Just updating that the newest Cardinal Machines novel is halfway (if I know me) at about 55,060 words. I've been thinking about Zoey's growth in these novels, particularly since, beginning last week, I've been hearing the changes in her voice as LibriVox's QueenK8 narrates her. Zoey's life, which started in wealth and privilege, evolved into a mostly middle class upbringing. It held course there for a time, before it began its steady devolution into poverty, hunger, and violence. She's been through a lot, and as a result, struggles with her mental health. I believe that Ocean had and has a positive impact on her entire frame of mind, lifting the 'sound floor' away from the noise and sirens of her past, and toward something strict, sure, but also kind. Recently, I've switched over the type of music that I listen to when writing Zoey. What, before, could be hectic and hard, sounds a little more like 'Pure Sunlight', at the moment. Even the lyrics do a good job. Zoey's not out of the woods (particularly with the scene I just wrote). Her headspace isn't on a perfect trajectory. But her life has changed for the better. It's a better place to face the shadows and personal monsters from, it seems.