Here's a random passage a little over ten pages into the thing. The character is a woman in her late thirties about to undergo an existential, at least to her, crisis:
"She’d wanted to leave the event early, TerraEco dot.org or EcoTerra dot.org, one of those anyway, some cause or other for environmental sustainability she would, by default, gravitate to and therefore had seduced her into attendance, but turning out to be the kind of group she immediately dismissed as a trust fund hippy cause, ban genetically-modified food without knowing what it was, keep the lake blue so you could drive your SUV around it, plant trees, save the children, support solar tax credits, hate Walmart, free Tibet, whatever, as long as they could write checks and have to not eat lunch with poor people or have to go someplace that stunk a little. She had also told herself she needed to network, schmooze, try and bring the totally uninteresting subject of buying and selling houses into the conversation and pretend she wasn’t being self-serving, except all she did was visit with a few scattered people in her pleasant and engaging but unrevealing way, those on the periphery seeming more lost than she did, talked about the rain, the traffic, the light rail, anything to avoid the mortifying question, “What do you do?” because then, she’d have to tell them.
"Tell them she was a real estate broker. Watch the split-second shift in their gazes as they thought, simultaneously, oh, no, you don’t look like one, how do I get away. Watch their furtive glance past her shoulder as they searched for someone else. Watch the quiver of their eyelids as their minds checked off subjects not to talk about (“You’re just imagining all that,” her friend, Julia once said; “No I’m not,” Rhiannon had replied). She liked her work well enough, except for other brokers and the clients. Brokers could not distinguish between truth and possibility, nor did they want to, and the clients pretty well subscribed to the whole delusion, being impressed, e.g., with Five Star Agent designations even though the badge had been bought online, pretending to be impressed with the incomprehensible strings of initials after the brokers’ names. Given the opportunity to make a choice, most people elect to stay with a familiar delusion over a reasonable-sounding alternative, especially if their friends hadn’t signed onto it first."
Where're we going with this? I sort of know because I'm planning the damned thing, but the characters are having a say. I know less than I think. Also, I really do know some of the scenes, but I have no clue as to how they go together. That fact makes it hard.
I also spent about twenty minutes on the telephone with an IRS appeals officer. Yeah, I'm being audited (my fault), but it's been going on for a year. We've gone from a $20,000 bill to something between a $35 refund and an additional tax of a few hundred dollars.
So it goes.
I'm around 14,000 words, so I'm pretty well keeping up. I'd like to be closer to 20,000, so in my mind, I'm failing.
But it could be worse.
Comments totally welcomed!