The Benefits of a Critique Group

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it at this point, but I recently joined/sort started a Science Fiction/Fantasy critique group. We had our second meeting tonight, and as the instigator of the group, I was one of two folks critiqued tonight.

I sent the group the first ~10pgs of Tavi.

I had a lot of feelings about this. Upon sending it I felt confident. I’ve read this book at least seven times. I know it’s good, I just need more eyes on it to ask questions and point out things that might not have occurred to me. But as the time drew nearer, anxiety kicked in. My chest felt tight, my heart raced, and the cold sweats kicked in.Sheldon hyperventilating panic attack Big Bang Theory | Reaction Gifs

Now, I feel I must explain. This anxiety wasn’t a sudden belief that the book is bad, or that I was a fraud, or any of those other impostery sorts of doubts all writer-folk are prone to. This was a very specific sort of fear:

No one has ever read this book except for me. For three years, this book has been secreted away on the page and in my brain. And now seven strangers have not only read these pages, but they’re going to tell me what they THINK about them???

Yeahhhhh, that ushered in the panic real quick.

But, I want to query agents with this book. I want lots of strangers to read this book. So I have to get over this sudden, unexpected fear. For this alone, I would say participating in this critique group is worth it.

But, wait! There’s more!Wait there GIFs - Get the best gif on GIFER

They liked it! I mean, there were some critiques, the manuscript isn’t perfect, but the criticisms were largely small, simple fixes that might not even be strictly necessary. They laughed where I wanted them to. They appreciated the tension, and the balance of horror and humor. They quoted some of my lines and descriptions back to me. They… they legitimately LIKED it.

That alone is enough to have me floating on cloud nine tonight, but that isn’t what really made me happiest. I mean, of course people liking my pages made me extremely happy, but it made me happy for a very specific reason.

That validation, babeyy!

I’ve spent over a decade writing. Honing my craft. Experimenting. And all the while my understanding of my work, of what’s “good” and what “works,” has been developing right along with it. My instincts for my writing has been validated tonight. I felt like I finally felt the pay-off for all these years of writing and working on my craft.

This is what it’s for. This is why we do the work. It’s about developing our skills and developing our instincts or understanding our writing.

Now, I know that it won’t be this way each week. I’m sure as get further along (muddy middle anyone?) there will be more criticism. But I’m also sure that most of it, if not all, will be expected. Because I know my work, and I have a newfound trust in my assessment. And that’s extra exciting, because I know this book is very close to being ready to query. It may not even take as long as I originally planned…

God, this just felt so good, y’all. A part of me wishes I’d joined a critique group sooner, but honestly? I don’t think I was ready before now. This is the right time.

Anyway, I’m done gushing. I just wanted to share that having a group to read and discuss your work can be scary, but also so so validating. I can’t wait to read more of the group’s work and to help each other grow as writersthe gif of the magi


Until next time, Blogland.


Taika, Take the Wheel


What has happened to me? Goal setting used to be so easy! It was how I managed every aspect of my writing life, and it never steered me wrong. I was (am?) a goal setting pro! But now I stare at Tavi and though my natural instinct is to chunk it out into smaller bites and analyze how long it’ll take me to get to the next stage of the project… I can’t? Do that?

Every time I try a bigger, much more confident part of my brain swoops in and says, “nah. This ain’t that kinda project.” For some reason this part of my brain sounds like it’s from New Zealand. Probably because I’ve watched Thor: Ragnarok like three times this summer. If my inner-genius wants to channel Taika Waititi I am ALL for it.

I expected to feel adrift. How can I even function as a writer if I’m not setting SMART goals? What do you mean I haven’t completely scienced out how many weeks it will take to finish? If I don’t reverse plan, how will I know that I’ll get it done on time? Am I even me if I’m not obsessively Type-A-ing the shit out of everything?

And my Taika brain just shrugs, says, “I dunno, man” and then points to a part of the book. “But, maybe you could start by moving this bit over here? It just makes more sense there, yeah?” And then I look, and sure as shit, IT DOES make more sense there!

So, I guess this means it’s out of my hands. I’m letting the imaginary manifestation of my Writer Brain™, masquerading as Taika Waititi, take the wheel.

waititi Tumblr posts -

I’ll keep y’all posted as to how this goes…


It’s Monday.

I haven’t started my week with a blog post in a very very long time. I don’t have a ton to say today. There weren’t any writing activities over the weekend since we were at the coast partying it up with a good friend for her Bachelorette Party.

I have received some feedback on Abbie from my Elite Reading Group™. Nothing concrete that I can make edits from, but some general “It’s really good!” and “I liked it a lot” and even an “It’s so different from your other stories!”. And while that’s all fine and good, I need to give them all a little nudge to give me something a touch more substantial.

Now is about the time where I worry about where the heck I’m gonna submit this story. It’s quiet. So so quiet. The fantasy element is very thin, just a sprinkling of spice. I know at the start of the pandemic there was talk of a magazine being put together that would focus on these sort of stories… but I don’t know if that every truly came to be. I have a feeling this is going to be a very long submission process.


In other news, the newest episode of the podcast is OUT NOW! Give it a listen, and prepare yourself for another episode this Friday! We’ve been busy little library worker bees and have lots of good books to share with you!

Other than podcast editing, I’m going to start back on Tavi this week and see if I can get this very big ball rolling. I’ve got ~3 months to get it DONE. And I mean, done done. Like… start sending it to agents done.

I think I need to do some deep breathing exercises…

Anyway, that’s where I’m at. That’s what’s on the plate for this week, revisions of all kinds. I’ll pop in every now and again, either to tell you about all the progress I’m making, or to avoid all the progress I’m NOT making. You know how it goes.

Until then,


State of the Author

Good morning, Blogland.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my writing since I last posted. Like, a lot a lot. So I figured I should jot it all down and give you all an update as well.

Current Projects:

  • Bell Biv Derailed
  • In the Librarian’s Garden
  • Sanura Trine
  • Twins and the Haunted House
  • The Shadowboxer
  • Tavi
  • Top Shelf Librarians Podcast

(Please note that these are all working titles and no I am not taking criticism at this time)

Bell Biv Derailed: I finished the rough draft of this story on Wednesday. I first got the idea in 2018 when we visited Munich and rode the metro every day. I finally sat down to write it in March of this year. That was one writing session. Then one while I was in Seattle, and then Wednesday. A total of three writing sessions and almost 2k words. The story is not remotely anything like the original idea, but I really like how it turned out, even though it’s super weird. The bones are quite good, I just need to dip into the horror a bit more and work on tension control. It’s a horror/comedy which is always tough to write AND intended to be Flash Fiction (<1,500 words), so we’ll see how it turns out. For now, I’m letting it marinate while I work on some other revisions.Bel Biv Devoe GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

In the Librarian’s Garden: I’ll be revising the second draft today. I spent most of yesterday afternoon revising the rough draft and feeling pleasantly surprised. This is a story I started at the beginning of the pandemic, when we were first really locked down. I put it on pause to focus on Tavi, and when that went south, I came back to it in September. BUT, that’s when my school district caught on fire and one of the major plot points of this story is that a school burns down soooooo that felt bad and I put the story in a mental drawer. Then November came around and I decided that, instead of writing a novel for Nanowrimo, I’d write short stories. I had enough of them lying around unfinished and I figured I ought to do something about that. So I finished the rough draft of this piece (and others). When I read it in January I hated it (and the others too) but looking back at January I kinda hated everything so I’m glad I didn’t pitch it in the bin. It’s actually a lovely, quiet little cottage-core piece of fantasy fiction that gives me warm fuzzy feelings when I read it. Dunno where the hell I can possibly submit it, but that’s a concern for when revisions are done. Today’s goals are tightening things up (it’s a bit meander-y) and upping the emotions in order to earn the ending. Creating an easy-care cottage garden - Anthony Tesselaar Plants

Sanura Trine: This is another story I wrote during Nanowrimo. And honestly…? I don’t really remember much about it. I mean, I remember what happens in it, but I don’t really remember the writing. I remember being frustrated by it and feeling like I was treading water when I wrote it. I felt lost and disconnected from the piece and really struggled with it. I don’t know if it’s good. I do know it’s entirely too long (like 7k words or something ridiculous like that). So, I’ll take a look at it see what needs to happen. I remember liking the intro which was very sarcastic and anti-corporation but that tone vanished once the characters started interacting, sooo… We’ll see where it ends up. This story is not a super high priority for me at the moment and will probably sit for awhile, tired, desert, astronaut, robin schulz, breathing, david guetta,  cheat codes, shed a light, barren Gif For Fun – Businesses in USA

Twins and the Haunted House: Another of the Nanowrimo projects. This thing is a beast. Another horror story (obvs), this one plays with overlapping First Person POVs and unreliable narrators. An unreliable narrator is something I’ve ALWAYS wanted to write, but it’s so damn hard! Especially because I’m more of a discovery type writer. I have to write the rough draft to figure out what the hell is going on, which makes writing a big fat liar on the first go-around pretty much impossible. I only have about 2k-ish left to go (I’m very close to the end) but it’s still HUGE at over 8k words as is. I don’t have plans to return to this right now. It’s a horror piece set in the dead of winter — middle of summer is not a good time mentally for me to sit down to this one. Consider it on pause until Christmas break probably. Since it’s seeming like it might reach novelette or novella territory instead of short story, I’m not exactly eager to get back to it, haha. More words = more revision.

spooky house gifs | WiffleGif

The Shadowboxer: This is another weirdo story. I’m beginning to wonder if I have any other kind? It’s a story that asks what evil is, how does it manifest? It’s a story about women, victimhood, and taking their power back. It’s also non-linear, features a POV from a floating cloud of sentient evil mist a la Lost, and a HUGE gap in time. Again. As a discovery writer, this is VERY HARD. There are three POVs one distant past, one near past, and one present and they all will intertwine to tell the story. In theory. That’s the goal. I put it aside last summer because I was struggling so much. I think this is a story that requires me to level up a bit. I also think that with this many POVs, it probably isn’t a short story and I’m kidding myself by approaching it as such. But, I’ll worry about that when the draft is done. Which won’t be for awhile. I would put this farthest down the priority list. It’s the hardest, I have the least words written for it, and I want to read more non-linear narratives before digging back into it. Consider it paused.Smoke monster GIFs - Get the best gif on GIFER

Tavi: Man. This book. I love it and it really is quite good, even in its second draft. But revising it is just SUCH a big job. I honestly think that’s what all the above is really about. I’m procrastinating the big scary project. Which, as far as procrastination techniques go, writing more fiction is the BEST ONE EVER! But, this book is the best thing I’ve written. I truly believe that. This is a book that I could query with, that could push my writing life into the next stage. And I think that has me running scared. So… we all know what I gotta do. I need to sit down, reacquaint myself, and get back in the trenches. My original goal was to have Tavi query ready by October 1st. I think that timeline is a little tight now. But, I think if I get started on it by August 1st, I can have it JUST about ready by November 1st. Take November off to draft a new project for Nanowrimo, then finish any remaining edits by January 1st. I’m spitballing here — I don’t really know how long it will take me. It turns out, I’m really bad at revising novels. My last novel revision attempt turned into scrapping the whole thing and rewriting it as a novella series. But that won’t happen with Tavi. She’s too complete, too strong of a character. This book feels very real, and not too far off from something I might pick off a shelf. I just need to make it the best I can and stop being such a chickenshit about it. This is my top priority after I finish revising In the Librarian’s Garden.The Crow GIFs | Tenor

Top Shelf Librarians Podcast: Yep, we’re still making the show. We are actually recording tonight so expect the June episode sometime next week. Sorry it’s late, but I’ll get into why in the episode so stay tuned!

Top Shelf Logo

Stories Currently on Submission

  • Lifelike
  • A Lullaby for Mattie Barker
  • The Lament of Kivu Lacus

Lifelike: My oldest story. I got the idea for it when I was still at community college taking creative writing classes. So… pre-2012. But I finished it in like 2017 or 2018. It’s a flash fiction piece about a haunted painter. It gets to the final round of consideration frequently, but no takers so far. I’m beginning to lose confidence in the story, mainly because I’ve been subbing it for so long and it doesn’t really reflect the quality of my work any more. I have leveled up well past it. I guess I could rework it, bring it “up to date”, but I don’t have any inclination or motivation to do so. I’ll keep sending it out and it’ll either eventually stick or eventually find its way to the Yuck Trunk folder. *Shrug*Haunted Painting GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

A Lullaby for Mattie Barker: A much more recent piece that I finished in summer of 2019. It went through some extensive revisions in December and I submitted it to a local writing contest. It was a finalist, but did not place. So now it’s out, looking for a home. It’s another hard one to place. It’s a ghost story, but not horror. It’s historical fiction set after WWII, but also features an LGBTQIA+ main character. It’s quiet, not a lot of action. But it’s poignant and lovely and good. I just don’t know who wants lovely, quiet, heartbreaking ghost stories about queer characters.Eight Coos County Cemeteries - Pacific Northwest Adventures

The Lament of Kivu Lacus: This is the best short story I’ve written so far. It is a 2nd Person narration about marital issues, isolation, terminal illness and grief. I love this story so so much. It makes it to the final round of consideration consistently, so I just need to find it the right home. Again, another hard piece to place. The Science Fiction element is subtle, more setting than science, and 2nd Person is not a popular POV choice. But it’s my favorite bit of writing I’ve done. I love it very very much.Humpback Whale Swimming GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Recent Publications

  • That Which Illuminates Heaven
  • Unforgettable
  • The Cost of Rain

That Which Illuminates Heaven: A story about a sentient space ship that plays matchmaker for her Pilot and Chief Engineer.

Unforgettable: A feminist retelling of Samson and Delilah in fewer than 300 words.

The Cost of Rain: An old woman and her horse traipse across a desert to make a deal with the devil.

Upcoming Projects

  • Hunting Dr. Squatch

Hunting Dr. Squatch: Look. The title is dumb and makes me laugh and probably doesn’t even have anything to do with the story. It’s my Nanowrimo project, an all new novel, and it’s a Pioneer Oregon Weird Western. All I know is that there are monsters, a badass frontier lady, and a gay guy. I just got a mountain of books from the public library to start research this summer, so if my goodreads starts to look a little funky, that’s why. It’s still pretty nebulous up there, but I have my main characters starting to make some noise and clamoring for my attention, so I think I’ll be ready to start by November. Which means I REALLY need to get to work on Tavi.Growing Up Lol GIF by What We Do in the Shadows - Find &amp; Share on GIPHY | What  we do in the shadows, Shadow costume, Shadow

So, yeah. That’s where I’m at. That’s what I’ll be working on and thinking about pretty much through the end of the year. I’ve also scoped out a potential writing conference to go to in October, specifically about women writing women in the west? Seems pertinent given my Nanowrimo project. We’ll see.

Also, I thoroughly enjoyed hunting down gifs and images for each project. Now then, I’ve wasted enough time. I need to do some revision and then hopefully get the office cleaned up before we record tonight.

See ya around, Bloggarts!


Goals Summary 2021 – Wk# 3

Hiya Blogland,

The long weekend threw off my groove in a big way. It sucks to have your routine thrown out of wack when you’re just starting to stick to it. But I didn’t let that hold me back!

Last Week

  • Revise Abbie
  • Write 1k words
  • Finish Harrow the Ninth
  • Finish listening to The Changeling
  • Read (at least) two parts from The Kick-Ass Writer

How’d I do?

  • Revise Abbie
    • No.
  • Write 1k words
    • Yes! I’m slowly but surely creeping to the end of this haunted house story.
  • Finish Harrow the Ninth
    • Yep. If you follow me on Goodreads, you know I had a lot of feelings about it too.
  • Finish listening to The Changeling
    • Yes! I knew I liked Victor LaValle from his short fiction, but I was (mostly) presently surprised by this book.
  • Read (at least) two parts from The Kick-Ass Writer
    • Yarp. Easy-peasy.
    • YES! Finally! I read like six chapters, noting small changes and asking questions, but mostly just remembering how much I like this book.

Weekly Word Count: 1,696

On top of these writing and reading related goals, I also did yoga every day and did an hour of cardio every other day (Saturday’s rest day). So, I’d definitely say that this past week was a success and feeling good, if a little tired.

What’s Next?

  • Revise Abbie
  • Write 1k words
  • Read two parts from The Kick-Ass Writer
  • Read The Blade BetweeThe Blade Between: A Novel: Miller, Sam J.: 9780062969828: Books
  • Finish listening to Witchmark
  • Read/Revise Tavi

This looks familiar because it is. I’m a firm believer in not fixing what isn’t broken. I’m doing well so far this month across a multitude of projects, so why change my approach? I need to focus a little more on Abbie this week and get another solid revision in. It can be tightened up a bit more, I’m sure, once I’ve really focused in on the emotional beats. I want to get it done this month, and January is going to be over before we know it.

My reading life is going VERY well right now. But, starting this week I’m doing two different book studies for my work, so personal reading might slow down a notch. AND I have a super-secret, bookish project in the works that will also start sapping some of my free time in the near future. 

And, it’s nearly Valentine’s Day, which means it’s that time of year for my favorite prompt event on Tumblr, #14DaysDALovers. Basically, there’s a different prompt for each of the days leading up to Valentine’s Day and the Dragon Age fanfic community spams fresh content. I wrote a TON for this last year and hope to do so again this year. Which means I need to get crackin’!

Basically, I am wicked busy for the next few weeks, at work and otherwise. But I’m feeling good about it all. Nothing seems daunting. Everything is within my grasp and I’m going to ride that feeling for as long as it’s here. 

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today, methinks. Making steady progress on all sorts of endeavors. Feeling good. I hope you are too!

Talk soon, Bloggarts!


Goals Summary 2021 – Wk #2

Hey-o Bloggos,

Here I am, two weeks in a row. Feels like a pretty big deal from here.  I have a Monday Night Write, which is what I call an informal writing Zoom call that happens every Monday, so let’s make this quick.

Last Week

  • Revise Abbie
  • Write 1k words
  • Read Harrow the Ninth
  • Begin Tavi read through

How’d I do?

  • Revise Abbie
    • Yep! Draft one is done. There’s gonna be a lot of drafts on this story. I wanna get it under 5k, and there’s a lot of poetic waxing slowing things down. I need to tighten up and rewrite a bit of it.
  • Write 1k words
    • Yep! All fanfic but I’m not complaining.
  • Read Harrow the Ninth
    • Yes? Maybe? Probs not. I did, in fact, read Harrow the Ninth. However, I did not finish Harrow the Ninth, which I think was my intent in setting this goal. Wah-wah.
  • Begin Tavi read through
    • Haha, no. I am a big ol’ ball of nerves about this project, for some dumb reason.

Weekly Word Count: 1,167

The biggest focus for this week was revising Abbie. That’s likely to be the case this month. I want to get it polished and ready for launch. And by “launch” I mean yeeting it out into the publishing either until some poor, unfortunate editor falls head over heels for it.

Beyond that Harrow took a bit of my time. It’s a weird book y’all, which I expected. I made good progress this past week and will finish it this week. I’m also riding a major audiobook kick at the moment, so lots of story consumption happening.

I also fell into a research trap. I already have a novel idea for Nanowrimo this year, and it is pretty desperate for my attention already. I spent a good chunk of time placing holds at the library on books of a few select topics to begin research. Except I’m not scheduled to formally research until late spring at the SOONEST. So I’ve told myself this is “preliminary research” deciding which resources to flag for future use and which ones to pass on. It’s a convenient little excuse, and since I’m so hyped for this project, I’mma let it slide. For now.

But Tavi MUST be finished — as in ready to query agents — before I start writing a new novel. I am finishing this project, dammit. Which brings me to the biggest letdown of this week. I didn’t look at Tavi at all last week. I mean, technically I did because the printed manuscript is on my desk, staring up at me starting with Chapter 10 (no clue why). I even touched the page, like I might read it, and then shied away like a ding-dang coward.

For shame.

Discover & share this Shame GIF with everyone you know. GIPHY is how you  search, share, discover, and create GIFs. | Funny gif, Gif, Giphy

What’s Next?

  • Revise Abbie
  • Write 1k words
  • Finish Harrow the Ninth
  • Finish listening to The Changeling
  • Read (at least) two parts from The Kick-Ass Writer

That’s it. That’s where I’m at and what I’m thinking about. It looks like a lot, all bullet-pointed out like that, but I read from The Kick-Ass Writer and finished listening to Mexican Gothic last week. There’s no reason to think I can’t do it this week. I have a lot of work related reading coming up in the next month, so personal reading might slow down. That’s probably why I’m going so hard on the audiobooks at the moment — I can read them at work.

Abbie continues to be a priority. At minimum I want to get it into its third draft this week, though I’d like to see it go a little faster in the next couple rounds. I want to get it in the hands of Beta readers (ideally by Sunday) sometime next week.

Writing-wise I’m focusing on my haunted house story. If I’m very lucky and productive at tonight’s write-in, I might get it done. But, that seems honestly quite unlikely. I think there’s another thousand words to go, at minimum. AND I think the ending is going to be hard to land. This one will simply take the time it takes.

And then there’s Tavi. I think I’m gonna spend Saturday with it, just read it through and see where that takes me. My “block” on this project isn’t the quality. It’s a good story, I know that. I’ve enjoyed every moment spend reading it. But it’s not a good book yet. And it’s going to take a lot of work to get it where I want it. I’m anxious about that work, about how absolutely gut-wrenching it might be. Which is dumb. Writing is rewriting and I’d better damn well get used to it. No time like the present!

I’ll be around Bloggarts. Until then,


The Recap – December 2020

Hi Blogland,

I’m really here to talk about January, but it’s kinda hard to talk about what comes next without touching on what came before. So let’s talk a little bit about the month of December.

December Goals

  • Revise Nano stories
  • Submit to Timberline Review
  • Work on Santa Sarita
  • Keep Reading!

How’d I do?

  • Revise Nano stories
    • Kinda? I revised one because I wanted to submit it, but I didn’t touch any of the others.
  • Submit to Timberline Review
    • Yep! I won’t hear back about it until April, so I’m putting it out of my mind entirely.
  • Work on Santa Sarita
    • Nope. This story is basically dead, with an occasional heartbeat that calls me back from time to time. I don’t have any major hopes of finishing it, and that makes me sad. I still love it, even unfinished. 
  • Keep Reading!
    • Yep! I finished reading five books in the month of December. Not too shabby!

Total Word Count: 4,802

I don’t think I ever formally shared my December goals. The month was a blur as was much of the year. I worked and came home and played video games. I read a little, and then winter break hit and I really got to hit the “reset” button. I read and wrote and played games and binge-watched TV (which I rarely do) and generally recharged my proverbial batteries. It was nice. 

So what next? If you haven’t read my goals for next year, they’re up now. As are my goals for this week. I’m posting things willy nilly it seems. There is no order here —  haven’t you heard? It’s 2021!

January Goals

  • Revise & Polish Abbie
  • Write 5k words
  • Read four books
  • Prep Tavi for revision

I really need to work on my WIP titles. They’re just names of characters. Nice and vague for all of you 😉 . Compared to last year this month’s goals seem ambitious, but I don’t feel overwhelmed or intimidated. I feel challenged but capable. What a fantastic change of pace. 

In addition to writerly and readerly goals, I also have some personal goals. This month I’m doing 30 days of yoga again. I’m getting back on track with my eating and working out in order to get ready for hiking season come March. I’m building a routine and sticking to it. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • Daily yoga before work (@5:30am)
  • 1 hour of Beat Saber after work, 3-4x/week (cardio galore!)
  • Listen to audiobooks or podcasts when possible at work
  • Read for 30 min before bed, nightly
  • Write/edit in the evenings when I’m not playing Beat Saber

This is what I did last week and it was awesome! You all know I love a good routine. I’ve deleted (most) social media from my phone and suddenly I have all this time on my hands. I get up early, do yoga when my brain is mostly empty and it feels more meditative, go to work, then come home, make dinner and then workout or do writing work. I feel like I have SO MUCH time. All because I’m not wasting it endlessly scrolling Facebook or Twitter.

I want to get Abbie ready to submit, although I have no idea where to spend it. It’s a mundane fantasy story, which as a sub-genre doesn’t have much of a market. It’s soft and sweet and a little sad, but the magic isn’t the big player. The people are. I’m not sure where I’ll submit it, but it’ll be ready to go whenever I do find a place. 

For writing this month I’m working on some Dragon Age fanfic and stewing on my haunted house story. I’m close to the end of it and am on a Horror kick reading-wise right now, so hopefully I’ll get to the end soon. The biggest question mark for me is if I’ll actually get to Tavi. I think I’m a little afraid of it, to be honest. I feel so far away from. it — what if I hate it when I go back? Even as I write that, I know it’s silly. I loved writing that book. And I loved reading it. I don’t see why that would have changed over the last 8 months or so. I’m just scared. Which means I should jump in with both feet, doesn’t it?

… Damn.





Goals Summary 2020 – Wk #23

Work has been crazy as we’re heading into summer. It’s my first school year and I had no idea what these last two weeks would look like. There’s a lot to do in a normal year, let alone one that was disrupted by a global pandemic.

Last Week

  • Tavi Revisions
  • HQR video
  • Read something
  • Write 800+ words

How’d I do?

  • Tavi Revisions
    • Nope. I’ve decided to press pause on this project.
  • HQR video
    • Nope. No time.
  • Read something
    • Yep. Over 100 pages of Priory.
  • Write 800+ words
    • Yes! My fanfic is moving forward. Finally!

Weekly Word Count: 880

So… Tavi. Here’s the thing. My main character is a cop. Her two best friends work for the Police Department. And she loves her job, but due to the events of the book, her job is in peril. Right now… it is very hard to work on a book that has any sort of positive outlook on police departments in America. It feels incredibly tone deaf at the moment and my feelings on the subject are incredibly tumultuous at the moment. If I continue revising the book I will gut it in fury. I need to cool down and think about how to more authentically handle the police as an entity in my book.

I’ve been working on fanfic while I simmer on all these feelings. We’ll see how long it takes to come back around to a place where I can work on the novel again. Regardless, it’s unlikely to be in the next two weeks.

What’s Next?

  • HQR episode
  • Read 100+pgs of Priory
  • Write 800+ words

That’s where I’m at. Right now, my library work is taking up pretty much every ounce of my brain so I’ll be happy to get anything on this list done. I also need to get my monthly recap post done. But… I don’t see that happening this week. Just sayin’.

I’ll be around. Eventually.




Goals Summary 2020 – Wk #19

So… huh. I just discovered that, apparently, my Goals Summary post for last week never actually went live. So this is awkward. I’m here to talk about goals you didn’t get a chance to read about — hurray!

Last Week

  • Tavi revisions cont’d
  • Post bloopers video
  • Finish Destroy All Monsters
  • Write 800+ words

How’d I do?

  • Tavi revisions cont’d
    • Yes? I didn’t get as much done as I wanted, but I did get three more chapters revised.
  • Post bloopers video
    • Nope. So now I’m a week behind. Cool. Coolcoolcool.
  • Finish Destroy All Monstersdestory all monsters
    • Yep!
  • Write 800+ words
    • Not even close.

Weekly Word Count: 0

So, yeah. As you can see, things sort of went off the rails last week. My energy levels are down, I haven’t been working out, and all I really want to do is watch Schitt’s Creek until I am fused to the couch.

Full disclosure, I have been rendered utterly useless by this show. I love it so much. In fact, I don’t plan on being very useful for a few days because I need to inhale the remaining episodes and avoid these revisions. I’m at a chapter that requires pretty major rewriting and I don’t have the attention span for it right now. I’m accepting that at the moment and trying to treat myself with some grace.

So, What’s Next

  • Tavi revisions cont’d
  • Post 2 videos
  • Read 100+ pgs of Priory
  • Write 800+ words

Yep. More of the same. Just like the days. Maybe that’s part of the problem… I dunno. I’m feeling pretty distracted and uninterested at the moment. I think this is about all the juice I’ve got for today. Not a great omen for the how this week is going to go.

Wish me luck Bloggos.




Goals Summary 2020 – Wk #18

Hiya Blogland. Another blur of a week, another post to try and make some sense of it.

Last Week

  • Tavi revisions
  • Make and post The Last Sun video
  • Finish Storm of Locusts
  • Write 800+ words

How’d I do?

  • Tavi revisions
    • Ah, yiss. I finished my read-through and note-taking and am now making substantive changes. I’ve revised 9 chapters so far!
  • Make and post The Last Sun video
  • Finish Storm of Locustsstorm of locusts
    • Yep! As predicted I flew through this book. What I did not predict was that I would fly through the next book on my (literal) TBR pile The Wrath & the Dawn.
  • Write 800+ words
    • YES! I finally got some words down. Nothing too crazy, but enough to celebrate the small victory.

Weekly Word Count: 1,253

It was a good week. Productive in many (mostly writing) ways. I read a ton, made good food, edited a lot, and wrote a bit. I did not workout at all and I wasn’t very diligent with my household chores. Striking a balance in all of these things feels damn near impossible.

I’ve made a plan for revisions: 3 chapters a day, 5 days a week. If I follow it, I can take weekends off from revising and enjoy some free time. For instance, this weekend we made Hot Chicken Sandwiches, French Dips, watched lots of Bon Appétit, and played video games. It was quite chill.

I also attended a Zoom meeting for Willamette Writers on writing and publishing Flash Fiction. It was cool and nice to get face time with Oregon writers. Those are happening basically weekly, so I’ll be popping into more of those, to be sure.

So, What’s Next?

  • Tavi revisions cont’d
  • Post HQR episode
  • Finish Destroy All Monsters
  • Write 800+ words

I’m feeling pretty good going into this week. I have my Quarantine Reads video for this week more or less done already. Just needs a couple finishing touches. I’ll still make another one this week so that I have one in the hopper, since I read TWO books last week. I’m loving Destroy All Monsters so far. But, I’ve loved everything I’ve read from Sam J. Miller so this doesn’t surprise me.

I played a little bit of Spyro last week, then played all of What Remains of Edith Finch, a beautiful interactive narrative game. Then I started playing Vampyr. It’s a horror RPG about a London doctor during the Spanish Influenza (horrible timing on my part) who is attacked and left for dead, only to awaken as a vampire. I played a few hours last night and really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to more game-time in the evenings this week.

Revisions continue. I’m still feeling good about them, but this week will have me working on a couple of the “weak” scenes that need rewriting. We’ll see how I feel by the time those are done.

Submissions continue, as usual. And as usual, no news is good news.

no noose is good noose
I adore this movie.

Writing is a little all over the place right now. I’ve got fanfic to work on, but nothing terribly pressing. I wrote a 50 word story as an exercise in the Flash Fiction meeting. And I started writing a very experimental (for me) “mundane” fantasy story after a discussion on twitter with C.L. Polk. I’m approaching it COMPLETELY differently than I would another story. Handwriting in a notebook, first thing in the morning over coffee. It doesn’t come to me every day, and when it does come it’s just little snippets. We’ll see if it goes anywhere. Regardless, I have a quote from Kevin Hearne on my whiteboard that says, “Write more, write different, write better.” That’s exactly what this story is doing. I’m viewing it as more of an exercise than anything.

So, yeah, that’s what I’m up to. Reading, writing, and editing with some video games sprinkled in. And work. I mean, I still have responsibilities to the school, they’re just cut way back in comparison to my normal day-to-day.

I’ll be back soon to share another video and probably lament my idealism when it comes to revision.

Until then, Bloggarts.