I’ve been participating in What’s Up Wednesday to keep track of my writing progress and goals. Anyone can write a post and add the link to Jaime’s blog. Each week, participants post something under the four simple headings.

What I’m Writing

I’ve now passed the 490,000-word mark in my WIP, Journey Through a Dark Forest, and have just started Chapter 61, “Siberian Sojourn.” The Savvins, now among the last principal characters still left in the USSR, are going to flee Moskvá for the safety of Siberia as the German onslaught gets closer and closer to home. Many people were evacuated to Siberia and the Central Asian republics in the wake of Operation Barbarossa. In a future chapter in the next year, the Savvins are going to take advantage of the temporary wartime loosening of restrictions and fear by sending 18-year-old Inga to Shanghai. Inga will ultimately be allowed entry to the U.S. and go to New York to meet the father who has no idea she exists.

While doing my research on the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran in August-September 1941, which led to the forced abdication of Shah Reza Pahlavi, I discovered that Isfahan Province was never attacked or occupied. It was so safe that the Pahlavis, apart from the Shah and Crown Prince, fled there. That actually made my job a whole lot easier, since my characters weren’t subject to bombings or invading soldiers.

Even though most of the book is set in the U.S. and the former USSR, I love writing the chapters and sections set in Iran. I really want to do some firsthand research in Isfahan and Fereydan so I can make the second draft better. After doing some researching, I’ve found that I’ll need to get two passports when it’s time to renew next June, so I can safely visit both Iran and Israel. About 1,000-1,500 Americans visit Iran every year, through tours, and have a great time, contrary to the media propaganda claiming it’s so unsafe and all Iranians hate Americans. I truly am not scared at the prospect of going to Iran, but then again, Sagittarians love travelling, and my family were dear friends with an Iranian family while I was growing up.

What I’m Reading

The usual, stuff for classes and the library books I’ve previously mentioned.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

I got a 100 on my first paper for my Academic Libraries class, about how the development of the academic library influenced American colleges and universities from 1636-1879. Apparently I was the only one who followed the directions by spending some time comparing and contrasting the two sources mentioned! I had been writing the paper in Justus Oldstyle, but I changed it to Cochin when I realised I needed a little more space without going over the page limit. That gave me about an extra page and a quarter! So glad the professors I’ve had so far haven’t forced us to use Times New Roman, which I wouldn’t type in for a million dollars.

I had a panic attack when my roommate came over last Wednesday, and my father had to talk me down from it over the phone. Take deep breaths, hold it in, release slowly, and find a stuffed animal to squeeze. Simon is way too big to pick up and hold with the phone in one hand, and Davy is too small and worn, so I went through my old “Super-Speical” box for Keith, who’s just the right size. I’ve only spoken to her over text and Facebook messages since. I won’t talk to her in person without a third party to advocate for me and try to force her to behave better. I’m done being dominated and dealing with irrational fears and demands.

Thank God, I quickly found a much better roommate match, and if my current absent roommate cooperates, she’ll be moved in by Halloween. I just can’t handle 10 more months of constant drama, stress, and meltdowns over truly minor things. The new roommate isn’t as religious as I am, but at least she’s willing to make some potential compromises, as I am. I really think that’s better than living with someone whose level of religiosity, esp. in regards to kosher, is at least 10 levels above mine.

What Inspires Me

How everyone in my life who knows about this situation has supported and believed me, no matter what the roommate says or does. They know I’m the one who’s been compromising/conceding everything and putting up with ridiculous demands and insane behaviour right and left. The current obsession with believing there are drugs in the complex just clinches everyone’s longstanding concerns for me being in this situation. And btw, the investigation she insisted on turned up absolutely NO evidence of drugs anywhere in the complex!

7 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Wow. Sounds like your roommate situation has been fun. Glad that you’ve gotten so much support! Congrats on the 100! And wow to the word count too! I am all kinds of impressed!

    Have a great week!


  2. Oh panic attacks are terrible things. I am glad you had some good support to help you through it and that the situation with your terrible room mate is nearly over with. I hope everything goes well with your new one too 🙂


  3. Wow– sounds like your life has a lot of drama in it right now with drug suspicions and flaky roommates. Hope all that clears up once and for all. Your research for your book sounds really interesting. I enjoy that kind of digging too.


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