The Only Thing Behind Schedule is this Update (September 2019) – Travis Senzaki

The Only Thing Behind Schedule is this Update (September 2019)

Kanto Festival in Akita

You wouldn’t know it by this post being a week late, but August was actually a decent month for writing. The end just got a little blown to hell. First the good news:

Breyik I is Ahead of Schedule!

Hitting the 100,000 word threshold! (Yes, I finished the session)

My target for the end of August was to have 100,000 words written and Act 2 done, aiming for a 200,000 word first draft by the end of November. I’m happy to say that I hit both of those milestones early.

I hit the end of Act 2 around 90,000 words. For those of you familiar with other genres, that’s practically a novel and a half already in romance, or thriller. But this is epic fantasy. If my book can’t hold your door open for you when you’re done reading it, then what I am doing here anyway? But really, 200,000 was just a WAG (that’s a technical military term. . . Wild [Something] Guess). You’ll probably remember that my original target was 120,000, which is about standard for a trade-published epic fantasy. I’ve been adjusting the target based on where I am at the end of each act and so I have brought it down to 180k for the first draft. That means I should be done a few weeks ahead of the target.

Which is good, because this book is going to need a ton of editing.

Other-Than-Writing Stuff

At the beginning of August, I was hope alone for a few days with my family off in Fukushima. But since they were all work days, it didn’t result in my getting any extra writing done. Far from having free time at the end of the day when I got home from work, I had to take care of the stuff that my amazing wife always handles, like dinner.

I also, frankly, needed to relax. Something I’m terrible at. So, I watched a handful of the movies and TV shows that I’ve been recording over the past. . . three years or so. Some of them date from two full moves ago! But eventually, I got bored of those. And I got tired of playing games. By the time Saturday rolled around and it was time to pick up the family, I was about ready to focus more on writing. I’m hoping that means that when I eventually do go full-time, I will get over the distraction temptations quickly and be able to get on with my writing.


If this is the best I can do with fireworks photography, I need to stick to writing!

August is a month of festivals in Japan. In Akita, the most famous is probably the Kanto festival (pictured at the top), from the 3-6 each year. I haven’t missed it once since we moved here, and this year was no different. It was a lot of fun to watch and the kids always have a great time, too. They were chanting “Dokkissho” (the encouragement chant) for weeks afterward.

We also went to watch a fireworks show, though we stayed pretty far away. I’m no good at taking fireworks photos with my phone, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that it was a lot more impressive than this picture. Akita actually hosts what I contend may be the largest fireworks competition in the world, which I got to attend 5 years ago, but that draws in 800,000 people each year, so it’s not a crowd we are willing to brave yet with the kids. Maybe

Tasted delicious!

next year.


The Kanto festival comes from praying for a bounteous harvest (those lantern poles are modeled after rice stalks). While it isn’t rice harvesting season quite yet, it was time to enjoy the fruits of our garden, including the lone watermelon that we succeeded in raising, as well as a continued parade of mini-tomatoes.

Chaos at the End

The end of the month descended into stress and chaos, mostly because of my day job.

It was a particularly busy time, with new students arriving, a new recruiting cycle starting, and also the selection process for next year’s study abroad. On top of that, a few senior folks got a visit from the Good Idea Fairy and showered me with additional tasks. Thanks, guys.

Add in having to work on Sunday for the Matriculation Ceremony, and we all hit the wall of exhaustion. It hasn’t let up yet as September kicks off, either. But at least the writing is moving forward! I hope to have more good news to report next month.

Until then!

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