Our time at the Barracks draws to a close as the final hours tick down. It's a bit of an anti-climactic day since, not surprisingly on Labor Day, everyone is off doing their own thing and not frequenting this space. My writing has hit a lull, with the draft nearing completion and the editing process looming on the horizon. It's in the low 30s again today (that's creeping up into the low 90s, for my American friends), which places it somewhere in the mid to high-twenties inside the cozy confines of our little work space.
With all of that said, I would do this again next year in a heartbeat. Of course next year the dates would have to change a bit, since we've set a tentative wedding date and will be otherwise occupied during these same two weeks next summer (I know that has nothing to do with writing or creating art, but I just like saying it).
Once again I have enjoyed collaborating with Marsha on a project we're both excited about. Many artists (and most writers) are solitary creatures and don't necessarily play well with others, but we've managed to find the right chemistry on a few projects now, and I think we've both benefited. It won't be the last time we work together, guaranteed.
I think primarily what I've taken away from this experience is the realization that I'm capable of pushing past the short story stage and into longer works without filling the gaps with back story and pointless descriptive detail. That has been one of my biggest stumbling blocks to date, but The Beast of Wunderland has helped me to get past that. Once this is wrapped up my hope is that I can dive back into my novel with renewed energy and enthusiasm, and a better grasp on the approach to such a large project.
The doors may be closing at the Barracks, but this project is far from done. Keep an eye on this space for more updates on Beast as we move forward. Labor Day winds down - after today summer's over, the kids are back to school, real life once again intrudes upon the dream of the full-time writer. For now.
It's Saturday, September 5, our third-to-last day here at the Barracks. Two weeks have come and gone far more quickly than I thought they would have, given how much time I've spent sitting here. The truth is, I'm almost sorry it's so close to being over with. I think I'll miss coming in here with no distractions, and very little to do aside from writing. It's been great for my productivity and creativity levels, I must say.
The Beast of Wunderland is coming together nicely. I have to say I'm rather pleased with the direction the story has taken (it's not much like the original vision I had when I started, but it's much deeper and richer and, in my humble opinion, better). It's grown from a three-thousand word short story to nearly seven times that length, plus a ton of time spent editing and fixing various plot holes and problems I created for myself when I changed things as I went along. I'm looking at a copy of the cover art hanging on the wall next to my table and I'm getting excited to get this wrapped up and released.
Earlier this week I posted that this wasn't going to be a full-length novel, and I was right - sort of. As I sit here I'm thumbing through a copy of the original text, which I was surprised to discover checks in at just one hundred eleven pages. It seems pretty incredible that such an iconic book as Alice, with its myriad memorable characters and scenes, could be as short as that. As of today mine is sitting at seventy, so apparently I'm approaching the same ballpark after all. Maybe not a full-sized novel by today's standards but lots to keep the reader going, I think.
Thanks to everyone who's stopped in for a visit and those following along here. It's been a great experience in so many ways. Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!
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