My progress so far:
- I have continued working on a story called "The Usual," which I began writing before this round of ROW80. This is a speculative fiction story about cultural norms and what happens when a young woman involuntarily breaks an unwritten law.
- I have also continued working on another story I started writing before this round of ROW80. This one is tentatively titled "Zombie" and is about a woman's experience post-zombie apocalypse as she learns what she must be willing to sacrifice in order to survive.
- I've written about 3/4 of a draft of a new story called "The Choice," in which a woman is chosen at random to decide the fate of her people in the face of a growing divide between a government and its citizens.
- And finally, I've written 3/4 of a draft of that new magical realism story that has me all excited, the one I'm not going to tell you anything about because I think it's pretty original and I have very high hopes for it. (I will probably look back on this statement and cringe with embarrassment, but so be it. Right now, it's my truth.)
Initially I planned to revise a story called "Conformity" that I originally wrote as a graduate student, but I can't find it anywhere, either in digital or physical form. It was quite a blow when I realized that I'd lost it. Especially since my plan for that story was to have two versions, the second version the same as the first except for one important detail that changes the whole tone, and I'd planned to begin and end my collection of short stories with those two versions of "Conformity." I haven't decided whether to try to rewrite it from memory. It's a daunting prospect, especially since it took a while to get some of the dialogue *just right* and I no longer remember how it went.
One of the really interesting things I've noticed about myself while working on the other stories is that my intentions for them appear to be a little bit beyond my current writing skill level. I know what I want them to do, what feel I want them to have, what messages I want to get across. And in each case there's at least one aspect to the story that I'm not exactly sure how to pull off.
But rather than be discouraged by that, I'm excited by it. I see it as proof that I'm developing as a writer, and it gives me an idea of what's possible in the future, even if I don't end up being able to pull it off now.