I was checking the WotF blog yesterday (which is not operational today, for some reason, so the link doesn't actually work right now). After a couple of "huh-wha?" moments, I realized that I've been counting quarters using the calendar year, whereas the WotF contest starts their contest year on October 1. So what I've been calling my Q3 story here is technically a Q4 story.
Except it's not, because I read through it a couple of days ago and was not suitably impressed with its current state. Furthermore, I'm not sure what exactly it needs to make me more happy with it. And since I really don't need any more abstract walls to bang my head against right now, I tucked it right back into the drawer from whence it came. Maybe it can become the Q1 story sometime in the last quarter of this year.
In the meantime, I have begun the research phase of more extreme worldbuilding for Crowmaker. I scribbled down every question/topic I could think of that I want to know more about, and have begun reading up on them, starting with the general and very broad topic of the wild west portion of U.S. history. My usual approach is to start with the basics and work up to more in-depth treatment of the subject, at which point the children's section of the library and kid-oriented web sites come in real handy. I'm starting with Joey's 5th grade U.S. history textbook which I kept instead of selling for just such a reason--so I can refresh my aging memory on things I learned way too many years ago. In the interest of giving the wild west years a solid context, I started at the beginning of the book and am working my way forward. I also came across a cool book about the exploration of N. America and took a break from the textbook to read it. It doesn't feel a lot like work, since I kinda enjoy the reading at this point. But I'm counting it anyhow.
Side note: Given a choice of all kinds of shows on TV, both of my boys will almost always settle on the History Channel--World War II planes, the lives of presidents, Hitler's supposed connection to the occult... I'm willing to bet they know more about a lot of things at 12 and 10 than I do even now. And I'm not making them watch it! They choose it! Unless Mythbusters is on, of course. I mean, obviously, exploding pig carcasses trump all else.