Another Sweet Grass and Noxious Poppies Update

A friend recently gave me some treasures that they found at a thrift bookstore, all on the subject of Indian religion. One of them is Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, which is famous. I know that one is a Hare Krisna translation of an important Purana, and the third might also be Hare Krisna but I don't know yet. The Puranic one has some really excellent illustrations, which I feel the need to share. Here is one, and I will use the rest throughout this update:

In other news, it has been almost a full year since I gave an update on the progress of my novel. This is because, frankly, I've been so absorbed with writing it, and so busy with college, that I haven't really had any time to reflect. Last year, I was struggling to get past chapter 8. As of now, I have reached chapter 20. My current word count is 19,145. This is a really great spot to be, because it is the last chapter of part 1, "Finding the Player". Part 2, "The Illusory Song", will probably be around the same length. It is a blessing and a curse to have a full outline of one's novel [for more on what this outline is like and the process of creating it, read this short story: On Music, Dreams, and the Writing of a New Novel]. On the one hand, I never have to wonder what happens next. On the other, sometimes I'm not in the right headspace to write the next part--this is where, if I had no outline, I might just write whatever came naturally--something like Zhuangzi might do, or Douglas Adams. I have some writers block right now, but for good reason, because this chapter is the culmination of a great many things. Perhaps the muse will visit me in the coming week.

In my last update, I mentioned something about a character who serves as a running gag, and who I was considering for a deeper role. I ultimately decided to stay the course and keep the jovial nature of this character. He will be important later on, but giving him a serious role at this early stage would spoil some things that I have planned... His name is Ravid "The Bull" Abbas, and he's always doing crazy stuff. The other characters are so fond of him that they often make reference to him, joking about what he might do in a given situation (since he doesn't really appear in the novel otherwise).

That may or may not be a spoiler, hopefully not. Perhaps this crazy-ass novel will be finished by next year. If so, I will give thanks and praise to the muse.

Until next time, Om Tat Sat ;)