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I finally wrote Chapter 1.  I’ve been working on this book for my whole crazy life about 4 years now and I’m just now writing Chapter 1.

I thought I had Chapter 1, was sure of it, but … alas … no.  I’ve apparently been faking my Chapter 1 all this time and had no idea.

This is how writing works.  You think you have it, you think you know what this is all about, this chapter and paragraph and sentence writing stuff, and you’re going right along with your happy-dance of a story and BANG.  You don’t even have the opening.  You don’t even have your first words.

A year ago I went to a writing workshop for two weeks —- I’ll be going back to that same workshop shortly —- and I remember meeting with our leader and her saying, “I think you’re six months to a year from finishing this book.”  Of course I nodded my agreement, but you know the cartoon fireworks were going off and I was thinking really really loud, “Six months?!  A year?!  No way.  I’ll be finished with this book by the end of summer.”

And then there was Chapter 1.

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I’m writing like a madwoman this week.  Is there a bigger moon?  It’s hot here.  93 yesterday; 80-something today.  I’ve got a military-esque routine going, which I kind of love, and the dogs certainly love, so it works for the house.  Last night I woke up at 2 am, wrote some stuff down, turned on the TV for the latest episode of “Housewives of Orange County” (crazy women!), and ended up going back to bed in the dogs’ room.  I turned on the light in there so I could find the bed without tripping over them and they all looked at me like, “Um, huh?”

Today on our walk I was listening to music instead of the usual audiobook.  I heard an old favorite.  When I first moved to northern California, I would listen to this song every single morning on my dog-walk, always on the way back, coming up the hill, the last steps to our new home, enamored with the story and the alliteration of “A California life alone…”  I guess that was a whole other Chapter 1…

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