Desperately Sleep Deprived and a Little Progress

How can it be the end of July? Time froze in March, didn’t it? No, of course not. Time marches relentlessly forward. So onward I march. July was a month of being desperately sleep deprived and a little progress.

Mug inscribed with  "It's coffee o'clock" held the elixir of the desperately sleep deprived me

Sleep Deprived

The first week of July my fifteen-year-old Yorkie, Astro, had a dreadful night. He couldn’t settle down. I could find nothing wrong with him, but he’d only quiet down if I held him. So I held him a lot, thinking we were near the end of his time with us.

After a brief phone consultation with the vet’s office the next morning, I decided to keep him home and love on him. So, I drank lots of my magic elixir and we muddled through days and nights and then weeks.

He improved slowly. He’s weaker than before and can lose his balance easily. But he drinks and eats well—better than before his awful night. And he sleeps through the night again. Walking in the grass is much easier for him, so I give him plenty of opportunities to do that. And I’m still loving on him a lot.

WIP Progress Report

If I Should Die, book 2 in The Fellowship Dystopia series, is at 85,000 words. I didn’t make half the progress I had intended to in July. And after a few nights sleep, I realized that sleep-deprived writing isn’t good writing. I backtracked a bit and am moving forward again.


I continue to learn about marketing books and am beginning to see that learning turn into some profitable marketing. Yay!

I also took an amazing course from Margie Lawson’s Writer Academy. “Potent Pitches and Brilliant Blurbs,” taught by Suzanne Purvis, was worth every penny and every minute of time I spent on it. And now I have a blurb, or back of the book description, for If I Should Die. (It will be revealed in a few months.)


Line drawing of a boy leaning against his dog while reading a book and like him, despite being sleep deprived I read

I finished Writing the Other, A Practical Approach by Nisi Shawl & Cynthia Ward. It challenges you through discussions and exercises to examine your preconceived notions of the “other.” The other is any person whose gender or race or ethnicity or culture differs from yours. I’ve been aware of my white privilege for a long while, but this book opened my eyes further. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wishes to write “other” points of view.

I also finished Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells. I found this one to drag a little in the middle, but once all the setup process finished, it zips right along to a satisfying ending. If you haven’t read Murderbot’s stories—I recommend them.

In Review

I learned a lot. I’ve made plans for posts and for website improvements. New covers are in progress. And cars, yard, and house got some improvements. (A huge thank you shout out to my son for his help!)

We continue to stay home and follow safe distances, hand washing, and masking when we’re out.

While desperately sleep deprived and a little progress is the title for this month’s progress report, it doesn’t say it all. Love and health and forward motion end this rocky month on a positive note. How was your month?

Progress Report One: Book 2 of The Fellowship Dystopia

I’m really enjoying the writing right now. It’s fun to “play” in a world already populated with strong female characters on both sides of good and evil. What am I working on, you ask? The second book in the Fellowship Dystopia series. This is the first official progress report for that book.

Book Two

Currently titled, If I Should Die, continues the story of Miranda and Beryl about two years after the first novel, My Soul to Keep. The story sentence is

A peace-loving woman caught in a civil war must resort to violence to save lives or stick to her principles and sacrifice many.

My first draft is currently a little more than 38,000 words in length. Which is about 4/10ths of the estimated length of 100,000 words. Some characters from the first novel reappear and there are new characters to meet. Visit my Pinterest page for a sneak peek at inspirations for the characters and locations.


My recent Character Reveal posts featured characters I’ve developed for this novel. 


Not only am I writing the first draft, I’m researching cover design and cover designers. Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my cover for My Soul to Keep. But it’s not selling very many books. So I’m researching to see if I can keep that cover or if I need to have it re-designed. I have to make a decision soon if I want to have the cover done soon enough to publish in the late fall this year.

What do you think? 

Since life is challenging me with new responsibilities, I wanted to give you a Progress Report. Do you like this kind of Progress Report? Would you enjoy a once a month or once every two or three months progress report? Would you prefer a progress bar on my website? If you were me would you change the cover for My Soul to Keep? So many decisions! Help me out in the comments please.

Take Another Peek at Paladina

It’s Friday and time for a Sneak Peek at Paladina, a work-in-progress. This story has been sitting on the shelf for a while. Inspired by UFOs and Greek mythology, I hope you enjoy this bit.

The Story Sentence

Paladina is a working title and probably won’t stick to this project. Its story sentence gives me direction and you a hint at what’s going on. (I discuss what a story sentence is in this article.

A protection specialist, sworn to defend a tiny Greek village, discovers they are pawns of treasure-hunting alien knights whose game pits her against her long-lost brother to save all of humanity. 


The story takes place in Greece. The time period is current–or fairly current. This portion of the story takes place in a fictional mountain town in the Taygetos mountains. This mountain range contains the highest mountains in the Peloponnese peninsula.

Peak at Paladina

An apple of gold wrapped in barbed wire, sitting on a black cloth--could it be the apple referred to in the sneak peek at Paladina?

Rena took the blindfold off, as instructed. She had to squint against the light of the battery-operated lantern the boy carried and shone in her face. She shielded her eyes with a hand and the boy pointed the light into the black depths. They stood inside a large silent cavern. The cone of yellow light barely pierced the cave’s darkness. Black stone surrounded them. She couldn’t see the ceiling though she felt certain that she could touch the ceiling if she raised her arms.  But she didn’t test her senses. The boy had agreed to bring her to the apple only because she’d sworn he could keep the location secret by blindfolding her. Even so, he had taken a circuitous route. Good thing he didn’t know she could retrace every step they’d made.  

“Now we go through here,” the boy said, shining his lantern on a narrow opening in one wall.  

Rena inhaled sharply. She wasn’t claustrophobic, she just didn’t like tight spaces—no place to fight, no exit except the way you’d come. But she couldn’t back out now. She owed it to the team; they needed to know the Apple existed, that the risks they were taking were worth it. She nodded to the boy, lead on.

He disappeared into the fissure. Immediately, the light level dropped. Rena’s eyes tried to compensate, couldn’t. She hurried forward. The walls of the fissure had rows of smooth, narrow ribbons with sharp raised edges. The ceiling continued high above her head but several times she had to turn her head, else scrape her face or scalp. Ahkim would never have fit into this space. 

Want to Read More?

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek at Paladina. Want to know more? You can read a little more here. Care to guess what comes next? Perhaps your guess will inspire me to write more for you to read.

Nearing The End

I am nearing THE END of this eternal re-write. This novel was first attempted years ago, that’s many, many years ago. Earlier drafts got me two different agents and almost sold twice. Yet, it didn’t sell. And it’s a heart novel, meaning it’s near and dear to my heart. Someone once called it my therapy novel. Truth? Some of it has been therapy. Not in the way implied by my critic, but it has had therapeutic moments. It’s been a slow, difficult re-write with lots of angst, tons of learning, and more than a few tears shed. But, The End is in sight. And yet—

The words come slowly to me on a good day. On bad days—words come slower than a slow snail’s slowest slog. Whew! Which situation do you think I’m in now? Yup. S-L-O-W. You’d think the words would be coming faster, wouldn’t you? And yet—

I sit at the computer and type a few words then come to a section that must be a blend of the old draft and the new one. The words drip out of my fingers and nearly dry up then, something comes along to spur me forward. This blog post, for one. I’m using it to spur me onward to the end.

I’m going to share a snippet of my dystopian story with the working title: My Soul to Keep. It’s the story of two mothers and two daughters, though primarily it’s Miranda’s story. First, a short description:

Miranda Clarke, daughter of America’s premier preacher-politician, leads a charmed life—until she breaks the rules. Haunted by family secrets and hunted by cloned assassins, Miranda must destroy the government controlled by her own family before the Angels of Death destroy her and all of democracy.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My Soul To Keep

A work-in-progress


Lynette M Burrows

Chapter One

The giant bronze statue of the angel of death loomed over Miranda Clarke’s shoulder. Was it the statue or was it the tiny flare of rebellion that made her not want to enter the Fellowship Center’s crowded foyer? The statue, Shield of Mercy, Hand of Justice, stood at the grand entrance as it had for all Miranda’s life. With Uncle Sam sheltered in her great black wings, the angel hovered over the fallen body of president-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt and pointed to the pile of ash where the assassin had stood.

“Is something wrong?” Tom, her bodyguard, came to stand too close.

What could be wrong with becoming a Guardian? She hid her fears behind her angelic-daughter-of-the-councilor smile. “I need to powder my nose.”

“They’ll be seating your family in five minutes. Tell me what you need, I’ll have someone fetch it.”

I need to not be the councilor’s daughter. “There are some things a girl must do on her own.” She dove into a sea of elbows and padded shoulders, big purses, and bigger hats. Her bodyguard followed. He always did.

Hundreds of men in sharkskin suits and women in taffeta dresses filled the foyer waiting for the auditorium doors to open. Clusters of them here and there held onto their hats, an assortment of felt, feathers, netting and ruffles, and peered up at the mural-painted dome five stories above. They reeked of aftershave lotions, cheap colognes, and forbidden cigarette smoke.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thanks to and for the images. These images are part of my inspirations board on Pinterest. If you’re curious, take a look here.

I’ll be posting stories about my mentors, my process, and some of the history that inspired different scenes and themes of this book over the next few months. And of course, you’re all invited to the party when I finally type THE END!

I hope you enjoyed this taste of things to come. As always, I deeply appreciate the time you give to read and comment on this blog. Thank You!