Nearing the Final Stretch!

Photo by Bernie Condon
This weekend I achieved the extraordinary. Something that hasn't happened lately. It occurred in the quiet confines of a room with no other person present.

That is, unless you count the porcelain doll Emma, who stands on my mirrored dresser holding a basket of yellow flowers.

In the span of a few hours, I completed a full chapter in my manuscript, bumping the word count up to 62,353.

So what, you may ask. That's great, but what makes it extraordinary?

Well, two things. One, in the past month, I've been working on Project Colorado, a.k.a. Move to New Army Post, with my husband. We've been researching housing, calling agents, inquiring about his military orders, going to deployment and financial planning classes. The whole spiel.

In between this, our everyday tasks, and the time I have for writing, there are arrangements to make for visiting family in Missouri before the big move. This is our second walk around the block, but any military family will tell you. It only takes one stressful move (we call it a PCS) to learn the value of proper planning.

I digress. Reason number two. That chapter I just wrote brings me closer to finishing my manuscript. Only 18,000 words to go. Or seven chapters. Sounds a lot better than mumbling, "Umm, I'm a little over halfway done", for the twentieth time. My mantra during the late winter months.

But now, onward and upward! I have several scenes floating in my head that need to be typed out. If I stick to the plan, there will be another chapter or two complete by Memorial Day weekend.

Back to the quiet room, where Emma silently looks on with her big brown, feather-lashed eyes.

Do you keep track of your writing progress with a word count, or do you go with the flow?