Sunday, July 20, 2014

Write-a-thon: Week 4 Update

Greetings, dear readers and sponsors.

We've reached the two-thirds point!

The word count for week 4 was 2986, for a daily average of 427, and (coincidentally) my slimmest day was (again) 261 words.

I've continued work on the bead story, though its forward progress has slowed as I've had to spend more time thinking and outlining, rather than actually writing. I've also written a bit more on the additional scenes needed for my novel revisions, and I started another new story. This one is set in New Orleans (where I lived for a year, back in '01-'02). Actually, calling it a "story" may be a bit of a stretch. I really don't know where it's going. Mostly, I just had a very memorable scenario in mind that I wanted to get down... and then I was having so much fun writing it that I just kept going. Maybe it will develop into a story.

Oh, and I've also been reworking a story that I wrote last fall called Elm & Fergus. I sent it out to several magazines without success, and then in February, I was invited to do three micro-readings (seven minutes each) at the Winter's Hill Winery's "Wine and Words" event. I selected three excerpts from the Elm & Fergus that together comprise the important parts of the story. Afterwards, I decided that the story was stronger without the parts I'd left unread, so now I'm polishing up the trimmed-down version and I hope to get it sent out again before the end of write-a-thon.

On the fund-raising end, no forward progress yet. I'm still $227 short of my $600 goal, so maybe I need to get out there and start campaigning a bit more.

And now... here's your weekly sample of work (from the New Orleans thing):

As on most Thursday afternoons, at 3:15, Mordechai Davies took a clean t-shirt from one drawer, a pair of socks from another, and a mesh bag containing a pair of shoes from the closet. All of these items went into a light backpack. He brushed his teeth, even though he had done so three hours before, immediately after his lunch of instant ramen and carrot sticks. He checked his wallet for small bills, slid loose change from the top of the dresser into an open palm and from there, to his jeans pocket. A pen and checkbook went into the small pouch on the front of the backpack, then he lifted the apartment key from the hook beside the door and exited. 

There was a six-block walk to St. Charles, but he was not aware of it, as his mind was already fully engaged in the approaching encounter. Similarly, the streetcar ride—paying the fare and choosing a seat, even—were automatic functions that he performed without notice. His feet moved him from the Felicity Street stop to his destination, but the steps that possessed his mind, accompanied by absent melodies, took him nowhere, transported him.

Outside the red-footed tan stucco building at the corner of Sophie Wright Place and St. Mary Street, standing under the daylight-deadened neon signage of the Half Moon Bar and Grill, Mordechai checked his watch. Four minutes early. Good.
He breathed deeply. Calmed his mind. His body. And he laughed.
Because of what his classmate—no, not just classmate, but, increasingly, friend—Jonathan had said when Mordechai told him about his Thursday appointments.

“So let me get this straight. You walk up every week, ring her bell, spend sixty minutes in her arms, body-to-sweat-drenched body, and then you pass her a couple of twenties and leave?”

“I write a check,” Mordechai had said.

“You do get how this looks though, don’t you?”

The thought of someone else thinking of it in those terms when Mordechai was so careful not to, prompted a tension in his jeans that—he checked his watch—he had less than three minutes to dispel. He walked briskly to the end of the block, then back. And again. After the third trip he felt ready.

He rang the bell.

Thanks for reading, and if you would like to sponsor me, you may do so by visiting my Write-a-thon page.

[My Clarion West Write-a-thon Page]

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