The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

-- Robert Frost, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"

Although I'm this close to finishing TOPAZ, it feels like I might as well be half a book away. I can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, but, as Frost says, I have miles to go.

I've been working on Chapter 28 for a few days now. It seems to be a pattern for me: the chapter after a section with lots of action is extremely tough to get onto paper (or screen). I've written one version already, but it didn't seem to be tough enough on Faith and Jason. (Yes, I'm a mean author.)

Part of the problem is that I want to go in one direction—and I think Faith is tugging in another. I hate fighting with my characters. It's annoying. I'm not convinced that the direction she wants is the correct one for the story, though. Grr.

Maybe I'll listen to her and write a few pages in that direction and see if it works. It probably will. One thing I've learned is that, as much as I fight with my characters sometimes, they're usually right.