Help Me, Rudolph!

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Everyday millions of Americans fall off track with their diet and exercise routines. Smokers break their commitments to quit smoking. Students surrender their efforts to make better grades. As a writer, I am often distracted by the various goings-on in my life, but these interruptions don’t typically last longer than a few days, a week at the most. This time, however, I’ve wandered so far off course I need Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to help guide me back.

A month ago, I was averaging 2500 words a day on a women’s fiction novel for NaNoWriMo when a strange character visited me. This young man didn’t whisper in my ear, he barged into my mind, occupying my every thought. Luke’s story poured from me, not in sentences but in chapters. I was having the most fun I’d ever had with my writing. That is, until Thanksgiving got in my way.

Just as I was recovering from the drama of entertaining aging parents and strong-willed teenagers for a week, one of said aging parents had a bad fall, which proved to be fatal. Sad, but anyone who has ever watched a loved one suffer from Alzheimer’s understands how death can be a blessing. When I emerged from the funeral fog, I found myself smack in the middle of Christmas hell, surrounded by fake Santa Clauses and tacky decorations.

So how do I get back to work? One baby step at a time. This blog post is a beginning. In the weeks ahead, between all the cooking and shopping and decorating, I will try to write a little every day, outlining the plot and analyzing the characters in Luke’s story. What better time than the end of the year to reflect on the past months and create goals for 2013. Barring any more catastrophes, I’ll be ready to hunker down and get back to work full force in January.

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