My new kitchen cupboards–not so new anymore, it’s been almost a year–are wonderful in many ways, most notably in providing storage galore. But they’re a deep maple color and the longer I live with them, the more I realize that the room feels darker than it used to. On a day like today, when the sky is gray and the air feels heavy with humidity, the kitchen feels like a place to eat gruel and dry toast.

I didn’t, of course. Salad with sadly frozen greens, which I assume provide the same nutritional value, but are decidedly unappealing. I need to remember not to put defrosting food on top of the salad green box — it never turns out well. Anyway, I’m trying to think of ways in which I could brighten my kitchen, without doing anything over-dramatic, like painting the cupboards. Maybe painting the walls? They’re white at the moment, but maybe if they were a sunnier color, maybe a pastel yellow? I could put higher watt bulbs in the light fixtures, I suppose, but I don’t want to add glare, I just want to make the room feel cheerful. I should check Pinterest and see what people have filed under cheerful kitchens.

I won’t be making changes today, though. Yesterday, I counted my word count as 1930 words. That was true, but it ignored the fact that I also deleted a bunch of words from Saturday, so my overall word count was not nearly so high. Still, NaNo started yesterday, so I figured I should treat it as a blank slate. Along the way of my writing yesterday, I started making a list of all the revisions that I’m going to need to make in Grace as a result of words that I’m writing now. It got frighteningly long quite quickly, but that’s okay. Yesterday’s chapter, which was in Dillon’s voice, felt like I was finally hitting that place where the characters start to act on their own initiative and the words start to spill out. It’s worth all the revisions if it helps me find the flow again. Of course, that’s easy to say today because I have no intention of starting these revisions until much, much later, but so it goes.

I don’t think I have, at this point in my writing journey anyway, stock characters the way prolific authors often do, but the character who was stealing the stage yesterday reminded me of Rachel from A Gift of Thought. She’s definitely not Rachel — she is much, much angrier — but I didn’t know this character mattered at all. For a long way in the story, she was just “crying girl” but lately she’s been fighting for space. A bunch of the revisions will belong to her, because it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that she’s important and that she should have been introduced a lot earlier. I like the way that’s unfolding. Inspiration, not just me making stuff up? But I really hope to finish this book someday, so I’d better get back to it!

If you’re doing NaNo, good luck today. More words!