She is overwhelmed (which she expected) when they put his small, heavy head on her chest. His breathing is loud, but she focuses on the feeling in her belly, the empty space where he used to reside, all six pounds and twenty inches of him. He sighs, and his arm moves, or maybe she imagines it.
Someone takes a photograph, posts it to social media.
Her first child would be 18 now. Her second closer to 12. The third she bled out at 2 months. She ignores the usual guilt that comes when thinking on them, focuses on the fourth. Here he is, breathing, living and she could not love him more.
Yes, this will trap her, make her stay somewhere longer than a year or two, but she wants that consistency, craves the responsibility. Her mother is near, which matters more than she thought. Her sister stands in the corner, smiling, and at last, they finally understand each other. The tears come easily and neither are ashamed.
Out in the night the photo makes the rounds, each friend, each family member sharing in her joy. Almost a perfect moment.
It’s time for another IWSG post. Being part of such an amazing and supportive group of writers has already begun to have a positive affect. Reading inspiring messages, struggles, successes from others going through similar situations has been fruitful. The responses to last months blog post were motivational to me. I’m excited to see what others have written this month.
Check out the page here and join the group. The writer in you won’t suddenly be less insecure, but it will have an outlet among people who understand and want you to succeed.
What’s on my mind this month-
National Novel Writing Month is just a few weeks away, and for the third year in a row, I will participate. In each of the past two years, I have met the word goal of 50,000, and the sense of accomplishment has been wonderful, but the main purpose is to complete a first draft in that same time period. I have fallen well short of that goal in each attempt. This year will be different. I have a shorter book in mind and am starting to see how to get that idea on paper.
I am determined, but nervous.
My first two novels were written on the fly. I had direction, but not a clear vision, and while I was able to complete both drafts (the first in two months, the second in six), I often found myself wandering in dark places, wondering where to go next, often beating myself up along the way. This year, I want to prepare a story outline, plan events and moments better, and have a clear idea of how to get to the final page. I’ve rarely written like that and the closer to November I get, the more intimidating the prospect becomes. Locking myself into an outline can have disadvantages as well, and I don’t want to be so rigid, so determined to stay on course that I lose the spontaneity that has always been one of my strengths as a writer.
For those of you who outline, what is your process? Am I over analyzing here? When faced with a decision to alter or change the direction of the story or a character (and that moment will inevitably come), does the entire outline fall apart? I need some stories of success (or perhaps enough of failure that I scrap the idea altogether).
I’m eager to read your advice. Until next month, push on and push through. Write, write write.