And for week two of semester…

Week 2 is over, now.  We’re going into week 3 (and I need to go leave an announcement for my students on Blackboard for the week).  I’ll have a workshop day to oversee on Wednesday, and the second paper to introduce on Friday.  Yes, that means I’ll be collecting the first paper on Friday, after my office hours.  That means I’ve got four office hours free this week for writing.

Speaking of writing, I got a bit more done last week.  I’ve gotten down to the last two chapters of Fire and Forge.  Currently, it’s sitting at about 83,000 84,000 words (edit: I went back and added a bit more to the last chapter).  I’m thinking the first draft is going to top out around 90,000 words.  After that, I’m going to set it aside for about two weeks, so that I can see where revisions and rewrites are needed.  I’m hoping to have a second draft done by the beginning of October.

After that’s done, it looks like Detritus is what’s going to be coming up.  The main protagonist is a homeless, drug addict veteran who decides to take responsibility for two small children orphaned by their junkie mother drowning in the street during a hurricane.  The story is one of change and redemption: the character cleans up for the sake of the children, claims them as his own, and takes them on a long walk from the East coast to his family’s home in western Kansas.

Yeah…not genre.  I don’t really know where the story came from, only that it’s not going to go away and let me write the stuff I like to read until I get it out.

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First week back.

Classes have started for MSSU, where I teach part time.  I have my classes starting in about half an hour, so I’ll keep this somewhat brief.

Daniel is having more difficulty than Kathryn in getting used to the routines and expectations of school.  He’s had some bad behavior days where he came home with word from his teacher.  He’s a hyper, adorable, talkative little boy, and has trouble listening, sitting still, staying quiet, and following directions.  Pretty normal–he’s six, and he’s not had preschool.  But it has been nerve-wracking, and has kept me distracted this week.

Kathryn managed to catch something her first day of preschool, and started showing symptoms on Sunday night.  She’s better, now, but I managed to catch it from her, and I’m still trying to fight it off.

Even with all that, I’ve gotten several more chapters written–word count is up to 74,000–and only have five more to go.  I’m estimating this book will end up around 90,000 words, or around the length of The Godshead.

As for the stuff I actually have written…well, my cover artist is a bit preoccupied in preparing for her wedding in a few months.  I haven’t gotten the cover art delivered yet.  I’m hoping to get that soon, though.

We’ll see, and we’ll see what the final day of class for the week sends home with the kids, and what the weekend brings.

Damn. Damn, damn, damn.

Well.  This past week was disappointing.  I got started wrong twice on two different chapters, and had to delete and rewrite, because I got stuck at 500 words, and they wouldn’t unblock.  So, instead of getting a chapter a day, I managed a chapter every two or three days.  I’ve gotten the book up to chapter 22, and 61,000 words, out of a planned 31 chapters.  So, about 4/5 of the way done. 

I’ve also been distracted by getting things ready to start the school year: Daniel is starting Kindergarten (today’s his first day), and Kathryn is starting preschool (tomorrow), and they needed clothes, supplies, stuff labeled, and organized.  Parents must supply the classrooms, which I don’t begrudge, since it’s a small, private, Christian school.  We’ll also need to supply snacks twice a month for Daniel, and a week out of the semester for Kathryn’s class.  Which, again, I don’t begrudge, considering.

Were it public schools demanding this on top of the shoddy education, apathetic teachers, and all of it taken from us at gunpoint (which it is anyway), I’d have a different attitude about the demanded hand sanitizer, paper towels, kleenex, etc., ad nauseum. 

Andrew, my husband, is starting back to class as of Monday (as am I), and we’ve been getting him ready, too.  Unfortunately, I’ve been too busy with everything else to get my class sites ready.  So, that is the plan for today: I need to get my sites built.  I need to load up my Course Policy Statement, my schedule of classes for the semester, and the textbook, and I need to create the discussion board threads for the semester, and create the assignment links.  Oh, and get the grade book all set up.

After that, I’ll be able to get back to writing.  But, for right now, I am about five chapters behind where I wanted to be.  Five days of lost productivity on the book.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get caught up during the first couple of weeks’ office hours (two per day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), before the first papers are due to come in.

Really coming along well…

So, the last time I posted, I had 25,000 words done on Fire and Forge.  As of last night (not quite a week and a half later), that had increased to 50,300.  I’ve gotten eighteen of a planned 31 chapters done, so I’m fairly happy.

I’m thinking the vampire story will be what comes up next.  The character is beginning to agitate a bit…

Got more writing to do.  Will update in another week (or so).

progress!

For the past two weeks, I have been ill.  First, a head cold, and then that traveled down and made itself at home in my lungs.  I hadn’t gotten any writing done between the last post and last Thursday (when I finally started feeling human again).

That being said, I have managed to turn that around.  As of the 14th of July, I had 15,000 words, and five chapters.  As of today, I have 25,000 and nine chapters written.  So, yes: progress is being made.  And I do plan to churn out another chapter tonight.

Like with The Godshead and Highway to Tartarus, the chapters of Fire and Forge are self-contained, but interconnected short stories.  There’s a bit of a plot–boy meets girl, stuff happens, they overcome stuff, and work on happily ever after (because that takes more work than overcoming the stuff to get to the ever after part)–but not a whole lot other than that.  There are some that are bright and fun, and some that are darker and more depressing, much like life.

And yes, I fully acknowledge that few are interested in mythology, but the characters won’t shut up until I’ve written their stories.

At the rate I’m going, I’m hoping to have this finished within another three weeks or so.  I really am.  I won’t count on it, but there’s a chance… and then I can rewrite it and then hand it off to beta readers.

I’m still playing with several different novel ideas for over November (when my students will be working on their research paper) and December (when we’re out for Christmas break), but don’t know yet which one will decide it’s ready to be written.

I’ll just have to see which characters in my head are the loudest and the most annoying when the time comes…

Update

This time last week, I had around 6,000 words written.  As of today, that total is a hair over 15,000.  Five story/chapters finished.  And 26 more to go.

Honestly, I’m having trouble finding the time and energy to write this one.  I’m trying, like I do every summer, to get the house in better, more easily maintained as livable, shape for the school year, when I’ll have less time and energy to keep up with it.

Sad to say, but writing, as much as I need to do it, is at the bottom of my priorities list.  It doesn’t keep my house, takes time away from caring for the kids, and I don’t sell enough to pay the bills.  I seriously don’t have the resources–time or money–to spend promoting my work so that it sells better, either.

Speaking of housework and kids…

The kids are old enough now to really be able to help with housework.  Daniel, my son, can put all of his laundry away by himself.  Kathryn still needs help sorting it into types, and getting it into the right drawers.  Kathryn feeds the dog, and Daniel holds the 20 foot leash when the dog is in the front yard.  Both kids put their dirty dishes in the sink.  Both kids clean their own rooms daily, and help with the living room.  And Daniel has started using the dust buster on the couch, after they eat granola bars for breakfast.

This means that I have more time and energy for other parts of the housework, and leaves more energy to write.

So, bottom of the priorities list, yes, but I’m able to do more with help.

Updates

I still don’t have the cover art for the children’s book, or for the short story.  And I am still working on Fire and Forge.

I had a bit of a hang-up, on the last chapter.  I couldn’t quite see how the various deities understood the travel method Hephaestus worked into the cars.  I got that sorted out, and so far have just under 10,000 words, with 28 planned chapters to go.

As for life issues…well, they’re still there.  I’m dealing.  It’s just slowing down the writing process quite a lot.