Robert Writes a Book – Bonus Edition

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When I first started this little project, I didn’t think that it would consume me as much as it has. I figured I’d start off like gangbusters – like I did that first day – but eventually slow down and eventually peter out to nothing. Just like everything else that I start and never finish. Nevertheless, this is the longest that I have ever consistently written, and that’s coming from a person whose livelihood used to be based on (mostly) daily writing about stocks and investing.

About a week into this thing, and based on the favorable reaction that I’ve received when I’ve shared my daily updates, I decided that I would share something from this (as yet untitled) fiction book that I’ve started writing. Parts of this have been shared with someone, who gave it generally great reviews – though he did see it before I doubled the length and added some other stuff. So, without further ado and after the break, please feel free to read the “Prologue” to the book. It has been lightly edited and most likely not in its final form, but I welcome any and all comments that you might have. Thanks for following along to this point, and I hope that this little snippet piques your interest further. Continue reading

18 Years Ago

Thanks to the Memories thing on Facebook, I was reminded that I joined the Army Reserve 18 years ago today. That means that about this time on that fateful Monday, SSG Nyman had dropped me off on my second attempt to join up, after having gone previously and failing to “provide a sample” due to my inability to pee on command in front of other people. Maybe I should have taken that as a sign, but I persevered and finally enlisted, even if I didn’t get my massive ($3,000) enlistment bonus on the spot when I signed on the proverbial dotted line.

This anniversary is often secondary or tertiary to all my other Army anniversaries, and I tend to forget about it until I see the annual reminder. I always remember my last day in the Army – February 6, 2011 – which, as you will note, was 10 years and six months to the day of the day I signed. Leaving then also led me to losing my job, something that I didn’t really prepare for fully and something that I never really recovered fully from until I started working for the Air Force two years ago.

I probably should have left about two years prior on my initial ETS date. I wasn’t getting anywhere, I hadn’t passed a PT test since November of 2001, shortly after I returned from AIT – and I barely passed that test as it was. I started to get fat not long after for various reasons, and I stopped missing weight by 2003 or 2004, and I was always on the “Body Fat Control Program.” I wanted to do so much more while I was in the Army and I was being held back, but I was also scared about my post-Army prospects with nothing but a degree in political science and no “real world” skills. Continue reading

Robert Writes a Book – Day 38

In an effort to find the story a little better, I decided to try something new. Instead of working on the same section, filling in page after page of background and “world building,” I wrote what I hope is the start of the thread that gets my protagonist heading onward on his journey. We’ll see if anything comes to pass over the next few days.

It must have worked, because I wrote a lot more than I was expecting. I was dreading writing about the same old boring stuff that I have been for the past few days and was almost going to not write anything. I didn’t want to keep chasing a story that was probably never going to come unless I got closer to it in my timeline, so that’s what I did. There’s still a lot to do in what is now the vacant middle, including some tragic, character-building stuff that will be a major part of my “hero’s journey,” but I’m a little more excited to see what happens next, and if I can find something for him to do in the meantime.

On with the stats:

DAILY STATS:
Total words written: 28,499 (+1,243 from yesterday)
Daily average: 750 (up from 737)
Approximate days to end goal: 175+
Approximate days to next reveal: 28+
#ThatDamnNote

Robert Writes a Book – Day 37

Note: I’ve decided that I’m not going to count weekends anymore unless I actually do some writing, so the averages below reflect that. However, I’ll still count weekdays that I don’t write as a “zero” for the day, because I do most of my writing during the week.

Wrote some more today, not as much as the previous two days, but still a positive number. I wasn’t going to write anything since I’ve been feeling less than 100% since yesterday, but I still managed to get some words down, which is a success in my book.

I’m still trying to find something for this book to be. I think I’ve done enough “world building” – which is pretty easy when you are writing in a version of the actual past – but I don’t yet know what my people are going to do. I’ve had a couple of people ask me what genre my book was and I still don’t know. Shouldn’t I know that by now? I guess not knowing makes it easier to avoid writing myself into a corner, but it’s still frustrating. I’m hoping that by the time I reach the next “milestone” – about 50,000 words or so – I’ll have an idea, but I guess it all remains to be seen.

On with the stats:

DAILY STATS:
Total words written: 27,256 (+836 from 7/6)
Daily average: 737 (up from 734)
Approximate days to end goal: 180+
Approximate days to next reveal: 30+
#JustKeepWriting

Robert Writes a Book – Day 36

Second consecutive day over 1,000 words!

I’m still unsure if the entire section that I’m working on will even end up in this book as is, or even in part. I could easily see the “real” story part of this taking up the bulk of my expected goal, with only about half of what I’ve already written making the final cut. I guess it all depends on what the actual story ends up being, which is something that I am still pretty far away from finding. Any suggestions for what to have my protagonist do would be welcome; you can get a short introduction to him here.

On with the stats:

DAILY STATS:
Total words written: 26,420 (+1,197 from 7/5)
Daily average: 734 (up from 721)
Approximate days to end goal: 182+
Approximate days to next reveal: 32+
#JustKeepWriting