So, here’s the thing. I’ve just seen Lisa Silverthorne’s news about completing the Novel Dare challenge, and I’m so stoked I can’t barely believe it. It makes me happy in ways that are like watching the moon rise over the mountains here in Oro Valley, or like watching the stars glitter in the big expanse of sky. I mean. Seriously, I’m incredibly happy for her.
And to be clear, I really, really needed to see that.
To cut to the core of the matter, my own Dare came to a screeching halt Sunday when my dad called me to say they were having a problem.
For you who don’t know, on a bit of an instinctive decision Lisa (wife and copy editor) and I moved to Arizona four years ago now to be with my parents as they aged, and it’s been a fantastic decision. We’ve loved being with them. That phone call, though, turned it into one of the best decisions in our lives. Mom had fallen, and it was bad. I’ll not share the details because they aren’t really mine to share and, in the end, they don’t really matter here. The bottom line was that it was, and potentially still is, very, very bad.
The good news here is that it’s now Tuesday night, and while we’re not 100% out of the woods, the prognosis is now trending upward and we are, very cautiously, optimistic.
But, yes, I’ve shut my leg of the Dare down.
I’m sitting at about 52K words, and that’s all good. But the story is not done. I haven’t touched the book since that phone call, and I’m not even going to pretend I’ll touch it for probably several more days. To be honest, the only reason I’m writing this tonight is that I’m too brain drained to sleep until I decompress a bit. This moment is my first few minutes all alone since that call, and the silence is deafening.
Somewhere in my selfish brain, I admit I’m upset with myself for not hitting this target.
It’s a dumb thing to be upset about this, of course, and I know it. But I can’t pretend that sensation doesn’t exist. To be irrational this way sometimes is what it means to be a writer.
But sitting here tonight, I’m way too smart to let that thing have any real sway.
This has been a tough few days, and it’s likely to be tough for several more days, and possibly even longer. I just don’t know. But it’s all good. I’ll be able to make it happen when it happens. Until then, I’m going to focus on two things: (1) helping my mom and my dad through whatever happens next, and (2) being happy as hell that there now exists a new Lisa Silverthorne novel.
Thanks for carrying the Dare flag for me this time, Lisa: Here’s a big-assed congratulations for getting into the saddle and making it happen.
Sorry to hear the news about your mother, and hoping it all turns out well. Sending my best to you and all your family.