I wish I were on the road again, but in this case I mean “back to real life instead of a long, slow, enjoyable vacation drive with the wife.” Yesterday was the start of my second week back to work since we returned, and the first day I finally hit my mark with writing again and began to put things back on the road to my yearly goal.
First, I should close out July, which didn’t happen because we left on July 30th and spent almost two full weeks driving around the country. July was solid, but the last week plus I was focused on the upcoming vacation and the writing dwindled to zero. Still, I finished the month with almost 33,000 words, a daily average of 1064, and an overall solid, respectable month even with the last six days coming up zero. Since returning I’ve written only 1648 words, most of those yesterday. I spent some time considering the various partial novels I’ve started and finally shared my favorite one – Summer – to a small group for their critiques. It got amazing, wonderful, absolutely humbling reviews and I’ve made it my focus for the fall. I knew the writing felt quite good (to me at least) but was never sure until now it had the appeal I thought it might. I only hope the remaining 50,000 or so words will do the first 25,000 justice (probably what’s kept me away from it so long is fear I won’t be able to keep up the quality of the voice I found for it).
The trip itself… what can I say other than it was magnificent. We started out with a vague idea of exploring the kitsch of America, and came away with a real appreciation of the scope and size of the country, the beauty of it, the creations we fill it with (some good, some bad, some just… there). I’m reminded once more of how we’ve genericized the world, though, filling it with chains of stores and restaurants so that no matter where we are, we’ll always find the same stuff we expect. It was nice to finally get out west and at least experience some different chains, and even a few one-off diners and such.
I’ll do some posts that break the trip up into pieces. Home to Memphis, Mephis to Denver, Denver to Gillette, Gillette to Ogallala, Ogallala to Missouri, and then home again, home again, jiggedy jig. But that’s for later. Now is for writing.