Why did the…?

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It’s been a crazy week in Fayette County. Not only did I find out that Graham, the world’s most interesting cat, absolutely LOVES sauerkraut (a revelation that’s also surprising in that it hasn’t caused any issues or surprises on the carpet), but I also had some issues on my way to and from work.

I actually drive across the Mason Dixon line each day. And it’s like a magic line you can physically see as you reach it… Instantly, as you pass over it heading south, the paved road turns to a mishmash of potholes held together with dirt and a prayer. One day this week, as I hit the edge of this line – literally – and wound around the corner, a chicken crossed the road in front of me causing me to slam on my brakes. When an old joke plays out in front of you to start your day, you know it’s going to be an interesting one.

Then, the next day, I had to watch out yet again… Don’t let anyone tell you that turkeys are flightless birds. They’re only ‘mostly’ flightless. This means that they can actually get up to around five feet off the ground when they try to cross the road. And this one managed to get just high enough to only need a slight boost from my car’s roof as it flew overhead, it’s feet tapping and scratching their way across the metal over my head before it was gone into the trees on the other side of the road. We even got a good look at each other from only inches away, and I think it probably saw as surprised a look on my face as I saw on his.

But the good news is that I wrote the final chapter of my novel this week. That doesn’t mean that I’m finished (there’s still work to be done in previous chapters before I can claim to be finished with the rough draft) but the end is now in sight. Especially when the actual ending is all typed out.

The story didn’t end as I had originally planned, which is completely fine with me. I love it when the characters become real enough that they begin to make their own decisions. I know Sir Arthur Conan Doyle quit writing Sherlock Holmes when Sherlock started taking control of the books and was telling him what should happen. It frustrated him to no end. But I love those moments when the characters exceed the level of mere thoughts and start being complete enough to surprise me. And I love where they took me this time. No one has actually read this novel yet (which is a major change from the process of how I wrote my first one and had wonderful, continuous feedback). So I’m curious to find out how this one will be received. And anxious. As scary as it is to put something so personal out there to be read, that’s the ultimate goal of writing. For people to read the story and hopefully be completely taken along over every page. To laugh with the characters, to feel pain with them, cry at times, and feel for them through the decisions that are made, whether they’re right or wrong.

My main character surprised me. And I’m happy that he did. It made the ending so much more rewarding to write than I ever expected. So now I need to get it finished quickly to start to get the reactions from readers.

After all, if the Mason Dixon line is my own personal Bermuda Triangle, who knows what other wildlife will be out there just waiting to throw themselves in my way to stop me… Gotta live life to the fullest if I’m living on borrowed time. Because, as far as I know, Bigfoot can’t fly. And he’d make a pretty big impact on the hood of my car. Maybe I need to just call in sick tomorrow and write! You know, just to be safe…

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