Waking Fire Begins in August

Where did the summer go? August is here and the haze and humidity of late summer brings new writing adventures. I’ve been daydreaming, planning, and outlining the first book in my new series for quite some time now but because of prior commitments, I wasn’t able to devote the time to start writing until now.

I  completed a seven-page outline by the end of July, just in time to roll up my sleeves and get cooking. It’s kind of like Nanowrimo, except a lot lonelier. You know, instead of the comradery of completing lofty word goals as a collective group, I’m standing alone in an empty chamber listening to my voice echo off the walls. “Anyone there?”

Nonetheless, I’ve attempted to create a progress bar which should be on display on the right hand column of my blog. (If it’s not, well, something apparently went wrong with the gobblety gook, as I so affectionately term the computer language, or my ability to update the tracker. Either is just as likely.)

The series is still untitled but I’m hoping the writing will spark ideas. The working title for the first book is Waking Fire. At the time of writing this post, I’m not in love with that title but it’s growing on me.

My goals for the month are ambitious. I have set out to write at least 60,000 words before the 31st. I figure if I average 3,000 words per day (which is totally doable when I follow an outline and a clear path) during a normal five-day work week, I should finish in time. Of course, I say this overlooking the fact that the kids won’t start school until the end of the month. Inevitably, life will throw wrenches at me and my foolish plans. (ha) Whichever way the wind blows, however, look for updates on the story progress once per week, on Wednesdays.

So far, I’m only on day two. Enthusiasm and optimism are still high. I’ve completed the first two chapters with 6,343 total words combined and I’m eager to jump into chapter three but holding myself back because I don’t want to burn myself out in the first week. The fact that I’ve thought so much about the characters helps a lot. It’s almost a relief to finally get it all down on the page.

I’m well known for diving into stories with great gusto only to run out of steam somewhere around the middle, completely lost. There are so many stories I once loved that now sit on my computer abandoned and unfinished.

This time, I’m determined to keep that from happening. Even if the story gets a little muddled or takes longer to write than I hope, I’ll keep pushing forward and shove those perfectionist tendencies back in the closet where they belong, hidden behind the winter coats. They can come back out later when it’s time to crack the knuckles and start rewrites in September.

So, until next Wednesday… Back to Writing!

High Five! The First Round Results Are In

High five joyful businessmanWhat do you get when an immigration officer attends a séance?

A big boost of confidence, apparently!

Remember my short story, Point of Entry, that I mentioned entering into the short story challenge back in January? Well, the results from Round One are out and my story made it to the top five for my group!!!

Oh my goodness!

I didn’t actually think it would, but you have no idea how excited I am right now. Out of over 2,000 original participants, I am one of 300 advancing to Round Two.

Oh boy!

I’m terrified about advancing, but it doesn’t even matter what happens in Round Two because all I really wanted was to make it this far – and I did it! I consider this a huge success and it came at a time when I really needed it. I was letting myself get buried in too much self doubt and even though writing is what I love to do, I had convinced myself I wasn’t good at it.

Well… okay, one round of one contest. It doesn’t make me Shakespeare or anything. But it does make me feel like I have something in me worth hanging onto.

So, yay for the small victories in life!

Sometimes they  mean the difference between quitting and hanging on a little longer.

I’ll post my short story soon! Point of Entry – An immigration officer mourning the death of his wife gets a taste of his own medicine when he confronts an illegal alien during a séance.

And stay tuned for details about my Round Two assignment….