Molly and Claudia go to court

Had a bit of a scare yesterday when the current draft of the novel, which has reached 50,000 words and over 180 pages, did not open on command. According to MS Windows or MS Word or whatever MS is in charge of these matters, the document caused serious problems when last opened and so had been disabled.

I hadn’t noticed any problems, but who am I to argue with Microsoft?

After considerable dithering–reading “More Information” (Ha!) over and over, and closing/attempting to reopen the document in hopes the disability had all been in MS’s head–I recalled that I’d recently e-mailed a copy of the manuscript to myself against just such an evil occurrence as this.

The ending was happy. A clean file now resides on the desktop with a new, and more accurate, name. I refrained from performing a Dance of Extreme Joy and Thanksgiving right there in BookPeople’s coffeeshop. And I went on to compose 536 brand new words for the middle of chapter 13.

They’re not the right words. When I begin work tomorrow, I’ll wipe out every one of them. If, on the other hand, I decide they have possibility, I’ll send them to live in an Excision file. They might come in handy later.

But they’ve already done what they were meant to do. They turned white space into words, description, characters, dialogue; into red-headed Molly, wearing a charcoal suit, and black-haired Claudia, dressed in navy slacks and a red blazer and no-name flats and looking tall and skinny and casually elegant, driving together to the courthouse; and Claudia saying, “That suit is too formal for this meeting. And those shoes!”; and Molly saying, “There’s nothing wrong with my shoes. They’re a Stuart Weitzman classic pump”; and Claudia saying, “They paid you well at that law firm, didn’t they?”; and Molly, so tired of Claudia’s nit-picking she’s tempted to take off one of her classic pumps and bean Claudia with it; and Claudia saying, “The way you’re dressed, you look like you’re going to a funeral”; and Molly thinking that if she did bean Claudia with her Stuart Weitzman, the insurance money could be used to pay their debts; and Claudia saying, “What are you smiling at?”

On second thought, maybe I’ll leave all 536 right where they are.


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