Why do long books need to be so long?

Over a year ago, I started writing my WIP.  Not sure if I can honestly call it a WIP when I’m not actually writing; I’ve been reading it over since October, although the first week of this month was a wash.  But for a few days I’ve been on a roll, making me feel like I’m accomplishing something literary-related.  Lately it’s been fabric fabric fabric, which is fine.  But I’m hungry for words, aching to return back to a world that has captured me for more than a year.  Nothing about The Hawk is usual, compared to my previous writing realm.  But then, my life isn’t the same anymore.

New paths are being forged, altered rhythms have been introduced.  Quilts, oi!  I’ve got quilts coming out my ears, where before it was stories raining from heaven.  Since 2007, I’ve been cranking out first drafts like there was no tomorrow, turning some of them into published novels.  But during the last year my writing life has changed immensely, where not writing has become the norm.  And even when I do write, like in August, it’s more like drops in the bucket, for this particular tale has evolved into a behemoth upon which I know not the end.  Well, I know how it’s going to end.  I have no flippin’ clue as to when.

When I wrote the Alvin’s Farm series, novels emerged with definite endings, if not with cliffhangers attached.  Yet, they didn’t drag on and on.  But my life in 2009 and 2010 wasn’t like it is now in 2014; my goodness, that’s quite a number of years ago!  Perhaps it’s silly of me to be caterwauling like this; maybe I should just be satisfied that I’m still actively engaged in this project, via revisions.  But if you write, then hopefully you will understand some of my heartache; revising is necessary, indeed.  Yet there won’t be anything to edit if new material isn’t being written.

Recently my husband turned fifty.  He’s feeling pretty good about it, except when suddenly he says to me, “Hey, I’m in my fifties now!”  I look at him with a wary eye; “You’re what?” I exclaim, as if he’s suddenly lost his mind.  How in the world did so much time pass; he was in his forties just a few minutes ago, I know he was.  And honestly, weren’t we both just in our thirties, living in England, or what about our twenties, when we dwelled in Silicon Valley before the dot-com bubble was so coined.  What in the world is this man going on about, being in his fifties?

Ahem.  Reality is sometimes a cold slap along the face.  Reality in my writing world has been that cool hand tying mine up in family and fabrics and….  Well, so many things that words have been shoved into a dark, dusty corner.  For the last several weeks I’ve been easing them out, but only those already written.  New words hide in the closet, fully aware I don’t have the proper time of day to share with them.  They won’t be coaxed out for any reason.

Sometimes I wish words were like Buttercup; just rub her belly, and she’s putty in your hands.  But my muse isn’t like that beloved basset.  Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s my temperament, maybe it’s….  It could be anything, but what it is is a lack of time.  I don’t have the adequate uninterrupted time to sit and write.

And unlike years ago, now I require those precious minutes.  No longer can I just write on a dime.

This is my second year away from NaNoWriMo. If you’re thinking I should jump into that fray to alleviate my problem, it’s not that easy.  While I wouldn’t be here today if not for National Novel Writing Month, again, I’m not the same person who participated from 2006-2012.  And this story isn’t conducive to that kind of literary abandon.  This story wants all of my attention, which has been scattered from hell to breakfast, and that is in part due to age.  It’s also due to my dad’s illness, an impending grandchild, and various other issues, like the quilting bug which has bitten me hard since February.  Writers have lives outside the work, and in 2014, my world has seen an invasion not witnessed since we moved back to America in 2007.  In 2007, I finished my first novel, begun for NaNo 2006, then nothing was accumulated until NaNo 2007.  After that I never looked back, writing-wise.  I’ve been pounding a keyboard solid until March of this year, when suddenly….

Life took over, life not to do with fiction.  Fiction was relegated to the back burner, fiction was barely a consideration as reality was about all I could handle.  But the idea of fiction never left, it’s too deeply wound into my core.  Telling this story means too much, writing means too much to ignore it.  Writing means, oh goodness, this post is already too long to explain what writing means.  But this story is special; it’s especially long, ha ha.  It’s starting to take on epic proportions, not only for its size, but it’s unwieldy nature.  Does that make it more unique, how badly I desire its completion, and how ethereal that completion seems to be….

Time will tell.  And in the meantime, I have errands to run, precluding me from any more reading today.  Plus a Tropical Pop quilt is clamoring for my attention; dude, keep your shirt on!  More fish to fry than I can shake a skillet at.

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