Saturday, June 25, 2022

Writing About Writing

Another day off already?

            Well, not exactly. But I am taking a short break from working on Cauldron to do some clean up around the rental house here in Puerto Rico. And to prep for a lunch visit later today with some friends here in Orocovis. Yes, my wife and I have a life beyond looking at computer screens all day. (grin)

            Last Sunday after church we headed to Santa Isabel on the south coast of the island to shop at the Walmart there. About a 45 minute drive via twisty mountain roads to get there but beautiful. Generally cheaper at Wally World than the local grocery store, Selectos. To make it worth our while, we stocked up last week, or so we thought.

            Discovered we needed a few more items (of course!), so before heading to our friend’s house for lunch, we stopped to shop. We then had a lovely time with our friend, M and her sister, niece, and grandniece.

We visited M’s house four years ago, the year after Hurricane Maria. Her home had been severely damaged in the storm. A small work team from our church in Wichita came to Orocovis and assisted some friends here, putting a new roof on the home she’d grown up in. The experience was life-changing in a number of ways.

M's home getting a new roof, 2018.

This is one reason we knew moving to Puerto Rico was for us. The people are wonderful, the island is beautiful, and the weather is fantastic. I’m not too good with my Spanish yet, but I think it will improve over time. Everyone’s willing to help me learn! And we’ve been made to feel so very welcome.

M's home now, 2022. A beautiful remodel!

All that to say, I decided to take a day off from the novella. I know a lot of writers are on it seven days a week, but I’d decided ahead of time that I would write at least five days a week and not feel guilty about my days off. We’re here in PR to vacation as well, so we might take our weekends on different days than Saturday and Sunday.

Still, I had this itch to write today and so I decided to write about writing. I’d just finished this short novel by Dean Wesley Smith called Card Sharp Silver, a western time-travel tale, one of Dean’s favorite tropes. I couldn’t find it on Goodreads, so I did a web search for the title and came across his blog entries from 2020 when he wrote about his daily routine as professional writer writing a novel.

I liked that idea!

It’s what I’m doing now.

Now I shouldn’t have tried this so early in my career. I really have nothing of substance to teach other writers, I don’t think. Dean’s written over 200 books and been in the industry since the 1980s. He’s written dozens of media tie-in novels over the years, was traditionally published under a number of pen names, and now is a huge advocate for indie-publishing. I find a lot of inspiration from his posts. Disagree with a lot too, but heh.

Long and short of it is, good idea or not, I’m blogging about my daily progress with the goal of putting these posts together in an e-book titled, Writing: A Cauldron of Cats. Or something like that. (BTW, I’m writing this a week after the fact and back-dating the posts to reflect that day’s progress…like a journal written one week late.) Maybe I’ll publish this when it’s all done and sell it online. Or maybe I’ll give it away free to my newsletter subscribers.

          Another option is firing up my Patreon account again and start posting new content and stories for subscribers, including these posts. Hmm…that kinda sounds like a good idea. Maybe fellow writers and interested readers can benefit – at least a little bit! – from my meanderings.

Even if I’ve only been at this thing full time for a month.

Friday, June 24, 2022

A Cauldron of Cats - Day 4

Another good day for words added.

Six sessions for a total of 3,600 words. Not bad. I really got into a rhythm there for a couple of sessions. In fact, here’s the breakdown of my 45 minutes cycles starting around 9 AM: 600, 600, 500, 700, 700, 500.

So, whoa! I can write 700 words in a 45 minute sprint. Never knew I could do that.

Means I’m getting a little better and letting the creative brain (which has assimilated some of the craft lessons of the ‘learning brain’ – grammar, various techniques, story structure, characterization, etc.) take over and just write. I’ll always be learning, of course. There’s not a point in anyone’s life, really, where one can say I’ve mastered everything there is to know about this art form.

Mentioned yesterday that the consensus from professional writers is that it takes a new writer anywhere from about 500,000 to 1,000,000 words of practice before the basics of the craft become solid. Gulp! I just added up my published words and I’m at 300,000 to 400,000 words written. That’s fiction.

But I estimate I’ve written over 2 million words of sermons and bible studies, so that has to count for something!

One of the tools I use to help me keep track of my word count and stay focused is the online spreadsheet that Keystroke Medium provides its members. It’s private, so I can’t show you directly, but some google docs genius set it up to add and multiply and keep totals and a running leaderboard. It’s like magic. 

Anyway, I set my monthly goal (June was 30,000 words, July will be 60,000 words) and the spreadsheet does the rest as I add my daily numbers.

Fun competition. Out of about 10 or 12 active participants each month (blanked out their names to protect the guilty! lol), I’m sitting at #8. But watch out next month, Keystroke Mediumites! (grin)

So what’s happening in Cauldron right now? Well, the cats (I think I have 15 different felines in this story! what was I thinking? lol) have come up with an idea on how to find the secret lab where the special kitties are being held captive. 

Won’t spoil it, but it was fun writing the section on how they tried to communicate (via a game of charades!) their plan to the two humans who could help them. You see, cats speak cat and very few humans can understand them completely.

Isn’t that like real life?? I’ve had cats pretty much all my adult life and while they definitely communicate with their human companions, I’m sometimes at a loss as to what they want! In this story, Helga can pretty much understand Mister. They have a special bond.

Just like my wife and I have a special bond with our 19 year old cat, Charlie. And oh, when he wants his dinner, we can definitely understand his demanding chatter!

Today's Writing Tip...

Keep learning the craft of writing even as you practice writing every day.

Progress...
Writing: A Cauldron of Cats by Lyn Perry
Introduction - Becoming a Full-Time Writer
Day 1 - 2,400 words, story is at 4,200 words
Day 2 - 3,400 words, story is at 7,600 words
* Day 3 - 3,800 words, story is at 11, 400 words
* Day 4 - 3,600 words, story is at 15,000 words

~*~

Follow along each day as I post my progress in writing A Cauldron of Cats, Book 2 in my Mister the Magical Cat Series (available for pre-order now; affiliate links used throughout). You can also "Tip a Buck & Get a Book" and I'll send you Book 1 now, Cat Potion No. 9

Lyndon Perry is a speculative fiction writer living in Puerto Rico. He's a former pastor and current husband, father, coffee drinker, and cat-wrangler to Charlie, a 19 year old orange and white tabby who serves as the inspiration to Mister the Magical Cat. You can find him a variety of places online. Check out his various Linktree Locations and say hello!

Thursday, June 23, 2022

A Cauldron of Cats - Day 3

Back to writing!

Broke my record for the most words I’ve written in a day. 3,800 over six sessions. I know that many, many other writers hit 4 to 5k or more, but until today, the most words-on-page for me in a day was 3,500. That was back in 2014 when I was writing Ma Tutt’s Donut Hut.

I think I wrote a 4,000 word short story in one day a few years ago, but writing a complete story and adding words to a novel are a bit different for me, I think. A short story is, obviously, shorter and so I don’t have to hold as much of the plot in my head as I do a longer work. This makes it easier? Not sure.

Or maybe I’m just making excuses! It’ll be interesting to see if I develop my writing muscle over time and can increase my daily word count to four or five thousand. We’ll see.

As to where I am in this story, I feel I’m in the solid middle section, chapters 6 to 8 (out of about 15 chapters total – that’s 15 chapters at about 1,300 words per chapter = 19,500 total words, a nice sized novella, imho). So I think I’m about halfway done.

After what I thought was an exciting opening, full of potential danger and threat, chapters 4 and 5 backed off on the pace a bit to set the overall tone and introduce the various players and their personalities.

I hope that section isn’t too slow, but I wanted to give future readers of the series connections to their favorite characters, tying in through subtle references the people and situations of both sets of stories. (That is, Ma Tutt’s world and Mister’s world, which are tangentially related.)

Now Ruben (a gray mackerel like Mack in Ma Tutt) showed up at the end of chapter 5 – one of my favorite cat characters! He’s silly and exuberant and impulsive. Kinda like me at times! But now Mister has to explain his plan to Ruben, otherwise the young wise guy will get all excited and spread crazy rumors. He will probably still do that, but in the end, he’ll also probably be the one who comes up with how to assist Mister in his mission.


(Ruben is one of my favorite feline characters.)

If I haven’t explained the plot yet, there are some cats with special abilities being held captive – and will likely be experimented on! – by the Witch & Warlock Guild’s veterinarian, Dr. Vance, and her compatriot, Florielle Florentine. Spoiler alert: In Book 1, Cat Potion No. 9, Flo kinda befriended Helga when the Guild wanted to take Mister away and ‘test’ him. So it was a nice surprise for me when I wrote the prologue to Cauldron that Flo turned out to be more sinister than I’d first imagined.

Stories have a way of telling themselves. I may have an idea of where I want to go, but one reason I “write into the dark” (without an extensive outline) is so that I can be surprised at the developments that come along. I mean, after all, a reader is surprised when he or she is reading a story. Doesn’t know what is coming next, generally. So me as a writer, I should be surprised as well. At least, that’s my philosophy.

Anyway, making progress. My goal in all this is to write as clean a first copy as I can. That’s another bit of writing philosophy I buy into. And yes, if you’re familiar with Dean Wesley Smith and his blog and super opinionated writings, this is directly out of his handbook.

I think he’s right. Craft your story as best you can during the writing process (one pass). Cycle edit as you go – meaning go back a chapter and read/adjust before writing your next section (second pass, sort of internally). And then, when done, read it one more time all the way through to fix any mistakes you made (third pass). Don’t over edit. Just write and move on.

Does that mean my initial draft will be perfect? Heavens no. No draft will be, even those books that have been edited to pieces. So I’ll do the best I can. Finish it and move on to the next project. That’s all I can do. Work on my writing techniques until it becomes second nature.

Maybe after about 500,000 to 1 million words (according to Jerry Pournelle and others) I’ll have the craft down to where that will happen.

Until then, it’s three thousand or so words at a time.

Today's Writing Tip...

Try to write as clean a first copy as you can. Don’t edit your manuscript to death. (That is, don’t second guess your creative brain at work.)

Progress...
Writing: A Cauldron of Cats by Lyn Perry
Introduction - Becoming a Full-Time Writer
Day 1 - 2,400 words, story is at 4,200 words
* Day 2 - 3,400 words, story is at 7,600 words
* Day 3 - 3,800 words, story is at 11, 400 words

~*~

Follow along each day as I post my progress in writing A Cauldron of Cats, Book 2 in my Mister the Magical Cat Series (available for pre-order now; affiliate links used throughout). You can also "Tip a Buck & Get a Book" and I'll send you Book 1 now, Cat Potion No. 9

Lyndon Perry is a speculative fiction writer living in Puerto Rico. He's a former pastor and current husband, father, coffee drinker, and cat-wrangler to Charlie, a 19 year old orange and white tabby who serves as the inspiration to Mister the Magical Cat. You can find him a variety of places online. Check out his various Linktree Locations and say hello!

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

House Hunting Interlude

Day 4 in Puerto Rico and we’re ready to buy a home!

That’s why we moved from Kansas, to actually reside in PR for a chunk of years. Where I could write full time by the sea. Although we love our rental here in the mountains, we want to be near the beach.

Ocean view from the condo community we like.

Near the beach? Not just that, we want an ocean view! We didn’t travel 2,300 miles to settle for ‘just a short drive’ to the water. We want to walk out our condo and dig our toes in the sand within minutes.

So today we went house hunting. (Vacation day!) I should have recorded it and submitted it to HGTV Beachfront Bargain Hunters. We’d connected with a reputable realtor here in PR before we left Wichita. Julie is also a research fiend and loves to scope out properties online. She’s toured the island a hundred times, I’m sure. Virtually, that is.

Where we're staying now and where we hope to live.

Last year, we stayed in an AirBnB in a condo community near Vega Baja on the northern coast, about an hour west of San Juan. We loved it. I think we were there only one night but in the back of our minds, we knew it would definitely be a place we could land if we ever moved to PR. We also stayed at different regions around the island just to be sure, but Vega Baja kept calling to us.

Well, as I mentioned in a previous entry, we pulled the trigger last fall and started making plans to move here. We arrived to our new life on Saturday, June 18. Today is Wednesday, June 22, and we think we found our dream condo. Out of the three condos the realtor showed us (they call them apartamentos here), we chose Door #2. Was that too fast? Well, we haven’t bought it yet, but we’ve started the process! So we’ll see.

However, it does check off a lot of our boxes (is that the right metaphor?). It’s in our price range; has at least 2 bedrooms (with AC units!); includes kitchen appliances (actually, this one is fully furnished – a bonus!); is just over 1,380 square feet (on two levels); and most importantly: has a rooftop, balcony, and bedroom view of the ocean. Yes!

We spent most of the day thinking, praying, looking, and talking about this potential condo. Needless to say, I didn’t do any writing on A Cauldron of Cats today. So sue me. We were just too jazzed up. Plus, we had some paperwork to look through which consumed a lot of mental energy. I don’t want to speak prematurely, but it looks good so far. We may soon be condo owners!

Now one change since last year – the HOA no longer allows AirBnB rentals. We’re ambivalent about that. In the back of our minds we were thinking we’d make some part time income that way. But on the other hand, this means that 90% of the condos are owned by people who live there. Which is great. Makes for a stable, safe, family-friendly environment.

Besides, as a professional full-time writer, I plan to make a living at this thing before too long. (grin). And I already have my writing nook picked out. One with an ocean view.

~*~

Follow along each day as I post my progress in writing A Cauldron of Cats, Book 2 in my Mister the Magical Cat Series (available for pre-order now; affiliate links used throughout). You can also "Tip a Buck & Get a Book" and I'll send you Book 1 now, Cat Potion No. 9

Lyndon Perry is a speculative fiction writer living in Puerto Rico. He's a former pastor and current husband, father, coffee drinker, and cat-wrangler to Charlie, a 19 year old orange and white tabby who serves as the inspiration to Mister the Magical Cat. You can find him a variety of places online. Check out his various Linktree Locations and say hello!

 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

A Cauldron of Cats - Day 2

Getting into a routine is a good thing.

Today is Day 3 in Puerto Rico and Day 2 of writing. I know it’s early in the transition from the States, but I can already tell that Julie and I are going to love it here. We’ll eventually make it to the beach (our dream condo has an ocean view), but our two-month rental is in the mountains.

And it’s beautiful! We have some gorgeous views.

View from our rental home in the mountains near Orocovis.

Taking in the scenery during our early morning walk is part of our new routine. The sun rises early here, so we’re up naturally at 6:30 or so. That’s still getting at least eight hours sleep since we pack it in by 10 each night. After an espresso, we take a walk at 7, come back and have a devotional time (reading through the Daily Morning Prayer: Rite Two in the Book of Common Prayer each day), have breakfast, shower, bow to the demands of Charlie the cat, and then we…get to it.

Julie does 5 sessions of teaching English online and I do 6 sessions of writing. We both get started at 9 AM. I write for 45 minutes and get 500 words in. Then I take a 15 minute break to stretch and exercise a bit. Can’t afford to get carpal tunnel in my wrists or a stiff neck, shoulders, or back. I’d heard writing all day at the computer can be bad for one’s health, and I believe it. So doing things each hour to mitigate against potential problems.

Today I realized I can do more than 500 words per session. In the back of my mind, I knew I probably could, but didn’t want to be too ambitious starting out. So this morning, I had two sessions at 500 words, but the remaining four sessions I clocked 600 words each. My total for the day was 3,400 words.

Very pleased. I added three chapters, so the story is now at 7,600 words, from prolog through Chapter 5. I write short chapters. (grin)

One of the strategies for getting 3,000 or more words in each day is to just keep writing the next sentence. If I feel I’m stuck, I just write one more sentence. Then the next one and then the next. This usually gets me off dead center fairly quickly.

Then, during those short breaks while I exercise and stretch, my mind runs through the story in the background (my subconscious brain at work). When I sit back down to start the next section, I normally know where the story is heading – at least for the next immediate section.

I don’t make a detailed outline before I begin a story, but I do sort of outline as I go. I start off ‘writing into the dark’ (some call it ‘pantsing it’, that is, flying by the seat of one’s pants), and then as the story slowly takes shape, I try to sketch out the upcoming scenes so I kind of know the direction I’m heading.

That can change, however, and I usually let my ‘creative brain’ take over. I usually have no idea where the story is heading early on, or how it will get resolved. For example, in today’s chapters, Mister is explaining his plan on rescuing the captured cats. I still don’t know what that plan is exactly, but I trust the process.

In fact, I think my subconscious left a clue in Chapter 3. Spoiler Alert: Mister ‘frees’ Cienna from the burden of her special ability. And I’m pretty sure this becomes the key to the scene leading up to the final climax.

So tomorrow, as the story progresses, I’ll probably sketch out a tentative ending. I think I’m a third of the way through the story (thinking this will be a 20,000 word novella), so that’s about right for me. No clue as to the full plot when I start out. Gain a bit of insight as I close in on half-way. And then the last third write with an end-goal in mind.

That’s generally how it happens for me. But not always. We’ll see tomorrow!

The view from the condo community we hope to live in!

Today's Writing Tip...

Stuck? Just type the next sentence.

Progress...
Writing: A Cauldron of Cats by Lyn Perry
Introduction - Becoming a Full-Time Writer
* Day 1 - 2,400 words, story is at 4,200 words
* Day 2 - 3,400 words, story is at 7,600 words

~*~

Follow along each day as I post my progress in writing A Cauldron of Cats, Book 2 in my Mister the Magical Cat Series (available for pre-order now; affiliate links used throughout). You can also "Tip a Buck & Get a Book" and I'll send you Book 1 now, Cat Potion No. 9

Lyndon Perry is a speculative fiction writer living in Puerto Rico. He's a former pastor and current husband, father, coffee drinker, and cat-wrangler to Charlie, a 19 year old orange and white tabby who serves as the inspiration to Mister the Magical Cat. You can find him a variety of places online. Check out his various Linktree Locations and say hello!

 

Monday, June 20, 2022

A Cauldron of Cats – Day 1

I’m now a full time writer. A professional full-time writer.

That doesn’t mean I’m making a living off my writing yet (that’s the goal!), but since I’ve sold some stories and earned some income from what I’ve written, that makes me a professional.

I remember when I first joined a band a few years ago. I play guitar and sing. My friend plays lead, we found a drummer and bass player and voila, we were a rock band! We practiced some rock and pop classics from the 70s and 80s, found a bar who took a chance on us, and did our first gig. They paid us $200 bucks and when my friend handed me my fifty, he said, “Congrats, you are now a professional musician.”

And I thought: Dang straight.

So if you get paid for something, you’re a professional. That was a paradigm shift for me. And may be of help to other writers. A lot of us suffer from “imposter syndrome” because of a lot of myths and falsehoods we buy into. So knowing I’m a full-time professional writer makes a difference in how I approach my daily task of writing.

What’s my daily task? Well, today was Day 1 of writing daily in my ‘semi-retirement.’ (See my previous blog post.) That being said, my plan – as best as I’m able – is to write six sessions of 500 words each for a total of 3,000 words a day. I’ll write five days a week, which means I’ll pound out 15,000 words a week. That’s 40,000 words a month, a short novel, which is the typical story length I like to read and write.

A book in a month.

That sounded doable when I sketched out my writing schedule for the rest of the summer and fall. But what to write? I have a lot of interests. I dabble in a variety of genres. Probably too many!

·        I’ve written a few short thrillers, collaborating with J. A. Konrath on a couple of his Jack Daniels stories: Abductions and Beat Down; and my own crime thriller, Drinking Games.

·        Science fiction within Hugh Howey’s Wool universe: The Last Prayer; along with some speculative fiction found in my Tule Fog Tales and At Last series.

·        Epic fantasy adventure, The Sword of Otrim; as well as a Mesoamerican fantasy, Ulemet and the Jaguar God (my one story on Audible, which I’ll have to rectify).

·        Middle grade alt-history/steampunk adventure series with T. M. Hunter: Escape! and Runaway! (with episode 3, Eureka!, coming later this year).

·        Supernatural thriller (Christian horror, if you can handle that!) with Stoney M. Setzer: Accidents (with more Tremble Town episodes coming next year).

·        I even wrote an Amish romance under the pen name Joyce Daley: Thee Will I Cherish. (Hey, I like romance and plan to write more!)

But maybe my favorite genre right now is the cozy mystery/adventure featuring cats with a bit of magic and speculative elements. Yes, that’s a niche! In fact, my “best seller” (other than my Wool fan fiction and Konrath collabs) is a magical cat mystery called Ma Tutt’s Donut Hut.

It came out in 2014 and I’ve been meaning to finish Book 2, Ma Tutt’s Secret Spice, for ages! So what did I do last year? I wrote a different magical cat novella titled, Cat PotionNo. 9. It was a Kickstarter project with the promise of sending out a sequel to my high-tier backers.

I know, I’m crazy.

So that’s what I’m writing right now. The sequel to Cat Potion, called A Cauldron of Cats. It’s related to Ma Tutt, in the same universe, but whereas Ma takes the POV of the adults, Mister is often from the perspective of, well, Mister. Lots of cat talk and magic and fun.

My plan is to add to both series this summer and fall, and by Christmas have three books in each series. To hold myself accountable, I’m blogging each day about my progress. I hope you enjoy following along. Should be a lot of fun, watching a new full-time professional writer stumble along as I write a  brand new book in front of your very eyes.

Or something like that.

Here’s what I accomplished today. I completed four sessions of 500 words each for a total of 2,000 new words. The story is now through Chapter 2. Last fall, after I published Cat Potion, I’d written a prolog and part of Chapter 1 of the sequel (about 1,800 words), but then let the story languish.

Today, I read through what I’d written, added in about 400 words here and there, then pushed forward with those four sessions. Let’s call it 2,400 words, then, for today. Didn’t hit my 3,000 word goal, but overall, I think a pretty good start to a new book.

Tomorrow, I’ll let you know if I picked up steam and hit my daily writing goal.

Today's Writing Tip...
If you’ve made money as a writer, you’re a professional writer.

Progress...

Writing: A Cauldron of Cats by Lyn Perry
* Introduction - Becoming a Full-Time Writer
* Day 1 – 2,400 words, story is at 4,200 words

~*~

Follow along each day as I post my progress in writing A Cauldron of Cats, Book 2 in my Mister the Magical Cat Series (available for pre-order now; affiliate links used throughout). You can also "Tip a Buck & Get a Book" and I'll send you Book 1 now, Cat Potion No. 9

Lyndon Perry is a speculative fiction writer living in Puerto Rico. He's a former pastor and current husband, father, coffee drinker, and cat-wrangler to Charlie, a 19 year old orange and white tabby who serves as the inspiration to Mister the Magical Cat. You can find him a variety of places online. Check out his various Linktree Locations and say hello!

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Becoming a Full-Time Writer

I became a full-time writer June 1st, 2022.

A little backstory. At the end of April, I stepped down (voluntarily! and on good terms!) from being the pastor of Faith Renewal Church of Wichita, KS. I’d been there twelve years and my wife, Julie, and I had developed many wonderful, endearing friendships. Faith Renewal is a small but delightful and spiritually healthy congregation, and we’ll miss them. We’ll stay in touch, I’m sure. Most of us are connected via social media, and the miracles of modern communication allow us to keep within ‘fingers-touch’ of one another.

While I’ve enjoyed pastoral ministry and have found it fulfilling since first becoming a pastor in 1989 (and still believe God has called me to it), I also felt it was time for a new chapter in my life. Probably for a dozen years or so, ever since the indie author revolution occurred, I’ve been wanting to give more attention to writing. Both fiction and non-fiction.

So I retired from pastoral ministry the Sunday after Easter, a fitting time for beginning a new era of our lives. Julie had already retired from her job earlier in the year. Our plan, which we’d committed to this past November (2021), was to sell our belongings, sell our house, say goodbye to Wichita, and move to Puerto Rico!

And that’s what we’ve done, although I’m getting ahead of myself. We’re calling it early retirement. Or maybe semi-retirement (since we’ll still have to work a bit). Possibly an interlude between careers and actual retirement. It’s kind of hard to describe exactly what we’re doing so I just joke and tell people we’re taking a ten-year vacation!

During the month of May, my wife and I – footloose and fancy free (read jobless!) – finished selling our belongings and then sold our Wichita home. We’d been there almost 26 years. Lots of good memories. We’ll miss our great neighbors, for sure. But again: social media, texting, phone calls, video calls, blogs. Staying connected is easy, with some intentionality.

It took us six or seven months, but we finally downsized completely the day before we vacated the house. Literally. Sold all our furniture and sold or gave away almost all our other belongings. (Now I do have some things in a 5x5 storage unit, but mostly memorabilia and books…couldn’t part with my books. So shoot me.) The process was stressful, for me at least, but we kept our eyes on the prize: Caribbean island life.

We then took about two weeks to visit some family and say goodbye and finalize plans. Being homeless and jobless, it was nice to have our relatives host us and fix us meals or take us out to dinner! (grin) That’s when I declared myself to be a full-time writer. The house was sold. We’d taken the month of May off. Even though we were still traveling, Julie was already teaching English online for some income. It was time for me to get to work!

But what to write? Well, I knew I needed to finish my Mister the Magical Cat series, but wasn’t quite ready to jump back into that world. So I dabbled here and there with some other projects. Nothing of consequence, but at least it got my writing juices flowing again.

My goal – when I started writing daily – would be six sessions of 500 words each: 3,000 words a day. That’s doable for me. Done it before. I can pound out about 500 words in 45 minutes, take a stretch break, and do another session the next hour. Sounds like a plan.

So mid-June we returned to Wichita for a few days, packed what we were taking with us into four big suitcases and four carry-ons (including our 19 year old cat, Charlie), and left for the airport at 4:30 on a Saturday morning. That is, yesterday morning, June 18th, 2022. Wow.

Charlie did wonderfully well, by the way. After grumping a bit about being stuck in his cat carrier, he settled down, content to watch the action going on around him.

After close to seventeen hours of travel, we finally arrived at our rental house in the mountains near Orocovis, Puerto Rico. Charlie was happy to finally be free to explore without a cat harness. He chattered on about something the whole time he roamed his temporary home. What a trooper!

That’s the story so far. I didn’t do any writing yesterday because of the travel. Nor any today. We worshiped with our brothers and sisters in Christ at Primera Iglesia Bautista de Orocovis this morning and spent the rest of the day unpacking and getting used to our new surroundings. Resting up.

Tomorrow, I plan to begin writing. After all, I became a full-time writer almost three weeks ago. I guess I better prove it.

~*~

Follow along each day as I post my progress in writing A Cauldron of Cats, Book 2 in my Mister the Magical Cat Series (available for pre-order now, affiliate link). You can also "Tip a Buck & Get a Book" and I'll send you Book 1 now, Cat Potion No. 9

Lyndon Perry is a speculative fiction writer living in Puerto Rico. He's a former pastor and current husband, father, coffee drinker, and cat-wrangler to Charlie, a 19 year old orange and white tabby who serves as the inspiration to Mister the Magical Cat. You can find him a variety of places online. Check out his various Linktree Locations and say hello!