The beginning of August marks the end of July's Camp NaNoWriMo, 31 days of writers worldwide creating. Campers are encouraged to pick their own word count goal (mine was 26,364 words, oddly specific because that magical number brought my novel to 50k words) and go for it. I rounded out July with 38,406 words (62028 words in total), 12k above my goal. I'll take it.
In March I began this journey with Lucy, an orphaned teenager burdened by the weight of her parents' deaths. Lucy was angry and unpleasant, scarred and in pain. She wasn't the only one in the little town of Mitte who struggled with loss and regret. In the Middle forced me to look at death and remorse from a handful of angles, mourn with each person, and then offer a bit of hope. Perhaps it will never be published, let alone read and understood by an audience, but recording their story took me on a journey I will always remember.
To Lucy, Oliver, Jasper, Perdita, Letty, Duke, Magnolia, Tessa, Johanna, Norman, Millie, Sadie, Angus, Sal, Bud, Vera--even Derek and Tanya... Thank you for waking me up.