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Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!

Lots and lots of roadblocks in the way of writing this week. I’m afraid I have nothing new to report in regards to completed fiction. :-( That doesn’t mean it was a bad week, however.

Parts of it certainly were unpleasant. On Thursday we had been expecting a moderate winter storm of 5-8 inches (12 to 20 centimeters) of snow, enough to make the roads dangerous and staying home from work advisable. We awoke to the weather reports downgrading the storm to only 1-3 inches throughout the day. So my wife and I went to work knowing we could deal with that.

Then while we were at work, they upgraded the storm back to 5-8 inches again.

Along the coast, where we work and two-thirds of our commute takes place, the storm became a heavy rain and sleet event. It was a harrowing drive for that alone, but on the final third heading home we go inland and there, it turned into a heavy snow. Low visibility, poor roads… our vehicle is a VW Bug, not an Artic Cat! We managed to make it home just as the snowstorm increased to near-blinding, plowing into our driveway. We got inside mentally exhausted, but safe.

The snowfall intensified to rarely seen degrees before it ended before dawn on Friday… at some points exceeding accumulations of more than four inches an hour! When we woke up and had daylight, we had two feet (61 centimeters) of snow!

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Two feet of snow on my back porch. Sword for scale.

It took us over three hours to dig out. By the end of it, my poor wife had suffered an asthma attack, the snowblower had run out of gas, and my back and arms were killing me. Although we had started the ordeal to try and get to work (albeit late), we ended up calling out after all this drama. My boss was understanding, and given the power outages from the storm and the fact that it was the day before a holiday weekend, she said there wasn’t much to do there anyways.

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The giant mound of snow was my car. The smaller lump by the stairs was the snowblower…

Suffering form a cold that had only allowed her a couple hours of sleep even before her asthma attack, my wife got some much needed rest. I used the remainder of the day to finish writing my 2016 Retrospective after recovering a bit, then went to bed exhausted.

Saturday was of course New Years Eve. We had scheduled a party for many friends… but with two feet of snow the day before unplowed from nearby public parking, and another four inches due that night we canceled it. However, instead of inviting many friends that night, we invited two. That being the number of extra cars that could fit in our driveway. ;-)

One arrived around lunchtime, and as she is a close friend whom we haven’t had a chance to hang around with for a long time we all had a great afternoon catching up. Our second friend arrived in time for a dinner I prepared (my world-famous Noodle-less Lasagna), and we all had some wonderful conversations into the night. We spoke about our fears and frustrations with 2016, and communally our spirits were lifted. Then we laughed at funny YouTube videos until we all needed to go to bed.

Best New Years I’ve had in awhile. :-)

Our first guest spent the night on our comfy couch, as she had a long drive home. On Sunday morning we enjoyed breakfast and watched the movie Wolf Children which none of us had seen before.

It was an excellent movie, and a great film to start 2017 with.

The above clip is one of my favorite parts of Wolf Children. The plot is about a young woman named Hana who falls in love with a shapeshifter that is both man and wolf. He’s loving and kind, and they have two children in as many years together before he is tragically killed. The story from there is about Hana’s struggle to raise her son and daughter that share their father’s ability to become wolves while protecting their secret… The idea of werewolves in this world is as fantastical as it would be in ours, and her children would be in obvious danger if exposed.

It’s a task made very difficult early on by her children’s innocence. The story features universal themes of growing up, finding our different ways, and learning to live with the many sides of our identity. These are well integrated with the fantasy elements, and presentation of the family is very believable throughout. It’s a magical film of the sort I rarely find outside of Studio Ghibli.

I stumbled across Wolf Children last year while writing and doing research for The Old Man of the Elder Trees. An animated GIF caught my eye, and the trailer made it an easy sell… stories of transformations and shapeshifters are some of my favorites! ;-) Yet when I got it in the mail in November, I put aside because I was so busy.

Besides its beautiful animation, the movie has a ton of heart. There were parts where not one of us had a dry eye. I highly recommend it.

Our friend left late in the morning, and the rest of my Sunday I spent working on projects that needed doing for the FantasyWriters subreddit. Wrapping those up in the evening, I went to bed thinking Monday would let me start the last chapter of Vivian’s Last.

But that wasn’t to be. An unexpected need and errand popped-up, and my day had a big hole put in the middle of it. Tuesday had me back at the day job. Now I’m writing this update.

It’s frustrating to have a good weekend, but not get to do the one thing I wanted to. Yet, that’s life sometimes. Next weekend I’ve got no complications on the horizon… I’m going to hole-up with my laptop like a hermit and start that damned last chapter! ;-)

Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!

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