My thoughts have now turned to February. I purchased a history of Genghis Khan’s rise to power, have been pondering the effect that having a total natural life span of 30 years would have on one’s ability to invest in the future, have been wandering if an orc would have a physiognomy of a gorilla, and deliberating whether they would get all silverback as well if they became the alpha khan of their tribe. Such thought spiral through my mind, whirling and intertwining in an ever growing double helix, while the date remains January 21st, and One by One demands another entry.

Herein lies one of the greatest challenges of my First Million Words endeavor. Come February 1st, I must sit down and write 2,740 words of my next novel, having just finished One by One the day before. This has nothing to do with the mechanical ability to type, but rather the emotional buffering that each novel requires. For when an author writes a novel, they become invested in the characters, they live in that world, they spend their free time thinking and pondering what will happen next, what has just taken place, and how their characters are doing. To remove that buffer and jam the end of one novel right into the beginning of the next leaves one feeling disoriented, neither in one world nor the next, unable to focus properly on either.

I’m going to write today’s installment of One by One, and hopefully it will go well. For the next hour or so I will banish all thoughts of tribal warfare, the steppes, the genius of Genghis Khan and what sort of mount would serve best for an orcish cavalry from my mind, and instead return to the near abandoned and semi-desolate streets of One by One, to see what happens when the young man and Sophia enter the main square to witness the next fateful iteration of the New Republic as it rises to confront the Catholic Church. Will there be beheadings? Most likely.

Wish me luck.