The Cycling Tour: Days Thirty-One To Thirty-Seven

Fifth and final catch-up “The Cycling Tour” post!

Today will be the final installment of Lanterns, and it’s cause for celebration — this is the first Halloween novel of mine to be finished by the October 31st deadline!

I’m not sure what I’ll start on tomorrow. It’ll either be Face After Face or Fantasy Novel One, the completion of both of which figures into my plans for 2017.


Total Since Last Post: 13549

Total Overall: 42777

Things I Did When I Could’ve Been Writing Instead

Watching: The premieres of Mom, Rectify, and The Great Indoors; and the latest Ash vs Evil Dead, Impastor, and Superstore.

Reading: Finished Red by Ted Dekker, read all three volumes of Penultimate Quest by Lars Brown, and started 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz.

Playing: Gems of War.


Lanterns: Day Zero

Hello and welcome to my third year of a recurring writing challenge! Last year and the year before, as part of the Countdown to Halloween blogging group, I attempted to write an entire Halloween-themed horror novel over the course of October. I tried to write every day and post that day’s prose to this blog, with the ultimate goal of a complete first draft before the month ended.

And did I succeed? Well…er, um, *cough*

That first-year novel, Face After Face, is still unfinished, stalled out at around 78K words. (You can see its health bar to the right of the screen). The second-year attempt, Voidville, fell just short of the goal by being completed on November 1st, and is still stuck as a first draft (although still free to read on this blog!).

Will my two-time utter failure stop me from trying again? By any reasonable standard, it should — but it won’t!

So welcome to this year’s Halloween novel: Lanterns. I’m not going to reveal much about it (I’ve dropped some hints on Facebook, to the interest of roughly four people), but I hope you’ll give the first few chapters a whirl and see what you think.

Last year, I tried to make things extra-Halloween-y by posting pictures of my black cat, Valentine, but I won’t be doing that this time around; it was way too much work getting her to stand still for photos. Val is fine — she just celebrated her 15th birthday a few months ago! — but you’ll have to do without pictures of her this year.

…And that’s all I’ve got by way of introduction. I’ll shoot for producing at least 1,000 words a day Monday to Friday, with more on weekends, and do my best to create a finished first draft of Lanterns on or before October 31st.

Hope you’ll come along for the ride!

The Cycling Tour: Day Seven

Starting to feel the rhythm come back, transitioning my mindset from “Writing? I don’t want to do that!” to *shrug* “Well, time to do the writing for tonight.”

One of the things I did during the last month was launch, then delete after a couple of weeks, a pseudonymous movie-review blog. Even though I wound up scrapping it (it made something I enjoy feel too much like work), I think it primed the sit-down-and-type pump enough to get me back on a regular writing schedule, even if, in the last two days, I haven’t met my expected thousand-words-per-day goal.

Continued on Face After Face. I know where I want the story to go; I just have some tedious deck-clearing to get out of the way first.


Total Today: 517

Total Overall: 5075

Things I Did When I Could’ve Been Writing Instead

Watching: Keanu.

Reading: Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster.

The Cycling Tour: Day Six

Okay. All right.

Been having a big bout of the why-bothers lately, but I’m going to try to power through August and September in anticipation of starting the new Halloween novel in October.

Continued on Face After Face, and got a little bit done tonight.


Total Today: 403

Total Overall: 4588

Things I Did When I Could’ve Been Writing Instead

Watching: UnREAL and BrainDead.

Reading: Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster.

The Cycling Tour: Day Five

Two consecutive days? You’d almost think I was writing, or something…

Back on Face After Face, working to complete it as the first step of my quasi-plan from yesterday. I re-read the last few chapters to get a sense of where the characters were when last I left them (those many months ago). Knocked out over a thousand words then, which was quite pleasing!

The book’s starting to converge toward an ending (and about eight trillion denouements, considering how many POV characters I have). But it’s making the plotting tougher at this point. Before, I had a separate thread for each person as they encountered, and learned about, the weirdness going on in the story. Now, characters are meeting, and comparing notes, and making plans of action…and weaving all their threads together in each chapter is a bit chainsaw-juggle-y for me!


Total Today: 1126

Total Overall: 4185

Things I Did When I Could’ve Been Writing Instead

Watching: The Burning Moon and Gugure! Kokkuri-san.

Reading: The Unknown: The Devil Made Flesh by Mark Waid and Minck Oosterveer.