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  • Melissa Olson


Last night didn't start out well for me. I let myself get so worked up about the election, my hands were shaking. So I filled the bath, threw on Francesca Battistelli, and tried my hardest NOT to think. That's when I heard a voice. He said, "Come with us." No, it an apparition, it was the start of the final scene of the novel I've been working on for many years.

I'd been stuck, thinking about it for a couple of weeks. I knew, essentially, what it needed to accomplish, but it wouldn't come. I think I was afraid that it wouldn't tie everything together the way I wanted. I've put this novel down (sometimes for years at a stretch) and picked it up more times then I count. It's gone through a half dozen full revisions. I've killed off characters and added entire story-lines. It's been ripped apart and put back together; parred down from more than 160,000 words to 94,876.

Last night, I sat down at my laptop and typed George's words: "Come with us." Then I heard Cora's response. I saw them sitting, shoulder to shoulder, on the settee. One little line and then another, and the entire scene came pouring out.

I went from being so down to elated. I gave my daughter a fist-bump and did a little dance. In a funny way, I have this election to thank for helping me with this final scene. Most of the time, I don't stop running long enough to listen to the story. I get busy or obsessed about things that, ultimately, are a lot smaller than I make them. I'm glad I forced myself to get out of my head, and make room for the words.

#writing #meditating #craft #novels #creating #election

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