Not the word count; it’s a blessing that sentences fall into the document as they do. Especially when writing about an impending disaster; in the WIP, the details are fictional, but based on the Challenger and Columbia accidents. Accidents almost feels wrong, because people knew what could occur, they knew the risks were more than high; they were deadly. That’s the hard part, trying to get the sentiments correct, on both sides.
I can write angst in my sleep. Writing action is more difficult. Writing some meld of the two is new, and while paragraphs tumbled from my fingers, there was a cost. I need to note today’s chapter, hoping I got it right, not in the balance of excitement to terror, but in those lost in similar instances. Judith Resnik from Challenger and Kalpana Chawla on Columbia are the inspirations for my current project, as well as Sally Ride; all are gone, but they were real women with dreams and joys, heartaches and uncertainties. Their fellow astronauts had equal hopes and fears, and all died doing their jobs. I’ll never expire from writing, no matter how poignant it gets. But sometimes it’s not easy. This isn’t the first manuscript to make me shake, but it’s been a while. And maybe this one is deeper, because there are real people I want to honor, and that’s a pretty tall order. Tomorrow is the fall-out; while I look forward to it, again, I want to get it right. I know, first draft and all, but even in spitting out the initial manuscript, I don’t want to lose the essence, no matter how deeply I have to breathe.