Progress, Lurching Ahead

Posted: January 23rd, 2017 under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
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That was actually me at the Austin Women’s March, the lurching ahead thing.  I had a cane with four little cushioned feet.  And needed it.  I am not as spry, had been sick earlier in the week (er…wasn’t OVER being sick, either!)  and instead of being in the 70s and partly cloudy, the sun came out full on just before the march started, and it shot up to about 90-something.  It was a great march; I didn’t make it the whole way, but I made some of it, enough to know I’d put out all the effort I had.

But INTO THE FIRE is now over 125,000 words.   Progress forward has slowed because I’m rearranging.  In my “process” (a word that suggests far more rationality in the choice of what to do and where to go next than I actually achieve!)  whenever I get stuck I start a different scene that’s been perking along but doesn’t necessarily belong right there, where I was when I started writing it.  It used to be that I wrote in chapters, all wandering around from maybe 4500 to 6000 words…short-story length, though they were clearly not stories in themselves.   Awhile back (not sure when) I started trying to form longer strings.  It’s not as smooth in some ways, but in others the lack of chapter markings along the way allows things to be the length they need.  What’s much harder is finding  things.   It’s much easier to remember that the chapter where the rhinoceros charges a beehive and ends up with sticky honey on his horn, and then rubs his horn in the gravel and it’s not ordinary gravel but jewels and now he’s got a jeweled horn…is chapter ‘low twenties’ if not the exact number, than to remember that it’s page 437 in a manuscript with no internal markers.


  • Comment by Ed Bunyan — January 26, 2017 @ 10:25 am


    Congrats on marching despite physical limitations. I took part in the Frederick, MD march where there were about one to two thousand (my rough guess) members marching. Though if I were to use the POTUS counting system, that would be twenty to forty thousand. The march brought tears to my eyes when we finally gathered in the heart of the city and it brought hope to my heart that there are a lot of American citizens out there that are willing to work to keep America great despite the efforts of small minority. That small minority wish to do harm to many by cutting their health benefits, taking away a woman’s rights to her health and reproductive choices and hurting the environment so that a few can profit. Remember, only you can make a difference if you get out and make your voice heard, and please no violence. Follow Gandhi’s example and take the path of peaceful resistance.

    Okay that is my two cents for today

  • Comment by tuppenny — January 28, 2017 @ 1:20 pm


    My new slogan is ‘What Would Paks Do’.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 28, 2017 @ 2:48 pm


    I keep having to remind myself that Paks is about 45 years younger than I am, a trained fighter in multiple weapons, with 3 years combat experience with the Duke’s Company…and I am over 70, with past injuries and present illnesses making my swordwork…pitiful, basically. My vision’s going, my ears are stopped up (that’s temporary, I hope!!), and thanks to the ears my balance is off. So “What would Paks do?” (which I used to say sometimes…got me through awkward social situations even) is only good for “What would she think about this situation and how can my aging, wonky body work that out in my terms?”

    Much as I wish I could ride into battle on a paladin’s mount, in shining armor, radiating confidence to all around me, and smite certain scumsucking, malicious, vindictive, braindead SOBs with my favorite sword and have it cleave them in two. That just can’t be. Dammit.

  • Comment by Jonathan Schor — January 28, 2017 @ 6:09 pm


    Black rhino or white?

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 28, 2017 @ 8:54 pm


    I was thinking that prehistoric one (I think from the Pleistocene?) that had a great single horn that curved up higher than its head. There was a fossil found in Siberia, I think–it was a woolly rhinoceros but no mention of coat color. (I think it would be cool to have a woolly rhino with interesting markings.) (Of course, if I were its Creator, I would fancy it up just for the heck of it. Spiraling barber-pole stripes on that horn, a different colored ruff than body, big spots around the eyes…)

  • Comment by Jonathan Schor — February 1, 2017 @ 1:35 pm


    So I looked up woolly rhino – they existed comparatively recently – they are found on cave pictures and it is believed that hunting had a large deal with their extinction.

    It is wonderful that we are able to take off of the most elemental comments – as I slowly descend toward senility, just turned 72, things like this keep my mind going.

    Thanks for the mind food.

    Jonathan up here in New Hampshire

  • Comment by elizabeth — February 1, 2017 @ 1:50 pm


    I have enjoyed that about this blog, too, Jonathan. And in the newsgroup at that’s about to go “poof.” (I’m in the early stages of the process of moving all the websites with their embedded blogs to a new hosting service. They’re turning out the lights at on March 31.) I’m hoping, once the current book is turned in, and the move is complete, that I’ll have more time to play on the blogs and do other things, at least for awhile. I must say that finding out about the closure of in mid January, when I had the book near the end, the political situation deteriorating by the hour, and the beginning of the illness I’m now recovering from all at once…slowed down just about everything.

    I do wish I’d been able to meet these big waves one at a time, with some recovery in between, but…possibly it’s challenges like this that keep the mind and body alive. (I’m now a month and a few days from being 72 myself.)

  • Comment by Nadine Barter Bowlus — February 3, 2017 @ 11:34 pm


    Nearing the end of Crown of Renewal for the umpteenth time. We could use some Marshal Arvids and Duke Arcolins, too.

  • Comment by Catherine — February 12, 2017 @ 8:29 am


    My 81 yr old mom rolled during our rally. She opted for her wheelchair for the day, being on the upswing side of post chemo. She did take the walker to the senator office protest.

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