In the interest of keeping myself accountable, I thought it would be good to update my stated summer goals, which were:

Write 60,000 words of fiction.
Read 20 books
Play guitar a lot/learn Beeswing

I have read 10 books since the beginning of June and something close to 20 is more or less a foregone conclusion.

I have played a lot of guitar and I’m at least sort of getting there on Beeswing, which is a pretty tough song to get down.

The writing is another story. I’m probably not going to get to 60,000 words, which I knew was ambitious. I’m sitting on about 14,000 right now (50ish pages), but that number is a little misleading as I wasn’t able to write for about half of June (vacation + Cate getting REALLY sick). As it stands 40-45,000 is probably my new realistic goal, though if 60,000 wants to make itself happen, I’m more than willing.

And speaking of writing, here’s some of what I’ve been working on…

Two car doors slam. thuk, thuk. The engine, aging and poorly cared for rumbles to a start, sputtering uncertainly until placed in gear and allowed to accelerate. The car belongs to Jacob, though belong is a fuzzy word in this instance. He marooned the car years ago when he went away to college, using it only during his sporadic visits, never having the title transferred over. His parents, however, insist it is his, and while they refuse to get rid of it, they also refuse to care for it, deeming it his responsibility. He knows one day it will fail and leave him stranded on the side of the road or in the driveway. He does not care. For now it runs, if only barely.

For a few minutes, there is no sound beyond the progression of roads: the gravel crunch of a driveway is followed by the potholed and patched stutter of a country road is followed by the smooth curves and yellow lines of the well-maintained state highway. The silence bears the kind of tension that only a family can place on a new but serious couple. Look at you young lady, she feels it say, you are not from here. You are not of this place. It will never belong to you. You don’t want to be involved with someone who comes from this. But she says back, I am not so young. I have a place that belongs to me already. Though buried deeper, is a part of her that fears the tension is correct.