Another short post from me today. Vacation continues, and we’re having an excellent time. The highlights so far have included catching the midnight showing of Harry Potter, and taking a daytrip to Zion National Park, where we took a short tour via shuttle bus, and took many, many photographs of pretty rocks. I’ll post those sometime in the coming week, when I get the chance to upload them to my computer.
When it comes to progress, I seem to have done better over the past few days than I did earlier in the week. I’ve noticed that it’s easier for me to satisfy my goals between Wednesday – Sunday, probably because the weekend makes my responsibilities a bit lighter, so I’ll have to see how I can take this knowledge and use it to my advantage. I’ll potentially end up saving up my writing for the latter half of the week, when I know I’ll be able to have the time to go beyond 500/night.
So, without further ado, this week’s accomplishments:
Thesis: I finally managed to tidy up the latest section of my findings and send it off to my advisor. As I’ve warned her, it’s a very, very rough first draft, there are holes and things that are missing, and many things that will need to be cut. All the same, it is 19 pages long (almost 6000 words), which brings the current draft to about 40 pages in length. I estimate that I’ll need another 15-20 pages to talk about the next set of findings, along with another 10-15 pages to encompass other details (methodology, conclusion, etc.) which means that the complete first draft will approach somewhere upwards of 80+ pages. Granted, I don’t know what will happen during the editing process, but I feel rather proud of myself. After three years of stressing and reading and pursuing countless ideas, I’m finally at the point where I feel like I can say, unequivocally, that I will finish this. When I am done, I have promised myself that I am going to utilize my esoteric knowledge of 1920s etiquette and apply it to a new story, one that involves flappers and bootleggers and vampires, or something paranormal. 😀
tell me no lies: I managed to get some research done last night. As a grad student I have access to digital newspaper archives, so I availed myself of the San Francisco Chronicle‘s collection of issues from 1887, when “tell me no lies” takes place. I started combing through all the stories on crime and murder (a cheery topic, let me tell you, though infinitely fascinating), and stumbled upon some real gems, including a trial for the murder of a “Chinese highbinder.” From what I can tell, highbinders seem to have been the Chinese version of the Italian mafia. An article from an 1886 issue of Harper’s Weekly compares the Highbinders to the Freemasons, except with lots more blackmail and bribery. It’s a fascinating read, for anyone who is interested, though it drips with the casual racism that was prevalent during the period.
Strange Bedfellows: I added about 2000 words to this between Wednesday night and late Saturday night. I’d like to say that it was difficult, but at the moment I feel like I’m just eavesdropping on my characters’ conversations and transcribing them. Out of all my WIPs, I know these characters the best. They’ve been salvaged from earlier abandoned projects, and so we’ve managed to “form a rapport,” if you will. The hardest thing about this story is slowing myself down long enough to scrawl out some decent descriptions, but I managed to hammer out an opening scene (the aftermath of a very bloody battle) that will satisfy me until it’s time for rewrites and edits.
All in all, not too bad. If I am doing the math properly, it looks like I more or less squeaked past the goal post by the skin of my teeth this week! I’d say that this is an excellent time to head to Las Vegas, as a bit of partying is in order. 🙂
How’s everyone else holding up? Has anyone met or exceeded their goals for the week? Anyone else need to tweak things a bit?