I wasn't really sure what to expect, beyond having a lot of time to write. And I did write, about 5000 words, including new and reworked chapters for High Maga, the companion novel to Eolyn. The new material included some of the most climactic moments of the novel. I am beginning to witness how events have transformed my characters in deep and lasting ways; and I am coming up against the final fates of some of my favorites, which has me sad in the bittersweet sense of the word.
I estimate I have about 15000 to 20000 words to write before I finish the manuscript; within that the final battle sequence, which for a long time has been a terribly imposing mountain on the not-so-distant horizon. But as of last week, the dreaded mountain has been transformed into just another ridge to hike across, another piece of the landscape to enjoy. Not because writing a battle sequence has become any less formidable a task, but because something about being with this exceptional group of women has inspired my confidence and renewed my sense of trust in the journey of writing.
A year ago when Eolyn was launched, I found myself reflecting on all the wonderful and talented people that became a part of my life as a result of writing my first novel. Now after a week of working on my second novel in the company of nine amazing women, I am once again marveling at the way friendship is born of storytelling.
Writing is not just about word counts and deadlines. It's not even just about the story. Writing is a path that takes us to new places, opens doors to the exploration of different worlds, in our lives as well as in our imaginations. Most fundamentally, the journey of writing is about the people we meet. Our stories create community. They connect us and bind us to each other, and send us toward a happier future that for all its uncertainties, promises never to be lonely.