The week ending Friday 10 January was my first full week back at work after winter vacation. Maybe that's why I was feeling completely emptied of ideas. I know the winter was starting to get to me (it always does). Mostly I just felt like flaking out on the couch and watching movies until my brain got back in gear, probably when the spring thaw arrived.
Friday Flash nearly got skipped, but then I thought, all right, I'll write about being a spy as if "ho-hum, it's a living," and planned out a task for a couple of characters. A short serial, three weeks, beginning, middle, end, and hopefully by mid-February I'd have some more ideas and could move on to other stories.
At the end of Part 3, it was just obvious that of course Pepper would be followed, because it's a spy story, isn't it? And it could have ended there, ho-hum, getting followed is just part of the job, but since I'd written about her getting followed, I thought I better wrap that up.
All right, one more episode to close that off, and then one more to wrap up the whole thing. Five parts. Very nice. Then on to other things.
Except that while Pepper shook off her tail in Part 4, in Part 5 it only made sense that the minor, forgettable character I'd introduced back in Part 2 (Geoffrey) turned out to be a spook too, and not just a very nervous businessman as I'd originally thought. And of course being one of the good guys, he'd want to tell Pepper and Cinnamon things were horribly wrong and that they shouldn't hand over the data.
So then I figured I'd be done in ten parts.
Then I really couldn't see it going more than twenty parts, twenty-two tops.
I'm writing this a few minutes after scheduling Part 28 to post on Thursday 17 July. Somehow this little three-parter, just-until-my-seasonal-depression-clears story has stretched to half the year. The posts alone, with no editing, come to slightly over 24,000 words.
The funny thing about this story is that, unlike other longer work I've done, I've never felt that stressed about it. Even when I totally painted myself into a corner with the plot line and had to figure out how to get out. It's felt a bit weird, really.
Like any decent wrap-up party, a big thank-you goes out to everyone who stuck it through and read the whole thing, and especially to everyone who generously took the time to leave comments. Reading a weekly serial this long is not easy, I know — hence the plans for the original three-parter!
Thank you all again, and I hope you stick around for whatever I'm going to write this week. Right now I haven't a clue.
Shout-outs to all of the regular commenters, in no particular order: