I thought I was doing pretty well, but then I looked at the list of writers from the Philippines with updated word counts and, whoa! I'm somewhere in the lead, but I'm nowhere near Yami Neko Tenshi's count of 30,757! And there are a few others ahead of me, too.
But I am happy with my overall progress. The discipline is slowly starting to take hold. In fact, today, I thought I wouldn't break 14,000 owing to my late start. I just have to make sure this doesn't become an obsession.
The trick, I think, is to make sure I have a life outside of this project. I think that is happening, and I'm happy for that. This afternoon, I attended the opening of a painting exhibit at Foundation University. The artist was Robin Riley, an architect from Boston who has spent the last ten years travelling on a yacht with her husband. They started from their home port of Boston and made their way down to Tambobo Bay in Dumaguete by way of the Panama Canal and the South Pacific islands. Quite an inspiration for me to write my story which is very closely related.
And there was an added bonus as well. After the introductions and the press conference, and prior to the ribbon cutting, students from Foundation performed a native dance of offering and sacrifice, complete in native dress. Perfect, just perfect. It's going to make its way into one of my scenes.
Excerpt for today:
Enrique did not let up his lively greeting. To a great degree, I think it lightened the mood considerably between our two parties. But now there was a shift in the look of our own men, as perhaps I was in mine. We looked from the men in the boat, and over to Enrique, and back to the men in the boat.
How strange it was! We had had Enrique for our comrade for the two years of our journey. He looked different, true, but in time we had grown to accept him and to look beyond appearances. He was a constant source of laughter with his tomfoolery. At the same time, we had learned to appreciate his valor for he had shown much of it when the situation demanded it. He was one of us. We were proud to have him as one of us.
But now in the presence of these men, he became different once more. His features were their features: his build was their build, his eyes looked very much like theirs, the flat shape of his nose, the contour of his lips, and the same dark complexion. Strip away his shirt and his trousers, dress him in the garments of these men and mark him with the same tattooes. He would belong there with them. Not with us.
"Indian," one of the marines close to me said to his companion. He was not referring to the men in the boat. He was pointing to Enrique. A chill travelled down my spine, a premonition of things to come.