five pages per day

You read it here first, so I'm committed.

I've got about forty thousand words left to write on the rough of my fifth book. Ideal would be to finish it by my birthday, August 16 (I'll wait here while you mark your calendars). So at five pages per day, skipping, say one day a week, it's doable. Five pages isn't so much if you think about it. I've signed up for and done twenty pages a day before.

Only there's so many other things to do in the summer.

The pool is in full swing, eye candy abounds, the tan is already darker than Greg's, and the lake is calling.

I have three unfinished short stories, a poem (Ok, yeah, yeah, I write the occassional poem. So sue me.) to submit, a blog to keep limping along, an essay to edit, and a book to revise.

But I read on another site this morning about dedication, and it was a potent reminder. Devote yourself to a project, make it a priority, and the project will get done. To lose weight you must make it be in the forefront of your mind--being hungry must become a welcome part of life. To do well in school, you must study before partying, until you can think of nothing else (or so I've heard--no personal experience with that one, you understand). You must revel in your hardship, become a martyr to your cause. I'm nothing if not a martyr for my books; I will and have sacrificed much to see them finished and in print.

But first and foremost, if you know me at all you know that I must write. New, fresh words. Every day. Stories tumble forth like spring melt over centuries- smoothed river rocks, wearing a valley through granite mountains. I am the rock. My soul is the mountain. Part of me erodes away and my scree is carried along in the current and scars the backs of my characters.

The story is not the only thing which is a river. My faith is the river as well: in the story that wants to be told; in the characters who will live for someone besides me. Faith and story go hand-in-hand; inseperable and impenetrable. I could no more shut off my faith in the story than I can shut off the story itself.

Our man Sean, the lead character in my story, is an elusive fellow. He does not betray his secrets easily. I know how he looks, I know how he moves and how he behaves. I know he's honorable, but not perfectly so. I know that he is a capable fighter, a killer, but that he is a kind and considerate lover; if not a little rough. But just when I think it's high time for him to be an asshole, he turns around and does someone a kind turn. Just when I think, she's a friend, Sean, be good to her, dammit, he shuts down and cuts her off. He recognizes goodness in people that I would never in a million years see, and his sense of threat is unparalleled. Yet, despite knowing all this, his behavior is an enigma to me. How can someone come from being an assassin hunter in Europe to becoming the kindest, most diplomatic bloke in a new land? How can someone be so hard and bitter, and yet still be such a damn nice guy?

But who am I to say that he's doing it wrong? Who am I to say how he should behave?

I'm only the writer. Not like I'm God or anything.

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