Winter Break Things

It’s the first day of Winter Break! *rave dances to Christmas dubstep*

Best Grinch Dance GIFs | Gfycat

The weekend was a busy one. My husband recently started a wedding and event design business with our mutual friend, and they had a GIANT event Friday. Like, 500 attendees. So, I helped clean up after the party and we were at the venue until 1am. Then we had to get up early, unload some more stuff and then return the U-Haul by 8:30a.

So, we’re all exhausted and sore, but the event went GREAT and the client was super happy. We got our Christmas tree on Saturday and celebrated Candlenights with my fellow podcast host, Heather. Sunday was for lounging, watching Home Alone (1 & 2), and decorating the tree. It’s been a really nice weekend.

Today, being the first day of Winter Break, is the first day of my new “Work From Home” schedule. I came up with the idea while listening to Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang and imagining my ideal, write-for-a-living kind of life.

How Yoga with Adriene Combated My Mental Illnesses | by Malinda Garcia |  Medium

So, I woke up, did some yoga, considered taking the dog for a walk but it’s like 40º and pouring down rain so we skipped that, then I ate breakfast, drank coffee and caught up on social media. Now I’m here, writing this blog post.

After this it’s chores. There’s some laundry and dishes I’d like to tackle and I need to go grocery shopping. It’s apparently going to snow for like 5 days next week so I’m going to stock up now before the real madness sets in. This side of the Cascades no one knows how to handle winter weather, the whole town will shut down if it’s even slightly icy. I wan to be prepared for 5ish days of avoiding going outside…

Although that’s been the norm for almost two years at this point I suppose.

Once all that’s done, I’m home for the day. That means lots of writing and reading time! The schedule calls for a three hour writing block after lunch. If I reach 2k words written in that time, I can skip the scheduled two hour evening writing block. I’m also working on Tavi revisions again so I’ll need to split the three hour block up between revising and writing the new novel.

In addition to all this writing, I have seven books that I’d like to read over these two weeks. Admittedly, that’s a lot of fucking books. I’ll be happy if I finish four of them. And of course there are non-writing related goals. Wrap Christmas presents, walk the dog daily (weather permitting), do yoga every day, keep up on chores, etc.

So, a busy but calm Winter Break. We’ll see if all this wintry weather will extend it… Fingers crossed!

What are your last two weeks of the year looking like?


Update (Wee-Hours Edition)

For those of you who don’t know, migraines suck butts. It’s been a while since I’ve had one be this disruptive. At the moment I’m relatively pain-free thanks to a cocktail of meds, but the brain fog, temperature regulation issues, and the inability to fall (back) asleep still remain. Hence this 4am writing sesh.

I’m restless. Hot and cold in turns and ever-so-slightly nauseous. My brain can’t stop thinking about anything and everything, and I know only one cure for that: writing.

But what to write about? I haven’t really been doing any creative writing lately. That part of my brain just hasn’t functioned quite right since the pandemic hit. I wrote a bunch of stuff in November, but on closer inspection I hate it all. Not sure if that’s an accurate reflection of the work or of my mental state. Probably a solid mix of the two.  Last month I started work on a flash fiction piece that’s been hiding out in my brain since 2018. I like it so far, but haven’t been back to write the ending. I also started writing some more fanfic here and there, but again, nothing seems to stick. 

The will is there, which would suggest there’s a way, and yet… I can’t seem to find it.

I’m hoping all the good things happening in my day-to-day life will fill up the writing reservoir in time for the Fall. What good things you ask? Well, I’ve been on four hikes already this season! Oregon spring is a great time to get back outdoors, even if the weather is unpredictable af. Two coastal hikes and two forest hikes have left me feeling more inspired than I have in a long time. Nature is always soothing and restorative for me. I don’t know how I lived so long without these hikes.

I also (FINALLY!!!) got a new car! After years of research we bought a 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport. His name is Pluto and he is like a child to me. I am obsessed, and because I didn’t want to flood my friends’ newsfeeds with my car obsession, I created an Instagram account… for the car. Yes, I have become that person. If you would like to follow that particular journey, follow @pluto.trek on Instagram. It’s mostly car pics, mods, and outdoors adventures.

The podcast continues, and gets more listens each month. That doesn’t seem real or right, but hey, man — you do you. I kid, but it is very surreal that monthly recordings of me and my friends shooting the literary shit is something other human beings want to spend their time listening to. And it isn’t just people we know! There are strangers! WHAT?! Wild, I tell you. 

I’m fully vaccinated! And Trevor gets his second dose this week! That’s such a huge relief – a step in the right direction on this trudge back to “normal”. Now if only we could get all the mouth-breathers to get it too. But that’s a rant for a different post. 

Thanks to that vaccination status, my summer is booking up fast. We’re going on a road trip in the new car in June. We’re visiting my aunts in Boise — we’ve never been and they seem to absolutely love it! My aunts are also hikers so I’m excited to hike some high desert, visit new breweries and wineries, and spend time with my awesome relatives. 

After that (literally four days later) I’m getting swooped up by my father and the fam-bam on a road trip to visit my uncle in Seattle. It’s a two week trip with plans for 4th of July, crabbing, and whale watching. I cannot imagine a better vacation for me after this past year. Seattle is my favorite place in the world – I would live there in a heartbeat if I could only afford it. I visited the city for the first time when I was seven, and on the flight home I told my dad I would live there someday. I still think that’s true, but if not, at least I still landed in the PNW.

Work is going well. I never like to get into too much detail about the job, but kids are (mostly) back and despite my personal reservations, I have to admit it is much much better having them there. I think I’d started to lose sight of my job a little bit. It’s so nice to feel useful again.

So, yeah. That’s a little glimpse into what’s been going on. As ever, I’m sorry for the inactivity here. But, this is primarily a writing blog. I haven’t been writing. It’s hard to blog about something that just isn’t happening for me right now. If you keep a close eye, I am updating the reading page though! I’m still here, lurking on my own site. As soon as I have anything worth while to mention, I will. Pinky promise.

Until next time, Bloggarts.


Good Riddance


Honestly, I don’t really know how to talk about this year. Part of me feels pretty damn bitter about all it took away. I also feel like, though my posts were fairly scarce, the ones I did write were generally about the year. About how I was feeling and coping and all the rest. I don’t know if there’s much else to say.

I’m trying to think of positives. Things that were good about this trash-fire year. I spent a lot of time with Trevor, and we never once felt like murdering each other, so that’s good! I went on quite a few hikes despite social distancing requirements and forest fires. I spent a weekend at the coast. I snorkeled for agates in the river. I volunteered at The Willamette Writers Conference.

That’s probably the best thing to come out of this year — I’ve really established a sense of writing community that I didn’t have before, because I am introverted as all hell. In person I am the wallflower chilling with the pets and watching everyone else have a good time. But online? I am so much more myself talking through a webcam in the safety of my own home. And that allowed me to really branch out and meet new people.

Hopefully I won’t clam up once I meet all these people in person.

Now, let’s get to the good part. What the hell did I WANT to do in 2020?

First, we can’t talk about the year without talking about the intention. Last year’s word was REPLENISH.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. There was very little about 2020 that was relaxing or replenishing. It was mostly exhausting, but I did my best. I took my rest where I could and I guess that’s something.

2020 Goals

  • Revise Tavi
  • Read!
  • Submit two short stories
  • Write book reviews

How’d I do?

  • Revise Tavi
    • Kinda. It’s on the second draft and I’m feeling just about ready to dig back into it. I’ll probably have to start over at this point because it’s been so long, but I’m feeling okay about it.
  • Read!
    • Yep! I read 41 books (maybe 42 if I finish The Ten Thousand Doors of January tonight) this year. Not too shabby since I didn’t really have a “goal” this year. I just wanted to read whatever sounded good. Standouts were The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Middlegame, Destroy All Monsters, and The Starless Sea.
  • Submit two short stories
    • Yep! Technically I think it was three stories submitted this year if I count Unforgettable. So, that’s nice.
  • Write book reviews
    • Uhhhhh. Not really. I think I wrote one or two this year. I did video book reviews for the first time, which was fun but super time consuming. I’m not sure I prefer them to blog posts.

Two out of four isn’t bad. It isn’t great, but considering the year we had, I’ll take it.

2020 Total Word Count: 103,989

I’ve noticed a trend with my word counts. I tend to write most November through April, which makes sense since those are the months that I’m stuck indoors thanks to the long, wet Oregon winters. As soon as the weather turns somewhat decent I’m restless to get outdoors. I want to use this info to play into my own rhythms and tendencies. So, I plan to draft new works in the fall and winter, and revise and research in the spring and summer. Honestly, I think I’ve probably already been doing this, but adding some intention to the behavior should help.


That’s what I thought.

Honorable Mentions

I had two short stories published this year! The Cost of Rain and Unforgettable both pubbed this year, and in a nice change of pace, I was paid for both of them! Not much payment, nothing near pro-rate, but it’s better than the token publications I’ve had in the past.

I went on seven hikes! Not nearly as many as I’d originally hoped, but I am so grateful for the time I spent outdoors this year. Nature really saved me when nothing else could.

Also, I just want to shout out Willamette Writers in general. Their “Coffee at Your Kitchen Table” Zoom meetings were the highlight of those early lockdown days. That highlight turned into making new writing friends, volunteering at the conference, and co-hosting the Saturday “coffee” meetings that drew me in the first place. In this one respect, 2020 was an awesome year.

So, now what?

First things first, what’s the word, the mantra, the intention? That word that will steer me straight when I feel lost.


After a year of replenishing (haha) and generally feeling a bit aimless, it’s time to reorient and decide what my goals are and what I really want to do. Then I dig down and DO it.

So, what do I want to do?

  • Revise Tavi
    • I want to call this book DONE no later than October 1, 2021. That’s nine months to revise and rewrite and polish. I feel like that is plenty of time
  • Read 52 books (1 writing craft book/quarter)
    • Pretty straightforward. I want to read more this coming year and refocus on my craft.
  • Submit 3 NEW short stories
    • This seems big, but I spent this November writing short stories. I have two ready to revise and polish, and two more in various drafting stages. I should be able to do this no problem.
  • Start Roxana Lewis novel
    • I had a new idea for a book this year that tried to run away with me in November. I need to do a lot of research and brainstorm a bit, so I don’t want to work on it until October. I’ll spend the month consolidating research and outlining (or something like it) and then work on the book for Nanowrimo.

So, yeah. That’s where I’m at. This is where I’m going. Thanks for joining me.

Talk soon Bloggarts,


Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 1

Hi Blogland!

Welcome to the first edition of Goals Summary for 2018. I really liked these posts in 2017, even if I wasn’t super consistent with them. Hopefully I can do better this year.

What did I set out to accomplish last week?

  • Publish 1 blog post
  • Start writing Sanctified chapter 31
  • Review/start The Steel Armada editsDark SkyFinish reading Dark Sky by Mike Brooks
  • Finish listening to The Children of Men by P.D. James

How’d I do?

I published one post last week, my traditional Blog Remodel post and year in review post. That was an easy goal to reach, thank goodness.  I wrote just under 300 words for Sanctified, which isn’t much, but it’s better than nothing. I did not even look at The Steel Armada, I’ll get into why a bit later. I finished reading Dark Sky, as well as The Children of Men AND Wishful Drinking. So, lots of reading/listening done last week! Check out the What I’m Reading page for an updated list, or follow me on Goodreads for updates in real time.

I also decided that I’ll be tracking my word count in these posts. Only fiction (fanfic or original) counts toward my weekly word count, blog posts do not.

Weekly Word Count: 1,600

What’s on the docket for this week?

  • publish 1 book review
  • finish Singull fic (tumblr give away)
  • hit 1,500 words on Sanctified chapter 31
  • finish listening to Shockaholic
  • edit The Seasons and Lifelike, send to Madhu for work-shopping

Notice that The Steel Armada isn’t on here. I want to work on these short stories a little bit and take my time organizing and prepping The Steel Armada. I also have two give away fics that I need to finish, so either next week or the week after I’ll be ready to crack open The Steel Armada and start wading through it. Basically, I don’t want to have lingering projects that might distract me from working on the rewrites, because I know myself, and just about anything will be more enticing than drafting this book.

All right, I think that’s everything that I wanted to talk about today. I’ll post the review for The Children of Men either tomorrow or Thursday. As always, thanks for reading this far!



Goals Summary Wk 1/16

It’s been a really wonderful weekend. In fact, looking back, it’s been a great week.

Yesterday we cleaned house and finally took down all the Christmas decorations. We would have done it sooner, but since there was snow and ice everywhere, we decided to wait. This weekend saw some balmier temperatures (it hit 36 degrees today!), so we finally froze our asses off and officially said good bye to the holidays.

Then we played DnD (Dungeons and Dragons) which is always a good time.

Today we were both off for MLK day. We spent it primarily with each other, which was blissful. Trevor creates YouTube content for Heroes of the Storm (a Blizzard free to play MOBA- Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). With his commitment to his channel, and my commitment to writing and blogging, we can both squirrel away to our offices without seeing much of the other.keto-dinner

Today we went grocery shopping, made a ridiculously delicious (and extravagant) dinner, and then played Overwatch together for a few hours.

But, despite the holiday, it is Monday, which means we both have work to do.

So, how did last week go? Fan-fucking-tastic. Pardon my French.

Last week’s goals were:

  • Finish Chapter 11 of From the Quorum
  • Read A Borrowed Man
  • Publish 2 blog posts

It doesn’t seem like much, now that I look at it, but I accomplished it all and I feel damn good about it!

I wrote a total of 2,822 words plus four handwritten pages of world building. I published three blog posts. And I not only read and reviewed A Borrowed Man, but started and finished Dark Run. The book review will be out later this week, so keep an eye out.

So, with such a productive week behind me, what’s on the docket for this week?jackaby

  • Write Chapter 12 of From the Quorum
  • Finish reading Jackaby
  • Publish 2 blogposts

Basically, I’m not going to mess with a good thing. This formula worked last week, and it will most likely be my formula through the end of the month. February is when things will look a bit different, as that’s when I’ll be diving back into editing The Steel Armada.

So, that’s the plan. Small, doable steps each week. At this rate the novel will be done sometime in June or July, with edits on The Steel Armada done in either July or August. It sounds far away, but it’s much closer than it seems.

And I can’t wait.

Later Blogland,





Book Review – A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe

We meet again, Mr. Blog…

Obviously, I’m in a strange mood today. Yesterday was a refreshing success on many accounts, and I’m feeling relaxed and ready to get some work done today. The Husband came home sick from work, so he’s in the next room napping, and I’ve got the Writing Room door closed for the first time since I’ve started using it for its intended purpose.

It feels so… solitary. Isolated. Deliciously mine. Surrounded by my favorite things (my Garrus Vakarian figurine, my framed Elantris maps, coffee, my diplomas, and of course the books!) I finally feel like I can get down to business.

“Can it wait a minute? I’m in the middle of some calibrations.”

So, yesterday. I wrote a book review for Blood Rites, outlined four chapters and an interlude of From the Quorum, and then wrote 1,113 words of chapter 11.

I also read Saga vol. 6, and finished reading A Borrowed Man. FINALLY. This book took multiple attempts, each time maxing out the possible renewals from the library. I had to return it and read something else at one point, but I finally came back to it.

I was damn near ready to execute my “200” rule. This is a relatively new thing I’ve implemented, in an effort to keep me reading as I work on completing my annual reading challenges. I found that, occasionally, there are books that I just can’t get through. I’ll spend weeks trudging through them, or avoiding them, instead of moving on and reading something else.

In an effort to curb this habit, I created a “rule” for myself. If I can get to page 200, roughly the 50k word mark of most books (which is a generally accepted minimum length of a novel), and I still am not interested in finishing the book, I get to count it toward my reading challenge. At that time I can decide, based on how much I understand of the book, whether or not to write a review.

Obviously, any review written about an unfinished book would be proclaimed as such, and would be a generally vague “I liked it and why” or “I didn’t like it and why” sort of review. I have yet to actually do this, but I am open to it. And who knows, maybe I’ll make another attempt to finish it somewhere down the road, as I’ve done in the past. In which case I could then do a full and proper review.

Anyway, a comment of mine basically stating the concept of the “200” rule on John Guillen’s blog led to this response blog post on his site. It’s worth a read and comment if you’re so inclined.

But, A Borrowed Man was nearly my first “200” book of 2017. I was all set and ready to return it unfinished. And then I hit page 200 and things actually started happening. Literally 2/3 through the book and something interesting finally happened.

But, let me go back and actually do this review right.

a-borrowed-manA Borrowed Man is a Sci-Fi novel by Gene Wolfe. He is widely accepted as one of the most prominent literary voices in the genre, and seems to be generally well-loved. Apparently, my mistake was introducing myself to him via this particular book. Based on a number of reviews, I should have started somewhere else.

I would consider this book to be literary Sci-Fi. The science fiction elements are definitely there. The whole premise is that E.A. Smithe is the property of the Spice Grove Public Library, because he is the clone of a popular 21st Century crime novelist. A woman checks him out to help her solve the mystery of her father’s and brother’s deaths, not just because of his expertise in understanding and writing murder-mysteries, but because their deaths seem tied to a physical copy of one of his books, Murder on Mars.

Add to it that the setting is a futuristic Earth that lost 2/3 of the population to some sort of war, and a very intriguing bit of astrophysics later in the book, and I staunchly agree that this is a Science Fiction novel.

But, it’s also a Noir. And it’s also very literary in its approach to character development and the narrator’s voice.

This combination of genre elements could have been very interesting and attention grabbing, but instead it plodded along, and bits and pieces fell together in ways that just weren’t very satisfying for me.

That could be a problem with me and not the book. Perhaps I missed a lot of cues early on (most likely due to bored inattention) that prevented me from anticipating the finished result. Apparently, with Gene Wolfe, that’s not unlikely. The book is very cerebral, without giving me anything to latch on to and get my brain in gear. dark-run

In short, I was bored. Only the last 50 pages or so were decent, but by then I was just frustrated with the previous 250, and not open to thinking too kindly of E.A. Smithe and his associates.

Anyway, it all comes together in the end, so if you don’t hate the first half of the book, its worth finishing. But, I’m glad I can put this one in the rear-view mirror. Now on to Dark Run by Mike Brooks! Nothing like a jaunt with space pirates to captivate my attention!

Until next time, Blogland!




Goals Summary 1/9

Hello Blogland!

First and foremost, what does everyone think of the new appearance? It’s sort of a tradition of mine that the blog gets a new look each year, and though I was quite partial to the 2016 edition, I have a lot of love in my heart for 2017’s new look.

Hopefully you all feel the same.

So, last week, I’m calling a mulligan. It snowed, I had a migraine, and there was a SERIOUS New Year’s Eve hangover in there somewhere. Basically, I was useless all week, aside from listening to audiobooks while my migraine kept me awake.

In non-writing news, Trevor and I changed our diet to be back on Keto. It was something we’d discussed at length, and decided to enact after the holidays. The lack of grains and sugar is just so much better for him. He sleeps through the night, isn’t gaggy every morning, and it helps his digestion.

I don’t experience much of these changes, or at least not as drastically, but I like the food so I don’t mind committing to the diet to help him.

I’ve taken up a fairly vigorous (for me) yoga routine, and have stopped biting my nails. Typing now is very strange, and it’s going to take time to get used to where to place my fingers all over again.

Otherwise, I spent a good portion of my day today planning out my writing and editing schedules, and I’m feeling good about where the year is heading. But, let’s break it down for this week.

Week of January 9th:

  • Finish writing chapter 11 of From the Quorum
  • Finish reading A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolf
  • Publish two blog posts

That’s all for now. I’m gunning for 12k words a month, when I’m not editing, and I’m already a week behind. Hopefully FtQ will continue to flow as it has in the past. I should have the first book review of 2017 up on Thursday, Blood Rites by Jim Butcher. It was the aforementioned audiobook, so keep your eyes peeled for that one.

In non-weekly goals, part of my outlining this morning included penciling in time to start reworking The Steel Armada into its third draft. I’ve told myself that I can’t edit Cards until The Steel Armada is done, and I have a feeling that the third draft will be close enough to count. There’s no point putting it off any further. So, the month of February will start my dive into the hard rewriting and problem-solving I’ve been avoiding.

While all that heavy lifting happens, I’ll cut my word count goal for FtQ down to 500 words/day, meaning “writing day” which is roughly three days a week. Anything beyond that is gravy.

As long as I finish the rough draft of FtQ this year, I’ll be happy. Getting The Steel Armada into draft #3 by July is my goal, followed by getting Cards into draft #2 by the New Year. Somewhere in there I’ll rewrite and perfect The Portrait of Sterling Madison.

2017 is going to be busy! Mainly with projects and writing. I cannot wait to see what I can accomplish.

Until Thursday Blogland,



Goals Summary Wk of 10/24

Happy Halloween!!!

It’s our first Halloween in the house, and my first time ever handing out candy to trick or treaters. It was the best! This whole weekend has been wonderful. We went out with friends Saturday night to celebrate Halloween in a more adult way: with beer and dancing! Photos to follow. And then Sunday was spent recuperating by bingeing on Stargate SG-1 all day. It was the most relaxed I’ve been in months.

I was stopped at least five times with, “you’ve got red on you.”

But, there’s more to discuss here than just the general awesomeness of Halloween. Goals, for instance!

Last week’s goals were:

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write Library of Souls Book Review
  • Write 750 words for From the Quorum

What did I accomplish? Prepare the fanfare! I met all my goals this week! That’s the first time since I started tracking goals, and I’ll say, I did more than just meet them. Yes, I published two posts. Yes, one of them was the Library of Souls book review. And yes, I wrote 750 words of the novel. And another 1,158 words.

Word of advice: splurge for the fake, washable blood. Red pen bleeds through to the skin…

That’s right, a total of 1,908 words this week! I was giddy with joy and relief as I tracked the word count. It felt so good to just sit for three hours and write something new. And it was actually a really wonderful and quaint scene. Probably complete garbage as far as pacing and fitting in with the rest of the book, but hey, it’s words on the page. Plus, the dreaded chapter 7 is now complete. I’m on to the next one, which is a great way to start NaNo.

Speaking of which, that’s tomorrow! Holy crow! Where did the time go? So, what’s the plan? Write every day. 500 words each day. Anything beyond that is gravy. The end goal is that, by the end of the month, I’ll be writing over 1,000 words a day, every day. Although, I’d be happy with 5k a week. Ultimately I just want this month to help me learn to carve out writing time, while I work 45+ hours a week. It’s a tall order, but I’m coming in pretty confident.

We’ll see how long that lasts.

So, this week’s goals are:

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write Beacon 23 book review
  • Read A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe (hopefully write book review)
  • Write 500 words a day 11/1-11/6 = 3,000 words

That’s a tall order, but that’s the plan. Swing by next Monday for a recap on Week One of NaNoWriMo and  a look at my goal completion!

As usual, until next time Blogland!

That’s a homemade “cricket” bat. Because my husband is the best!




Goals Summary Wk of 10/3

Hello again Blogland!

This last week was a rough one for me, as mentioned in my previous post. Add a migraine to it today and I’m not surprised that I didn’t make my goals. But, I did well, and persevered  through my shitty feelings and doubts. I’ll take it.

So, last week I wanted to:

  • Publish two blog posts
  • post the Morning Star Book Review
  • Finish chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story

I posted two blog posts, including the Morning Star book review. However, I did not make any headway on Jordinn’s Story. I know where the chapter needs to go, I just need to actually sit down and write it.

So, for this week:

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Catch up on reading
  • Finish chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story

This is a good set of goals for this week. I fell behind in my reading, mainly because A Dance of Cloaks isn’t that interesting so far. I’m halfway through it, and so far I don’t really care about any of the characters. The plot is interesting, but purely in a “I wonder how this all plays out” kind of way. I don’t really care who wins. Also, if I don’t finish listening to The Neverending Story this week, I’m calling it good. I can’t waste months of my time slogging through this boring mountain of text.

I’ve got books cued up for very nearly the end of the year. My next will probably be Hollow City and Library of Souls, so I can catch up on the Miss Peregrine’s books, then go see the film. Plus, they’re quick reads, so I should plow through both in about a week, week and a half.

Then it’s on to some Sci-Fi!

Anyway, that’s the goals for this week. If I finish A Dance of Cloaks I should have a book review out sometime this weekend. I won’t be doing a review for The Neverending Story. If you’ve been following the blog these last few months, you know how I feel about it.

Until then Blogland!




Goals Summary Wk. 9/12

Hello again Blogland.

Last week I set some lofty goals.

  • The Obelisk Gate Book Review
  • Publish two blog posts
  • Draft #4 of The Portrait of Sterling Madison
  • Chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story
  • A Monster Calls Book Review

Yes, those are pretzel necklaces for easy, drunken snacking.

In hindsight, that was entirely too much, especially when we had a booked weekend. We were at Oktoberfest Saturday night and a friend’s party on Sunday. Apparently bringing a book to a party is frowned upon in certain circles, so I got very little reading done this weekend.

So, what did I complete?

  • The Obelisk Gate Book Review
  • Publish two blog posts

I also read/finished reading three books this last week, so that feels pretty good.

But, after a week with so much red left on the board, what’s my plan of attack this week? First it’s important to note that I have no social obligations this week, other than a standing sushi date on Friday. I also feel the need to acknowledge how unfocused I am. I have too many projects, that I’m not prioritizing very effectively.

So, what’s most important?

I still think that reading and writing book reviews here is very important. It’s my consistent, guaranteed word count, and it keeps the writing juices flowing when all else fails. It also keeps my critical thinking and reading skills sharp, which I need for editing. Luckily this is the one area I seem to be performing well in so far.

Writing Jordinn’s Story is very important. These characters, this world, has been waiting nearly a decade to find the page. I’m done putting them on the back burner.

And, as much as I’d love to shelve the project, getting The Steel Armada into its third draft is huge for me. The bulk of the hard work comes between draft two and three. It’s not just the grammatical, line by line work. I’m good at that. It’s the tearing out and replacing the things that don’t work. Adding and subtracting to build the world and characters. It’s looking at all the glaring errors, and instead of hiding from them, challenging myself to fix them.

Let’s face it, I’ve been hiding from this project for a long time now. It’s time I faced up to the task.

And so, I’ve decided that, yet again, The Portrait of Sterling Madison will get benched. I’m glad that I feel like my writing is finally at a level to tackle the project, but ultimately, it’s a_monster_callsjust not the right time to focus on it. Maybe next fall, when I’ve reacquainted myself with my former discipline and schedule.goldenson

So, the quick read bullet points for this week are:

  • A Monster Calls Book Review
  • Golden Son Book Review
  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story

Also, not white board official, I think the shelves will finally get installed this weekend! Everything is sanded. Wednesday we measure and drill. Thursday we stain and poly. Which means Sunday we install! Fingers are crossed that we can stick to some sort of time table with this project. The weather is turning here in the PNW, and I’d really like to be able to park in my garage when Fall decides the rainy season has officially arrived.

I’m over 100 pages into Morning Star, and am generally freaking out every single chapter. Something incredible seems to happen on every page. I’m not sure how Pierce Brown does it, but I’m taking notes.

So, now you know what to expect this week. Hopefully I can share more success stories next Monday.

Until then Blogland, have a good one!