Moving Targets

Quick updates on the writing and submitting fronts.

  1. I’d originally hoped to complete It Begins by January 15th. I’d begun it on November first. Writing had progressed to the point that I really thought I had a chance to finish it by the end of 2019. Now, though, I think it’s more realistic to believe that I’ll finish it by the end of January. Fingers crossed.
  2. More dismaying, I had a target of three hundred pages for the first draft. I’m on page 292, and I can see that it’ll be more than three hundred pages. I’m hopeful that I’ll finish it with less than three hundred fifty pages. I can then edit it down.
  3. I responded to the agents who requested more material on the last novel, April Showers 1921. After I finished editing it in October, I’d submitted it to agents. I’ve had some response but, knowing how long it is before one says yes or no, I decided to submit to more agents. I kicked it out to ten more. I have good feelings about several of the agents, but I tend to be an optimist.

Those are the main things. For background, the completion target of January 15th was simply a spur of the moment decision, a whim to provide focus, grab my attention, and stimulate my discipline. It seems to be working.

The page count was a more practical matter. I tend to write long books (or books that turn into a series of books). April Showers 1921 is six hundred pages and one hundred eighty thousand words. Incomplete States, the series that I completed at the end of 2018, is five novels and four hundred twenty-eight thousand words. I felt like I needed to write something smaller.

It was another excellent day of writing like crazy. Let me give credit to the muses; I couldn’t do it without them.

About the only detail that marred it was that I had to work at a counter in the coffee shop, sitting on a stool. I don’t like sitting on stools. Nothing personal against stools, but I can’t get comfortable on them. Due to that, I ended up standing for most of the writing session. Now my dogs are barking (an expression that I’ve always enjoyed).

Time to call it a day. One, there are other things to do. Two, the coffee cup is empty. Three, I’m very hungry.

Golden Floof

Golden Floof (floofinition) – 1. An animal colored or shining like gold.

In use: “Sunshine bounced off the five retrievers, making them seem like golden statues sitting on the lawn in the still morning air.”

2. Annual award presented to animals representing the best in multiple categories.

In use: “Dieter was pleased and proud when his tiny terrier took home Golden Floof Awards for loudest bark in a small dog and most dramatic bark, validating his belief that Rodger’s bark (he was named after the quarterback) was different.”

3. (slang) Expression to refer to an animal that seems to do things right.

In use: “He was lucky with Penny, his copper and black calico. Unintrusive, confident, friendly, and loving, she seemed like a golden floof.


Monday’s Theme Music

It seems like my mind is determined to turn back time in my dreams. It’s also making all these song connections. (Like, boom, Cher has begun singing, “If I could turn back time.”)

The dreams were crazy chaos, leaving images like flashes of sunlight off of windshields. The dreams’ theme was ‘anything goes’. That theme conjured up the show tune from the musical with the same name, “Anything Goes”, which, let’s see…came out twenty-two years before my birth, but the movie did come out the year I was born.

Out of this throwback, go-go sense came the song that’s haunting the morning’s stream (now I have this image of a musical urine stream…oh, boy. (“I heard the news today, oh boy.” Yeah, the Beatles.) It’s from a 1964 movie, so I was eight.

The song is “The Monkey’s Uncle”. Although the Beach Boys perform it with Annette Funicello singing it, it’s written by the Sherman Brothers. Yeah, I looked it up. I knew the first two pieces but not the third. The Sherman Brothers were prolific songwriters. You should check out their list. I can tell you that one of their other songs, “It’s A Small World”, has entered my stream.

Meanwhile, the monkey’s uncle idiom amuses me. In one of those flashes in the dream, someone else says it in what feels like a sitcom moment. I’m looking at the guy when he does. Canned laughter kicks in, and then the song begins.

I don’t hear people say, “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle,” that often any longer. I think it was dying out as a popular saying even when I was young, sputtering along in movies and television where caricatures of old folks say it.

That frenetic dream activity left me felt energized, like it was a storm blowing out my mind’s systems. Anyway, the long and short of it (had to throw that in, it was in dream), is “The Monkey’s Uncle” is today’s theme music.

Feel free to sing along, or if you’re like me, laugh along, with the video.



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