In the book that’s in the works now, one of the main characters (in a circumstance I won’t reveal here) finds herself thinking “How the hell did that happen?”

I had a weekend like that. In a good way.

Some times, some weekends, serve up more than you ever expected; ever hoped for. The good stuff seems to happen by itself.

I had no reason to expect that it would. After a few weeks of worrying about—and at—the current chapter and the progression of the chapters that would follow, I realized suddenly that I was wrong. All wrong. The plot that should be moving forward, at this point, like a tank was moving forward, backward, and forward again.

The plot was tying itself in a knot. The plot-logic, the emotional logic, weren’t there.

Panic. Everything I had planned to do…all the mental and emotional preparation I’d spent days ramping up for—gone in an instant. And yet, that wasn’t the way things turned out.

The new order (even though it meant starting at a place about which I wasn’t nearly prepared) opened doors that I never expected. Complex directions were instantly, perfectly clear. The validation of a character’s reason-to-be. A wholeness that had not existed before.

That’s one of the joys of writing. The things that happen by surprise. The choices that you didn’t know you’d made, stepping forward and asserting their wisdom; the ideas you didn’t know you’d had in your head, coming together of their own will.

Thank you, book. Thank you brain. And you, the ability to surprise myself: Thank you most of all.

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