The home stretch to home. Or, rather, to the road between homes.

Doing the last of the things for the move. Reminding myself that forgetting something means I can probably live without it. Contemplating the upcoming days in a hotel, and the ones afterward that will be spent on an air mattress in the new place, living on an air mattress and what I manage to bring with me until the furniture arrives (which may not be for a week.)

Need to settle; to stare at walls. To immerse in the next book. To know who my new friends will be and what the bigger story actually is.

For a writer, the realizing of those needed things—the spending of that needed time—is the oasis, the finish line, the island in a shipwreck sea. An immediacy exists about the writing process that pushes the corporeal world away…that conquers alone-ness and not-ness.

That pushing away is a good thing and not. It concentrates one away from the asks of the outside word (as the condition of my yard will attest.) It tempts one to capsulate one’s energy and attention into a place of narrow and inward focus. It creates a sort of living agoraphobia…or hermitude. But those pitfalls are farther down my personal road.

Research, first. To get to know the mindset of the category of people who will be at the heart of the story. Then long walks in the close-in space of my head with those folks, until I know what they think, how they feel, what they want, what they fear; theirs twists and challenges and complexities. The research seeds the ground and lets grow…I don’t know what, yet.

But that takes time. And thought-wandering. Two things I don’t have the mental leisure for, right now.

Thought will be a great companion on the long, straight Kansas roads. Wandering on the concrete pathway. Company that speaks silently to me. The freeing knowledge that I do what I do. Even if I’m not prepared to do it. Not yet. Nohow.

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