what have you been up to?

What a busy few months: friends and family getting degrees, getting engaged, having babies, having second babies, raising babies to be cool little people, buying houses, getting new pets, getting new jobs, getting fresh air. So much news around me!

For my part, I have been “butt-in-chair” as they say, on my work in progress, trying to reach a self-imposed and self-enforced deadline of March 1 for my first draft. And then I’ll be free! Just kidding, I’ll be back in the chair doing edits forever.

This project has created a really fun little amusement park in my brain where I control all the rides (and only sometimes drunk) and what it looks like and who goes there and what they do. It’s rainy there some days, but usually I can keep the gates open. I get in there and it’s all corn dogs and organ music and thrilled screams and blinking lights, and then I bring my awareness back to the real world and it’s January and dark already and I’ve been bra-less and sitting in my joggers all day (I like to wear pants ironically).

When I go out to lunch with friends, real people, who do all of their things in the real world instead of at the Brainland Novel Carnival, the conversation often starts with “what have you been up to?!” I open my mouth – oh my god it’s been SUCH an exciting few months…for the fictional characters…in the very rough draft of my book – and nothing comes out.

I’m a writer but not completely an introvert and I hate having nothing to talk about. Understandably, the plain fact of writing a book was way more exciting to people when I first started – less so now that I’m still on the same project 14 months later and it’s old news and I’m not even halfway through the process. I know this is what writing a book is, but why can’t it be just a little more exciting? Sexier? More camera-ready? Maybe a little less bra-free?

Because in my head I’ve done A LOT over the past few months, just not out here in the real world. Vicariously, through my characters, I was drunk every day. I quit my job. I wrestled a stray cat. I stole a car. I lost a fortune. I was completely schizophrenic, taking on a dozen or more personalities. (DISCLAIMER: Dear Mom, I have not physically actually done these things. Please don’t panic.)

But what have I done? I figured out how to prop up my feet at my writing desk, so it’s longer before I get dead-leg from the cat sleeping on my lap.

And what have you been up to?

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