Hmm. I'm the girl who went around my synagogue hanging "Is there a god?" signs on all the sliding walls. But that said, this is still a vaguely encouraging story.


Monthly Check-in: June


Write 500 words (min) each day.


ANALYSIS: Not terrible, but then again, the “meant-to” bar was lowered by traveling to Buffalo & Cleveland for 5 days, and then a totally disabling bout of PMS-induced-depression that horribly happened to coincide with my finishing Chapter 6, and so made beginning Chapter 7 a horrifying, shame-spiralling exercise in “oh-god-don’t-make-mes.” Of course, as usual, it takes Husband to point out that the depression is probably PMS, and Friend to suggest that if I can’t get through the PMS-depression wall with my usual bag of tricks than really I ought to just turn to other things for a few days. So I did, turning to home fronts, and got lots on those home fronts done (not least of which involved getting professional help, finally, for our WiFi network at home—yes, this is a plug, and well-deserved. Geek Squad rocked out). Anyway, per Friend’s advice, PMS days are now marked on the office calendar so that I don’t sit around for three days making myself feel bad, rather than taking action in other quarters. That said, I’m pretty sure that had the PMS days not coincided with the sticky-start days of Chapter 7, but rather happened mid-chapter, when I’m more sure of where I’m going, I wouldn’t have been so thrown and could probably have barreled through, murkily, but forward nonetheless. Guess this month will test that.


Complete 2 novel chapters each month

PROJECTS COMPLETE: 2 chapters + new first paragraph of travel essay (I’ve learned to pat myself on the back for even the most minor of victories)

ANALYSIS: So I actually accomplished this goal – bravo to me! I do think these chapters are probably ridiculously underwritten, but hell, all I’m doing with this draft is getting the fuckers down in some semblance of “here’s what happens.” I can make it good in the next go-round, and shitloads better in the draft after that. Feeling on track for my Novel Draft 1.0 Halloween deadline (unless, of course, the projected 15 chapters balloons to 20+, but I’ll cross that bridge when I have to throw myself off it).

Workshop 1 project/month Goal Suspended Until November 1 (post-completion of Novel Draft 1.0)

UPDATE: That said, I am slowly reworking a travel essay that may make it to Group before then.

Submit current stories/essays for publication

“Darlene” went out to Another Chicago Magazine, The Missouri Review,, The Ontario Review, Chicago Review, Northwest Review, and BukAmerica.

Meanwhile, lots of other places turned “Darlene” down. Getting too depressing to list, really. That said, I am going to continue submitting to 5 venues each month through October. Come November 1, post-completion of Novel Draft 1.0, if “Darlene” remains unsold, I will spend some serious time with this version of the story and try to figure out (a) if it’s horribly flawed—and if so, try to fix it, or (b) I like it, everyone else is crazy—and if so, retire it from the submission cycle put it away for the eventual story collection, which I’m using November and December to work on, anyway.