Saturday and Sunday, I spent a lot of time organizing my house after the recent move. I wanted to write, but as my wife notes, I feel more like writing in a clean environment. I had never noticed this until she mentioned it sometime back, but she is absolutely right. I spent two days cleaning and organizing and come Monday evening, I really felt the drive to write.
During most of the day on Monday, however, I spent exploring the local area up to Stuttgart looking for places to hold writer circles meetings for the Arkansas Writers Circle that I am trying to establish. Not much luck on that front. No Starbuck’s in this area and the one coffee shop I found in DeWitt (420 and Turnrow is the name of the shop) closes at 7:00. It is a very nice place though and I hope to go there when I can. It is a nice, clean environment for relaxing and writing. The arts center in Stuttgart was closed when I arrived. I will try contacting them later.
I did visit the Stuttgart and DeWitt campuses of the Philips Community College in DeWitt and Stuttgart. I hoped to contact their English professors, who I thought might know of any writers groups locally, if any one does. No one from the English department at either was there when I arrived, but I left a card. This afternoon Professor Liddell (of both campuses) called and left a message saying that there are no writers groups in the area to his knowledge. He also said that he would help spread the word about mine and that I could call him with questions. That is a big step for this project. Thanks, Professor Liddell.
I ran a couple of errands and ended up in Dumas. There I went to El Toro Mexican restaurant to write up some notes and get some delicious tortilla soup (the weather here was cold and rainy all day). I spent a couple of hours there and then went home. At home, I spent quite a few hours, typing up the new material I had concocted at El Toro into Shadows and Stars. I ended the night’s writing about 2:00 a.m., but still have a little to do when I go home tonight. My original goal was to make Shadows and Stars reach between 80,000 to 100,000 words. I am now over 91,000. I am trying to wrap this up. I will probably have between 100,000 to 110,000 by the time I finish. This will be the first draft. Then I polish the first draft until I am satisfied, which may be a while.
Also, yesterday I received an email from Austin Macauley publishers saying they had received Bobby the Brown Pelican. It should be about three weeks before I hear something.
This morning as I was prepping for work, I came up with a few more ideas for children’s picture books. I remembered that I had started another call Alison the Odd Little Alien about a little girl named Alison, who travels to another planet, where she learns what it’s like to be the foreigner/alien in another land. I got the idea from one of my wife’s pupils, who suggested I write a story about aliens after I read Bobby the Brown Pelican to them. It shouldn’t take long to finish it. Probably less than three weeks. If Austin Macauley accepts my work, maybe I will submit Alison… next.