Today I wrote “The End” on Elfshot! Elfshot is now completed in its first draft. And imagine that, you get a sneak peek at the ending, even though it doesn’t spoil anything in the story, so you can rest easy and look at it. (Okay, there’s a minor spoiler in it, but I won’t let on because that would, like…spoil the story.)
It sits at a comfortable 54,725 words. That will change with edits.
Anyway, my plan is for Elfshot to go live in early October. (The October 14th listing on Amazon gives me a couple of weeks of slippage in case life gets in the way…)
After several days of worrying about how the climax would happen, I got it written! Yay! I’m now just writing the wrap-up chapter and then it will be ready for my beta readers. Elfshot word count is 53,665. Which is awesome.
The chamber looked like it had once been a guest hall or something that housed a lot of people or things. Columns flanked its sides that led into smaller alcoves which housed statues of what I guessed were famous Dark Elves. Above them, the ceiling stretched for at least three stories in a type of dome that had no opening to the outside and yet shown with a luminescent glow that lit all the way down to the floor. We could see across the great expanse toward the single door guarded by two of Vindar’s soldiers. The Ignore Me spell seemed to work as their eyes passed by us without noticing the two apparent Drow soldiers and a demon on the other side of the hall.
Painted murals extended from floor to ceiling, worn over time by dust, heat, and earthquakes. They depicted scenes I didn’t recognize. Above us looked like the Norse god Freyr handing something to what I suspected was a Dark Elven king. The god was amazingly beautiful with long blond hair and a blond beard—even to a heterosexual man such as myself—he was attractive in a manly sort of way. A large golden boar stood before him and the Dark Elf king had one hand on its flank as if giving the boar to the god. Another god with red hair like fire and beardless, presumably Loki, was standing next to the Dark Elf king.
I had seen paintings of the gods before, mostly done in sort of Romanesque-type images, but this was not in that style. They appeared life-like and in clothing that the Northern tribes would’ve worn given the period of the design. My gaze shifted lower to the images of a battle. Dark Elves and Light Elves battling each other. The king of the Dark Elves stood in the center, fighting what appeared to be the Light Elven king. Another mural depicted Dark Elves breaking their chains with hammers. And yet another one showed a battle with newer armor and Dwarves attacking the Dark Elves. I turned and saw yet another mural showing two worlds, both lush and green, colliding in a terrible cataclysm. A chunk of one world spiraled off into space, while the two suns were caught together in a slow dance of death.
Yes, yes, I’ve been behind on posting word counts for Elfshot. So sue me. Elfshot is now at 35,030 words. Oh, and I decided to give you a sneak peek into what I wrote today:
Li’alla sat beside me. “Humans began to hate the Fae and blame us for all their maladies. While it’s true the Elves had Elfshot, most didn’t use it because the world was so volatile. The blue sickness had taken a huge portion of medieval Europe’s population and humans blamed us for it. They said we were in league with the Christian devil and called us demons.” She shook her head. “I remember those times. They were frightening.”
I took a sharp inward breath. The blue sickness was the name people called the Black Death during medieval times. “You were alive during the Black Death?”
She smiled sadly. “Yes, and I remember when my human friends died of it, refusing to take the medicine I brought because the parish priest told them it was poison and I was an agent of Satan.”
We both fell silent and I stared wistfully at the stars, wishing I was anywhere but here. I thought about Luna and how much I missed her cheerful smile. I thought about Elwyn and Duncan and hoped to the gods they were okay. Unlike the plague from medieval times, this plague would be Elfshot and it would kill not only humans but Light Elves as well. I turned to her. “Why do Light Elves hate your kind so much?”
If you know me, you know that I share a home with a bunch of critters. Right now, I have just three dogs, one cat, and a goat inside the house. Yes, a goat. I do have multiple goats, but I’ll tell you that story after the word count.
Word Count for Elfshot
First, before I forget, the word count for Elfshot is at 31,003 words out of a possible 60K. That means I’m past my halfway point, and I am certainly allowed to finish the book at 50K+. So, that’s the book word count.
Why There is a Goat in my House
I have goats. Due to our constant bad luck with kids (40 to 50 percent death rate), we’ve decided to switch to fiber goats and get the “wool” (called “fiber”) to process and eventually make yard out of. This is cool because I get to keep goats but not have to breed the doe goats every fall.
How the Cashmere Goats Started
I started with two cashmere goats. The buck we named Merlin and the doe was already named Sapphira. Sapphira is 1/2 cashmere and Merlin is pure cashmere. We have three does and two wethers (neutered bucks) who have come out of Merlin and my milk does. Sapphira didn’t get bred for some reason while the other does had kids. So, I assumed Sapphira wasn’t able to conceive.
Wrong, Really Wrong
I was wrong about Sapphira. About three to five days before Memorial Day, I noticed Sapphira’s udders filling up. Merlin was all over her, due to the hormones. The other goats were restless. I moved her to the kidding pen and on Memorial Day, she gave birth to a little buckling. It was a tough labor, so I was glad I was there. We named him Moose and while our intent was to leave Moose with Sapphira, the first thing she did was roll on top of him while she was lying down. I tried moving him again. Again, she accidentally squished him. So, Moose has been in my house since Memorial Day.
How Long Moose Will Be Inside
So, I’m a goat parent. Moose is still on bottled milk because even though he’s bigger, Sapphira won’t remember him. And he won’t remember her. So, once we get a pen set up for him, he can start getting used to all the critters at the barn, including the horse, chickens, and geese. He won’t go full time in the barn until he’s had at least a week in there.
That’s been my life, along with writing. How’s yours?
So far Elfshot now stands at 29,021 words out of a projected 60,000 words.
Still have no fucking clue where this is going exactly. I have an inkling, but since I threw out the outline, it pretty much is going forward surprising me about as much as it will surprise you. It already has a twist–and I suspect it will have more twists by the time I’m done with it.
Yesterday I was diligently working on my computer on Elfshot and had taken a break when I discovered it crashed. Like froze up. Hard. So this isn’t the only computer crash I’ve dealt with in my life, having played software engineer and systems administrator, but still. It sucked.
The Cloud Minders
This time I had my work on two clouds. Unfortunately, the One Drive cloud didn’t have anything saved from today and couldn’t restore new versions, and I hadn’t put the new version into Dropbox yet. I also have Google Drive, which is there when I remember it. But you’d think a computer crash wouldn’t wipe out a day’s work.
It did. That was major annoying.
Not That I Haven’t Had Issues with the Cloud Before During a Computer Crash
The cloud is a nice concept, given that it’s a cluster-fuck database. (The term we used was clusters when I worked as an Admin.) Long story short, the whole thing is supposed to provide redundancy. I nearly lost one novel back in the day because I failed to copy it over to Dropbox. I ended up losing about 15,000 words and had to rewrite.
Then, my latest dead computer proved Dropbox didn’t have ALL my files from some type of ongoing computer glitch. I managed to retrieve them by ripping the hard drive out of the dead laptop and using PCmover to get most of my environment back to what it was. It’s not fail-safe software, but I’ve spent plenty of money with Laplink (the parent company) to at least trust it will get most of my work back.
Lost 500 to 1000 words
So, with this computer crash, I lost somewhere around 500 to 1000 words and spent hours getting my system to a point where I could reboot. I tried rebooting normally and it froze. Dell’s semi-worthless admin software tested the hardware and pronounced it fine. Then I reboot for the umpteenth time and selected Window’s attempt to fix it.
Thank the gods for system restore. I had turned it on when I got this desktop started and it had an image from several days ago. I restored the system and got my computer back–only to discover the missing versions of Word.
Got to love it–not!
Word Count for Yesterday
Despite all that, I did do some work. I ended up with a bit over 500 words at 25,016. Better than nothing, even though technically, I wrote more.
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I’m thinking it’s time for me to start posting word counts on my projects. The idea is pretty simple: I’ll feel embarrassed if I don’t add to the word count and therefore will aim to post a good word count the next day. My goal is to write 1000 words a day. In the past, I could write 2000 words easy, but nowadays, getting 1000 words in a day is a pretty good number. That’s not counting the extra work on the side I’m doing for pay.
So, without further ado, here are my word counts for Elfshot: 24,502 out of a projected 60,000 or 24,502/60,000.
I think I got 1000 words in, but I don’t remember what the word count was. Hence the reporting. That way I can keep an eye on things and make sure I hit my deadlines. Wrote on Elfshot today. Looks good.