This is being written in real time, deep in the heart of the Chequamegon National Forest in Northern Wisconsin. I would call it Labor Day weekend, but for me it began Thursday night and will extend until Sunday Night. Let’s begin.
Thursday August 28, 2014
I arrived at the cottage at approximately 9:40 p.m. – alone. Well, sort of alone. Bella and Norman have made the trip too. It was a trade with my wife; I take both dogs and she’d have the four days to herself – just as I. She knew I needed a creative getaway – badly. But she also knew that if I just brought Bella (my dog, if you will), Norman (let’s call him her dog) would pout all weekend and mope under foot the entire time. Thus, I relented and saw the two travelers as welcomed companions.
All I did Thursday night was drive three and a half hours, unpack, in the pitch black of the deep woods, get the cottage opened up, and went to read in bed by 11:00.
Friday August 29th
Arose at 6:30 to find damp dreary 56 degree weather. By 9:30 the rain came down hard and steady. Perfect writing weather.
By 9:45 I had written two future blog posts (approximately 1,550 total words) and 800 words in Book Three of my WWIV series. It should be noted – as I near the completion of this manuscript, I still haven’t settled on the name. I love the first draft of this story and have a grand ending all set for it. I just hope it all holds together in the next 20,000 words or so.
My goal for the weekend is simple; get as much reading, writing and fishing in as possible. From the sounds of things I, and the dogs, will be alone all weekend long.
By the end of day one all I had seen of the outside was rain. Mist at times, followed by swell after swell of heavier precip. Mid-afternoon through the evening hour had periods of thunder mixed with the heavy rain.
By bed time the rain was so heavy the dogs refused to go out for the last time. I pleaded and begged as best I could, but Bella just looked at me like I was nuts. Norm was nowhere to be found; too much thunder. He discovered a safe hiding spot deep in the closet.
The days total was almost 5,000 words.
Saturday August 30th
Guess what? More rain this morning. I was awake by 6:00 and up creating by 6:30. The rain let up enough to get the dogs out once, but that was all. Through 11:00 a.m. the rain continued.
I pumped out a little more than 1,000 words before breakfast. If this weather keeps up I’ll get Book 3 done and have Book 4 half edited by Sunday night. Not that that’s a bad thing, but there are several chores I’d like to get done outdoors.
We have a large screen porch on the front of the cottage; it overlooks the lake we sit on. Each fall we placed wood frames covered in plastic over the screen openings in hopes of protecting the screens from the harsh northwoods winter. But each winter at least a handful of those protectors get damaged by the wind and falling branches. So the plastic on those frames need to be replaced. Hopefully between writing and watching college football I manage to get at least three of the six “storms” done.
It’s 8:21 in the evening now. I’ll have over 4,000 words in Book 3 before the end of the night. I got the six storms fixed, so that was an accomplishment. Rain has stopped but the wind picked up making the 60-degree temp feel even cooler.
I’m pleased with my progress thus far. I know some will think, “you’re alone, you can write all day, why haven’t you written more?” There’s a simple answer for that. I have discovered that if I push too hard, try to get words down for words sake, most of what I type beyond 3,000 or 4,000 is garbage. I once did an 8,000+ word day last winter. But I was on a roll that day. And the story wasn’t as complex as the one I am working on at this time. Thus, I’m fine with today’s tally. More will come tomorrow.
Sunday August 31st
I woke up just after 6:00 happy and refreshed. Outside I watched as mist skittered across the lake and the sun turned the eastern sky orange. Finally after 60+ hours of clouds and rain, I would have my sunny day.
I grabbed a cup of coffee and headed to the porch. Quickly, I retreated to the bedroom and grabbed one more layer. It may be clear, but it was certainly still cool. One quick check of the thermometer proved my point; 53 cool degrees.
I got to enjoy the sun for exactly 90 minutes. That’s when the wind picked up and the clouds moved back in – actually sprinted back across the sky. At least I was able to watch a nice sunrise.
Before I left to head home at 4:00 p.m. (it’s a three plus hour drive back to civilization from here) I pumped out another 3,800 words in Book Three of the WWIV series. To date, that puts me over the 50,000-word mark. Two more strong weeks and the rough draft will be completed. That will put me a week ahead of where I thought I’d be done.
Of course, like any decent writer, I plan on letting it sit – all alone is the confines of my hard drive – for at least four weeks before I look at it again. And like any decent writer, I’m sure I’ll sneak a few peeks at some of the earlier chapters before that time. I am, after all, only human.
Totals for my three-day stay:
· Four blog posts completed (including this one)
· 11,000 words in Book Three
· Only ate one of three rows of double-stuffed Oreos
· Read two small(ish) outdoors books
· Relaxed and napped more than I should
I’ll take it; the weekend that is. The weather wasn’t perfect, but neither is life. Take the good with the bad, and usually they balance out. It just means you can’t dwell on the bad (rain in this case) so much. There’s way too much good in life to worry about things you’ll never be able to control.
Until next week, have a great beginning to what most consider fall. It’s really late summer - fall officially arrive on September 23rd this year.