Getting into a real city again was weird. For all that Yellowstone’s surrounding towns have to offer, not even the most charitable could call Cody or Bozeman “cities”. That is, of course, a big part of why I like them.
Hell, half the reason I went to Yellowstone in the first place was to run away from the crowding and craziness that are starting to take over the area I currently call home. The area to which I just returned.
I almost didn’t, by the way. Didn’t return, that is. A winter in the vast, sprawling metropolis of West Yellowstone wasn’t sounding too bad to me at the end, there. But…
But family comes first, and right now family has to take priority over self-indulgence and my introverted desire to continue running away.
The trip home*, however, did have one very big saving grace: time and quiet to take stock of the writing I did in Yellowstone.
*Thanks, airport shuttle, for having ZERO heat in twenty-degree weather!
That stock-taking kinda sucked.
The plan was to write something on the order of 80,000 words while I was living in the park.
“Hey,” I thought, “there’s nothing around…I can write my ass off.”
Yes, I was that big of an idiot. 80,000 my ass – I wrote 20,000. That’s it. Shit, I should be writing 20,000 in a couple of weeks, not over the course of five months!
And you know why I got even that much done? Nagging guilt and shame had their roles, of course, but also the faith and support of my friends. Especially of those that read my rough draft stuff and tried to keep me focused.
Hell, I don’t think I can ever really describe just how much I appreciated one friend’s…well, there’s no other way to describe it: her outright bullying.
“How much did you write, today? Nothing? Go…shoo! Go write! Now!”
Now, I’m a pretty big guy, and Billy small enough to stuff into my pocket, but I just hung my head and went to write. And valued the friendship as I went.
The time up there did, however, change the tenor of the story a little bit. That’s fine for the last third of Silence – it was intended to return a sense of hope, and of meaning, to Connor’s life – but for the first bit?
It sounds weird, but I have to recover that bitter cynicism that so colored everything – both for me, and for him – before I left. One glance at the traffic as we drove home, and I decided that rediscovery probably wouldn’t be as hard as I’d first thought.