Summary: With all her worldly possessions in one bag, Caroline runs away from home to join the circus. Even though she’s far from the oddity or performer that Arcanium is better known for, the fortune teller and owner Bell Madoc grants her wish to become a part of his circus and assigns her to work the carousel. It’s a little repetitive and the quarters are cramped, but Caroline feels it’s a perfect job while she figures out what the hell she’s going to do with her life.
But then some of the creepy carousel mounts – the ones that look like human men, bound and chained and tortured – start coming to life at night. Caroline not only has to come to grips with the shady motivations of her new employers, but with the driven desire inside her for Riley and Colm, two lost souls of Arcanium begging for her to save them, yet also bound to Arcanium and to the carousel to atone for their sins.
Word count: 52,075/100,000
The first fourth of the book is usually the hardest for me. For some reason, the end seems a lot closer when you first start than it does when you’re a fourth of the way in. I’m more likely to hit a rough patch where I think everything I write is crap during that stretch. Fortunately, I’ve pressed on, and I’m a little more than halfway through in 15 days.
I’ll have a few more weeks at least of open time to write before I have to figure out what I’m going to do on the working end of things, but I have been feeling better, much better than before. At this point, it’s still about testing and treatment, not necessarily about debilitating pain. I hate this in-between place I’m in, since I seem to keep finding myself in it. But as long as I stay productive in some way, I hope the time isn’t wasted.
I honestly don’t know how popular my Arcanium circus series, my elemental Forces of Nature series, or my Meridian dark urban fantasy series will be taken, but all I can do is try, hope, and make marketing efforts when the time comes. And write the stories, of course. When the stories take a month to write even when they’re all I’m doing, that’s…daunting. Can you imagine what I’d be able to accomplish if all I was doing was writing, though? I could write ten novels in a year instead of four to six. More if they were shorter. A girl can dream.
As far as Carousel is going, I’m still not sure about how it is, but one thing I can say is that the 4k I try to get every day is flowing out without much resistance. This could be a good thing or a bad thing. I guess I’ll figure that out the closer I get to the end. I still like the Arcanium world that I’ve created, all its darkness and its tender moments, its strangeness and fantasy. I’m looking forward to writing from the perspective of some of my oddities in Aerial, Ringmaster, and Contortion. Carousel hasn’t had as much of the circus inside it as most of the others will have, since the carousel is an attraction of the circus but not a performance – it’s a low-skill position in the circus, albeit a fascinating one, given that two hot men come to life.
So, I made a decision that broke away from my original conception of the story. Originally, both men were human souls. Now, one of them is a demon stripped of his demon powers – essentially human except in intention. It’s completely changed the dynamic of the story and of Caroline’s arc, but it provides a solid contrast between the two men that wasn’t there before. And it makes the things Colm does more forgivable, ironically. He’d be a less likable character if he was human.
Halfway through, I’m still not sure how long this baby is going to be. I don’t think there’s a lot more, plot-wise, but my sex scenes can be pretty involved, especially with multiple partners in a circus setting. If I had to guess, I think I’ll fall short of the 100k-word mark and finish somewhere between 90k and 100k words. As long as it’s over 80k, I think I’m okay, in a consistent range.
And after writing Carousel, I think I’ll be editing Bloodbound. After that, I have the choice between writing Aerial and then letting both ferment while working on the project I abandoned during the illness or saving Aerial for after that project. Guess we’ll see.