RoW80 Check-In: October 23rd.

Since the last check-in for A Round of Words in 80 Days, things have been…off for me. I’m not sure exactly what it is, since I usually have such a great enthusiasm and energy for my writing, but these past few days, it’s like my writing wanted to just take a break. I think the stress of the new boss at work is tolling on me a little more than I was letting myself admit, and, hopefully, this funk should clear up within about a week or so. For the most part, I kept up my goals, with a few slips here and there, but nothing too devastating and things I’ll easily make up once I get my groove back. I didn’t even blog for two days in a row, which is unheard of for me, but I just couldn’t think of anything to write. I hate that. At least RoW80 gives me something to break the streak of not having anything to post!

Here’s the breakdown:

Serpent in a Cage: I finally broke the chapter that seemed to be dragging; I know whenever I say that, I’m always optimistic about the next chapter not doing the same, and then it happens again, but we’ll see. This is where the P.O.V. switches and I’m worried about it seeming awkward, clunky, or out of no where, but, really, we won’t know unless I try, so onward and upward! Chapter: Eight. Page Count: 104.

750 Words: I’m still managing to squeeze out 750 words every day, so I’m still in the October challenge. I am not going to give up! A lot of the posts recently have just been a lot of brainstorming; I think today I’ll likely do a brainstorming thread-of-consciousness for the NaNo writing, though I really should try to finish “I Bombed Korea.”

Novel in 6 Months: I have just been pecking at this like a hen. I’m kind of in a rut because I haven’t done a lot of planning for this novel; it’s mostly just been seeing where it’s going, but it’s too the point where I really need to give it some direction. Everything’s been set up, so now things need to happen, and I’m just not sure what. So I just keep starting stuff, seeing if they go anywhere, realizing they they don’t, and setting them aside for days when I’m more inspired. I also haven’t quite been doing 500 words a day on it, but I’m still easily ahead of the game. Page count: 29. Word count: 19,040/80,000.

NaNoWriMo: IS ALMOST HERE. Where did you go October? I remember before not being able to wait for it, and now I’m all, “Give me a few more days!” I still need to go and “officially” sign up on the website, and I think I am going with the sequel to Serpent in a Cage, but I have a few reservations. I’m worried that it won’t be interesting enough! It’s a lot of political intrigue and stuff like that, which I find interesting, but I don’t know if others will expect something completely different, especially coming out of SiaC, but, as I said earlier, never know until you try.

0 to 70 in 69 Days: Ahahahahahaha, yeah, I don’t even know why I still have this as a goal. I’ve started a ton of short stories; I just have the damnedest time trying to finish them! I should try to poke a little more at “Vegetarian Cookbooks.” That one’s got some promise.

The 100 Books Project: Just about finished with another book; it’s dragging at the end, though, and I hate when that happens. I’ll have to pick up a quick-read padding book soon, I think. Books: 46/100.

There you have it. Nothing shining, I’m in a little bit of a rut, but, honestly? Just writing this out has sort of filled me with a little bit of inspiration that’s been missing. I can do better than this. I will do better than this! And hopefully, I can make it around to see how everyone else is doing today and tomorrow. How are your goals working for you? Any NaNo plans? Or heck, even, how was your day? It’s sunny out and hopefully work won’t kill me dead today, but…well, won’t know until I go!



  1. Here’s to getting out of your rut. That can be so frustrating!

    I have to ask, what’s ‘I Bombed Korea’? I’m hooked just from the title…so I would love some more info!

    Accomplishing 750 words a day is nothing to shake a stick at. It’s writing, plain and simple. Hope that encourages you just a bit…you’ve got to ‘gear-up’ …NaNo is just around the corner. I’m looking forward to trying it this year.

    • “I Bombed Korea” is a short story I’m working on for a collection of stories, all inspired by or based on songs by the band Cake. It’s sort of a silly project, but one I’ve had in my head for years, and so I’m trying to get more of them started.

      You can hear the song here:

      The premise of the story is a young woman who’s enchanted with this crappy little dive bar and she sort of makes friends with a regular who fought in the Korean war and he tells his story, since the song itself sort of reflects that sort of disenchantment and guilt that goes along with modern warfare. It’s an interesting piece; a little weighty for me, but it’s been stuck in my head for years.

  2. I think you’re subconsciously taking a break before NaNo begins. Because once that starts.. hehe.. well, there’s no such thing as a break in November. Sometimes we have to take those little breaks or we’ll be the ones who break. Catch your breath. Get up from your desk. Stretch a bit and walk around. You’ve got the game plan in place. You’re L.S. Engler. You’ve got this.

    • Ha! You may be right with this one, Ryan. It’s preparing itself for my putting it through even more work than it goes through now! Thanks for the encouragement, and you’re right. I have got this!!

  3. Yeah, I echo Ryan — I think the muse knows what’s coming, and wants to score a short nap before it’s subjected to the constant pace of NaNo, lol. I feel like I’ve been in this weird non-writing rut since CampNaNo ended in August. I’ve been brainstorming and plotting here and there, but I haven’t written much that’s new since then. I really need to focus on outlining for the rest of the week, but I can’t WAIT to start writing for NaNo. My muse needs to break free. 😀

    Have a wonderful week! I’m sure the rut will work itself out.

    • Ugh, it’s always that last stretch before the start of a big project that’s the worse! Thanks for stopping by, Lena, and good luck with your NaNo, too!….when we get there.

  4. It sounds like you’re still chipping away! I can’t imagine having several works in progress like you do. It’s hard enough to keep one story in my little brain.

    I loved the “padding a book” expression. I have to do that frequently.

  5. Excellent progress. Just keep going. I’m going to be a NaNoRebel this year and continue working on my WIP along with some free writing/flash fiction. Just want to get back to the fun of writing really fast again.

  6. It’s always stressful getting used to a new boss. And now is the best time to take a break since november and nano will be here before we know it. Sounds like you are making progress to me.

  7. I like what Ryan said–you’e L.S. Engler, you can do this! And he’s right! At the risk of being totally Pollyanna, look at what you have accomplished! Half-full glass!! Okay, that’s enough exclamation points for a graphic novel, but really, look at what you’ve done.

    And the nerd in me will mention the scientific studies that our brains continue to work out problems when we back-burner them, even in our sleep; your muse is resting up before the marathon, but is still stirring that pot on the back burner.

    So, let the muse rest and stretch and carb-load before the race, and enjoy yourself.

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