News9/27/22: Gateway... is up to 50,000 words. I cranked out 840 words tonight. At that pace, I could be done within a month. But we all know that I have a myriad of distractions and tasks to do.
"Staking Sunflowers" was rejected by its eighth market.
Wood pile is almost done. It'll be three cords in size, which is my typical quota. Crazy hot summer slowed me down. Trying not to kill myself in the heat. The drought was brutal. Rain barrel ran dry trying to keep my tomato plants and flowers alive.
6/28/22: Gateway... is up to 49,000 words. And those two thousand words were just in April. Then the weather warmed up and I had to get to work on outdoor projects: powerwash and re-stain the deck, chainsaw those 20" diameter ash logs, split and stack wood, etc. Haven't bothered trying to shop the short stories because I haven't gotten over those feelings of futility.
3/28/22: Gateway... is up to 47,000 words. Yes, that works out to be 1,000 words/month, which isn't much, but considering I only wrote 2,000 words for the previous ten months, that's progress. I also worked on two other projects that have been in my head for some time. Combined with the Gateway... work, they would double my output. Still not great, but that's ok. Progress is progress.
I took a class entitled "Fearless Writing", based on the book of the same name. It helped me to see what's been blocking my attempts to write (me) and showed me how to dispel those thoughts and get back into the flow. It's not an overnight cure; I have to keep working at it until it becomes automatic. But I feel a bit of hope now, which isn't something I've felt for some time.
1/25/22: The essay didn't place in the contest, and "Staking Sunflowers" was rejected by its seventh market.
Gateway is up to 45,000 words. I haven't written as much as I would've liked—I never do—but something is better than nothing.
12/2/21: Renovations at my mom's place are done, and I've completed my share of the work at my sister's place for the year. Firewood is chopped and stacked. Leaves are raked and dumped in the back, except for those newly blown into my yard by my neighbor's inconsiderate "landscapers." Is that redundant?
Anyway, the holiday season is upon us, and so far, so good, but the worst is still to come. Just have to get through the usual shopping angst and upcoming gatherings. Should be all downhill from the 15th.
In pertinent news, I found another market to submit "Staking Sunflowers" to. It's only been two weeks. As for the essay contest, I won't find out the results until January.
10/3/21: Five months since my last update. Sorry! And furthermore, there isn't any news to report. I've been busy with renovations at my mom's new place, chopping and stacking wood (97% done!), and the usual chauffeuring of my daughter to her after school activities. We did take a family vacation up to Cape Cod, though, which was nice.
Haven't tried finding any more markets for "Staking Sunflowers". I haven't given up, just haven't had the time.
I'm reluctant to admit that I dug up an essay from the trunk and submitted it to an essay contest. Why? 1) It's really old, and 2) it's a contest. So you have an entry fee to cover the cost of the judge. I did update it a bit, adding some material to buff up the word count, make it seem less spare.
Older news can be found here.