1,000 Words of Summer 2021, Day Fourteen a/k/a The Finale

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My original plan for this final day of the #1,000WordsofSummer challenge was to write another 1,000 words in my novel, but that’s not what I’m doing.

Instead, my final 1,000 words will be directed to you, the wonderful folks who have accompanied me on this journey. (This means that my post will be a bit longer than usual, but I’m trusting you to handle it.)

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1,000 Words of Summer 2021, Day Thirteen

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The end of the #1000wordsofsummer challenge is near, and I’m starting to look ahead.

I need to devote serious thought to the structure of the book. Even before the challenge, I was writing discrete scenes here and there in an effort to figure out what the story is–how these people will move ahead, how they will grow and change, what will happen to them and how they will adjust. As a result, I’ve amassed thousands of words with no particular connections. It’s like creating a group of islands with no bridges. Sooner or later, I need to figure out how to get from one place to another.

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1,000 Words of Summer 2021, Day Twelve

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Some days, “better” is good enough.

It helped that I didn’t wait until the wee hours to write, because I’m still exhausted. It’s been a big day in a few ways. I didn’t do a lot of the things on my list, but I did some that came up unexpectedly, plus a few (like mowing the lawn) that I just didn’t want hanging over my head all weekend.

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1,000 Words of Summer 2021, Day Eleven

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In the law, we often criticize the opposing party’s position by arguing that they’re elevating form over substance. In other words, they’re too concerned about how something is to be done, rather than focusing on the purpose of what’s to be accomplished.

Last night, I elevated form over substance.

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1,000 Words of Summer 2021, Day Ten

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The author of Ecclesiastes tells us in chapter 3 that there’s a time for every activity under heaven. He even gives us a list of activities, and that list was made into a song back in the 1960s. (He doesn’t say “turn, turn, turn,” but maybe it’s implied.) Unfortunately, his list doesn’t say anything about a time to cease activity—in other words, a time to turn off the computer and (in the words of a very different author) go the f**k to sleep.

I’m not saying this is why I finished revising a motion to quash last night at 1:15 a.m. and then pushed myself to write my 1,000 words. It’s because I know myself well enough to know that if I skipped this one day, that would be the end of the challenge.

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1,000 Words of Summer 2021, Day Nine

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Scraps of time may be all you have to get the writing done.

I went to bed late last night. Three o’clock, to be precise. It was the best I could do after finishing all that needed to be filed, making a meat loaf, wrapping a friend’s birthday gifts, doing the billing so clients would send me money, and cleaning up the kitchen. I knew I’d have to be awake at 9:00 a.m. so I could buy a ticket to see Yo-Yo Ma at the Connecticut Forum, but apart from that brief moment of wakefulness, I figured I could sleep until at least 10:00; I already had plans to take Dad for a medical appointment, but I wouldn’t have to leave the house until 11:00.

Except just before 7:00 this morning, my sister texted to say that Dad fell, the ambulance was at the house, and he might need to go to the ER.

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1,000 Words of Summer 2021, Day Eight

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Memories can be an excellent jumping-off place.

Tonight, I started with my main character walking in the woods. It’s actually a patch of woods I know, because it’s right in my town. Next thing I knew, she was remembering my memories, albeit tweaked to fit her. She recalled walking along the beach down on the shoreline, dinner in those eighties-style restaurants with lots of blond wood and ferns, and a bar my friends and I frequented in Westport where we drank white sangria and ate boursin and cheese. (I did say it was Westport.)

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1,000 Words of Summer 2021, Day Six

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Even the most mundane aspects of real life can be an inspiration.

Today was a busy day. I spent several hours working on an objection, followed by several hours of errands. The latter had been scrupulously planned, in part because I hadn’t gone food shopping for myself in weeks. Not so much as a wilted lettuce leaf graced the vegetable drawer, while the fruit drawer bore a couple of limes that were discoloring more by the day.

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1,000 Words of Summer 2021, Day Five

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Stolen moments are sometimes the sweetest.

I have plenty to do today. Deadlines continue to abound, including three things due Monday. I haven’t yet sent out bills for work done in May. The errands I meant to do yesterday—and the day before—have yet to be run. Various home maintenance matters require attention, including the roof issue and scheduling the annual air conditioner service.

But I wrote anyway.

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1,000 Words of Summer 2021, Day Four

Made it to 1,000 words today, but just barely.

When you fall asleep while you’re writing, it’s not a good sign. Either the story is boring, or you’re so tired that what you need to do is call it a day.

I can’t say for certain if the story is boring, but I’m definitely tired enough to call it a day.