Well, would you look at that.
A bit of random curiosity led me to look something up on Wikipedia. A detail in the article led me to a bit of mythology I hadn’t heard about before (or had forgotten if I had). Something like two weeks later — certainly not more than that — I have a short story.
Dear brain: you can stop wibbling over metrics now. In this calendar year you have written three pieces of flash fiction, one novelette that’s going into a fixup novel rather than making the submissions rounds, and SIX ACTUAL SHORT STORIES. Like you set out to do.
As I’ve said before, there are stupid games I can play around what counts and what doesn’t. And I stand by what I said before, which is that I didn’t have to write another longer-than-flash piece this year in order to feel like I’d accomplished something. On the other hand, there was no good reason not to write the story, once I had the idea for it. Except for the bit where I fell down a rabbit hole of reading up on early bronze-working and watching Youtube videos of people making weapons and armor, because I’m not quite incapable of writing something that doesn’t require research, but I come damn close.
The only real problem is, now I’ve messed up the balance for a future short story collection I want to do. The only way out of that trap is to write another story based on some kind of Near Eastern mythology.
But that, I can do in 2020.