But--I AM moving forward, and here's where I'm at! (<--even a slug can be proud when it spends all day sliding forward five inches):
The last time I posted a word count was here at Ocean in a Cup, and I was at 23,427. So I've officially added 10,000+ words over summer. I now have almost nine chapters, but I am still missing chapter 5. My current goal is to fill in the much-dreaded-chapter-5-hole in the next couple of weeks. It's a tricky little bastard, because the more I try to fill it in, the larger it gets. It's a hard phenomenon to explain...writing doesn't always follow scientific principles. But that hole has become like this big mocking thing that likes to taunt me with its omni-holeness.
On a semi-related (but not really) topic, I drove up the mountain to take my 15 year old niece Cassidi out to lunch today. She is such an awesome kid, and I never get to spend one-on-one time with her. We talked for three-and-a-half hours--mainly about "girl stuff." She's a fun-spirited teen with the emotional maturity of an adult, so it's often easy to forget that she's not one, and honestly, I enjoy talking to her more than most adults. But she also picked my brain about my manuscript, which was very cool (I don't get opportunities to talk about it much). She has been so excited about my book, which gets me excited about it because a) her enthusiasm is contagious and b) her age group is my target audience. She also gave me tips today about what NOT to put in the book (i.e. "Don't put a scene where the main character is describing her attractive features in a mirror but pretending she doesn't think she's pretty--that's so annoying"). What trips me out the most about writing a book is the people in your life who emerge as your biggest support system. I always expected Clint and Shan to root me on (although the quantity of their encouragement is staggering). And of course, my grandpa. But a sixty-some year-old retired teacher from my work? Or my 15 year old niece? Or others, who emerge from the woodwork every now and then to cheer me on from a distance? Those are the ones that take me by surprise.