It’s drawing close to seven, and everybody has gone home. Doors are closed, cubicles are empty, corridors extend in silence past conference rooms, cafeterias, filing cabinets and copy machines. Muted beiges, grays and whites. Nearly two hours past when I should have left, but here I am. Mug of tea at hand. Music playing mutedly through my headphones, lamp illuminating my small office from over my right shoulder, casting large, vague shadows across the wall to my left. A pile of edited pages in my wire inbox container, a stack of clean pages before me.

Just finished Chapter 6. I really liked this chapter – there are subtleties here that were a pleasure to read, interplays and deepenings that were fun to watch, to follow, like tracking a car as it runs a course, hugging the corners and accelerating down the breakaways. I’m satisfied with what’s there, but I might go back to it and flesh out some passages, add more resonance, put more meat on the bones.

Chapter 7 is next. If I recall correctly, this Chapter was one of the hardest for me to write. In it, my characters hit the local library for the requisite research scene, and I wrote it all half snarling, feeling hackneyed and dreading the formulaic nature of it all. I did my best to make it interesting, to change things up, to keep the reader involved – but. Chapter 7. Perhaps it will read better than I expect. Perhaps not. Either way, I’m going to sharpen my pencil. Drink a large mouthful of tea. Stretch my arms, crack my neck, and go to it.