I know I need it: it fills a need in two character arcs. I just need to figure out what it does for the plot.
I may also be overthinking, and letting myself get distracted where it would be helpful if I just wrote. Often, large portions of stories will take care of themselves if I can just get into a groove and write. The subconscious is a wonderful thing.
The boy's computer issues, various friends in need of moral support, and so forth and so on--and a call for longer hours at the day job are leaving my writing time ever more fragmented. And my summer is pile of swiss cheese; here a con, there a con, and ten days on a cross-country jaunt means the writing's getting wedged in where it can get wedged in. I probably need to spend more time writing without distractions, for I have been bad about focus lately, and I just don't have the luxury of that time right now. Also, I'm not getting enough sleep, and that will do worse things to my productivity than heartbreak or world travel.
The good news is, I have almost the entire month of August to do nothing but write (if I ignore the existence of the day job and minor issues like family and dogs and cats), and I really should have a complete draft by Lammas, I think, even with all the screwiness that is my summer.
So if I'm slow answering email or IMs.... it's not you. It's the damned book.