Reached 50,020 words at 4:07 p.m. Not quite the eleventh hour, but close. And to call what I have a novel would be a stretch. What these 80-plus single-spaced pages are is a beginning. A very rough draft. And a clue about the historical research I still need to do before I can even think about revisions. Luckily, the research is often the best part and for this novel it includes New Orleans, Cajun-Creole cuisine, French explorers and Choctaw Indians. In other words, lots of rich, wonderful stuff, and I can't wait to dig in. But not tonight. And probably not tomorrow, either. After this crash-course rough draft, I need at least a day to rest. And maybe a cold compress for the typing elbow I developed at some point this month. And maybe a glass of wine.