Daily Writing Check-in: February 8, 2016

Words/Time:  638 words of free writing to try to develop a secondary character, and 37 minutes of revision, working up a possible prologue for “Pursuit of Power.”

Despite my beliefs that my little vacation from writing would still result in some free writing being done now and then, that didn’t happen after the first day. The truth is, once I step away for a day or two in favor of just being lazy and relaxing in the evening, it’s just too easy to not go back. That’s why I normally try to do at least a little writing work every day that I have any time for it. Without the habit, I’m lost.

In the end, the break turned out to be a really helpful thing. Not because I got any clarity in my writing, but because it was relaxing to just not worry about it for 10 days. I thought often about what I’d be doing when I got back to it, but I didn’t have any grand epiphanies or anything.

But the main reason it was helpful is because it kept me from stressing over whether I could get to my writing work or not this last weekend, when I had a huge change in my life. I started a new job. This is a pretty big deal, because I’m a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. I already work for my dad, but I work an average of a day a week, and I take my kids with me. This will be the first job outside of my home/family that I’ve had since before my almost 14-year-old son was born. The job wasn’t sought out, but was offered to me, and it will be part-time out of necessity (because I do still have 2 kids to take care of and homeschool during the week).

I’ll be working as a game master at an escape room company, which means I’ll be behind the scenes running the room when groups come in to play. For as much fun as playing a room is, watching others play it is the next best thing. I honestly can’t believe I’m going to be paid to do something so much fun.

My first day was last Friday, which was right when I was ready to start back to writing. I was set to work until around 11:30-12 at night, though, which is pretty much the end of my normal writing time. So I just extended my writing break until the end of the weekend. From this point forward, I’ll be working most Friday and Saturday evenings, so my writing time on the weekend might be severely limited in the future. But I’ll still have time the rest of the week, and it’s worth it for a job that promises to be a blast.

A Monday Moment: Garend

Garend is a minor character in “Pursuit of Power” who needed a little fleshing out. He’d disappeared halfway through the story, so I came up with a reason why. Today’s Monday Moment is a brief look into his life, events happening before and during “Pursuit of Power.”


It was just me and my dad for a lot of my life. I never knew my mom. Dad and I had a really good life in Torreo, as good a life as anyone can have in that territory. We didn’t live in the principle city though. We lived south of the mountains, along the southern shore of Pithea. The beach. There’s a small town called Qulu. It’s so separated from the rest of Pithea, I think some of the folks there forget the rest of the country exists. Maybe the rest of the country forgets Qulu exists too.

My dad served as Controller for all of southern Torreo, which wasn’t much more than Qulu. There was a sort of prestige that came with that position and with being the son of someone in that position. It was a nice life. Until the Power death.

I was eleven when he was diagnosed. He found it himself—another perk of his job. He was able to get into isolation early, and they say that’s why he lived longer than others usually do. It wasn’t much of a life, though.

He had to quit his job, and I went to live with a neighbor. I visited Dad every day, but we couldn’t do more than talk. Some friends of my dad, I think they might have also been Controllers, came around a lot at first. They said they would find a way to help him. Maybe they didn’t know people have been working on that for years.

Dad died over a year after the Power death came. I was sent to live with a foster family in Jaffna Territory, near the principle city, after I’d finished school. Just before I turned thirteen and my common training started.

My dad’s friends, the ones who promised to help him, told me they would find my mom. When she knew what happened, that I was all alone, she’d come for me, they said.

My dad never explained why my mom wasn’t around—if she’d run off and left us, if she was missing at sea, or in a coma. I never knew. I imagined fun things when I was younger, like that she was a princess in a far-off land and couldn’t leave her people. But when my dad died, I decided I didn’t care. She wasn’t there, and that was all that mattered.

Then one of the men showed up again when I was fifteen. When he told me my mom wanted me to come live with her, I said I didn’t care. He could tell her I liked my home, my friends, my life, and who was she to try to make me leave all that?

It took her quite a while after that to come for me herself. She lived far away. When she explained to me where our family came from, who we were, it didn’t take long for me to change my mind. It was time to start a new life.