Totally missed last week due to weekend travel, yet again, so I’m writing this one up a little early on Saturday so I don’t forget!

Making good, solid progress on the novel draft. We’re up over 60k now, and just passed one hundred days since starting. I’ve been really enjoying the accountability of having to blog each day’s progress, as it gives me a useful timeline of the emotional process as much as the word-process itself. It’s always so easy to look back on older projects and think: Man! It was so easy on that one! Why is this one so hard? Even though I know none of those projects were easy (very rarely, in fact), but they take on a kind of golden glow of completion. With documenting each day, I get an in-the-moment look at how things went and how my process had to adapt to work through it. I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep this up through the editing process as well, because I’m really curious about how that’ll go.

But, this week, I’m working on: Same old, same old, 1k/weekday, and chugging right along towards End Act II. I’m also hoping to finish the linear outline of the villain’s backstory, because I’m realizing right about now how much I need to know about her and her past to fill in the last third of the novel. I need those CAUSES on hand to grab for fodder.

This week, I’m inspired by: This week, it’s all about fashion. A little while go I finally sprang for a single Stitch Fix box to help pick up my wretchedly downsized closet (what I had left that was still in good repair after getting rid of all the old maternity things from over three years ago…), and had a blast with it. The pieces I got were just on the edge of my typical fashion sense, but I loved them, and they looked great. I need a little nudge now and then. Right now, I’m rocking black skinny jeans and a denim shirt, which is so bizarrely “on trend” for me, which I so literally never am, it feels a little funny (even though, actually, I love the look). So it’s been fun, just looking at what I wear, why I chose to wear what I wear, and what my personal sense of style might actually be, if I took the time to seriously consider it. It’s been…rather informative. My knee-jerk reaction to my initial stripped-down closet was COLOR. I NEED COLOR. Because it was mostly sad grey and navy. Now that I’ve started branching out a little, I’m thinking, actually, I really like neutrals. I have lots of grey and navy because they look good on me, and maybe I just need some tonal variety and a few other neutral tones/varieties of texture to compliment them (plus the occasional bright shirt or accessory–oh lord, don’t get me started on accessories, I’ve only just started wearing earrings periodically again…) It’s an uphill  battle, but I’m finding it quite exciting.

Oh! And Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold. I’ve never read *ducks SF community swat* Bujold before, but I came across Cryoburn while looking for novels dealing with cryonics, and it sounded SO interesting, until I realized it was book–like–five thousand in a series. But it got me looking into where the series began, and at least some lists recommended starting here. And I’m so glad I did! I’m completely enraptured by the charming Varkosigan and the spunky Cordelia, and even more enraptured by how swiftly Bujold doubles down on smashing one’s assumptions about how the plot will go. Every time you get a tease about a new goal, a new opportunity, something from the previous goal rushes back to complicate things (because, well, that was the goal before, but nobody but you knows that goal has maybe changed). I was in absolute fits the other night, and haven’t been that unexpectedly charmed (despite Bujold’s intense use of modifiers on her dialogue tags, she said off-handedly) by a story since the Jake/Sherry storyline in Resident Evil 6 (which was by no means perfect, but somehow, damn–certain stories just get under your skin regardless of whether they’re well done or not, and despite the awful gameplay!). It’s just kind of consistently floating in the back of my mind, and I love it.

Also, Zelda Windwaker, because after having to set aside Minecraft due to some rather vivid Creeper nightmares (#motherfail), it is a delight to play with Bug. I’m so thrilled to share it with him (even though, good grief, I forgot every piece of dialogue is written out, and therefore I have to do a lot of out-loud reading), and am really enjoying his enjoyment of it. (And the little things he picks up from it, like: “THAAAAAANK You!” and Link’s slippery HA-JEJEJE! (which makes Bug laugh so hard he almost cries), and carrying around my husband’s ukulele to “play the song” for the Earth Temple! Also: Where’s Medli? (I’m pretty sure he’s now got a crush on a bird, which is rather hilarious to me…))

What I’m avoiding this week: Due to having been stuck at home while my husband’s car gets its brakes fixed, I actually managed to tackle some of those household tasks I needed to get done, so that felt great. This week, I suspect it’s going to come down to reading again. I have been reading, but most of it’s been news, which hasn’t been…all that satisfying. But upcoming schedule changes should allow me to at least get back to audio-booking regularly in the next week or so, and until then, I’ll just wing it.

(For more on the Sunday Circle, check out author Peter M. Ball’s blog!)

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