Stephanie and I are at my very favorite part of our work in progress—the growing part. We know the characters. (At least as much as they have decided to tell us. They will reveal more about themselves in good time.) We've "plotted". Okay, so she has plotted. Whatever. At any rate, we have a road map with key stops and I can fly by the seat of my pants toward those points any way I choose. Often, it seems like there are a hundred possible routes and I play every single one in my head. Sometimes, I choose; sometimes. the characters take over but this is the part where the baby is growing.
Precious Angel was always an affectionate child. As a baby, he would wave his arms and squeal to be picked up. I still remember what it felt like for little toddler arms to wrap around my knees from behind and, later, a face buried in my stomach. Still later, I loved to be able to kiss the top of his head when we hugged. For the longest time our cheeks fit together naturally.
This past Friday night after the football game, he came out of the locker room exuberant over a homecoming win and his own good performance. He is still an affectionate child but enough of the secure man he's going to be that he embraces those he loves in public. Tonight there was no head kissing or cheek pressing. This time, my head landed somewhere under his chin, in the vicinity of a shoulder pad. And I thought, "When did that happen?"
When writing, that's how I always feel somewhere between the black moment and the epilogue. Somewhere along the way the baby grew up, almost, it seems, with no input from me. And I think, "When did that happen?"
That is my second favorite part of the process. There is just something magically fantastic about realizing everything is going as it should, whether it comes in the form of being hit in the face with shoulder pad under a sweaty football jersey, a hero who finally gets it, or a heroine who learns how to forgive.
What's your favorite part of the process?