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.

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!



  1. Awesome & inspiring! Love the writing and the word count! ❤️


Keep it clean and positive. (And sorry about the word verification, but the spmb*ts are out in full force!)