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I’m so close. The bad guys have all been killed or driven off, the Great Internal Conflict of MC Numero Uno has been revealed to MC Numeros Dos Y Tres (no, I do not speak Spanish, can you tell?) and thus semi-resolved, the victory cheer has sounded and the crying is down to a few undignified sniffles. Emotional and plot resolution successfully touched down in tandem despite a slippery runway, severe turbulence, and a few unruly passengers who wouldn’t put their tray tables in the upright and locked position, and who are, I’m afraid, still wrapped in muddy blankets doing the nasty while the flight attendant pleads with them to put their seat belts on and the plane taxis to the gate.  (And no, I’m not apologizing for this ridiculous thicket of bad metaphors. Just be grateful I left out the stuff about the ship in safe harbor.)

One chapter left. Falling action, a chance to cement all the I’m sorrys and the you scared mes and the important, embarrassing stuff we figured out about ourselves when the chips were down.

And yet.

It’s a nice shiny white page. Chapter 22 in Garamond 12-point bolded font at the top, centered. Plenty of room underneath for whatever. I know what needs to happen, and, dammit, it’s happening today, this morning, very soon now. I have Einaudi and the Gypsy Kings Instrumental Best playing in alternating order, I’ve got a nice cup of hot lentil soup in front of me and some tea, all systems are go.

Any minute now I’m sure I’ll get the first few words in.

I’ve never had trouble with endings. I like endings. They’re where all the sap I’ve managed not to put into the rest of the book sits, so we can have a good sniffle at the wonderful cruelty of life and love and all that jazz. And this is the middle book of a trilogy, fer gods’ sakes: it’s hardly an ending in the literal sense. All these characters will be back just as soon as I’m done with the umteenth revision of this not-quite-done book and have tied my wits in knots to come up with a concrete and detailed outline for the next one. It’s not over.

It’s really not over, because I can’t think of one measly article, personal pronoun, or heck, even dangling participle to put down here.

Dog does her dog thing when she’s tired of me writing, which is to come sit near my elbow, edge closer when she thinks I’m ignoring her, and rest her furry 6-lb head on my forearm. The more I type, the harder she leans, until annoyed comes out as snnoywx and I stop to scratch between her eyes. She could use a bath, I think. I should give her one now. Or maybe watch a movie. I could take a nap. And we need a new filter for the Brita…

No! One. Damn. Chapter. Maybe 2500 words, maybe a little more or less than that. Christ on a bicycle, I wrote twice that yesterday.

Ok. I’m just going to sit here with Her Dogginess, staring at this nice shiny blank page, and wait. Surely, my brain will get tired of this and come up with something.