16 Week Writing Challenge: Week 5(and the Vonneguts claim another)

The metrics:


  • 1 chapter complete
  • 5169 words typed
  • 738(average) word count per day
  • 13:42 spent writing total
  • 1:57(average) spent in daily writing
  • 59, 694 total word count


  • 2 novels in-progress
  • 315 pages read
  • 10:15 spent reading
  • 1:56 (approx. average) spent in daily pleasure reading


  • 0hrs

This data does not include things I have to read and write for school, the writing time I spend on this blog and other projects, or the reading time spent every morning in meditation & prayer. The only data accounted for is the writing done for my novel, and the reading I choose to read.

So, I’m back on track this week. Last week was all catch up, and the week before that saw life kicking me down a well. I’m happy to “be back up where we belong” (you’re singing it, admit it.)

The numbers aren’t really comparable from last week, due to the catch-up pace I ran at. I”m at an hour deficit though, due to my son’s strep throat, a cold, and actually seeing my family for a few fleeting hours this week. I did notice that some of my writing  was slow, measured, even weighted at times these last few days.

I dealt with some heavy subject matter the last two chapters. It took some serious thinking to work through what I needed to, and I’m no philosopher. I found myself thinking on the page more than once, a normal occurrence for me. When that happens I get prose-drunk, and can’t leave a paragraph, sentence, or word alone, till it’s nice and toxic. Those lines should never drive home, but dammit, that’s the most powerful stuff I got. So, I indulge. 

‘Afore me knows it, two hours are gone, and I have to study for everything that is not what I want to do—such is college.

McCarthy’s Blood Meridian is spellbinding. Yet, at times, I find myself asking “how come you don’t have to use quotation marks, or normal punctuation,” and “there is a limit to how many times the word ‘and’ can be used in a sentence, and you, sir, have exceeded it!” Alas, Harold Bloom never seems to be wrong, and he lauded Blood Meridian as the modern Moby Dick. I can’t put it in that company, I refuse to put anything in Melville’s company actually—even DFW— but the book is mind-boggling. I could read it for its prose style alone. Now throw in perhaps the most “beautiful” violence ever in a book (trust me), and a madman that does indeed have smacks of Ahab about him, and I’m hooked. If you haven’t read it, and you want to be a literature snob like I, get to it.

On the other hand, Jonathan Safran Foer’s latest, Here I Am, is painstaking (most of the time) to get through, which is a real drag because Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was the first great post 9/11 book on the topic. A masterpiece through and through. Everything is Illuminated is wonderful as well. But this one… I dunno. Seems he might be succumbing to the Vonneguts— that is, the crotchetiness of writers as they grow older. 

This is a miserable tale, told in almost sitcom-esque episodes. Not horrible, but man, it’s rough going to finish. Foer has an incredible knack for tying pathways far back in history to what’s happening in the present, real or made-up, no matter. This time around though, it doesn’t seem there will be any catharsis, and if there is, the price is too high. Perhaps that’s what he’s going for, but how much misery can one take before saying enough? I’m at my limit, but have very little to go to finish. Who knows, perhaps he’ll pull it off in the end.

I sure hope he does, because he is one of our best. Period.

That’s all.



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Writer, veteran, adult student, husband and father; life is busy! I love it though, and my hopes are to share with you my insights into these different roles, as well as to provide some experience-based tips on how to cope with the chaos they can bring. If even one of these different areas of life piques your interest then this might be the place for you. Welcome!

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