Shelley Widhalm

A Novel Finish

In Watch stopping, What's important, Writing, Writing group on February 27, 2011 at 8:49 am

I skipped last week’s blogging session to work on my novel. I have a tendency to focus in when I am near the end of a project, wanting just to get it finished.

On Tuesday (2/22), I got off at 4 p.m. and went to the Mandolin Café, one of my regular writing spots. I ordered my usual, a large caramel latte, and started writing. I had expected that I would finish my novel in another couple of weeks, but as I was listening to local musician Tim Byrnes sing and play the guitar, I felt extra inspired. I figured out the ending and that writing anymore would have been over writing.

I saw a couple of my friends ordering coffee and told them, “I just finished my novel two minutes ago.” They hugged and congratulated me. I stepped outside and called my parents, members of my writers group and some of my friends.

Back inside the coffee shop, I ordered a sandwich. Alex Zoll, shop owner, pointed at the clock, 6:45 p.m. The grill had been shut off for the 7 p.m. closing time. I looked at my watch, and it said 6:02 p.m. Alex said my watch must have stopped right when I finished my novel because he had heard me talking to the couple at five after.

It’s a neat coincidence if anything, but whatever it is, I feel encouraged that I’m not totally off track with my goal to become a novelist.

As for my challenge to do something that reminded me of my youth, I took Zoey to a neighborhood park and swung on the swings with her on my lap. She leaned against me as we swung back and her ears flopped back and forth. I liked how the air felt and the feel of my legs pumping me back to a time when playing was my norm.

I wasn’t brave enough to try the slides. I figured someone would think I was weird doing that without a child along, even if I had my four-legged, furry one.

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