. But it surely is distracting.
I’ve been taking my mind off things by watching my NOLA-based shows: Nightwatch, NCIS, Double Jeopardy, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. (Big surprise on that last one, right?). I’ve been thinking about my proposal and the compare/contrast section. Been thinking about my new day job and the budget and traveling to see family and friends next year.
Does it even make sense to anyone-ANYONE-that right now I want to box NOLA up and tuck it into a dark corner of the farthest away closet I can find?
What if it’s not as good as I think it is? What if I didn’t just miss the mark, but missed the entire target? What if the end doesn’t justify the means?
What if all this soul bleeding means nothing in the end except over five years of wasted time and attention and energy?
So I hope you understand when I say as wonderful as this is, being so close to finished, today I just want to crawl back into bed and cry. Getting ready to say goodbye to my baby is so hard.
But here’s the thing about writing: I can’t *not* do it. I can’t have NOLA sit around, going nowhere. Do I want it to stop? No. But there’s another journey for NOLA when the first draft is done. I call it the firefly aspect. It’s where I let my little larvae grow wings and glow its way to my alpha readers, my editor, and my agent; then, hopefully, into the hearts of others like you and so many more.
And then I’ll talk all y’all with me to CENTRAL, where you’ll meet Nick and Serenity. And then to KEYS with Anastasia and Littleman. And then FLINT, and HI, and PORT, and STRIP, and TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES. And more.
But know this: no matter how much I write, how many cities are in this series, NOLA will always be my first, and greatest love.
And, I hope, yours too.
I love you all for being on this journey with me and keeping me grounded.
With much adoration and appreciation,
But after that, I hunkered down, said a few prayers, and started. I took my little Post-It notes, my little scraps of paper, and I processed. Every. Single. One.
And I closed out the day with 2,131 new words. I have less than 8,000 to go to my desired word goal. And I have a plan.
In addition to writing end material, I’ve been adding clues throughout. Hints of this and that. Why does this character do these things? If it’s important, they need to do it often. If not, they need to do it less. What about the weather? Yes, I’m from California. The desert, no less. But really. If you’re reading a book set in New Orleans, how often can I mention the humidity before y’all are rolling your eyes and saying, “Okay, we get it!”?
And I’m keeping notes. On the manuscript. On paper. Because I’m also writing what comes next. I can’t wait to write those two words when it’s finished. Nope, I’m not even gonna write them here. Because when I’m ready, like really ready, I want them to be authentic. Official. Not practiced, not sampled, not automatic.
Those two final words at the end of the first draft . . . They’re coming, my friend.
Oh, and here’s a new meme to get all y’all’s attention.
With a finish line and a finishing line,
And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!