Here’s today’s progress on my rural gothic monster story about small-town secrets, old family lies, accidental legend-tripping, and a missing newlywed in the Okefenokee swamp – where you can drive SR 177 from west to east and cross six bridges…or take it from east to west, and you might hit seven. (But you’d better hope not.)
Project: The Toll
Deadline: November 1, 2016
New words written: 1490
Present total word count: 19,001
Things Accomplished in Fiction: Reread everything yet again – now that I’ve swapped sections around, so I could get a feel for the new order – and began composing new material in earnest. It’s always a gear-grind when I shift from one project to another (especially when the projects are so very different as my last one, and this one), so it’s typically slow-going at the start. Still, 1500 words is better than nothing, and I’ve finally gotten this one back underway.
Other: Of course, at literally any moment a higher-priority project may land in my lap – and I’ll have to put this down again. But I’ve got some momentum from the big Brimstone push, and I may as well take advantage of it.
Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; went to liquor store to restock sadly depleted cabinet; went to Walgreens to pick up prescription; picked up milk; went to lunch.
Dog Other: Yesterday, Greyson and Luna had a play-date. It was adorable, as always.
Number of fiction words so far this year: 92,196
As it turns out…I made that Brimstone deadline the other day, but then a million little things swept into its wake – thus the general radio silence for the last week or so. But I was very productive, and knocked it all out in a timely fashion. I even squeezed in a few days of yard work, getting everything cleaned up from winter and ready for spring.
While I wait for production/editorial news for The Agony House and The Family Plot to come down the pike, I’ve dug out The Toll … for the first time in almost a year. No shit, last time I posted about it was April 9, 2015. Well, this one got pushed back, and other things filled that gap, etc. etc. etc. But now the draft is due in November, and since I’m in “hurry up and wait” mode on everything else…I thought I’d take a look at it, and do some noodling.
Because every bit of progress I can squirrel away during these “downtime” weeks is progress I won’t have to marathon later this fall. That’s why.
With that in mind: Here’s recent progress on my rural gothic monster story about small-town secrets, old family lies, accidental legend-tripping, and a missing newlywed in the Okefenokee swamp – where you can drive SR 177 from west to east and cross six bridges…or take it from east to west, and you might hit seven. (But you’d better hope not.)
Project: The Toll
Deadline: November 1, 2016
New words written: 529 (a result of rejiggering/cleaning up)
Present total word count: 17,511
Things Accomplished in Fiction: Changed up the order of the existing chapters, splitting one of them into two bits – and adjusting some of the pacing. But I think I’m ready to start work on this thing again in earnest.
Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunts with dog; lunches with husband; trips to the post office; trips to the bank; trips to Walgreens and grocery stores; and so forth; and so on.
Other: Quinnie also “helps.” But not with yard work.
Number of fiction words so far this year: 90,706
Here’s recent progress on my subtropical (art)deco mystery about a young medium in a historic spiritualist community teaming up with a shell-shocked haberdasher who’s receiving love notes from hell … as inspired by a real place and a real set of bizarre (otherworldly?) incidents:
Deadline: March 15, 2016
New words written: 9051
Present total word count: 99,551 [Draft Zero
Things Accomplished in Fiction: Big spooky climax; wind-down; some fiddling.
Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunts with Greyson; took eldercat to vet; performed the IV fluids on the cat in question in the presence of a professional, and now I know we can do it at home; went and got my hair trimmed up ahead of my trip to Dahlonega this weekend; answered a crap-ton of emails.
Deadline Other: Yes, the draft is a little shorter than I expected – but it’s WHOLE. I’ll let it sit over the weekend, clean it up Monday and Tuesday, and send it off Tuesday night. When rewrites come around it’ll probably plump up somewhat.
Bonus Other: If you scroll down to the bottom of this post, you’ll see that I’ve written over 90,000 words since January 1. That’s not quite a record for me, but that’s a lot for me to handle in 9 weeks. I kind of want to sleep for a month, but HAHAHAHAHAHA that is not going to happen. So. Yeah.
Next Up Other: I have a number of things coming down the pike – some are production things (edits/etc. on The Family Plot, rewrite things (The Agony House – beginning any day now), proposal things (something on deck I can’t talk about yet, but will eat a lot of time), group projects in process of which I’m not supposed to speak yet, a short story that will require some research but is very important to me, and oh yeah, I have to finish writing The Toll before November. So don’t worry. I’ll stay busy. I have no choice.
Dog Other: Playdate with Luna!
Cat Other: Remember when this? Now this.
Number of fiction words so far this year: 90,177