Today I returned home from a road trip, and I also learned some disappointing news. Back in September, I entered a poetry contest. I thought I maybe had a chance because it was not for one poem, but for a collection of poems spanning at least fifty pages. I have no delusions about being a great poet, but some of my poems are not too bad, and I thought that being able to submit a body of work might work in my favor. I also thought that maybe not many people would have that many poems to submit.
The winner was supposed to be announced in December, so I have checked the website several times. Today when I checked, I saw that the winner has indeed been announced—and it is not me, obviously. Now I have to consider if I want to submit that collection to other publishers, since I worked so very hard to get it ready. It would have been really nice to have that affirmation—that someone other than my late mother believes I am a poet!
After a certain amount of negotiating, we now have a title for my upcoming short story anthology. And the winner is . . . Dreams and Dragons. There are stories featuring dreams, and stories featuring dragons, and quite a few other stories too. I will keep you posted on further developments—like, say, a publication date.
I am triumphant! This manuscript has been so challenging to write. I’ve felt like my brain was replaced by mush for most of this month—and yet, somehow, I have made it to the end of my rough draft. The final word count is 57,750. That, of course, will change during revisions, but I still hope to keep it under 60,000, as it is a middle-grade novel. What a relief to be done with it for now!
I think I could have finished today. I wrote 3238 words. But I decided to leave the very last little bit for tomorrow when I am scheduled to have another write-in with a friend. Going strong and looking forward to writing “The End.”
Guess who wrote over 3000 words today? I’m finally hitting my stride, now that I’ve almost finished this story. 3076 words today, and probably only one more chapter to write after the one I’m currently working on. The length should be about perfect too. I’m at 53,499 words right now. I will be so glad to have this story done.
Today I passed the 50,000 word mark on my manuscript. I’m not sure how much longer it’s going to be, but I’m nearing the end. 2360 words today alone! I am becoming possessed by what my mentor Mary Poole used to call “the lust to finish.”
Yesterday, as I worked on my story, I had an inspiration—a way to add depth to my world building that I should have thought of before. So this morning my first order of business was to create a new document with all these details in it, so I could consult it as needed. It involved naming a lot of things. I am now ridiculously pleased with myself. This one little thing makes the story so much better. In my opinion.
Also, we are making headway on my short story anthology. Most edits are finished and we are now discussing a title.
And I wrote 1408 words today. I’m still behind, but I’ve written 27,328 words this month and am closing in on my goal of 42,000 words. I’m actually not sure the story is going to go that long. I guess the only way to find out is to keep writing.
Today was the best writing day I’ve had this month. I had the house to myself this morning—which I love—and I got some writing done then. This afternoon I was sidetracked by another writing chore. My publisher sent back all my short stories with comments and suggestions, so I spent the afternoon going through and revising all fourteen stories. Thankfully none of the requested revisions were extensive. It felt so good to work on those stories and feel like progress is being made toward publication of my anthology!
Then I went back to my NaNo project and finally I had words to say. I stopped at midnight and 2531 words, but I feel I could have written for another couple of hours without running out of stuff to say.
I haven’t had much time to write in the last couple of days, but meanwhile my brain has been working on my plot issues, so today when I did have some time to write, I jumped right into setting up the scenario I’d worked out in my head. 2057 words today, my best total so far this month. I’ve got to have a bunch of days like this in order to catch up.
I have written very few words in the last two days—only 705. It’s not that I didn’t have time. The problem was not knowing the ultimate challenge that my characters would be facing. I wracked my brain over and over, and none of the options seemed both big enough and believable enough. This evening I looked at the problem from a different angle, and I think I have a viable solution. I will have to write like a fiend if I want to catch up, but at least now I know where I’m going.