I've crossed the 38,000 word barrier just about a minute ago. The story's moving along toward its conclusion, but I can't guarantee that it will be done in time for the contest. Although it just might. For all I know, it'll be done tomorrow. At least in terms of this draft. There will be many hours of rewrites before it is somewhat to the point at which I can in good conscience offend the public with it. But it should be contest-good soon enough.
the shame of the whole thing is that I don't have the time to worry over each sentence and make sure the whole thing sounds right and feels right. The first two-thirds have received that level of attention and seem to show it. This last third may not reach those dizzying heights before March 15th. With any luck, somebody will pay me to fix that part later on.
At any rate, a boy can dream.