Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 28

Bloggos!

Summer is finally here, at least according to the thermometers. Salem’s been enjoying a range of 90 degree weather, reminding me of home and filling me with a desperate need to find a swimming pool.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write chapter 7 of The Steel Armada
  • Write 500 words on Sanctuary
  • Finish tumblr prompt
  • Finish a Dresden audiobook
  • Submit Lifelike
  • Review Madhu’s pages

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write chapter 7 of The Steel Armada
    • *drum roll* YES!!!! I wrote over 2,700 words on the book last week and it feels so. damn. good.
  • Write 500 words on Sanctuary
    • Yes! I managed to squeeze in another 700ish words last night after our Gloomhaven session.
  • Finish tumblr prompt
    • Nope. Though, I did look at it, so better than last week, haha.
  • Finish a Dresden audiobook
    • Yep! Brief Cases is done and off to the next person.
  • Submit Lifelike
    • Yep! It’s been out for a few days and haven’t heard anything yet. I probably won’t hear more about it until next week.
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • Of course.

Weekly Word Count: 3,464

When I wrote this list down last week, I felt daunted. That was a lot of bullet points, a lot of hope on a whiteboard. But, looking at it now, I feel really good seeing so much of it in black. Six out of seven ain’t bad, in fact, I’d say that’s a win.

I didn’t get the book review up like I wanted to, but this is a new week, with plenty of time to talk about all the reading I’ve been doing! I finally sat down and really hashed out what the hell needed to come next for Val. The chapter went mostly where I expected, although the stakes did get a bit more dire for her, which is always a good thing in your writing. The stakes are high in Sanctuary as well, as my couple finally has a major discussion about their actions and what’s to come.

My shipwreck tumblr prompt is languishing in my google drive. I might bounce over to a different prompt, simple because this one isn’t shaping up the way I want it to. It’s supposed to be funny, and so far it definitely is not.

I’ve got two audiobooks on deck right now, Side Jobs on disc for car listening and Bloodlist on my phone for any other chances I get to listen to a book. I’m also almost done with Moon Over Soho, the second Peter Grant book, with the third one patiently waiting on my library book shelf.

Lifelike and The Cost of Rain are both out. I received word that the latter is being held for further consideration, so my fingers are crossed that the editor likes it enough to take it. Wish me luck!

Madhu’s pages continue to show great improvement and are a testament to all her hard work. We’re almost done with this read through, and then it’s just editing and then sharing the full manuscripts for a finally proofread before we ship them off to Tim the Agent™.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write chapter 8 of The Steel Armada
  • Finish chapter 6 of Sanctuary
  • Post a tumblr prompt
  • Record an episode of Santa Sarita
  • Finish an audiobook
  • Review Madhu’s pages

This week I have two book reviews to share. First, the review for Midnight Riot, and then the review for Brief Cases. If my reading keeps on at this pace July will have a lot of reviews posted on the blog.

The next chapter in The Steel Armada is a bit of a blank spot in my mind. I know it needs to slow down for a minute and then things are gonna go crazy again, because we’re pretty much at the end. I expect the bulk of my week to be spent working this out. But, I’m about halfway through this chapter of Sanctuary and I’d really love to finish it. The same goes for recording the next episode of Santa Sarita.

I have ever confidence that I’ll finish listening to an audiobook this week, probably Bloodlist, simply because it’s portable so I have more opportunities to listen to it. And of course, there’s Madhu’s pages, which I always complete. But, I actually have pages to share with her this week! Whaaaaaaattttttt??????

So, yeah. That’s my week. Just trucking on, basking in last week’s successes and trying to keep the momentum going.

Wish me luck!

 

BZ

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Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 27

Blogland,

Here we are, another week down. The time is flying by entirely too quickly, and from behind the haze of this migraine, this thing is likely to be short.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Start chapter 6 of Sanctuary
  • Write a tumblr prompt
  • Finish reading Kill the Farm Boy
  • Submit Lifelike somewhere
  • Record an “episode” of Santa Sarita
  • Review Madhu’s pages

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Yes! Actually, there were three last week, including the unexpected review for Kill the Farm Boy!Kill the Farm Boy
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
    • Nope. I did write a few hundred words, but that was it. There was a considerable reread and a few minor edits however.
  • Start chapter 6 of Sanctuary
    • Yep. Not much, a few hundred words, but it’s a start.
  • Write a tumblr prompt
    • No. I started one, but did not finish it. Again, a few hundred words only.
  • Finish reading Kill the Farm Boy
    • Yes! And I finished a whole ‘nother book on top of that!
  • Submit Lifelike somewhere
    • Yes. And I just received its rejection… c’est la vie.
  • Record an “episode” of Santa Sarita
    • No… I started recording then managed to get horribly distracted.
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • Yes. As usual.

Weekly Word Count: 951

Yikes. That is not a stellar start to the month. But, I did more reading this last week than I did in all of June so I guess that’s a fair trade. For all my efforts yesterday I have a migraine today, so no writing to be had, but quite a lot of listening to Brief Cases, the only audiobook I have on my phone at present. I’m about halfway through it already, which means July is off to a very impressive reading start.

Now if I can just kick the writing back into gear.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write chapter 7 of The Steel Armada
  • Write 500 words on Sanctuary
  • Finish tumblr prompt
  • Finish a Dresden audiobook
  • Submit Lifelike
  • Review Madhu’s pages

I should really add “record an episode of Santa Sarita” on there, but I didn’t want to add another bullet point. This is plenty. More than plenty, considering I only completed half of them last week.

I’ve got a long day at work tomorrow, a short day on Wednesday. I’m off Thursday and Friday and then work another long day on Saturday. My schedule is pretty weird right now because the branch I normally work at is closed for renovations. So, I’m still getting decent-ish hours, but have more days off. Hopefully I can turn those extra days off into productivity.

We’ll see.

Midnight RiotI’ve got the book review for Midnight Riot (published as Rivers of London in the UK) on deck, as well as my next editing check-in for this week, so expect to see me around a bit.

Until then,

 

BZ

 

2018 Status Update – Something, Something, Bon Jovi Lyrics

If you can believe it, the year is over the hill. We’ve got less than six months to go; we’re halfway there! Cue terrible singing.

All right, enough of that.

The year is going by entirely too fast, that’s for sure. I’m not really sure what all there else is to say about it. So, I suppose I’ll just share some stats with y’all.

Yearly Goals Completed

  • Submit 2 short stories
    • Both Lifelike and The Cost of Rain have been out for submission since March. Neither have found a home yet, but both are consistently reaching high levels of consideration.
  • Publish 52 blog posts
    • This is the 59th post of the year, so I am blogging way more than I expected to! Hurray! This consistency is paying off, because the blog is having its best year by far, stats-wise.

2018 Word Count (so far): 80,367

Speaking of stats, how is the blog doing? Well, I’m glad you asked! The blog is killing it this year, with almost 500 followers! There’s been more audience interaction than ever before, with an average of one comment per post, and views are up. Each month of 2018 has out performed the views of any other year so far, and the total views for the year so far are just shy from outpacing the total views for 2017! I’ve also put in a staggering 45k+ words on the blog so far this year.

That feels good, let me tell you. Now, I feel I should mention that this blog is a small and mighty thing. I started it back in September of 2011 as a way to warm up my writing muscle in the morning and to hold myself accountable to my own goals. It had also been suggested by a guest speaker in a Novel Writing class that discussing works in progress on a website was a good way to prevent plagiarism. You know, timestamps and yadda yadda. I didn’t, and still don’t, care so much about this. I doubt anyone is stealing my work right now. Especially since no one else ever sees it!

But, the accountability thing? Blogging has definitely helped. It’s not fool-proof, of course. I am stubbornly my own worst enemy sometimes and no amount of blogging will keep me from sabotaging myself. But, this year is proof that it can work and does mitigate some of my most self-destructive (work) behaviors.

So, you might think 500 followers is no big deal. That outdoing previous years’ views isn’t that big a deal, but I’m celebrating all my wins, no matter how small. And for this blog, these are very exciting jumps in activity.

Another positive for the year so far is my reading goal! I’ve read 37 books so far this year, according to Goodreads, which puts me four books ahead of schedule. As usual, my reading has slowed down in the summer months, but my reading sprint earlier in the year always buoys me through.

I’m still (slowly) chipping away at The Steel Armada rewrite. This project looks much different now than I originally planned, and defining it as ‘done’ is something of a moving target. I’ll discuss that more when I write my Editing Check-In post next week.

Santa Sarita is on its last installment. I shared the first chapter the other night, and got a bit of a response. The readership is still there, so that’s a relief. Now if I can just post chapters on a steady schedule, I’ll be able to finally mark this monstrous project as ‘complete’. 17,000 words in, who knows how many to go? Certainly not me.

My yearly goals seemed to have been a bit small, now that I’m looking at them. I did much better the first half of this year than I anticipated. So, what do I do with the rest of 2018?

Honestly, there are a lot of options. I want to work on something new for NaNoWriMo this year, preferably not fanfiction. I might try out my newest story idea, an Urban Fantasy set in Arizona, featuring angels, demons, a badass bisexual, and lots of cats. It’s something I came up with earlier in the year, and it just will not give up. This story wants to be written.

Once The Steel Armada is ‘done’, whatever that means, I want to start editing Cards. It’s a project that I really love, but it will need lots of work. There’s also the rough draft of From the Quorum that needs finishing. I might do that for NaNo, but it depends on what project is more motivating when the time comes.

I also have a couple short stories milling around in my head. One is half written from earlier this year, the other is just an idea, a little scribble on a p-slip from the library. I want to work on them both, but don’t think I should until I really hammer out The Steel Armada. The ideas will keep, they always do. Plus, I want to keep my short story energy focused on finding homes for Lifelike and The Cost of Rain.

What else? Obviously there will be a giant gap in productivity in September, while we’re on vacation in Germany! I will plan for that accordingly.

2018 – Remaining Priorities

  • Finish The Steel Armada
  • Finish Santa Sarita
  • Sell Lifelike and The Cost of Rain
  • Decide on NaNo project
  • Keep reading!

So, yeah. That’s where I’m at. That’s the year so far. I’m feeling a touch lost at the moment, mainly because I’m wading back into my workload after a month of shutting down. But, when I look back at what I’ve accomplished so far, I don’t feel so daunted by the months to come.

I guess that’s really the point of all these goals posts and check-ins. Goals are easier to digest if they’re broken down in to manageable portions, after all. Thanks again for following along this far. I appreciate you. I sincerely hope 2018 isn’t treating you like crap.

Talk soon, Bloggos,

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 26

It’s that time again Blogland! Can you believe we are officially halfway through the year? It sure doesn’t feel like it from where I’m sitting. It’s a cloudy day, cooler than you’d expect for the Independence Day week, and I find myself with more things on my To-Do list than I know what to do with. Ha.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day of The Steel Armada
  • Finish reading Kill the Farm Boy
  • Write two tumblr prompts
  • Write 500 words on Sanctuary
  • Review Madhu’s pages

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Yes! I was actually present on the blog this week and it felt really good.
  • Write 500 words/day of The Steel Armada
    • Ha. Ha. Ha. Nope. I wrote 230 words on the book this week. Yikes.
  • Finish reading Kill the Farm Boy
    • Nope, but I did make some progress. Only 100 pages to go!
  • Write two tumblr prompts
    • Yes! I’m slowly chipping away at those prompts sitting in my inbox, and both of the ones I wrote and shared this week were well received, which is always nice.
  • Write 500 words on Sanctuary
    • Yes!!! I wrote finished two chapter of this fanfic this week and I am over the moon about it!

      My Sara and her Space Husbando, Reyes.
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • Of course! You all know this by now.

Weekly Word Count: 6,778

The first half of this week felt pretty grim to me. There wasn’t much motivation or interest in doing much of anything. I spent all my down time playing Kingdom Hearts and eating ice cream. Y’know, peak mental wellness. But, I got my new glasses on Friday, listened to the new Mike Shinoda album, and suddenly I felt good.

The feeling persisted through the weekend, and found me back at the laptop getting work done. That word count is a testament to that. And, despite a stressful workday, I’m still feeling good. I’m hopeful for the week to come.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Start chapter 6 of Sanctuary
  • Write a tumblr prompt
  • Finish reading Kill the Farm Boy
  • Submit Lifelike somewhere
  • Record an “episode” of Santa Sarita
  • Review Madhu’s pages

Whew. That’s… a lot. Like, maybe the most bullet points I’ve had on a week yet. It’s a little daunting, especially considering my slump in June, but I’m feeling good. All of these goals are projects I’m excited about, and any progress on them will be better than where I’m starting.

dale cooper coffee

God, don’t you just love the smell of gratuitous optimism in the morning? Can you tell I’ve had my coffee?

So, that’s the week ahead. I’ve got quite a few blog post ideas, so expect to see me around a bit this week. I don’t think I’ll have a book review up this week, but definitely next week. I’ve got some library musings to share, as well as a Six Month Update to write about the year so far. Then of course I want to talk about my experiences submitting my short stories so far and I’d like to blather on about my audiofanfic project. So, yeah. I’ve got a lot to talk about!

I hope you’ll stick around for it.

Until then,

 

BZ

The Recap – June 2018

Hey Bloggos,

It’s a little late in the evening for this, but I reckon late is better than missing the day entirely, right? So, let’s get to it. What the hell happened to June?

June Goals

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

How’d I Do?

  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
    • Not even close. I wrote a total of 2,247 words on this project this month.
  • Write chapters 4 and 5 of Sanctuary
    • Unexpectedly, yes! I wrote a total of 6,057 words on Sanctuary this month! I’m a little worried about where the story is going, and I think that’s why it was so hard to work on there for a while. But, I think I can write it through and see what happens.
  • Continue short story submissions
    • Yep! Both Lifelike and The Cost of Rain are out now. I’ve received some personal rejections and feedback on each of them, made the changes I thought they needed, and now it’s out of my hands. Again.
  • Keep reading!
    • … Yes? I read a lot of fanfic this month, which you’ll see added on my “What I’m Reading” page. But, I did not make much progress on Kill the Farm Boy or Side Jobs this month.

Total June Word Count: 16,938

This was a really hard month for me, which you probably recognized from the tone of the few posts I made. I’m actually proud of myself for checking in each week despite the lack of productivity.

All right, that’s not the right word. I was productive, just not on the project I should have been. I mean, this was my second best word count month of the year so far. The output was there, just on fanfic and tumblr prompts. And honestly, I don’t feel as guilty about that as I thought I would.

What I do feel guilty about was the obsessive video game playing that happened this month. I finished playing Horizon Zero Dawn and am almost done with a new playthrough of the original Kingdom Hearts. I’m going to work harder to balance my gaming and writing time this month. I really want to play through all of the Kingdom Hearts games in time for the launch of Kingdom Hearts 3 in January, but I also really want to get this novel done, no matter what my June activities might suggest.

Short stories are submitted, just riding these waves of rising and dashed hopes. Eventually I’ll find the shore and get paid. Just keep swimming and all that.

My reading this month was appalling. Let’s be honest. I read 200k+ words of fanfic in days, but an actual paper book? That ARC I am so excited about? HA! I read about 50 pages of it this month. But, luckily Kill the Farm Boy doesn’t release until the 17th, so I have time to get it done and post the review. As for the Dresden audiobook… it’s still in my CD player, but the new Mike Shinoda album is out and it has consumed all my listening time.

Post Traumatic cover

I’m not even sorry about it, the album is that good.

I did score some bonus points for this month! I recorded the first “episode” of my fanfic series! I’ve never used GarageBand before, and let me tell you, that was a trip. But, I’ve got Chapter 1 of The Fall of Santa Sarita recorded and posted. See my tumblr for more details on that project for the time being.

So, what about July?

  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Write chapters 6 and 7 of Sanctuary
  • Complete tumblr prompts
  • Santa Sarita recordings
  • Continue short story submissions
  • Keep reading!

So, you’re probably thinking, “dang, B., that’s a lot!” Trust me, I know. This is me trying to kick my ass into gear and get back to work. I’ll confess, I don’t actually think I’ll get all this writing done, but I also know that I perform best when the odds are stacked against me. I’m competitive, especially against myself. So, this is me taunting myself. We’ll see how it pans out.

I’ve got three tumblr prompts chilling in my inbox right now, and I’m pretty excited about all of them. Hopefully I can knock those out quickly and get down the the gritty work of rewriting this novel. I’m feeling good about Sanctuary right now, mainly because I’ve finally got the two main characters back in scene together. The writing is always better when they’re together. I don’t know how long they’ll stay that way, but I’ll take what I can get.

My plan for the audiobook narrations of my monstrous fanfic series (seriously, monstrous. Over 200k words!) is to post a chapter each week. It took about an hour to record the very first chapter, and that went slow since I was learning how to use the recording software as I went. I figure it’ll go faster as I get used to the process.

Short stories are out and I’m twiddling my thumbs over here, trying not to get swept up in writing something new. I’ve got ideas swirling. I always have ideas swirling, but these ones are persistent. But, for now, The Steel Armada is my priority project. No new original content until it’s done.

As for reading, I have so many titles queued up in my mind! I want to finish Kill the Farm Boy this week (about 100 pages to go), wrap up Side Jobs sometime next week, and then dive into something new! Midnight Riot and Death Comes to Pemberley are my top contenders, since they’re sitting on my entry table right now. But I’ve also got the Brief Cases audiobook on hold as well as the audiobook of the first Walt Longmire book, The Cold Dish.

So you see, lots of things just waiting for me to give them my attention. Now we’ll see just how much I can juggle.

Not literally. I can’t juggle for shit. My hand-eye coordination is atrocious.

I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about the week in detail and lay out the plans for the new one.

Until then Blogland,

 

BZ

Unexpected Energy

Hi Bloggos,

I know I just said I probably wouldn’t be back this week, but I’m a lying liar who lies. Sometimes. And usually only about this. Ahem. Anyway! I’m chilling at Starbucks, getting work done, which feels amazing! I mentioned that rejection on Lifelike? Well, making changes based on the feedback provided wasn’t as god awful as I’d imagined. It actually went pretty quickly and only added 20 words. Still solidly Flash Fiction. So, it’s off to the next market. Fingers crossed!

I got new glasses, so I’m adjusting to those. My prescription changed quite a bit in one eye so if I look around too quickly it’s a little disorienting. But things are crisp and so, so clear. Also, they’re teal tortoise shell and they are adorable! I love them.

The sun is out, not a cloud to be seen, I’ve had my coffee and breakfast, and talked to Madhu and my old Creative Writing professor. I’m feeling incredibly good. I listened to Mike Shinoda’s new album and honestly, I think it really helped get my head on straight. I’m not making any promises about my productivity in the next few days, but I’m hopeful.

I just realized that June is pretty much over, so I will be back on Sunday to do the monthly wrap up. I’ve got a couple blog post ideas for next week, so if I can just get back to reading I think things will get right back to the way they were before I derailed.

Also, less than three months before we go to Germany!!!!

Basically, I’m feeling incredible for the first time in weeks and wanted to share. So, thanks for listening! I’ll talk at you again soon!

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 25

Bloggos,

Full disclosure, I started this post on Monday and then got a bit sidetracked. Sorry about it! Let’s talk about goals!

 

Last Week

  • 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

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Nope. Again. My screen time has been pretty limited to video games lately, not my computer.
  • Write 500 words/day of The Steel Armada
    • Nope. I did write a couple hundred words though, so better than the week before!
  • Write 2 tumblr prompts
    • Yes! These prompts are going well and a ton of fun. They’re pretty much all I’ve been writing, so I’m thankful for them.
  • Finish listening to Side Jobs
    • Haha, nope. Not even a little bit. Not even at all.
  • Write 500 words of Sanctuary
    • Yes! I actually wrote closer to 800 words, which is a nice boost from weeks in the past.
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • Yes! Of course I did! C’mon!

Weekly Word Count: 3,531

There was actually a bit of work done, just not in the areas I think it should be in. My brain is still a bit of a weird place right now. I’ve got a lot of fanfic ideas and urges, not original content. I finally heard back about Lifelike and I think that is a big part of it. After 61 days I received a personal rejection with an offer to provide feedback. That’s a good thing, even though it doesn’t feel like it right now. The feedback was both good and bad, with some nice comments and some harsh/disappointed comments. I’ve learned that reading harsh comments is only difficult if I know they’re true. These comments definitely ring true.

So, I’m taking a breather on them, before I decide to make the changes and edits I can to address the issues they mentioned. I’ve got a couple ideas already, and I’m realizing that it isn’t going to be as difficult or Earth-shattering as I’d initially imagined. When those are done I’ll send it off again. I’m trying to remind myself that this story made it to the final round of a professional magazine on its first time out. That’s a big deal. I’m on the right track.

So just eat some ice cream, play some video games, and suck it up already.

Meanwhile, The Cost of Rain is still out, currently on day 16 of an average of 18 day response time. I could hear back about it at any time. Which means I’m a giant ball of nerves and stress. You’d think, after months of submissions, I’d be used to this by now.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day of The Steel Armada
  • Finish reading Kill the Farm BoyKill the Farm Boy
  • Write two tumblr prompts
  • Write 500 words on Sanctuary
  • Review Madhu’s pages

Well, I’m not doing so great on the posting front. I don’t expect there to be another post this week, but who knows? As for The Steel Armada, it’s still there. It’s in my head. I just don’t have the will to write for it right now. Not a great place to be, but that’s the truth of it.

I’m not really reading at all right now. Another bummer. I’ve read a few pages here and there, and I still enjoy it, but I don’t have any drive to finish Kill the Farm Boy or Side Jobs. I’ve got a few other books slated for reading and though they sound interesting, I’m still just not motivated.

As of this writing I’ve already finished one of my two tumblr prompts and have made headway on the second one. So I’m pretty confident I’ll make that goal. I’ve also already made progress on Sanctuary this week, so that’s another one I’m feeling good about.

And of course, Madhu’s pages. I’ve got them queued up and my day off is tomorrow, so I’ll get them done for sure. As always.

But, I have a goal for this week that isn’t on the official list because it’s weird. Like, not at all important, but it sounds too fun not to do. I’ve decided, after some careful consideration and quick poll of my fanfic readers, to narrate my giant series, Santa Sarita.  I haven’t officially announced it yet, but I’ll be recording and posting one chapter a week, until I’m all caught up.

I imagine I’ll have all kinds of fun anecdotes and thoughts on the process, because I have never done anything like this before. I’m really excited and a little nervous, but the response on tumblr so far has been very positive. Plus, rereading my old stories has really reignited my interest in writing Sanctuary. I miss my characters!

So that’s what’s up this week. A little writing, some gaming, some voice acting (if you can call it that) and just trying to keep my mental health at an even keel. I’ll be back next week to let you know how that goes.

Until then,

 

BZ