As I close out the month of January, I’m pretty pleased with my results.  I’ve written every day this month, with a high of 2400 words (today, which is a Saturday) and only a couple of “bad” days where I managed to only get 100 to 200 words.  I’m closing in on 40,000 words for the month, which puts me ahead of my goal by ten days worth of writing, and I hope to continue that through February.  I’d love to get to August and be able to take two weeks off without much writing to do and enjoy a nice vacation with the wife.

I’ve dropped most everything except short stories to focus on the novel I’ve started for class.  No title for it yet, but it’s coming along nicely and I’ve already started work on the first chapter and am about twelve pages deep learning about these characters.  Unfortunately for me we had to create a chapter outline for class, which I’m never pleased with, but I’ll use it the way I use most of the notes I jot down for a story… as a suggestion, not a rigid fence post that hems me in and doesn’t allow the characters to breath.  But maybe this time outlining will work better for me than it did in the past, and it’s really not terribly detailed beyond the first couple of chapters, just broad strokes with some idea of where the story will be going.

I’m enjoying the voice of the main protagonist Martin.  I already feel the depth of his dislike of other people, and how annoyed George makes him when she tries to get to know him.  When I switch to George in chapter two (I’ll be alternating perspectives in a third person limited narrative) I’ll be intrigued to see how her voice differs from his, how her thoughts are different.  The main question I think I need to answer is the why of their relationship.  My notes have suggestions, so I have a jumping off point, but it remains to be seen if it’ll work and make sense when I get there.  For the moment it is enough that there’s already a lovely frisson developing between them in the few short pages I’ve written.  And I love Martin’s sense of devotion to his watches, to the march of time, the way it permeates and thrums in his background.  I think I may need to find ways to work clocks into the story more in later chapters, have the conflict and crux play off that rock of his reality.

And here’s a toast to no more snow in the forecast.  That storm nearly broke us, we calculated that we moved at least 18 tons of snow between the two of us digging out over three days.  I definitely need to look into getter better snow movers, but it seems such a waste of money to buy a snowblower in Maryland when winters are often mild and relatively snowless.  Maybe I’ll talk myself into a cheap tractor with a plow attachment or something like that, a pickup maybe.  Something that can be used for multiple purposes so it gets more use.

On to February.  Month of many birthdays, shortest month of the year, and the final month before we begin to think spring thoughts (though we don’t begin to enjoy spring until usually late April, even here).

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