Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 40

Hi Blogland!

This last week really hit me hard. Between the jet lag and two jobs, I spent way more of my time sleeping than I really anticipated. Or, at least, it felt that way. In reality, I went from working 20ish hours a week to over 40 this week, so that’s where the majority of my time went.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Edit That Which Illuminates Heaven rough draft
  • Begin NaNo project research: read one book from the library
  • Write 500 words on Sanctuary
  • Record an episode of Santa Sarita
  • Read two short stories from More Human Than Human

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Yes. Goals Summary and The Audient Void release announcement are both up.
  • Edit That Which Illuminates Heaven rough draft
    • Yep! More on this in a moment.
  • Begin NaNo project research: read one book from the libraryImage result for legion lies of the beholder
    • Eh… Kinda? I’m inclined to give this one to myself. I got several books from the library, and even bookmarked several passages to start with. I also brainstormed some of the back story. But, nothing new made it into the Scrivener project, so it’s sort of a wash.
  • Write 500 words on Sanctuary
    • Nope. But I did write a tumblr prompt!
  • Record an episode of Santa Sarita
    • Haha. Nope. As ever. Some day I’ll get this story done.
  • Read two short stories from More Human Than Human
    • No. BUT, I did read Lies of the Beholder, the last Legion novella by Brandon Sanderson.

Weekly Word Count: 648

So, obviously, not much in the way of writing this week. But that’s okay, because editing was the priority. And That Which Illuminates Heaven is officially in its second draft! Hooray!

confetti

Normally I would print out another copy at this stage and edit again, but I’m not gonna lie, I really like it the way it is. I’ve sent it to a couple friends to get feedback and that all important fresh perspective. Hopefully once I hear back from them I can approach it with new eyes and make some more changes.

Another reason why I haven’t been getting as much work done is because I am binge-listening to The Adventure Zone podcast and loving every minute of it! I’ll be done with it soon, so I should be able to refocus on the matters at hand.

What’s Next?

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • RESEARCH!
  • Write 500 words on Sanctuary
  • Record an episode of Santa Sarita
  • Read War for the Oakswar for the oaks

This is another ambitious week, which is silly given that I didn’t get that much done last week (bullet-points-wise). But, I am ever the optimist, so maybe I’ll get it all done! Who knows?

I have a Walk ‘n’ Talk™ scheduled with Madhu for tomorrow morning, then work. Then work all day on Wednesday. An easy day Thursday, which is probably when I’ll get the most work done. Then work all day Friday, work hella early on Saturday, then off the rest of the weekend. Not as much time to read and write, but I’ll do my best. That’s all I can ever do.

I’m going to write up a review for Legion: Lies of the Beholder, so there will definitely be two blog posts this week. I’ve got a pile of books ready for the research to commence, and enough down time that I should be able to join in on a sprint or two with my writer’s discord and get those 500 words done. Recording an episode of Santa Sarita is always a maybe, but I think it’d be nice to return to it this week and get back into the swing of the series.

And maybe I’ll finish another book this week. I’m about 7 pages into War for the Oaks; far too early to make a judgement on it yet. We’ll see how it goes as the week rolls on.

I’ll be back with a book review soon enough. Until then, Bloggos.

 

BZ

 

Advertisements

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 37

Bloggos,

It’s late. I should be sleeping. But tomorrow’s the big travel day and there’s just too much to think about, too many variables, and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. So, here I am, doing the one thing that tends to turn off all the superfluous thoughts.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish reading Borne and The Strange Birdthe strange bird
  • Finish chapter 7 of Sanctuary

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Yep.
  • Finish reading Borne and The Strange Bird
    • Yep. Reviews for both are up now.
  • Finish chapter 7 of Sanctuary
    • Nope. Not even a little bit. Not even at all.

Weekly Word Count: 0

I think that’s a first. Zero words this week. I’m sure it’s happened before, but I didn’t write the goals summary to prove it. But, I’m not mad. This is my month to unwind and get a blank slate prepared for NaNoWriMo.

That was the official list, the work I wanted to focus on as the vacation drew ever nearer. But the unofficial list was much bigger. I won’t get into the details again, however I do honestly believe we’re as ready as we can be for such a big trip. I’m wound tight right now, but as soon as we’re on the plane it’s out of my hands and I can finally relax.

I just have to get through tonight.

What’s Next?

  • VACATION!
    • Eat a pretzel every day
      • Pics or it didn’t happen
  • VACATION!
    • Visit at least one castle
      • Pics or it didn’t happen
  • VACATION!
    • Oktoberfest!!!!
      • Pics or it didn’t happen

mechanical

You get the idea. I am still reading The Mechanical. It’s slow so far, the language is very dense and my attention wanders frequently. I’m hoping hours on an airplane will help me get through it.

I make no promises about posting next week. We’re away until the 29th, and while I’ll have the laptop in tow, I don’t want to promise any posts until we’re back. I might squeak out time to do a mid-trip update, but if I do it’s a bonus.

Regardless, it’s back to work on October 1st, so you’ll find me here, gushing all about our trip.

Until then, Blogland,

 

BZ

 

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 36

Bloggos!

This is my last full week before Germany! There is a ton to do this week, but before I can tear into that, we have to talk about last week.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 1000 words on Sanctuary
  • Finish reading Borne
  • Read two short stories
  • Review Madhu’s query letter

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Yep. No book reviews, just some goals discussions and a general monologue.
  • Write 1000 words on Sanctuary
    • Ha. Ha. No. A whoppin’ 265 words written this week.
  • Finish reading Borne
    • No. But, I read a ton. I’m really close to finishing it.
  • Read two short stories
    • Yes! Three of them actually.
  • Review Madhu’s query letter
    • Yep. She’s probably not happy with me. I was pretty rough on that query, but it’s a crucial step in getting her novel published. We gotta get it right.

Weekly Word Count: 265

So, yeah. You can tell I didn’t get much done this week. I blogged, I read a bit, and I played Detroit: Become Human until I had to hide the game from myself in order to disentangle from the PS4. Thankfully the game is now out of my hands and off to the next lucky person who gets to play it.

In my reading I finally got around to Sam J. Miller’s Things with Beards and Calved, set in the same city as his amazing novel Blackfish City. I also read City of Ash by Paolo Bacigalupi, which is set in a post-climate change Phoenix so I found that pretty darn interesting.

So, What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish reading Borne and The Strange Birdthe strange bird
  • Finish chapter 7 of Sanctuary

As you can see, I’m striving to keep things simple this week. Because these are the official goals, but there is a mountain of unofficial tasks that have to happen before Tuesday. Such as:

  • Clean the entire house
  • Pack luggage
  • Stock up on dog treats (so sad poocher won’t be quite so sad)
  • Organize travel documents/foreign currency
  • Book shuttle to airport
  • Refill prescriptions
  • And probably a million other things I’m forgetting

(This is my anxiety trying to get out of control. I cope with list-making, so just bear with me.)

And I’m working more hours this week than I’ve worked in two years… Keep me in your thoughts, y’all. It’s gonna be one hell of a week.

I’ll be around this week with at least one book review, and then back on Monday for the goals summary and farewells before vacation.

Until then, Blogland,

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 35

Bloggos,

Labor Day weekend found us celebrating with friends from out of town, and then I streamed another play-through of Detroit: Become Human, from beginning to end, on Monday.  I’m paying for all that screen time with a migraine and delayed blog posts.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write/share a tumblr prompt
  • Record/share 2 episodes of Santa Sarita
  • Read two stories from More Human Than Human
  • Write chapter 7 of Sanctuary

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write/share a tumblr prompt
    • Yep! It took a little while to get a response, but it’s doing well enough.
  • Record/share 2 episodes of Santa Sarita
    • Hahaha. Nope.
  • Read two stories from More Human Than Human
    • Nope. Although, does playing 40-60 hours of Detroit: Become Human count? They are androids after all.
  • Write chapter 7 of Sanctuary
    • No. But I wrote just about half of it. So there’s that.

Weekly Word Count: 2,596

So, not a very productive week, it turns out. I’m not too torn up about it. The word count is good considering how few projects I had to work on, and I did a really good job of emptying my brain and just being human for a few days. I’m happy enough with the output of last month as a whole not to worry too much about how the last week played out.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 1000 words on Sanctuary
  • Finish reading Borne
  • Read two short stories
  • Review Madhu’s query letter

I’ll admit, that’s more bullet points than I expected. Lots of reading this week. A little bit of writing, nothing too crazy. Gonna keep it low key and prep for Germany! My big goal is to have a great, relaxed month and come back ready to prep and research for my NaNoWriMo novel.

And that’s where I’ll leave this. Migraine brain has got me good, so I’m not much use right now.

Talk at you soon,

 

BZ

The Recap – August 2018

Blogland,

Holy Crow! It’s September! How? When did this happen? Last night, you say? Huh. I must have missed it seeing as I was distracted by all the screaming at androids these last few days. That’s a Detroit: Become Human reference, by the way. I’ll try to keep them to a minimum going forward.

August Goals

  • Submit The Steel Armada to Tim the Agent™
  • Finish The Fall of Ezra Clarke
  • Santa Sarita recordings
  • Keep reading!
  • Tumblr prompts
  • Write chapters 7+8 of Sanctuary

How’d I do?

  • Submit The Steel Armada to Tim the Agent™
    • Yes! Although it is now titled, Exodus: Descent. I sent it out on the sixteenth of August, just one day after my self-imposed deadline. Not too shabby.
  • Finish The Fall of Ezra Clarke
    • Yes! This story was a trip to write, let me tell you. After four false starts, I finally found the right voice and perspective to write the story through. It has also since been renamed, That Which Illuminates Heaven.
  • Santa Sarita recordings
    • Nope. Thought about it last night, but I replayed Detroit: Become Human instead.
  • Keep reading!
    • Sure did! I read eight titles this month!
  • Tumblr prompts
    • Yep! I only have one left, and I need to do a little research to make sure I get the characters right.
  • Write chapters 7+8 of Sanctuary
    • Nope. I did get halfway done with chapter 7 though!

Total Word Count: 17,862

 

This month was very heavy in the first half. Lots of reading, editing, and then a week of really dedicated writing. This last week was a nice chance for me to relax and not feel guilty for indulging myself in hours and hours of Detroit: Become Human. Like, hours. I’m maybe learning some of the piano music from the soundtrack, which I’ve been told is the true litmus test for my obsession with something.

I have no regrets.

September Goals

  • Tumblr prompts
  • Finish chapter 7 of Sanctuary
  • Keep reading!
  • Continue short story submissions

This month’s goals are very very short, because we’ll be in Germany for twelve days at the end of the month. Also, I’m not feeling super motivated to do much of anything right now. I don’t want to cease all productivity, but I want to pump the brakes a little and reserve energy for October and November. Expect blog activity to be pretty thin this month.

Also, sorry for the delay in publishing this. I wrote half of it on the first, and then the holiday weekend got the best of me. So, here it is, better late than never. I’ll be back tomorrow to get the weekly goals summary out. Expect a similar theme of relaxed goals for the next few weeks.

Until then, Bloggos.

 

BZ

 

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 34

Blogland,

This has been a weird week. My hours have been scaled back at the library, which adds a new layer of stress, but also allows me to really work on my writing. Silver linings, and all that. I’ve also been visiting the library just as a patron more, and it reminds me just how magical they are when you’re not on the working side of the desk. Add in a very long day of socializing for our best friend’s birthday (we went to a board game cafe and played all kinds of games for hours) and it was actually a nice week.

IMG_20180825_171815
This is a “Vision Card” from the board game Mysterium.

Last Week

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Finish The Fall of Ezra Clarke rough draft
  • Finish reading Foxglove Summer
  • Write/share one tumblr prompt
  • Record an episode of Santa Sarita

How’d I do?

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Finish The Fall of Ezra Clarke rough draft
    furthest station
    • YES! There’s a bit of a story here, but yes!
  • Finish reading Foxglove Summer
    • Yep. Finished it Tuesday night as I expected. I also finished reading The Furthest Station.
  • Write/share one tumblr prompt
    • Yep! Practically wrote itself.
  • Record an episode of Santa Sarita
    • Nope. Didn’t get there.

Weekly Word Count: 8,079

Let me tell you all about this freaking short story. I got the idea for it back in January, but didn’t want to actively work on it until Exodus was “done”. And since it’s as done as I can make it right now, I figured this month was the perfect time to finish the rough draft of the tentatively named The Fall of Ezra Clarke.

I wrote 3700 words in a frenzy and then it flopped. All forward momentum crashed to a halt. But, I wasn’t upset. I figured this was really just the foundation, me exploring these characters, learning who they are, who they were, and who they might one day become. Not time wasted at all.

A couple days later I had a new beginning and another feverish 2500 words. And then the story ran out of gas and just… stopped. There was no where to go. Huh. All right, I thought. That’s disappointing, but let’s try something else.

So, while bouncing ideas off a friend in the writer’s discord I’m in (thanks neolith!), I restarted The Fall of Ezra Clarke five times. And though each initial paragraph felt good, the juice eventually gave out and left me perplexed.

The last time I had this much trouble with a short story was in the early days, when I wanted Lifelike to be an unreliable female narrator and I didn’t have the chops to make it happen.

That experience taught me that, when the story is balking, it usually means the perspective is wrong. I need to find the right person to tell the story. But, I’d already switched between the two main characters! It still didn’t work.

And then that weird part of my brain that only functions in the wee hours or after LOTS of caffeine said, “tell it from the space ship’s perspective.”Evil Kermit 27082018121756

Say what?

“You heard me.”

And so I did. I thought it was a crazy idea, something fun to write and experiment with but would ultimately fizzle out just like everything else.

Then I wrote it through, beginning to end. 6000 words in two days. I had a wonderful whirlwind of a time, following this voice wherever it would take me. I renamed the story, since it wasn’t about Ezra’s fall from grace anymore, and it’s now called That Which Illuminates Heaven. I know that the story’s too big right now, that it has some pacing issues and areas that could be honed in on. Points I want to drive home.But, hey, it’s just a rough draft!

I haven’t looked at it since. I want distance from it, at least a couple week’s worth, and will probably start revising it in October, once we’re back from Germany. In the meantime I’m going read Science Fiction short stories featuring non-human characters, specifically androids, robots, and mechs, so that I can get a feel for what’s already out there, and where my story fits in with the traditions already established. Then I’ll be ready to edit it into something wonderful.

See all this hope? That’s called the post-rough draft high and I am riding it for all it’s worth.

So, What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog postsmore human than human.jpg
  • Write/share a tumblr prompt
  • Record/share 2 episodes of Santa Sarita
  • Read two stories from More Human Than Human
  • Write chapter 7 of Sanctuary

That doesn’t look like much, does it? I’m hoping to do a bit of reading this week and catch up on my fandom content that I’ve been neglecting for original projects. Also, since I’m barely working, I’m trying to get more housework done, since it’s something neither of us are particularly gifted with.

Also, my best friend is in town from Sioux City this weekend, so that’s going to take a chunk of my time. Best to keep things straightforward.

So, lots of reading, a bit of fanfic writing, and some recording of my older fics. A laid back week ahead, but still likely to get some quality work in. I like it!

Submissions continue. They’ll probably do so for a while, because I’ve already submitted to most of the open magazines, which means I’ll soon be lurking around, impatiently waiting for other markets to open their calls for submissions.

I remind myself that this is par for the course. This is the real test of writerdom, perseverance. And so I shall persist, nevertheless.

Talk soon, Bloggos, when I come back to talk about The Furthest Station.

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 33

Blogland!

It’s been a rollercoaster week, mostly with some work drama that I am so over. But, writing is chugging along, slowly but surely. It’s hot and smoky here, so it’s a good excuse to stay indoors and get work done.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Send Exodus: Descent to Tim the Agent™
  • Sort out The Fall of Ezra Clarke
  • Read Foxglove Summerfoxglove summer
  • Review Madhu’s pages

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Send Exodus: Descent to Tim the Agent™
    • Yes! I almost backed out, and then I slammed that send button.
  • Sort out The Fall of Ezra Clarke
    • Yes? I started it over, but I think there are more changes to come.
  • Read Foxglove Summer
    • Nope. I’m really close though.
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • Of course! I always do.

Weekly Word Count: 2,616

This week had a few bursts of energy and productivity, and yet I felt like I just didn’t really accomplish all that much. There was a definite vibe of “taking a break”. I’d worked my butt off the week before getting Exodus into shape, and I think I needed a low key week to let my brain recuperate.

I have no idea what Tim’s turnaround time will be. Or if he’ll even respond. I imagine he will, because ignoring someone you requested materials from would be rude. Right? But, I’ve never really corresponded with an agent before, so what do I know? I’ve got Exodus out to him and a few reader/editor friends. I’ll wait for their feedback before I dive back in to really hone the novella into publication shape. Then I’ve got a list of markets that will accept novellas.

As if submitting short stories isn’t stressful enough.

I’ve reworked Ezra, moving it forward in time. I’ve got a couple thousand words down for it, but I think it needs to jump ahead again. It’s languishing, which is fine while I’m writing and learning these characters, but I need to tighten things up and get to the plot. I’ve got the characters, I have their struggles and dynamic with each other sorted. Now I need to throw them into the mess of this story and figure out what happens.

I think I’ll finish Foxglove Summer tonight, which is good because I need to read these graphic novels and novella as fast as I can. I am out of time.

I gave Madhu my feedback on her manuscript, which means there won’t be any pages to read this week. What a weird concept. No peer review? No line edits for The Audient Void? No novella to write or edit?

What the hell am I doing this week?

So, What’s Next?

  •  Publish 2 blog posts
  • Finish The Fall of Ezra Clarke rough draft
  • Finish reading Foxglove Summer
  • Write/share one tumblr prompt
  • Record an episode of Santa Sarita

That’s it. I really want to focus on finding the direction for this short story and hammering it out. If I could get it ready for submission before we leave for Germany I would be ecstatic.

I think I’ll finish Foxglove Summer as well as the Peter Grant graphic novels tonight. I’ve spent a really long time in this world and I am just about ready to move on. Just some graphic novels, a novella and one more novel to go. furthest station

I still have a handful of tumblr prompts (3 to be exact), so I’ll get some work on those done this week as well. And then record an episode of Santa Sarita. So, really, there’s not much going on this week, just a lot of time to sink into my writing.

Hopefully the weather will break soon. I’ve got a hankering for a chai latte and oversized sweaters. So if it could dip below 70 degrees sometime soon, that’d be nice.

I have the review for Foxglove Summer on deck, since it’s almost done, and then a Submission Update planned for later this week as well. I’ll be around, so keep an eye out.

Until then, Bloggos.

 

BZ