January Status Report: Journey Well Underway

The first month of 2017 absolutely flew by. I feel like I was just getting started on my writing goals yesterday, but here we are on the 31st and halfway through what I consider to be the worst two-month stretch of the year: January and February. It’s too dark and too cold! But I digress.

I had three major writing goals for the year and I’m super happy to report that I’m keeping up with them. If you recall from a couple of posts ago, I do things like writing in manic episodes before leaving it alone for months on end. Having a public log for the goals (like this blog) serves as one of those deadlines that I thrive on.

So just how far am I? Status report: for my short story, I’m just over 8,000 words in—I work on this one evening a week and hope to have it completed by the time April rolls around. For the novel I’m editing, I’m 16 of 40 chapters through, or about 31,500 words. There are times that I forgot just what comes next or some dialog stands out and I think to myself This isn’t half bad! Considering my inner critic is relentless, I’m taking this as a sign that the story is really working. I’m on pace to have it done and ready for formatting by mid-March. I’m taking a week of vacation time that month so I’ll be able to focus a couple of days on getting it ready for publication and perhaps start sending it out to reviewers!

And, of course, I’m blogging every week. All in all, I’m happy with the progress that I’ve made and plan on continuing on these projects throughout the next month. If you want to see (near) daily status reports on my writing goals, you can follow me on Twitter at @thewritersean.

To leave you this week, I’m going to share the opening sequence of the short story that I’m working on. I’d love to hear your thoughts, so leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter with your feedback!


She looked ravishing—her reddish-brown hair let through bits of the distant campfire so that it looked like a field of fireflies danced around her face. This was my Ana. The one that I fell in love with a year ago. The one that I would grow old with years from now. The one that I currently shared this blanket with beneath the stars, away from the party on the beach, away from the noise and beer and general merriment of our friends. Who needed friends when you had Ana?

“What are you thinking, my angel Gabriel?” she asked as I stared at the imaginary fireflies.

I waited a beat before replying. “Sometimes something. Sometimes nothing at all. Now? I wish this night would never end, Gypsy Girl.”

I changed my focus as she smiled, from her hair to the way her button nose crinkled in joy. She took my hand and squeezed. “Who says it has to?”

And we kissed.

A round of polite clapping echoed off the heavy walls of the basement. I took a moment to breathe deeply—performing my work always was a little nerve-wracking—before nodding and saying thank you to my peers. Not that they were exactly, you know, peers in the true sense of the word. No, out of the dozen or so of us that congregated every Tuesday night at the North Salem public library, only two others were near my age—Shane, a true bibliophile, although not geeky enough to be someone I wasn’t ashamed of associating with in the halls; and Jenny, a sophomore that I think I’d seen before in the cafeteria, but I was a senior and tried to stay away from underclassmen.

The rest of the group was a motley crew of older people, ranging from the super old couple who had always loved writing but never had the desire to publish for the world, just each other, to the college librarian who despite her steamy romance prose had no luck in that department. Not that I should poke fun—I was single, yet to have a girlfriend although I had gone on a couple of dates in my freshman year. Like her, nothing had panned out—plus I had started writing the novel I was sharing a part of right now, so I was too busy really for the dating scene at the moment.


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