Halfway to Miklagarth!

I have written 50,000 words of Matka Danu Miklagarth!

It took me six times longer than a NaNoWriMo winner to get this many words on the page, but... Let's just say, I hope this manuscript is already six times better than either of my NaNoWriMo victories.

Meanwhile, the university where I dropped out of grad school is in the international news for its enabling of a monster sexual predator who has abused triple-digit numbers of children and teenage girls over the past 20 years or more, resulting in the lifelong trauma of hundreds of people and even some suicides. Bravo, a**holes. I dropped out of my grad program at precisely the moment I received confirmation from one student mentor, one advisor, and one professional in the field that this career trajectory would not enable its graduates to seek systemic changes in dysfunctional systems. "If you want to do that, you could call your senator," they said. Done and done.

Meanwhile, the high school I fled as a teen because it engendered a similar culture of frightening obedience training to malevolent authority figures has been in the news a lot too. Currently, its problems with staff-on-student sexual abuse have been eclipsed by a struggle over the administration's overt racism.

Meanwhile, I am pleased to learn that my daughter's racially and culturally diverse public school is following up a week-long celebration of civil rights and racial justice with a new sexual education program starting all the way down in first grade! Our school district keeps surprising me with its progressive and child-empowering actions, dispelling the reasons I was taught, for years, to fear public education.

Meanwhile, I am volunteering about once a week at my non-creedal church, which takes its Safe Church Policy to protect children very seriously. We help children build confidence to ask questions, explore socially taboo concepts such as race and sexuality and religion and authority, and articulate their own beliefs while gaining empathy and respect for others whose experiences and opinions differ.

Meanwhile, I'm writing this novel about teenage runaways in the Dark Ages who refuse to accept the unfairness of life without a fight, and who won't give up on their dreams just because no one has ever achieved them before.

I'm halfway to the completion of the first draft.

Go on and do your work. Do it well. It is all you can do.
-the late, great author Ursula K. Le Guin

Onward to Miklagarth!


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