Finished. Chapter 7 was rough. Endless lines crossed out with thick, hard lines of pencil lead gray, words and sentences written into the interstices of the text in cramped, semi-illegible letters. The research scene was rough, but I’ve figured out what – the characters assume a quasi-jocular tone, or least Eric does, and it rings false, needs to be changed. I’m going to have to rewrite his lines, his reactions, draw him back down into the shadows of his misery and paranoia, and by grounding him, give Julia and Thomas the proper context and contrast in which to face their fears.

But the final third of the chapter, where Thomas and Julia head back to the hotel to put into effect their terrifying gambit, to seek to trap that which they don’t understand with the only bait they have at hand – ah, I thrilled through it, I enjoyed the tension, I sat on the edge of my seat and devoured it down. It still needed editing; my pencil flew, crossing out and underlining and taking notes, but ah – what a rush.

Tomorrow comes Chapter 8, not difficult but perhaps my weakest chapter, without real substance, skimped over due to my lack of factual knowledge of church records, how they’re kept, how open priests are to letting strangers examine them. Then Chapter 9, and gut clenching Chapter 10. Ah!

But enough. Time to lay down my pencil, turn of the computer, switch off the lights, and lock the door. Leave the office for the subway tunnels, the rock and sway of the trains that will take me to Queens, to dinner, perhaps to the Iliad for an hour or so, and then sleep.