RoW80 Check-In: Sunday, July 8th.

”     The details of last night reformed themselves, building the scene again for him. Each dull pain reawakened as he revisited every blow, every smash, pain imbued into each muscle and bone in his body. It all started with an argument, a slammed door, Awngel’s dagger glare. And then there was Hederrick, the man from the book cart, with the glistening spiked rings on his fingers that dug into Locke’s cheek. The blonde-haired woman with eyes like pools. Knolan had said she was a Battarack, and another word lingered.
     He had not intended to speak the word, but it came out as a faint whisper when he struggled to open his eyes….”

I’m quite fond of blaming the heat lately, but I’m afraid I must do it once more, as I’ve spent a good portion of last week since the previous check-in for A Round of Words in 80 Days contemplating my goals. Of course, the heat has cooled a little bit in the last day; we have the windows open this morning instead of the AC on, and it’s absolutely lovely. The 70 degree range is the perfect temperature for me, especially when there’s a breeze. I don’t even care that it threatens to scatter all my papers. The breeze is lovely and I know the cats are content because they love few things as much as being able to sit in an open window and breathe in the fresh air.

It definitely had me recharged this morning, but I’m still wondering about the goals I set for A Round of Words in 80 Days. I knew that working simultaneously on several novels until one stood out was going to be a little challenging, but I never really bothered thinking about what if none of them really stand out and I don’t have to keep up with page-per-day goals I set? So I’ve mostly decided not to stress out about it, to just follow the muse, and so long as I’m writing, that’s all that matters, until a better idea of what I really want to hanker down on and get finished starts to develop. Either way, here’s what I’ve been working on and how I’ve been doing with it:

Serpent in a Cage: I thought I had made a stupid mistake and so I tore out a few pages to rewrite, only to realize that I hadn’t made a mistake at all. So I’ve been rewriting the pages I thought I was going to rewrite as something different as exactly the same. Which is to say that there’s been no progress, but that particular scene (the opening to the second part and where the excerpt above is derived) has got a little extra polish on it.

Western with Dragons: I would love thoughts on the prospective title of Wanted: Dread or Alive. I haven’t worked much on this one because I thought I lost the notebook, but it turns out I had just used a different part of it to scribble down an idea for a short story and then forgot. Lulz.

Soulless: I hit a little bit of a snag, but I think I got past it an now I’m just focusing on pushing the plot along. Usually, when I do that, my snags take care of itself, but, other than that, nothing too exciting about this one.

Battarack Girls: I haven’t had much of a chance to even glance at Battarack Girls lately, but the sample still stands as my Featured Story in celebration of Bowlful of Bunnies selling 25 copies (and it’s recently dipped below the ranking number I wanted to keep it at, so I’d like ot try to push a few more copies if anyone wants to help with that). I’ve had lots of scenes playing out in my head for it lately, though, so it’s almost a shame that I haven’t gotten a chance to peck at it much.

Space Cowboys: I’m really digging this one a lot, too. I think The Unknown Scourge (see below) has a good chance of being my next book, but this one’s got a good chance in the running, too, if I can just get past the part that kind of stopped me up last time I tried to write it. (I need to write with better outlines, lol).

New Novel Project: One thing about the New Novel project that I love is that, since the page count goal is based on the days of the month, it’s really easy to figure out where I should be. I’m a little behind, but this latest version of The Unknown Scourge is coming along nicely, I think. I just finished up with the prologue, and it’s onto the first chapter. It’s usually around chapters three and four that I get stuck on this one, so we shall see how things turn out this time. I’m on page 6 out of 8.

Short Stories: I’ve been working on short stories a bit more again, since I want to start sending them out to magazines and I used up all my short stories for Bowlful of Bunnies. I’m mostly working on one that’s my take on Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Hell is other people” quote and another one for a really interesting magazine called The First Line, where every issue includes stories starting with the same line. The upcoming issue (due August 1st) will feature stories starting with “A light snow was falling as Charlie Reardon left the diner and made his way down Madison Street.” So I’m trying to get that finished by then, and, if not, there’s always the next issue to work on (“Sometimes, when it’s quiet, I can remember what my life was like before moving to Cedar Springs.”) Needless to say, because I’m working on the other short stories, we can say good-bye to

750 Words: 750 Words is a really good resource…when I’m stuck. When I haven’t got any other projects to work on. When I’ve got fifty billion projects to work on, I just think about how I “have” to log on and type up 750 words that are distracting me from my other WIPs, and I say forget it. There’s a time and a place for this challenge and right now (like last Round) is not one of either.

The 100 Books Project: Since my last review, I’ve finished two (that’s right, two!) more books, with another one close behind them, so I’m off to a great start this round. We’ll see if the pace keeps up, since a lot of those books were close to being finished anyway, and now I’ve started in on a bunch of new stuff. Either way, I’m standing at 25/100 with 4/30 for this round.

Exercise: Exercise has kind of fallen off, mostly because of the heat. Weather has cooled down a little and maybe I can still swing in some yoga while visiting my parents. It would be nice to return to this one (especially since I barely got it started), but we shall see. Frankly, when given the choice between writing or working out, I’d much rather be writing!

On another note, the blog might be a little quiet in the next few days. An unexpected string of days off showed up on the schedule, so I’m taking an impromtu trip back home for a few days. I know I’ll have internet access, but whether or not I’m really up to posting will be another matter. It’ll be so nice to see family and friends for a few days, especially since my stepsister and her family happen to be visiting this week, too! I hit up the train station this afternoon, and I can’t wait.

Happy writing, everyone!


  1. You tease me with your battarack girls, I want more…!!!!! I can hardly wait to hug you when you get here….. I know you will have to stuff alot in a few days …. My car is in the shop waiting on a part and you can stay here… I have ac and a bed….. I love you have a safe trip ….see you in a bit

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