Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 24

Hey Blogland!

This last week was… not what I expected. Hopefully I can regroup and see some productivity this week.

Last Week

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Finish reading something
  • Write two tumblr prompts
  • Review Madhu’s pages

How’d I do?

  • Publish 2 blog posts
    • For the first time this year, I did not meet this goal.
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
    • Nope. Actually, I wrote zero words on The Steel Armada last week.
  • Finish reading something
    • Yes? I was hesitant to count it, because it was fanfic, but I read a total of 268,649 words, which is roughly 1,000 pages. I figure that, if I’m counting my fanfic writing towards word count goals, fanfic should count for reading goals too. Even if it doesn’t count for the actual Goodreads Reading Challenge.
  • Write two tumblr prompts
    • No. But, I did write one of them, so that was good!
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • Yes! The one thing I can always count on to get done.

Weekly Word Count: 1,653

So what the heck happened? Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. I think I’m a little depressed? My eating habits these last couple weeks have been dismal, I have zero drive to get anything done, and I spent all my time playing Horizon Zero Dawn and reading related fanfic.

HZD Sundom CLimb

I talked about it with a friend on Saturday, which I think really helped. It also got me out of the house and into the sun, which also really helped. I realized that the majority of my life’s traumas have occurred in the summertime. The deaths of loved ones, turbulent times financially and emotionally. And, it’s such a constant for me that I think my mind is prepping itself for stress. I’m shutting down preemptively.

So, now I just have to combat it. I’m trying to keep doing my normal activities. Monday night is movie night, so I went to my friend’s house and we watched Twin Peaks. We’re on season two and I am real confused. But I’m really enjoying it.dale cooper coffee

We finally finished tilling the front yard, and have now seeded the lawn. I’m looking forward to grass out front, I think it will really make the house look much nicer. I got plenty of sunshine and exercise this weekend thanks to more yard work, and I think it’s a large reason of why I feel so much better so far this week.

So, What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day of The Steel Armada
  • Write 2 tumblr prompts
  • Finish listening to Side Jobs
  • Write 500 words of Sanctuary
  • Review Madhu’s pages

That’s a lot of bullet points, especially when I achieved so little last week. But, I’m feeling hopeful? I guess? I feel like there are a lot of question marks in my head right now, but I’ll never get rid of them if I don’t try to do the things I want to. So, I’m setting the bar high. You know, shoot for the stars and all that.

I’ve already written one tumblr prompt and I think my week immersed in Horizon Zero Dawn was actually good for me. It turned off my brain for a little while, let me absorb a new story in a way that didn’t feel like work. Maybe I should track the games I play each year, like I do reading? Hmm, food for thought.

HZD Hearts

Anyway, the plan is to buckle down and do a lot of writing this week on various projects. Gotta get those creative juices flowing again. If I can pull myself away from gaming long enough to do so…

I have some nebulas blog post ideas for this week, so you should see me back her sometime closer to the weekend. I’m working extra hours this week as well, so my time will be at a premium.

Until then, Bloggos,

 

BZ

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Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 23

Hey Bloggos,

This week sort of ran away from me, and I can firmly place the blame on E3 and Horizon Zero Dawn. Which of course means I’m really the one to blame. But, before I go pointing fingers, let’s talk about what happened.

Last Week

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Finish listening to Side Jobs
  • Submit Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship application
  • Review Madhu’s pages

… And?

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
    • Nope. I did well each day I sat down, but it was only four days this week instead of seven.
  • Finish listening to Side Jobs
    • Not even close. I don’t think I listened to it at all. Yikes.
  • Submit Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship application
    • Yes! That is done and now out of my brain until someone contacts me about it. Hurray!
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • Yep. You know, it’s the one thing I can count on getting done, no matter what.

Weekly Word Count: 3,199

All right. That wasn’t as bad as I thought. Yeah, I should have spent more time writing, especially since I got through the harder part of the chapter I’m working on. The next bit is actually really exciting to me, a big action sequence, so I’m surprised that I didn’t get to it faster.

I may not have finished Side Jobs, but I did get halfway through Kill the Farm Boy, so that’s exciting! I’m making progress, again, slowly but surely. Summertime is always a bit trying on my reading simply because I spend more time outdoors and in social settings. And as much as I’d like to bring a book to that backyard barbecue, I’m told that’s in poor taste.

I’ve signed up for my library’s Summer Reading Club (“Libraries Rock”), so you might see some adventurous reading  over the next couple of months. A Jeff Buckley memoir, random books about music, etc. I’ve also volunteered to help host the Hamiltunes: An American Sing-a-Long, which will basically be me performing Hamilton karaoke in front of library patrons. If there’s video/photographic evidence, I’ll be sure to share it.

The Fellowship application was only stressful in its redundancy. I had to fill out the same form three times! That and figuring out the best shipping method for documents. I’ve never sent documents through the mail before. Like, what a strange concept. Sheafs of paper. In the mail. When I could have just emailed it.

b99 what.gif

But, that was the requirement, so all right, I guess. Whatever floats your boat Oregon Literary Arts.

Madhu’s pages are getting better and better. She’s really good at implementing feedback from earlier pages into the ones she’s currently working on. I rarely have to point out an issue more than once.

Honorable Mentions

I completed my passport application! Hurray! That was a big scary hurdle between me and Germany, so I’m glad to have that simmering stress finally addressed. Now I can continue to be low-key panicked about these short story submissions in peace!

I wrote a tumblr prompt fill this week, which was not part of the plan, at all. But it was fun, and relatively well received, so that’s nice. I also got a teeny-eensie bit done on Sanctuary so… woo?

What else?

I reached out to my library mentor of sorts to ask a question for a blog post I’m drafting. So that’s good. I also finished writing my Library Pick column for the local newspaper. So, though neither of those things are really “goals”, they are work that I finished this week. So there.

My goal was to publish 52 blog posts this year. With the upload of The Master Magician book review, I have officially crossed that threshold! That is absolutely amazing to me, and wildly unexpected. I am tempted to erase the goal from the whiteboard and increase it, but I also want the reminder that I way underestimated myself. This way, when it’s time to assess the year’s achievements I can be impressed/plan better for 2019. So, I guess I’ll leave it for now.

I submitted The Cost of Rain to another magazine today. That makes for number six. When I see it in writing it looks way less disappointing than it feels. Five rejections is nothing.  There’s still hope for this story. I just need to convince my heart of that. Lifelike is still out. This is day 51. I am dying and the stress has ate away at my fingernails and the lining of my stomach, I’m sure. I can’t query the magazine for another week at least, but I really hope it won’t come to that.

If I query them, and then get a swift rejection I will need more than a pint of ice cream to soothe my bruised ego. Maybe a beer or two, and a big pretzel. Then ice cream. Yeah, that sounds like a plan.

What’s Next?

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Finish reading something
  • Write two tumblr prompts
  • Review Madhu’s pages

Blog post content may actually be thin this week. I don’t have a book review queued up, but I am poised to cross the 20k word mark on The Steel Armada. I should be able to share my next Editing Check-In later this week.

My reading has really slowed down, which I want to fix. So I’ll be focusing on making headway on Kill the Farm Boy and Side Jobs. I’ve really enjoyed them both so far, I just need to make a more concerted effort in my reading and listening. I want to get the review for Kill the Farm Boy out before July, since it’s my first time reading an ARC (advanced reader copy) and I should post my review before the book releases.Kill the Farm Boy

I opened my tumblr inbox for writing prompts, specifically for my Mass Effect series. I thought it’d be a good way to boost my work on Sanctuary. Instead I got several prompts for my Dragon Age characters. So, not what I intended, and yet I’m not unhappy. I love writing for both Mass Effect and Dragon Age, so spending more time with my Warden and Zevran is hardly a bad thing.

Madhu was ahead of the game this week. Normally we share our pages on Tuesdays, but she already emailed me her next batch for consideration. I’ll probably read them tomorrow night or Wednesday morning.

Somehow, this post grew pretty long. Sorry about that. Anyhoo, that’s how I’m doing and what the plan looks like for this week. I’ll be back later to talk about the last 10k words of The Steel Armada rewrite.

Until then,

 

BZ

 

 

 

Book Review – The Master Magician (The Paper Magician #3) by Charlie N. Holmberg

Blogland,

I embarked on this journey with Ceony Twill and Emery Thane over a year ago. I found The Paper Magician to be a cute, lighthearted read that appealed to me for a multitude of reasons. A young, determined heroine embarks on a chilling journey through her mentor’s heart in order to save his life. Also, the mentor just so happens to be handsome, kind, and a bit of an enigma.

dot dot dot yes

But, while I enjoyed the first story immensely, the second one seemed to be a bit fumbling. There were a lot of characters that simply didn’t get enough screen time, Ceony’s decisions were almost indefensible, and the ending was… terrible. I had to take a break from the series, it was that bad.

But, here we are, finally ready to talk about my stalwart slog through what was supposed to be the final book in The Paper Magician series, The Master Magician. Beware some spoilers below.

Goodreads Rating: 3/5 Stars

master magician

This book was… frustrating. Ceony was foolish, childish, and often downright manipulative throughout the book. She was obsessed with Saraj, and unwilling to trust the people around her to do their jobs, putting herself at risk and allowing others to jeopardize their lives and livelihoods to help her.

I did not like Ceony in this book. I waited and waited for her to get her comeuppance, her karmic just desserts, or face some kind of consequences for her reckless and hurtful behavior.

… nope. She has a complete tantrum with her testing Magician, and though he’s snippy with her, that’s it. In fact, he sort of respects her more after she “stands up for herself” by screaming at him. She passes her test with only the slightest of hiccups. And all her snooping into Saraj’s whereabouts pay off when she finds Emery doing the same and they join forces to nearly get murdered, but end up saving the day.

Ceony’s ability to break her bond to paper and rebond to any magic is told to one person and then swept under the rug, never to be addressed again. And her completely pointless falling out with her sister is resolved by another stern talking to and the promise of hooking said sister up with her surly testing Magician.

Yes. You read that correctly.

So, Ceony gets everything she ever wanted, despite the fact she was a terrible person throughout this book. What really pissed me off about it was that her actions and obsession with Saraj are attributed to her PTSD over the events in the second book. I think Holmberg meant for it to come across as her seeking closure, that Ceony couldn’t take the next step in her life (passing her Magician’s exam, marrying Emery, etc.,) until she put Saraj and the Excisioners behind her.

What better way to do that than hunt down a known murderer yourself?

I also had problems with Ceony’s methods. She tracked down Saraj multiple times using her magic, which was cool to see, I guess. But Criminal Affairs, you know, the freaking magic police, couldn’t find him? Give me a break!

By page 130 I was prepared to give up on this book. Truly. I rarely give up, but I was so frustrated and disappointed that I wasn’t sure I could get through another 70 pages. But, I buckled down, got cozy in bed with a bunch of pillows, and made it happen.

And… I’m glad I did. This was not a good book. It was not a good way to end this series. I, obviously, have a lot of issues with it. But, those last 70 pages were fun and easily the best part of the whole book. Seeing Emery and Ceony work together to take out Saraj was really awesome, and it was written surprisingly well. I’m happy that Emery gets his happy ending.

I just wish Ceony could have suffered more consequences and had a growth arc of some kind. Because she was a petulant child through this whole series, and that was never addressed.

the plastic magician

There is now a fourth book in the series, The Plastic Magician. It follows another newly graduated student as she becomes a Polymaker. I am not going to read it. To me, it sounds like The Paper Magician all over again, but with a ‘different’ character. A young woman come from America to study under a mentor in her field. There’s romance, intrigue, and magic. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Reviews on Goodreads are mixed, with most folks stating they like the main character more than they liked Ceony, which is understandable. But that the plot was just meh. Which, I also find likely.

Ultimately, I have so many other books queued up, waiting for my attention, that I can’t waste time on more Holmberg books. At least, not for a long, long time. Maybe in a year or two I’ll come around and decide to give it a chance. Maybe.

Ugh. I hate writing critical reviews. I know how much effort and work goes into writing a novel. I know that Charlie N. Holmberg loves her characters like they’re children, little pieces of herself that she put out into the world. I’m sorry. I really did love the first book. I just… didn’t love the other two.

I’m chipping away at Kill the Farm Boy and Side Jobs, and Brief Cases showed up on the hold shelf yesterday. I’ve got Nightflyers chilling on my entry table, along with Midnight Riot, and the digital audio for Bloodlist downloaded and waiting.

I have a lot of reading/listening ahead of me!

Until then, Bloggos,

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 22

Ahoy Blogland!

It is a quintessential spring day here in the Pacific Northwest. Sunshine, wind, a smattering of clouds, and a comfortable 70ish degrees. It makes sitting still difficult,  but I’ll see what I can manage.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Finish reading The Master Magician
  • Review Madhu’s pages

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
    • Yes! I didn’t think I was going to cross the finish line this week, but the writing came very easily last night, giving my word count the boost it so desperately needed.
  • Finish reading The Master Magicianmaster magician
    • Yep! I managed to sit my butt down and give this book a chance. Turns out, the last 70 pages are by far the best. But, I’ll talk about that in more detail later this week.
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • Of course! This is the one thing I always do. Need I say more?

Weekly Word Count: 3,866

This week was a really good one. I committed to my goals and made sure I did what was necessary to see them through. I can’t say I do that every week, but I’m doing better. I’m trying, and sometimes I even manage to succeed!

Aside from the writing going so well, my biggest win of this week was finishing The Master Magician. I was horribly opposed to that book by the middle of the week, but I finished the last 70 pages in one sitting, and I even liked them! So, that shows that sometimes, you really should forge ahead through that book that’s giving you grief. It might just be worth your while.

Progress continues on The Steel Armada. I wrote quite a bit on it this week and it continues to surprise me. I’m excited for the scenes I’ll be exploring in the days to come. And I think I might have come up with a new title! But, I’m not sharing until I’m certain, sorry.

My husband and I also did a TON of work on our front yard this weekend and found time to hang out with family and friends. It really felt like I was Superwoman this week, capable of anything and everything!

That was until the rejections for The Cost of Rain came in. One last week and one this morning. Now, I’m not too bummed, I know this is par for the course in writerland. But, it still stings a little, yeah? It still sucks for a second, before you decide to buck up and submit it to the next place on your list. I tell myself this is the harder story to place, that it falls between genre lines and between desired word counts and yadda yadda yadda. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what I tell myself, I’ve already decided to submit it until it sells. So there, self.

It was nice to keep things straightforward this last week. It made buckling down and getting the work done that much easier. Unfortunately, there’s a bit more on my plate this time around.

This Week

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Finish listening to Side Jobs
  • Submit Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship application
  • Review Madhu’s pages

Thoughts

I really should add a bullet point for Sanctuary, because I need to make sure I actually work on it this month. But there’s a lot of bullet points on this week as it is, and that doesn’t include my non-writing goals for this week! I have to get my passport application turned in, work on the yard some more, and do some of the general house chores that are starting to fall behind. Yikes!

The good news is that I’ve got the review for The Master Magician for this week, so there’s one goal that’s good to go. I’ve also got a big ol’ blog post planned that’s a bit of a self-indulgence. I think you’ll like it though, don’t worry! I’m not sure when it will be posted, but I promise it’s coming.

Since setting my writing goal of 500 words/day, I’ve only fallen short once or twice. I’m really plugging away on this book, and so far there’s no end in sight. That feels good. Like, really, really good.

side jobsI maybe, kinda, sorta forgot I had the audiobook for Side Jobs. I’m so used to digital audiobooks on my phone that I completely forgot about the CDs in my car! I started listening to it Saturday, and am making some decent progress. They’re fun, though a little repetitive. Hopefully I’ll get through them quickly, since Brief Cases comes out tomorrow!

Yes, you read that next bullet point correctly. I am applying for the Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship. My dance teacher, Mrs. Buren, always said that you should always try for the things you want, because the worst they can tell you is ‘no’. That’s damn good advice for any kind of endeavor, but particularly artistic ones. And well, this was another unexpected writing thing that came across my radar thanks to Madhu. And since I wouldn’t have thought to apply otherwise, getting declined won’t sting half so much as some of these short story rejections.

And who knows? There’s always a chance they’ll say yes! “You can only catch fish that are in the lake.” More sage advice from dear Mrs. Buren. If I don’t apply, then I have no chance at all. So, I’m applying, and other than next week’s Goals Summary, I won’t be talking about it again until I get the results.

Anyway, that’s the plan. That’s what’s up. That’s the skinny, the downlow, the scoop. You know, all those cool catchphrases only dads and cutesy moms still use. You know the ones, the ones that say “cool beans” unironically. Those ones.

Until later, Bloggos!

 

BZ

 

The Recap – May 2018

Blogland!

I can’t believe it, but May has come and gone. Hello June! This morning, as I stepped into my office my bare toes found rays of sunshine that were so warm I smiled. That’s a simple joy, a promise of summer and the warmth to come over the next couple months, and I am here for it!

Now then, what the heck happened in May?

May Goals

  • Write 500 words/day for The Steel Armada
  • Write 2 chapters for Sanctuary
  • Continue short story submissions
  • Keep reading

How’d I do?

  • Write 500 words/day for The Steel Armada
    • YES!!!!! I wrote a total of 15,758 words for The Steel Armada this month. That’s just over 500 words a day. Now, I didn’t actually sit down every day, but I did write more this month than I have any other month this year.
  • Write 2 chapters for Sanctuary
    • Nope. I finished chapter 3 and started chapter 4, but that was it. Just under 1,000 words total for the month on this project.
  • Continue short story submissions
    • Yeppers. Lifelike is still out (day 41!), and I just received another rejection on The Cost of Rain this morning. Don’t worry, I just turned around and sent it out to another magazine. No tears over here!
  • Keep reading
    • Slowly but surely. According to Goodreads, I read four titles this month. Not great, but I’ll take it.

Total May Word Count: 18,545

I kept May’s goals straightforward because I wasn’t confident in my ability to meet my word count goals. But, I did well! I’m really proud of myself.

During this month I wrote a ton, outlined some chapters, and had a heck of a time corralling ideas into something cohesive. This rewrite is a wild ride, and for now I’m following wherever the characters lead me. I think I’m starting to see how it all gels together, but I won’t know for sure until I get there. Scary stuff, but fun too.

Oh, Sanctuary, I’m so sorry I didn’t get more work done on you. I may have to admit that this project is going to take longer than I initially planned. As long as I finish it this year, that’s fine, but a part of me was really hoping to knock this one out quick.

I did write a couple tumblr drabbles this month, which padded my word count a bit, but they were good fun and had good responses from readers, so yay!

Short story submissions are trucking along. I have a couple thoughts for blog posts about this process so far, so that will probably go up sometime in June.

Reading has ground to a bit of a standstill as I’m caught in a battle of wills with The Master Magician. I’m having a really tough go of it, but I only have 70 pages left. I’m going to make an effort today and tomorrow to just get it over with.

Honorable Mentions?


Betrayal-at-Baldurs-Gate

I’m wracking my brain to think if there were any extra-curricular activities this month. I’ve been table top gaming with my husband and our good friend Ben. One such game saw me acting as the “Game Master” for the very first time. I was nervous, but I had a blast, and I’m definitely considering running a game as a nice storytelling alternative when I need a break from blank pages and condemning cursors.

The blog had its best month EVER this month! Here, have some stats!

  • Posted 11 blog posts; 4 Weekly Goals Summaries, 3 Book Reviews, 2 Editing Check-Ins, 1 Monthly Recap, and 1 personal post about my laptop.
  • 525 views, with 406 visitors!
  • Links were clicked 14 times!
  • 7 comments were left!
  • 8 new followers!

This blog is a tiny thing, a determined little tank engine of a site that keeps chugging along despite its relatively low viewership and interaction. There are plenty of writing blogs that have thousands of followers and a number of views that would make my head spin. But that isn’t this blog. And that’s fine. I initially created this site as a place to hold myself accountable and to share my writing experiences. This year, I’m finally doing that. And book reviews, random thoughts, and opinions on fandom and fanfiction.

This consistency in posts is proving itself in the blog’s stats this year. Expect a post about it around the end of June, a sort of six month update.

Madhu and I have been going on biweekly Walk ‘n’ Talks. She’s a morning person, so we usually hit a local park around 9/9:30, before the masses, and march about talking about our books. We hash out any foggy areas in one another’s feedback and I tend to do a lot of brainstorming/thinking out loud when I’m with her. Plus, I need motivation to do more activity out of doors. I’ve been a bit of a hermit this month.

Which brings us to June.

June’s To-Dos

  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Write chapters 4 and 5 of Sanctuary
  • Continue short story submissions
  • Keep reading!

Straightforward worked last month, why change it? I am upping my workload on Sanctuary, mainly because I don’t want to sit on this project forever. I’d really like to have both The Steel Armada and Sanctuary done by November so I can work on something new for NaNoWriMo this year.

Short story submissions will continue until the stories find homes. It sort of feels like cheating making it a goal for the month, but I suspect that, as the rejections pile up, it will be harder and harder to convince myself to carry on. So, I keep it on the board. That way I’ll be reminded and determined to keep submitting.

And the reading. We all know by now that writing and reading go hand in hand. What’s the phrase? Can’t stop, won’t stop! Also, a quick shout out to the lovely folks that left series recommendations on my review for Skin Game. I’ve got the first Vampire Files audiobook on hold, as well as the first book in the Peter Grant series. I appreciate you both, and can’t wait to try these stories out!

As for non-writing/reading plans in June… I got pretty much nothing. Which is wonderful. We’re supposed to start playing Gloomhaven this month, which I can’t wait for. I’m trying to keep myself spoiler-free for this game, but what little I’ve heard about it sounds very, very exciting.Gloomhaven

Um… other than that, yard work, a couple of nebulous hiking plans, and catching the Farmer’s market on Saturdays. That’s all I got, but it’s wonderful.

Happy June, everyone.

 

BZ

 

Editing Check-In #2

Bloggos!

As promised, now that I’ve crossed the 10k word mark in my new draft of The Steel Armada, I’m back to discuss my progress.

The biggest takeaway for me so far is that rewriting is much, much harder than I expected. Not for the lack of words or ideas, because there’s no shortage of that. But, there’s so much sudden freedom and so many options for how I want to tell this story that I sometimes find myself uncertain how best to proceed.

This last week in particular I made a point to really hash out what it is I want to accomplish with this story. What story do I want to tell? Is my main character the best character to accomplish that? And so on and so forth.

The Good

The new manuscript is just shy of 15k words and it’s been a very illuminating process. I have completely re-imagined the world, and I like it much better. It makes more sense to me and to the characters, and feels so much more alive than my previous attempt. I’ve added a ton of technology, establishing my main character’s interests and what her every day life looks like.

There’s much more life on the page. The world exists beyond my main character, there’s movement in the background. There’s technology, food, religion, an economy. There’s so much more happening and it’s really just the beginning. I’m still exploring this world I’m creating, and though I’m sure not every detail will make it to the page (as they shouldn’t), it can’t hurt for me to know them.

Characters are much better developed. This is probably because I already knew them to some extent from the last draft, but they all feel much more real to me even in so few pages. I also like them all more in their current roles and settings. I’ve also created new characters. Some of them are critical to the story as it is now, and some of them aren’t, so there’s some work to be done in that area, but that’s okay. It makes sense that there would be characters in the world that might not make it into the final version of the book. As the world grows, so will the number of characters that come to life.

Which leads me to:

The Problematic

I have to figure out what the heck is going on in this book. By changing the world I effectively killed my original plot. That was a scary moment, let me tell you. Nothing like writing a book and literally have NO IDEA where its’s going.

But, I trusted the characters to take me where I needed to go. I wrote my way through until I came upon a story. It’s not as grandiose as the original plot, not so grand and ambitious. But, much closer to the types of stories I tell in my short fiction.

Which led me down an even scarier rabbit hole: Am I still writing a novel?

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know. I’m leaning toward a novella, at the moment, but have decided to ultimately take Madhu’s advice and put the concern on the back burner for now. Her words were, “Write the story, worry about the length when it’s done.” That’s some damn good advice, so I’m going with it. For now, I’m writing Val’s story, whatever that turns out to be.

(I just happen to think it’s going to be a novella)

Another big concern is that I’m going to have a lot of excess words. This is such an exploratory process, with rampant world building and characters popping into my mind like freaking daisies. Not all of it will make it to the final version, which means there will be a lot of editing in my future, all over again.

mushu daisies

But, that’s all right. Ultimately, I want this story to be the best possible version of itself. That was my goal for this year, Finish The Steel Armada. So, I just need to buckle down and figure out what that means. And to do that I just have to keep writing. The story will come, the editing will happen and eventually I can put Val’s story behind me and move on to whatever comes next.

Some Stats

  • added 9,798 words since last Check-In
  • decided on story themes and general plot
  • outlined three chapters ahead
  • considerable world-building and character development
  • lots of fun new tech
  • came up with some quality alternate title ideas

I need to write another 2k words by Thursday night to make my writing goals for the month, which will put me over the 15,500 word mark. Which means I’ll be back in a few weeks with my third check in, once I cross the 20k word threshold!

Hopefully another 7k words will offer some clarity in direction and let me set my sights on the ending of this story.

Until then Blogland,

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 21

Oh, Blogland.

I forgot about the holiday weekend! Or rather, I somehow thought the holiday wouldn’t affect me. Let me tell you, I was oh, so wrong…

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Start Sanctuary chapter 4
  • Finish reading The Master Magician
  • Review Madhu’s pages

…And?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Yarp! The book review for Skin Game is up now!skin game
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
    • … No. Ugh, I was doing so well! But ultimately, social plans really got in the way this week.
  • Start Sanctuary chapter 4
    • Yep! Just over 100 words, but it’s better than nothing! And, luckily, I’m finally kicking that plot into gear!
  • Finish reading The Master Magician
    • Nope. I am having a very rough time with this book. I’m trying not to let it get me down but, it is a struggle.
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • You know it! Madhu continues to astound as she plows through her rewrites.

Weekly Word Count: 1,209

Basically, I did good work on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then totally derailed myself on Thursday by spending my day off hanging out with my mother-in-law. I had a great time and really enjoyed the time spent outdoors, but it killed my routine quite thoroughly. Then I worked on Friday, felt the beginnings of a migraine, and medicated.

Saturday found me migraine free and able to go wine tasting with my best friend, which was 100% worth skipping a day attached to my laptop. But, the migraine came back in force, which led to a Sunday spent on the couch napping through Stephen Fry in America.

Then yard work today and a long overdue FaceTime with my grandma means I did no work for days. Whole DAYS! It’s time to get back at it!

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Finish reading The Master Magician
  • Review Madhu’s pages

Thoughts

Blog posts will be abundant this week. I have half of the Editing Check-In done, since it was waylaid by this weekend. I’ll also have the May Recap to share on Friday, and hopefully a review for The Master Magician if I can power through it.

I am really close to making my writing goal for this month. I just have to write 2k words over the next three days. I can do that! I can totally do that!

Unfortunately, I am less hopeful about finishing The Master Magician. I have about 70 pages to go, which is nothing, but this book is killing me. And it doesn’t help that the new Snow Patrol album is out and all I want to do is play piano and learn the songs from it.

I expect Madhu’s pages to be great, and a good way to spend my time, yet again. I think we have a Walk ‘n’ Talk planned for this week as well, so that’ll be nice. I’m always confident that I’ll get this goal done each week, I’m less confident that I’ll have enough pages to send her by Wednesday.

So, I just need to buckle down this week and commit to my writing so that I can meet my goals and feel damn good by the weekend! I can do that!

Kill the Farm Boy

I’ll be back soon to share my thoughts on the editing/rewriting process so far and hopefully to talk about The Master Magician, so I can move on to the book I’m actually excited about, Kill the Farm Boy!

Until then, Bloggos,

 

BZ