That stationary bit in the middle was my weekend away in Derby. Once I got back I didn't want to continue. So far behind, I figured it would be a losing battle. But the stubbornness persisted. You might also be interested to note that I've done everything in my PhD that I needed to this last month and managed a little sleep in the process.
So what next? Well, I left my characters at something of a pivotal point. It's the penultimate chapter but I stopped writing as soon as I finished this paragraph, having hit 50,004 words: "Still, as Dawn skidded across the floor, they both smiled. Lauren clenched her hands around her mug, aware that they were once again closer than they should be. Shelley, it seemed, didn’t mind the lack of distance. She smiled shyly and looked straight into her mug. As the song built into the second chorus, Dawn jumped up on the end of the bench... Then the lights went off." This is the scene I've been building up to for the entire novel, the one I've had in my head for years. Perhaps stopping here was an excellent idea - the desire to write this scene will make sure I finish the novel. But that's next week! Today I return to the normalcy of PhD reading. Angels, demons and devoted specimens await me. I've never been so grateful to fall into a book of somewhat crusty criticism. Allow me to celebrate my victory with a Stephen Sondheim that is so full of energy I feel like bursting out of my seat: