Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #7

Hey Blogland,

Yet another week has passed us by, with absolutely no regard for my feelings on the matter. As usual. Damn inconsiderate of it, really.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 3k on Tavi
  • Work on something Santa Sarita related

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 3k on Tavi
    • Nope.
  • Work on something Santa Sarita related
    • Nope.

Weekly Word Count: 4,492

That’s an awful lot of words for no progress on either of my projects, so what gives? Well, back in December I signed up for a Valentine’s exchange in my Writer’s Discord, where we would basically be a secret admirer for another writer the week of Valentine’s Day and celebrate by creating content for them and generally making them feel loved. I ended up writing a Mass Effect oneshot (fandom speak for short story) in two days. I’m actually pretty proud of how it turned out.

Honestly, I think I needed the break. I’ve been pretty stuck with Tavi this month, and feeling pretty down due to the lack of writing. Busting out this story in such a short time and liking it as much as I did was a big ego boost. I needed it.

Between that, a bit of reading, and lots of working hours, that was my week in a nutshell.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish Tavi chapter 12
  • Write one tumblr prompt

Given my rocky, stumbling steps this month, keeping things simple and straightforward is really all I can do. As of this moment I’m feeling upbeat and hopeful. I’m reading, I wrote a bit last week, and I finally have some clue where the heck this scene of the novel is headed. Add some caffeine and sprinkle in a playlist or two and that should be a recipe for success.

But, Anthem releases on Friday. I have zero expectations after that. This is the first new IP from Bioware since… Dragon Age? That was 2009 y’all. It’s been TEN YEARS since Bioware made something completely brand new. And it’s beautiful, and the hype is so so so real. I’m warning you now, I am going to go silent for a while and that’s okay. I’ve planned for this.

plan gif

So. Yeah. Reading, writing, and video games. That’s the week ahead. Hopefully in that order. If so, I’ll be back later this week with a review of Lies Sleeping.

Until then, Bloggos,

 

BZ

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Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #6

Blogland,

As much as I like to complain about math, for once it just made me really happy.

Remember a few posts ago when I realized I had seven rejections in the month of January? That number hit me hard. I’m still not entirely sure why, but man, it hurt. Like… Seven? In one month? Yikes.

But then, I did some more math. *GASP*

Image result for the horror gif
Me whenever someone suggests I do math.

Guys. Thirty percent of my rejections in 2018 were personal. 30 PERCENT! That feels amazing! I did that math and I was over the moon.

But, do you know what doesn’t feel so amazing? Another fucking migraine.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 2k words on Tavi
  • Write something Santa Sarita related

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Nope. I started to draft a second post for Saturday, but that obviously didn’t happen.
  • Write 2k words on Tavi
    • Nope. More on this in a second.
  • Write something Santa Sarita related
    • Nope. Not even a little bit.

Weekly Word Count: 980

So, this week was rolling along just fine until Friday night. I didn’t feel well the further into my shift at the library, but I went out to celebrate the one year anniversary of a local business anyway. My first clues should have been the smell sensitivity and the hot and cold flashes. But with the weather so out of control here, I didn’t think anything of it.

By the time I went to bed Friday night, I knew there was a migraine incoming. I took a dose of advil migraine and went to bed. I had Saturday off and could spend the day nursing the headache if need be.

Except this was the worst migraine of my life. I didn’t leave my bed for two whole days unless I was puking. I tried to eat easy things, ramen. Crackers. Water. Nothing stayed. So I just lay there listening to I’ll Be Gone in the Dark and wishing I could sleep or eat or something. i'll be gone in the dark

So, yeah. That’s why nothing happened over the weekend. I’d planned on writing another blog post, writing more on Tavi, and maybe even working on Santa Sarita a little.  I couldn’t even keep my eyes open, let alone look at a computer screen. But, I did have a little breakthrough on the chapter I’m working on, so at least I know where I’m headed for now.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 3k on Tavi
  • Work on something Santa Sarita related

I have to try and make up for lost time. We all know that as soon as I get my hands on Anthem next week it’s all over for me. I’m going to fall off the radar for awhile. That means this week will have to carry the bulk of my word count for the month. I’ll admit, I’m not feeling particularly optimistic about my odds right now.

But, I’ll do my best, like I always do, and hopefully that will see me through.

Until later, Bloggos.

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #5

Well, last week did not go as planned, at all.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 1,500 words on Tavi
  • Write something Santa Sarita related

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Yes! Actually, I published three blog posts. So there!
  • Write 1,500 words on Tavi
    • Nope. Not even a little bit.
  • Write something Santa Sarita related
    • Nuh-uh.

Weekly Word Count: 0

What the heck did I do last week? I worked 52 hours and did the only thing that sounded the least bit of interest to me: played video games. Between Kingdom Hearts and the Anthem demo, my limited free time was booked solid. And I am okay with that. I knew going into this month that 12k was a stretch, and that video game releases would prove problematic.

Submissions continue to continue. I was a little down about this yesterday when I wrote my Monthly Recap for January, but I know there’s still a big mountain to climb in this regard. I’ll keep going until there’s nowhere left to submit. That’s the plan.

What’s Next

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 2k words on Tavi
  • Write something Santa Sarita related

That’s it. I’m keeping things low key in hopes I can climb back out of this little funk and get back on track. But, I’m also unwilling to guilt myself for decompressing with things I enjoy, like video games. I’m working a lot, and I want/need to make progress on this novel. And I also need to stay sane. Sometimes, escaping into a good video game is the only thing that helps.

I’m still reading, slowly. I’m still writing. I’m still posting here. The world is not crumbling around me, no matter what my brain says. I’m here, I’m only a little bit behind schedule. Nothing is beyond the point of no return.

Breathe.

… Better?

Talk soon, Bloggos.

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #4

Hey Bloggos,

Welcome to a new week, that bleeds right into a new month. It was a busy week for me, with over 47 hours spent working between the two jobs. It definitely had an impact on my creative output this week.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 5k on Tavi
  • Work on something Santa Sarita related

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Yep! One post was sort of a site identification/introduction, and the other was a sort of personal purge. Sorry, not sorry.
  • Write 5k on Tavi
    • No. But I still made some good progress.
  • Work on something Santa Sarita related
    • Nope. Not even a little bit.

Weekly Word Count: 3,383

Basically, this week was a lot of me working all day, coming home to dinner and catching up with hubby, only to stare at my computer and hope words would come. Some nights they did, others I was best suited to sleeping and little else.

I made progress on Tavi, made a good dent in The Business of Being a Writer, and I spent time on the blog and on Twitter. On days I couldn’t seem to write, I worked on updating my lists of potential markets to submit short stories to. I think I got something like three rejections this week. I forget, because they don’t really bother me any more. Mostly, I feel like all I did was sleep.

And it’s going to be more of the same this week.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 1,500 words on Tavi
  • Write something Santa Sarita related

tired gif.gif

I’m working 52 hours this week. I’m tired just thinking about it. Thanks to this insanity I’m keeping the writing goal small; all I want is to cross the 12k mark on Tavi by the end of Wednesday, anything written after that is just gravy on the biscuits.

There will be plenty of blog posts this week, including a Monthly Recap and an all new Reading Round-Up. I’m also hopeful that I’ll finish reading The Business of Being a Writer before the end of the month.

I don’t think there’s any other updates or goals. I just have to stay the course into February and eke out a couple wins in the process.

I can do it. Just keep swimming and whatnot.

 

BZ

 

Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #3

Blogland,

Well, this is awkward.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 3,500 words on Tavi
  • Work on Santa Sarita

How’d I do?

Horribly. I did not complete a single objective on the docket for the week. Not one. I did manage to finish listening to Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, and honestly, I’m not sure that any of it stuck. It’s going to require a reread at some point in the future.

Weekly Word Count: 0

So, what derailed me so utterly? First, we got a new bed. I mean, a new mattress, new bed frame, sheets, etc. That was a solid two evening’s worth of time that I didn’t spend writing because I was prepping our room for the new set up, and then putting together the new bed frame. Thursday night was trivia night, and I had every plan to spend my Friday and Saturday elbow deep in my manuscript, when of course, I was struck down with a migraine.

So, I binged Roswell (the original and the reboot) and tried not to puke all weekend. Sweet.

roswell
I had such a crush on Michael Guerin. Let’s be real, I still do.

I did finally hear back about That Which Illuminates Heaven, and it was a decent enough form rejection, so it’s off to the next place. Otherwise, there’s nothing much to say about last week.

So, What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 5k on Tavi
  • Work on something Santa Sarita related

I need to make up for last week’s slump, and if I can eke out five thousand words on the novel this week, then I’ll still make my monthly word count goal. I don’t know if I can really do it, but I’m going to try.

I’ve got some graphic novels queued up on the TBR stack, so that’ll be some good padding for the Goodreads challenge this month. And I’m already almost halfway through The Business of Being a Writer. I still think I’m going to buy a copy, because I think it’s a quality resource to have, and I want to mark up this copy so bad it isn’t even funny. But, taking notes in library books is highly frowned upon.

My focus this week is the novel. If I make my goal on that, I’ll switch gears into Santa Sarita and probably decompress with a tumblr prompt or something. So, it’s going to be another straightforward, no nonsense week. Hopefully that means I’ll actually be able to get something done.

Until later Bloggos,

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #2

Bloggos,

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! The husband and I have been binge-watching Letterkenny on Hulu and laughing way too hard because of it. That show has no business being as good as it is, and I cannot get enough of it.

wayne baby
Yes, that’s a grown man imitating a baby to illustrate how dumb they are. You seriously need to watch Letterkenny.

Aside from an unusual uptick in my television time, I also had a change in my schedule this week. After years of having Sundays off, I have now switched to Saturdays off and working Sundays at the library. I think it was a really good change for me, and it actually helped me achieve a better work/life balance. Such as it is. I look forward to adjusting to a little extra me time.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 3k on Tavi
  • Work on something Santa Sarita related

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 3k on Tavi
    • Holy smokes yes! More on this in a bit.
  • Work on something Santa Sarita related
    • Yes! More than I anticipated, really.

Weekly Word Count: 7,693

Holy crow. That was a lot of writing last week. I don’t even necessarily feel like it either. I just sat down and did a couple sprints, and the words just kept coming, especially in the case of my novel. I crossed the 30k word mark on the manuscript and I’m still so excited about the project. It’s the first novel I’ve ever written that I truly felt led by the characters. Normally I have some vague idea or conceptualization fo the plot when I write a book or short story, but this time Tavi has control and I just go where she does.

For instance, last night she careened headfirst into feelings I didn’t think she was ready to handle, and we had a good cry about it. So that was fun, and I’m not being sarcastic. I love it when a project runs away with me. It’s exhilarating!

I also wrote a Santa Sarita related tumblr prompt, made a new playlist for the longfic I”m working on, and wrote over one thousand words on the newest chapter of Sanctuary.  It was a wildly successful writing week and I feel amazing because of it!

amy santiago.gif
Amy Santiago is my spirit animal.

I’m also awarding myself bonus points because I finished reading Zen in the Art of Writing. I’ll admit now that I wasn’t blown away by it. I enjoy Bradbury as much as the next guy, and maybe even a little bit more, but ultimately didn’t find too many revelations in the pages of this book. Either that means I’m learning my craft well and the nuggets of gold information are fewer and farther between, or it just wasn’t that great of a book. Guess I’ll find out with the next writing book on my docket: The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman.

I have unintentionally set up a lot of nonfiction books in my TBR pile for January. It wasn’t my goal to read/listen to a lot of writing and science books, but here we are. I’m still making slow progress on Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, and even though it’s written with the layman in mind, I am still woefully unprepared to understand this book. But, I’m trying. And Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s voice makes the audiobook bearable.

I also sent off an application for a scholarship to a writing conference this summer, and was notified that they received my app. I won’t hear back until late May, but at least that’s another thing done.

So, What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 3,500 words on Tavi
  • Work on Santa Sarita

Last week was such a success, I’m hesitant to change the formula. I plan on finishing the Tyson audiobook this week, and hopefully will make a dent on Knight’s Shadow as well, though with such writing productivity it only tracks that the reading slows down. I’ve got a lot of writing books queued up the first part of the year, with a few standout novels sprinkled in.

I’m on track to meet my writing goal for the month, which feels great. I just have to keep this momentum going. Which isn’t always an easy thing, especially with some very long-awaited video game releases on the horizon.

Submissions continue to continue. I’m being patient. I repeat to myself, endlessly. I think I have a new short story in the wings, but it isn’t ready to write just yet. The nonfiction I’ve been listening to is actually related to this story idea I had last year, but I didn’t choose to read them as research or anything, it’s just where my interests led me. Which means this story is percolating and slowly forming into something like clay I can form into something like a story. But not right now. Tavi comes first, at least until the rough draft is done.

Which, let’s be honest, is probably how much time this story will need to climb out of the muck of my mind and proclaim itself writeable. Funny how these things work themselves out.

So, that’s the week. Write, write some more, and when I can’t write anymore, read about writing. Or maybe science. Whichever calls the loudest.

Until later Blogland,

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #1

Bloggos,

I hope you all had an awesome first week of the year! I know it felt incredibly long to me and especially exhausting. I spent yesterday doing some shopping and meeting friends at the local board game cafe to play some really interesting new table top games. I wanted my weekend to be focused on turning my brain off and recharging for the week ahead.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish listening to Spying on Whalesspying on whales
  • Write 1k on Tavi
  • Outline/Brainstorm for Santa Sarita

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Yep. Although that’s easy to do during the first week of the year. There’s a lot to talk about.
  • Finish listening to Spying on Whales
    • Yes!
  • Write 1k on Tavi
    • Yes! I wasn’t sure this would happen, but I ended up writing about 1300 words and finishing chapter 8!
  • Outline/Brainstorm for Santa Sarita
    • Yes… and no. So, it turns out, I had already done some brainstorming and outlining back in October. I have no memory of this, but that’s cool since I no longer agree with the route I had planned. I’ve made some new plans, but nothing concrete. But, I did do a tiny bit of writing on this so I’m counting it a win!

Weekly Word Count: 1,477

The first week of the year is always a busy one on the blog. Goals Summaries, Monthly Recaps, and the blog overhaul and Yearly Review. Lots of writing about writing, collating the stats and accomplishments of the year and analyzing my failures and successes so I can make the most of the year to come. Honestly? It’s one of my favorite times of year, when I can really dig deep into my process and figure out how to tweak for even more efficiency and output. It’s like giving my mind a tune-up!

When it came to listening to Spying on Whales, I didn’t know if I’d really be able to finish it. The book is great, and Pyenson’s passion really shines through the narrative and his narration, but I am not great at reading/listening to nonfiction. Even something as interesting to me as the past, present, and future of whales (I freaking LOVE whales) still had me zoning out for large chunks of text. I frequently had to rewind a segment and figure out where my brain had turned to white noise.

But, I still finished it last night, and really enjoyed it. I don’t think the problem was the book, but more my short attention span. If you like nonfiction, or want a broad overview of the history and lives of whales, I highly recommend it!

I jumped back into writing my urban fantasy novel this week after ignoring its existence during the whole month of December. As expected it, it was sort of slow going. It’d been long enough away from the text that I didn’t really remember where I’d left and felt pretty distant from my narrator’s voice. So, I spent a lot of my “writing” time reading the manuscript over from the beginning. writing gif

Now, that’s always dangerous with a rough draft because it makes me want to edit. I see the repetitious sentences and the clunky passages and I cringe. But, that’s not the point of this readthrough. I needed to get back in Tavi’s head, so I could tag along with her on the crazy journey of this utterly pantster novel. And it worked! In fact, it not only worked, but got me excited about this project again. With rough drafts I’m always terrified that I’m going to hate them when I read them again for the first time. I fear that I’ll read the first few pages and wonder what the hell I was thinking, writing this garbage? But Tavi really surprised me! I think it’s really good. In a few places I even managed to forget I wrote it, I was so enthralled with the dialogue and the narrator’s voice.

So, that’s good.

Santa Sarita is percolating. The characters are taking up space in brain again and I’m almost ready to sit down and really hash out some words on this fic. I think it’s going to be much different than I originally planned, and that’s probably for the best. There’s a reason my first attempt at this story flopped, after all. In the meantime I’m going to write some small tumblr prompts and get used to writing these two once again.

So, what’s next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 3k on Tavi
  • Work on something Santa Sarita related

This looks really thin to me, but jumping up from 1,000 words to 3,000 is going to take some serious effort. And even then, I’ll still be about four thousand words behind my monthly writing goal. Which is okay. The point is just to write consistently again after so much time off. The words will come.

knight's shadowI have a backlog of tumblr prompts to work on, the majority of them for Santa Sarita, so that should be an easy one to knock out this week. I also have a nebulous idea for a blog post, but we’ll see if I go with that or something else I’ve been sitting on for a while. Don’t expect a book review this week. Sadly I have zero interest in writing reviews for nonfiction, and my time with Knight’s Shadow has been really limited lately. Honestly, all of my time is limited lately, so if I’m going to make my writing goals expect my reading to slow down.

Thank goodness for audiobooks! I just downloaded Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and though it’s pretty far over my head, I figure I’ll still know more about astrophysics by the end than I do now.

In other news, I received my rejection letter from Oregon Literary Arts. I was not a recipient of a fellowship this year, but better luck next time! I also received a rejection on my horror short story Lifelike last night, and it’s already off and onto the next magazine. Getting two rejections in one week feels bad and it feels kinda good. It means I’m working hard and eventually one of these emails will be an acceptance!

Talk to you soon, Blogland!

 

BZ