I’ve been busy lately: family from sundry parts of America and Romania have been visiting, bringing the total people under our roof to nine at one point. This has severely cut into my time for writing, hence the sudden lack of posts.

But a friend of mine Marlene Dotterer recently posted the Look Challenge, and I thought it was interesting enough to take her up on it.

1. Find the first occurrence of the word “look” in your WIP, and post the surrounding paragraph.
2. Tag others to do the same.

My current WiP is a short story called The Heresy Trial of Friar Travolo, and conveniently the first instance of “look” in the story is the description of the eponymous Friar:

And so I met the famed heretic. Travolo is a small man, stooped at the neck, with muddy brown eyes and a thin, greasy beard, unpleasant to look at. His chamber was floored with planks of wood and furnished only with a straw mattress and a burlap rag for a blanket, and the only source of light was what trickled in from the narrow windows set into the stone walls of the tower. I carried a lamp, but without it it was very dark, and Travolo had no lamp of his own. Yet by the lamplight I could see that he had fashioned a crude pencil from wood, and in the stone walls had begun to scratch the outlines of an exegesis right at the spot where the light would fall on it as it slipped through the window in the evening.

I tag Natasha and Corey, should either of them happen to see this. (But if you’re reading this you’re welcome to participate, even if you aren’t either of them.)

Where have I been for the past two weeks?

Well, first I was finishing the second draft of my current novel WIP, The Wedding of Earth and Sky. I was determined to get it done by the end of May, and I met my goal — with a few hours to spare.

And then I went here:

An island on Johnson Lake
Johnson Lake in northern Minnesota.

I spent most of last week camping with family on an island in Johnson Lake in northern Minnesota, a few miles from the Canadian border. Right about the time when I would have been blogging last week, I was instead returning from an evening of fishing, paddling a canoe across the glassy water and watching an orange moon rise above the pines.

Hopefully you’ll forgive me for not writing. However, I’m back and I hope to have a new post about Praseo up soon.

I had something significant planned to post today, but I ran out of time. Instead, here’s an interesting observation: April 2012 was my highest traffic month ever, with more than 5 times as many hits as I got in April 2011! So whatever I’m doing here (really, I barely have any idea what that is), it’s obviously working for somebody.

Here’s to ever-growing traffic in the future!