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Today did not turn out quite as I had planned. I left the house at 10:30 this morning for what I thought would be just a couple hours of errands, and didn’t return until almost 8 o’clock this evening. Though it didn’t go as planned, it was a beautiful day with unexpected pleasures and company. For part of the day we ended up about an hour south visiting a family member who is preparing to sell the house where she has lived for almost fifty years…no small feat! As the date of the estate sale nears, she has encouraged those closest to her to come look through the items she cannot take with her, in order to see if we can find a good home for anything.

When we arrived at the house, there was already a stack of books waiting for me on the garden fence. I smiled to see that they were all books on the craft of writing. This family member also happens to be an old English major and has always been very supportive of my endeavor.

When she led me to the study to look through other books she asked if I had found the stack of books she’d set aside for me. I thanked her and and made a joke about how you could never learn too much about the craft of writing. I was surprised when she stopped in the middle of the hall, turned to me, and said to me in all seriousness, “Oh, yes you can. There is a saying…inspiration comes from the doors which open inward.” I was taken aback. She and I have only spoken briefly at far too few family get togethers about the challenges I have faced with my novel. But in that moment she revealed a prescient understanding of my situation and its necessary remedy. I was surprised and touched and could only nod dumbly.

And so the message is coming through loud and clear…from everywhere and everyone.

Tomorrow I will not leave the house. Instead, I will begin to finish this book…once and for all. I don’t know what it will look like or what the result in my life will be when it’s done. It doesn’t matter anymore. Everything and everyone is telling me to make it the book I want it to be…and to get it done.