#1000wordsofsummer 2022, Day Eleven

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So far today, I’ve talked with a lawyer whose opposing counsel thinks jurisdiction doesn’t matter (spoiler: it does) and learned that I might need to quarantine after the friend with whom I had dinner last night tested positive on her home test for covid this morning. On the upside, she tested negative on the rapid test at the walk-in. Since she had a false positive a few weeks ago, and false positives are extremely rare, it’s been suggested that she might have gotten a corrupted batch of tests. So she got a PCR test as a tie-breaker. We’re awaiting the results with crossed fingers.

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#1000wordsofsummer 2022, Day Ten

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If it hadn’t been for this challenge, I probably wouldn’t have written today.

I have a lot of work to do. I lost most of yesterday afternoon at the doctor’s, including going back again when the x-ray technician called to tell me she hadn’t realized she was supposed to take additional images.

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#1000wordsofsummer 2022, Day Nine

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One of the best things about doing this challenge in June is that nearly every day, I’ve been able to work out on the porch. Moderate temperature, light breeze whispering through the trees, birdsong, and—since the porch is screened-in—the company of my cats dozing in the sunshine.

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#1000wordsofsummer 2022, Day Eight

I’m now two days behind the pack. When I returned home yesterday after church, Mom, and errands, I settled in on the porch with wine, crackers, and the world’s best seafood and shrimp dip from a local market. I don’t recall what I was reading, but it had to have been something because after all, this is me. A client called about his newest project, and we chatted. All seemed fine and peaceful.

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#1000wordsofsummer 2022, Day Seven

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A quiet day today, even with all the mowers and weed whackers and power tools that try to drown out the birdsong. Mildly overcast much of the time. The slightest hint of a breeze. The tiniest bit cooler outside than in.

This morning, I awoke when one of the cats came up on the bed. In her senior years, she’s become much more vocal, especially when she thinks I should wake up and pay attention to her. But she doesn’t annoy me, because she’s my beloved girl and she can do as she likes, because that’s how things go with your beloved ones.

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#1000wordsofsummer 2022, Day Six

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Yesterday, I granted myself a day off from this challenge. After my father’s funeral, I felt entitled. So I’ll be one day off from the rest of the group doing this challenge. So be it.

Many years ago, I came home from the funeral of one of my closest friends and opened my laptop. The story I wrote had its genesis in something I’d seen: her petite mother, her equally petite aunts, and her blonde cousin standing by her graveside, singing a hymn. I watched these brave women in their black dresses, and the thought came to me: a parent should never have to bury their child.

It happens all the time, of course. I knew it even then. Especially in the wake of recent horrific tragedies, it would be foolish to try to deny it. But the image stays in my brain to this day, the image and its accompanying thought. On that day, the way I addressed the thought and the image was to write.

Yesterday, though, I chose not to. By the time I got home with my takeout dinner, it was past eight o’clock, and I was done. I actually did think about writing, but not for long. The only thing I could have written about at that moment was the day’s events, and I simply do not have the distance to do this.

But this morning, as clients call and kind friends continue to reach out, as post-funeral tasks beckon, as I realize that the world is going to go on whether I like it or not, I took some time to disappear into my novel. Some of my current feelings are in the words I wrote, albeit in a very different context. It’s possible I’ll be drawing on more of these experiences as the book develops. More than possible. Likely.

Regardless, I wrote today.

#1000wordsofsummer 2022, Day Five

Photo credit: Ron Porter on Pixabay

One reason I rarely write to a word count is that I tend to edit, especially an earlier day’s material. It’s still productivity, but it doesn’t lend itself to a challenge like this.

Take today, for example. I wrote for over an hour, adding and revising, but I also deleted a lot of what I’d dictated a few weeks ago because what I was writing today was clearer and worked better. By the time I excised all the crap that needed to go, I ended up with a net loss of 70 words.

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#1000wordsofsummer 2022, Day Four

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Today’s 1,000 words was originally meant to be a blog post about the latest family drama surrounding my father’s upcoming memorial service. By the time I reached the end, though, I no longer felt the need to share it. Writing it out—venting on the screen—proved to be sufficient, and I do not need to dwell on it any longer.

The late great Laurie Colwin wrote in her final novel about the difference between family by chance—the one you’re born into—and family by choice. Some people are close to their families by chance. When there has been a loss or other major event, they find comfort in drawing together. I, however, have found the most comfort in communications with my friends a/k/a my chosen family. I have received beautiful email condolences, thoughtful messages and posts, and several phone calls. I’ve been offered dinner by a couple people, wine by several, and prayer support by many. More than a few have invited me to contact them 24/7 if I should need to talk or vent. Notwithstanding the family drama, I feel supported and cared for as I approach what I expect will be one of the hardest days of my life.

Thank you, my dear friends, my family by choice.

#1000wordsofsummer 2022, Day Three

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Another day of working on my novel. I started with some dictated material, but the scene went off in a different direction than I’d originally anticipated, laying the groundwork for complications I hadn’t seen coming.

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#1000wordsofsummer 2022, Day Two

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Did it again today. This time, I did add words to my novel, although I cheated slightly because I used material I’d dictated on the Friday evening of Memorial Day weekend while I planted my window boxes.

Dictating has plusses and minuses. The plus side is that you get to record the thoughts as you’re having them. The minus is that sometimes when you go back over that material, you find very little worth keeping, and you wind up editing the crap out of it until it’s practically new anyway. Granted, it’s not as if I found nothing at all when I went back to my dictated material, but I feel fairly confident I’d have come up with something very similar if I’d simply sat down with the computer now instead of telling my story (and remembering to dictate “paragraph” and such) several days ago while mixing potting soil with vermiculite.

In any case, that’s Day Two. Twelve to go. Wish me luck.