The purpose of this blog and ROW80 is to connect with other writers and to set weekly and monthly goals for 80 days, with 4 rounds of 80 days throughout the year. I used ROW80 to motivate myself by being accountable for how much I'm able to complete in the last week -- and how much I wish to stretch in the coming week.
I missed the familiarity of reporting in to ROW80 twice a week, each Wednesday and Sunday. I missed hearing what other writers were doing as I struggled with my own unwieldy draft.
But I'm back. I can't promise I'll report in twice a week -- yet. My goals for participating in ROW80 as this last round of 2016 ends December 22 are to:
1. Post an update here on my ROW80 blog once a week and report in to FB.
2. Check out what 3 others are doing each week.
My writing goals are also simple. I'm tracking progress daily in a sort of chart. My clunky 4th draft of Rivers of Stone is at the 'divide and conquer' stage. So I will continue reading and editing Section 03 (37 chapters and 27K words), adding those missing scenes and transitions, hoping to tighten the story and let my characters breathe.
1. Write every day and track words completed, despite the fact that I'm deleting as much as I'm writing.
2. Complete editing 15 chapters by January 15.
Because it's Wednesday, here's a snippet from Rivers of Stone. Cat, still disguised as a boy, makes her way down the Hayes River late in the summer of 1843, hopeful of finding a way west to Fort Vancouver. She's an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company, and they're traveling the famous fur trade route.
The next morning began the same, with the brigade leaving before dawn. The sun was just coming up, a faint glow of white behind lowering white clouds, when Pierre directed the brigade to the banks. “Take a pipe,” he called out. “This is White Falls.”
The men groaned.
“Most of you know what’s ahead,” said Pierre as everyone gathered on the bank, boats and canoes pulled ashore. “We have to lighten up. Some of you will carry packs to the camp ahead.” He pointed to the path that edged the steep gorge. “Might as well begin unloading the boats. Helmsmen, follow me.”
Cat followed Thurston to climb to the top of the rocky hill. They joined the group of voyageurs overlooking the narrow channel their boats would navigate. The fast-moving current pounded the rocks below them.
Pierre pointed at a sucking whirlpool and raised his voice over the roar of the river. "We have to avoid that. You get pulled down in that whirlpool, your bones won't come up until spring."
The voyageurs shrugged.
Pierre scowled. "Each of you has to know this. Making it past White Falls is the last bad run before Norway House. But we'll hit white water maybe a hundred times before we reach Fort Vancouver. And we'll portage when we have to. You'll get wet, you'll shiver, and you'll go hungry, but when I tell you to row, by God, you better row. Let's get through this one."
Sobered, the men clambered down from the overlook. They were truly in the middle of nowhere, desolate, unending forests, and the river before them roiling with white water, despite it being late summer. "Somebody say a prayer," said one of the men. Pierre hit the man’s arm. "We don't need a prayer. Just stay clear of that whirlpool."
Happy holidays, happy end of the year, and happy writing to all.