The race is against patience. Energy. Space.
The time comes, on that long and frantic pace, in which one realizes that the distance ahead is shorter than the distance already covered. But there is scant comfort, there: The remainder of the race is all uphill.
It is like that in moving, where literally not a room is devoid of chaos. It is like that in writing where, with just three chapters left, the toughest tests await.
In the move, the tests are finite. They are the tasks of patience and organization. One can see progress in a shrinking number of boxes and the growing footage of floorspace. In finishing a book, the challenges string off into infinity; a space-time continuum of possibility that tries to find a destination.
In both processes, the blessed ability to throw stuff away can lighten the load. But only in the move is that possibility an emotionally effortless one. One can toss material possessions; sell them, store them, give them away. Not such a simple thing to do in the writing work of more than a year.
The home stretch for the novelist is the supreme test. The Belmont Stakes of tolerance and sanity. This is the place where the plot and characters prove themselves worthy. Where the strengths that have been marshaled and doled out so carefully, will pay off in a surge to the lead or fall back through the obscurity of the pack. Where the race is won or lost.
In this writing place, I am trying to describe an unknown world, glimpsed but never entered. Ever. By anyone…the place in which I’ll try to describe the experience of everything. Maybe it is the definition of Lynn that I never set my efforts on the races that are to run.
This is the test that will ask everything I have.
Everything else is just boxes.