Seventy-seven thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven words.

Why do I get this odd feeling that that is an unlucky number? Its better than 66666. I suppose its a good thing that I don't believe in lucky numbers. I was going to just post about reaching 75000, but which of these looks better: Seventy-five thousand words?
Seventy-seven thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven words?
See what I mean?

Well, I had a goal of 90000. I am 86% percent done with that goal, and yet I am only halfway through the book. But this couldn't possibly go on to 140000 could it? Well, at any rate, this draft is going to wind up around there somewhere. When I get to third drafts, I will probably cut it down a good deal. 
Currently, there is one chapter with crazy amounts of information just dumped in, so that at least is going to be spread out a little, and dispersed throughout the rest of the story. My plot got so confusing that even I have no idea what is going on any more, so that will probably change again in third drafts. 
Its okay though. I needed to work through it to even figure out what was so confusing. One of the things that I find most annoying in books, is plot gaps. Parts that don't add up or don't make sense. I have a lot of those right now, and I intend to destroy all of them in TD. 
A little voice in my head was telling me that when your plot gets out of hand and things feel like they need 200000 words just to get out, you should separate it into two books. But honestly, my plot seems so simple that I am sure it only belongs in one book. 
No one reading this post, except the Lady Awdur, has any idea what I'm talking about when I say that the scribe must go. But I have finally come to the decision that the stupid story of the scribe just makes unnecessary confusion. So by by, my dear, wonderful scribe. I love you, and you can stick around until I am finished with this draft, but you have to go. 
Condensing extraneous characters is one of the most beneficial things for a book, but I find it very difficult, as condensation just means killing one of them. Some people take similar personalities, and make one person. I take similar purposes in my story, and make on person.
It makes much more sense for Djedefre to write the scroll, since he originally found the destroyed shrine, and the Pendant. Really, the only real purpose of the scribe, was to explain why Reni's mom did what she did, and make her seem more noble. Its much more realistic, for her to have no idea what is going on, and just leave the Pendant among her things, go to visit her sister, and get murdered. That would probably cut out a couple thousand words by itself, since Reniseb naturally spends a lot of time trying to figure things out. The problem was, I realized that there wasn't any way that everything I put in there could all fit together and still make sense. 

I think I mentioned my giant information dump chapter? I struggle between dumping too much information at once, and reading suspenseful books, where the only thing I can think is "why wouldn't they have just said all that at the beginning, and made everything easier?"

And Reniseb's dad being crazy? Created merely to drive Reniseb out of the house....but Reniseb is a very logical and sensible person, if timid and shy, and she wouldn't really need any motivation except for "if you don't go, people will die and it will be your fault." She would know this was true, and she would realize that she needed to leave, and she would leave. Boom!

Reniseb's weird shell of creepy unemotional reservedness. At times like this, when I realize that something is really stupid, I can't help but wonder why my friends let me write it in the first place. Perhaps they too are only just now realizing that it must die. Of course, this particular weirdness is not dead entirely. Merely....less extreme? In theory, it worked really well, but I discovered as I was writing, that Reniseb just wasn't THAT dead inside. At least not any more. I am now toying with the idea of her development being less 'suddenly I am childish and fun' and more 'I am no longer as shy and timid as I was' 
She will still remain the Reniseb I know and love though.....with all her dislike of laughter and tears, and strange ability to control them for the longest time. It is interesting, because a lot of people think of the ability to never cry, and never laugh, and never show much emotion, as being some sign of strength. But I like the idea that as Reniseb becomes stronger and braver, she is no longer afraid to laugh or cry, or yell, or do silly things. And of course, she is not afraid to fall in love....did I mention that she and Ukani are adorable together?
[H]e stood directly behind me and wrapped his arms around me, resting his chin on top of my head.
Ordinarily, it would have been very difficult to remain rigid under such circumstances, but I was tired. I had just been abruptly jolted out of a rather depressing memory, and I suppose I should have been grateful, but I wasn’t. I had been awake too long to think logically, and I was not at all pleased.
“Doesn’t this make you want to forgive me?”
“Your chin is hurting my head, and I can’t breathe,” I said flatly.
“Tseskos, how do I bring back Reniseb?” Ukani pleaded. 
I can't explain everything that I plan on changing, but there are a lot of things. Hopefully they will make everything a little simpler, and better in general. 
Oh! I just had an idea. I was never planning on cutting Ukani being sick for two months, but I can spread at least half of my information dump chapter, over that time. 

Anyway, I have a long way to go before third drafts, so I must not let myself waste all my time thinking about them. 
I am very impatient though. Now that I know of so many things that I want to change...its hard to stop myself from changing them.

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65000 words! WHAT?

This is exactly how I feel right now.
Hold your horses, how is that even possible? I mean, I was at 40000 yesterday right? Or was that really twenty five days ago? HOW??? Where has the time gone, and why don't I remember living those twenty five days? Its like I just blinked, and a month of my life disappeared. Boom! Kaput. Nada. 
I vaguely remember writing every morning, and feeling like I was going so slow and I would NEVER get to 50000....and then, somehow, I am at 65000. Time warp anyone?
I've been writing steadily everyday, for what, three months now? Minus the fourteen days I spent in Colorado (which was awesome, by the way).  
If I blink now, will I suddenly be at 90000 words? *blink* nope. Didn't work. 
But I almost forgot, I should be congratulating myself and saying yay, right? Somehow, I am not feeling very excited. I know that I should be. I know that its really cool that I am at 65000. I know I should be dancing happily. But I'm not. Odd, when I reached 60000, I did a victory dance in my room. And now, blah, who cares? 65000? That's nothing. 

Its also interesting when I am trying to remember exactly what a character said, and I look back in the beginning of the book to figure it out, and then it amazes me how horrible my writing was in the beginning. There is no way to win. No matter how good something is, in two weeks it just looks HORRIBLE. Which means I'm getting better....I guess?
The nice thing is, whenever I am feeling down about my writing, I just go back and look at first drafts. And suddenly I feel like a genius, by comparison to what I used to be. For instance, in first drafts, I had Nefru say an entire sentence, in all caps. I on earth did I think that was acceptable??? In a blog post, where it is just me talking, THEN it is okay....but in a BOOK????? 

Another piece of good news. Reniseb and Ukani finally kissed already. I kept on telling her to kiss him, or tell him that she loves him, but NOOOOO! Reniseb has to have "problems" andshe has to be shy. She has to be really sweet. She has to not want to make him uncomfortable. I used to think she was so smart, and now I realize that she is a very intelligent idiot. A long long time ago, when I was JUST starting second drafts, and friend described Reniseb as the most intelligent stupid person she knows. Or it might have been stupidest smart person. I don't actually remember her exact words, but you get the point. At the time, I thought it was a pretty good description, but I was slightly miffed that she thought Reni was stupid. Now I realize how right she was. 
AND, Nefru and Co. are finally at the stupid Bahariya Oasis, and tomorrow, they find the shrine. At long last. It only took them three months. 
Its funny, when I was writing Ukani being sick for two months, it seemed to take forever, but now that I think about it, its only two chapters or so. Funny the way that works. 

Everyone is changing, and its kind of sad. Mendes, Reniseb, and Tseskos were all like children when the book began, and now they are all grown up. MY BABIES!!! Who are mostly older than me....
Actually, Mendes is only two months older than me, so its not THAT weird. He is fifteen, and his birthday is in November. Its really strange to write the character of a mature, grown man (who is sometimes young and adorable and naive) and then suddenly remember that he is actually the same age as you. But in the time that the book is set in, boys were pretty much expected to be grown up by age 13. Probably caused by the fact that fathers usually died while their sons were still in their teens. I mean, think about it. Most people back then didn't live terribly long. And most guys were about thirty when they married sixteen year old girls (back then, that was not nearly as weird as it would be now). Which means that most fathers, if they were extremely lucky, didn't see their sons pass thirty. Depressing? Why yes, it is. 
Its really sad if you imagine how long Reniseb is going to have to live without Ukani. I mean, Ukani is about 28-29, and Reniseb is 16. Ever notice how 29 sounds SO much younger than 30? Not to mention that women usually lived longer than men anyway. Ah! Sweet love! This book is so much more romantic if you don't think about these things. 

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10 Things To Know About Long Hair

See this picture, that is what the dream of long hair looks like. Since the wind is blowing that way, it figures that her hair would stream out in that direction doesn't it? Wrong. Hair DOES follow the wind, but it prefers to go over your face first. More like this:
Or This
This is what my hair does. Except my hair is twice as long as that, and much more wispy and tangled.

Before growing out that lovely hair of yours, here are a few things you did not want to know. Hopefully they will not convince you to keep your short hair. And if you already have long hair, know that you are not alone with your problems.

  1. If you have braces, your hair WILL get caught in them. There is no escaping it, unless you keep it back ALL the time. Not all the time, and not that frequently, but it will happen several times in the course of your braces.
  2. Do not ever, under any circumstances go outside on a breezy day with your hair down, and dangly earrings. This generally works in movies, but everyone knows that movie hair is not to be trust.
  3. If your hair is the type that needs to be pushed back often, do not wear beaded bracelets. And just by the way, it will probably be in your face a lot.
  4. You know all those pretty, decorative bobby pins? The really nice ones with the wire swirls and the little jewels on them? Don't use those. Even if you slide one in, and then take it out instantly, it will still managed to have caught itself in your hair. Its also very painful to try to pull them out. Same thing with those hair ties that have little beads and flowers on them.
  5. Do not use the hose on a vacuum cleaner, while your hair is down.
  6. Do you now have long hair? Congratulations, curling with a curling iron will now take you approximately eight years, and your arms will not be functional for a few minutes afterwards. 
  7. Not even bobby pins will save you from the wind now. The best thing is a nice, sensible braid.
  8. Remember when you cut that hair in the front shorter, so that everything would look nicer? Have you noticed how no matter how long those shorter strands get, the refuse to stay in your french braid for very long? Don't worry, that does go away after about nine years. Its best to never cut them, or keep them cut short so that they come out of your braid in a cute and fashionable manner. 
  9. Brushing and washing your hair is now a full time job that will somehow swallow up that beautiful morning you hoped you'd have when you woke up at six. 
  10. As odd as it sounds, do watch out when you are using the toilet. Hair takes a perverse pleasure in making life difficult for you, especially in the bathroom.

As unnerving as all that may be, long hair is totally worth it. You will probably regret it every summer, and every time you try to walk in a forest, and every time you want to have a snowball fight. But its still worth it. Somehow, its always worth it. And also remember, that when you are sitting around with a bunch of other people thinking about how pretty their hair is, and how awful yours looks at the moment, the other girls in the room are probably oohing and ahing over your hair, thinking about how terrible theirs looks.

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