What do I mean by this? Well, I have a word count goal I try to meet every day. Currently, this is what it looks like:
To Have and To Hold = 1000 words
Her Heart’s Desire = 500 words
Mitch’s Win = 500 words
Bound by Honor, Bound by Love = 200 – 300 words
Just Good Friends = 100 words
Now, I’ll have everyone note that when I was working 1000 words a day on Shotgun Groom and Isaac’s Decision, I had no trouble stopping at 1000 words and moving on to the next work in progress. But now (as of Dec. 17 at 1 am), I am at 53,000 words into To Have and To Hold and have realized two things.
1. This book will be closer to 80,000 instead of 70,000.
2. Dave and Mary will not let me write anything else. I’ll go to another story and even though I know what’s going to happen next, I can’t write anything because Dave and Mary are bugging me to get back to their book. Selfish, right? I mean, there are other characters whose books need to be written.
And speaking of selfish characters, Dave’s popped on by to talk to me.
Dave: Why aren’t you working on To Have and To Hold?
Ruth: Dude, I wrote 2000 words in that book today, and it’s 1 in the morning. I need to go to bed.
Dave: Sleep is for wimps. You left me and Mary at the lighthouse, and as I recall, we were discussing some memories, hugging and kissing. We were having a great time and then you decide, “Oh, look. I hit 53,200 words. It’s time for bed.” You need to make it an even 54,000 before you sleep tonight.
Rick: Oh for heaven’s sake! You’ve knocked my book back two months to get Ruth to write 1000 words a day on your book, and you have the nerve to make it so that yours is the only book that gets written?
Dave: What book is yours again?
Rick: Her Heart’s Desire.
Dave: You know, I’m not too crazy about that title.
Rick: It’s not your book, so the title doesn’t concern you. My point is that my book was supposed to be out in March, but now it won’t be out until May.
Dave: You think that’s long? I had to wait for two years for my second book. Ruth couldn’t come up with a plot, so she kept making me wait.
Rick: Give me a break. This is your second book. Second. I’m still trying to get my first one out, and I doubt there’ll be a sequel for me.
Dave: *shrugs* I don’t know what to say. Everyone seems to love me. I’m like the people’s choice award for heroes in Ruth’s books.
Dave: You shouldn’t be so upset. You show up in every single Nebraska series book.
Sally: That’s not true. I wasn’t in A Bride for Tom or A Husband for Margaret. I’m sure there’ll be other books I won’t show up in as the series expands, so I need my own book. Otherwise, everyone will forget me like they forget about Richard.
Sally: My older brother.
Rick: Oh yeah. I briefly remember him from Eye of the Beholder.
Heather: Rick and Sally, you aren’t the only ones who are inconvenienced. Ruth hasn’t touched my book in a while either. And what’s worse is that while she left you two on a walk, she left me and Mitch in bed. Do you know how difficult it is to wait for things to get finished once they begin?
Rick: Well, at the rate things are going, I won’t even make it to the bedroom.
Sally: Dave doesn’t care who he inconveniences. His only concern is that he gets as much story time as possible. If people understood how selfish he is, they wouldn’t be so eager to read Eye of the Beholder or To Have and To Hold. But he never shows his true colors in the books. He always comes off as this super sweet guy who’d make the perfect husband.
Rick: God willing, you won’t insist on a third book.
Sally: Seriously. I think I’d have to poke my eyes out with a fork if you did that.
Dave: A third book?
Heather: Don’t give him any ideas. I need to get out of the bedroom, ideally before I die.
Heather: There has to be more to our story than the wedding night.
Mitch: *shrugs* Eh. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if we remained as is for a month or three or more.
Heather: A month or three or more? You’ve got to be kidding me.
Sally: Just like a man. I’m telling you, Heather, men only have their minds on one thing.
Rick: Hey, that’s not true. Work is a big part of our lives, too.
Citlali: I wish Ruth had left me on a walk on a nice Spring day or in a bed. You know where she left me? In the snow. It’s January in my book, and I’m out in the freezing cold. I happen to be in North Dakota where once it gets cold, it stays cold. Not like you guys in Nebraska that get warm days mixed in with the cold.
Mitch: Well, I’m in Montana.
Citlali: In a nice, warm bed with a woman. *rolls eyes* That’s nothing like risking frostbite because the author leaves you outside for weeks on end.
Sally: What on earth are you doing out in the snow in January?
Citlali: I’m walking in the snow to help pass the time until I can return to the tribe. Just my luck, huh? I’m away from the fire. And poor Onawa’s stuck in the my family’s lodge, longing for the moment when I’ll be back. I can only imagine how miserable she must be.
Citlali: What are you doing?
Onawa: Uh… You see, since Dave’s taken over all of Ruth’s writing time, I thought I’d find a comfortable couch and pass my time watching Netflix videos.
Citlali: While I’m stuck out in the snow heartsick because I’m away from you?
Dave: You are all blowing this whole thing out of proportion. It’s not about any of you.
Dave: It’s about Mary. We’re stuck in Maine with her crazy family, and it turns out her weird sister is no better than her mother. The faster Ruth writes our story, the sooner we can be back home in Nebraska and away from those people.
Rick: Give me a break. We all have some kind of conflict going on in our books. I’m trying to find the woman of my dreams.
Sally: And I’m trying to show Rick that I’m that woman.
Heather: And I need to adjust to being a wife and mother while dealing with my no-good brother.
Mitch: I need to be sure I’m satisfying my wife in bed. I’m not sure I’m doing that great of a job on my wedding night here.
Citlali: What is wrong with you? You never come out and say something like that on a public blog. People are going think you’re inadequate as a man. I knew I was good my first time with Onawa because I’m good at everything I do. I was good, right Onawa?
Onawa: What? Did someone mention my name again?
Citlali: *grumbles* Never mind. I’d hate to interrupt her while she’s watching another movie. Why should she be inconvenienced just because I’m stuck out in the freezing cold waiting for the moment I can be with her again?
Onawa: *watches movie*
Sally: Well, now we all know the conflict in your book. You need to know your wife loves you. Maybe we should retitle your book “Bound by Computer, Not Sure About Love”.
Rick: No. I think “Computer Bound” works better.
Mitch: We can call my book “Mitch’s Bed”.
Heather: I don’t think so.
Dave: Instead of “Her Heart’s Desire”, it should be “Her Manipulative Ways” or “Sally’s At It Again: Bugging People Until She Gets What She Wants”.
Sally: And people wonder why I call you David when you hate being called that.
Dave: Like I said, “Sally’s At It Again: Bugging–”
Sally: *grabs a rolling pin and chases him*
Rick: I wonder if “Bound by Netflix” would work, Citlali.
Citlali: I’ll have something bound when I get back. I’m taking the computer, tying it up and throwing it into the river. When I return, Onawa’s not going to be favoring a stupid machine over me.
Ruth: While they continue to banter back and forth, I do need to go to bed. Good night, everyone!