Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 45

Oi, Bloggos!

This past week was oddly eventful, which of course means I didn’t get all that much done. At least, in my estimation. Let’s see what the blog has to say about it.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Barker line edits
  • Finish reading The Hanging Tree
  • WRITE!

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Nope. Not for the first time this year, but it has been a much rarer occasion than in previous years, so this is still a bummer.
  • Barker line edits
    • …No. BUT, I’ve got them downloaded and should be able to dedicate some serious reading time to them this week.
  • Finish reading The Hanging Treethe hanging tree.jpg
    • Yes! Finished it on Saturday.
  • WRITE!
    • YES! I’m writing pretty consistently, and while it isn’t happening every day, my word count average for November so far is 922. My goal is 800, so that’s rocking steady.

Weekly Word Count: 4,566

So, this last week was a bit of a wash. I got the “important” things done, but at the expense of the other goals. I’m pleased with my word count, although it is about 1k words shy of where I should be. Thank goodness for that 1,100 word cushion I came into Nano with, hehe.

As expected, my reading has slowed, which is unfortunate since there are so many good books out this month. I’ve got a copy of A Map of Days on my nightstand, a copy of Sanderson’s Skyward on the hold shelf waiting for me at the library, plus the next Peter Grant book is out this week and N.K. Jemisin’s short story collection comes out soon!

Yikes. That’s a lot of reading to get done before the end of the year. But, I only need to read three more titles in order to reach my goal of 65 books this year. I’m confident that I’ll pull it off.  Especially since I read The Hanging Tree, WicDiv vol. 7, and Saga vol. 9 this week.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Barker line edits
  • WRITE!

So, all in all, a pretty straightforward week. I’ve got the review for The Hanging Tree to post this week, so I should have no problem with that goal, and with nothing else but writing, I should FINALLY be able to get those line edits done for Obadiah. Then I can get back to reading The Audient Void submissions.

This is a good opportunity to remind you all that The A.V. is open for submissions through the 15th of November! There’s just a few days left to send your Weird/Dark Fantasy poems and short stories to us!

a map of days

I’d love to say I could finish reading A Map of Days this week, but it’s almost 500 pages long, and with my work schedule and Nano there’s just no way I can get it done in a week. But, if it’s anything like its predecessors, it will go fast for its size. Fingers crossed.

Until later Blogland,

 

BZ

NaNoWriMo 2018 – Prep

Bloggos,

I “won” National Novel Writing Month for the very first time last year thanks to The Charlatan and the Coinshot, my forthcoming fanart collaboration project. I went in with no plan, no outlines or ambitions other than to write as much as I could.

But this year, I’m taking steps to prepare myself for a hectic month of working full time (sometimes more) and writing a whole new, original novel. What does that preparation look like?

  • Research. Lots and lots of research. My Scrivener project for this novel is the most informed and resource heavy of any I’ve made so far.

    Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 12.07.50 PM.png
    My research files in Scrivener…
  • Outlining. Now, I’m not usually one to outline with any sort of detail, I’ll be the first to tell you that. And it’s still true. My outlines are purposefully vague, because I don’t really know what’s going to happen in any given scene, chapter, or story until it’s written. But, I made an effort to at least have a general idea of the first few chapters so that I’m not going in completely blind come November 1st.
  • Music. Each story I write has its own playlist in Spotify, and that’s what I listen to while I write. I made sure to spend some quality time building a diverse but thematically close playlist for this novel.
  • Pre-Writing. This goes along with research, but I sat down and sketched characters and settings. I gathered resources and images to refer to while writing so that I won’t have to leave the Scrivener project if I get stuck on something. And, I let myself write if the urge hit. I wrote about 1100 words of the prologue/opening scene, and I refuse to feel bad about it. And yes, I will count it toward my nano total word count, so there 😛

Typically, the goal for Nanowrimo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Last year I wrote just over 52k, which was no easy feat and I was working part time! Now I’m working full time, and sometimes more. I need to be realistic about my goals and my time this year. Otherwise I’ll only set myself up for failure.

NaNo 2018 Goal:

  • 800 words/day – 24k words for the month

I actually think I’ll be able to hit 25,000 words, maybe even more, but thought 800 words a day sounded doable. 1,000 seemed a little daunting, but 500 is basically nothing, so 800 it is. I also intend to go to a majority of my Nano Chapter’s events and write-ins, and I’m always game for a good Facebook sprint. With all the activity, 24k shouldn’t be a problem.

But, I really don’t believe I have the time to write 50,000 words this year. With two jobs, the Thanksgiving holiday and the various social obligations it comes with it, I just don’t see 50k happening. And I don’t want to set an unrealistic goal only to guilt trip myself into freezing up.

So that’s it. I still have a bit of research to do, and my outlines can always be more detailed, so I’ll be prepping right through to the start of National Novel Writing Month. If you want to be my Buddy on the Nanowrimo site, my username is HIMluv and I’ll be happy to add you!

I’ll talk to you all soon when I come back to talk about the month of October in the Monthly Recap.

Until then, Blogland!

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 43

Blogland,

The weekend was too short, with social engagements and a migraine. But now it’s Monday, which means it’s time to talk about goals!

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Edit That Which Illuminates Heaven
  • Edit The Charlatan and the Coinshot16f84a70-8aac-4b1c-8a3d-58061c8b2146 (1)
  • Research and outline NaNo project
  • Read A.V. submissions
  • Finish reading Rosemary and Rue

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Edit That Which Illuminates Heaven
    • Yep. I think it’s very close, I just need to perfect the last few sentences and really drive home the ending.
  • Edit The Charlatan and the Coinshot
    • Yes? I edited 7 chapters, out of 17. That’s a couple week’s worth of posts so it feels like success, but I’ll need to get considerably more done tonight and tomorrow before Nanowrimo starts.
  • Research and outline NaNo project
    • Yes! Got a big chunk of research done this week, and have some books waiting at the library to help me over the next two days.
  • Read A.V. submissions
    • Yep! Submissions are impressive this round and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for this issue.
  • Finish reading Rosemary and Rue
    • Yes! I didn’t expect this to be the case, but the last half of the book was pretty compelling.

Weekly Word Count: 0

Another week of no writing, which again was the plan. I hate it. It feels wrong. Luckily, this is the last week where that will be the case. I start writing again on Thursday! Really this week was all about reading and editing. I read eight short story submissions for The Audient Void, I finished reading Rosemary and Rue, I read/edited That Which Illuminates Heaven, and I read the the first third of The Charlatan and the Coinshot.

This week will be much of the same.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish That Which Illuminates Heaven
  • Continue editing The Charlatan and the Coinshot
  • Barker line edits
  • Continue Research/Outlining
  • WRITE!!!!

There will be no shortage of blog posts this week, with this post, a NaNoWriMo prep post, and the monthly recap all scheduled. I have a couple sentences to tweak and perfect in That Which Illuminates Heaven, and then I think it’ll be ready to submit. I’ve already made a list of potential markets and can’t wait to share this story with the world! I’ve got 10 chapters left to edit for The Charlatan and the Coinshot, which will go quickly. I’m really just proofreading and making sure that there aren’t any glaring errors or inconsistencies. It’s a pretty clean draft, so I’m mostly just enjoying the story as I read through it one last time.

av submissions.jpg
Now through November 15th

Obadiah gave me an extra project on top of reading submissions for The Audient Void, so I’m doing line edits for him this week. I need to keep researching as much as I can before I dig into writing my new novel, and with only a few days left I am feeling the pressure.

And of course, the big goal is writing in the last half of this week! I’ll have a post up soon about what my NaNo goals are and what to expect from me over the course of November.

I have a few writing related events later this week as well, so hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to talk about them soon.

Talk to you soon, Bloggos!

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 42

Hey Bloggos,

This week was a bit of a blur. I worked over 40 hours this week and went to see Hozier on Saturday night. It was amazing, everything I’d hoped and dreamed it to be, and I’m still sort of floating along in an daze whenever one of his songs shuffles on in my Spotify playlists. But, now it’s time to come back to earth and get back to work.

Photo credit: fireeh.tumblr.com

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Edit That Which Illuminates Heaven
  • Research, round 2
  • Read Rosemary and Rue

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Edit That Which Illuminates Heaven
    • Yep! I got some really great feedback from Madhu on it already, and look forward to taking the next steps in this story’s journey to publication.
  • Research, round 2
    • Yes. Though, I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped to.
  • Read Rosemary and Rue
    • Yes? I didn’t finish it, but I made some solid progress this week, reading about 100 pages.

Weekly Word Count: 0

Writing that my word count for the week was zero never feels good. But writing was not on the list of goals this week. I’ll make up for it in November.

That Which Illuminates Heaven is going well. I’ve got some changes to make to the first page, and maybe some more streamlining in the first five pages, then I’ll do a polishing draft to make sure each word is perfect. Then it’ll be time to send it out and see what happens. That’ll be three stories out at the same time, so thank goodness for The Submission Grinder helping me keep everything straight.

Research is going a bit slower than I anticipated, but there’s a lot more to wade through than I expected, so that’s why. I’ve moved on from angels to the devil and I’m getting some good info and ideas as I do. Next up will be fallen angels and Catholicism, and some more setting resources. And before you know it, research time will be over and writing time will be here.

I didn’t read Rosemary and Rue as much this week as I really wanted to. I’d say it’s my limited schedule that’s to blame, but honestly, this book just hasn’t grabbed me yet. I rosemary and ruewant it to! I’m intrigued. But I’m not interested. I have to remind myself to pick it up and give it a shot, and once I do I’m happy enough to keep reading. It’s just picking it up in the first place that’s proving difficult.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Edit That Which Illuminates Heaven
  • Edit The Charlatan and the Coinshot
  • Research and outline NaNo project
  • Read A.V. submissions
  • Finish reading Rosemary and Rue

Another busy week with little to no writing. I’d like to get That Which Illuminates Heaven “finished” before NaNoWrimo starts, so that I don’t have any lingering projects looming in my mind when I’m supposed to be writing.

Also, November marks a year since I started writing last year’s NaNoWriMo project, my Mass Effect: Andromeda/Mistborn Era 2 crossover fanfic The Charlatan and the Coinshot. And that means I can finally talk about this giant collaboration project my lovely friend Kit and I have been working on this past year! The story will go live on the 1st, with updates every Tuesday and Thursday through the end of the year. 16f84a70-8aac-4b1c-8a3d-58061c8b2146 (1)

There’s still a lot of research I want to do before NaNo kicks off, so I’ve put even more books on hold at the library in hopes that I’ll be able to squeeze in some quality study time before all my time is devoted to writing.

I put out a post about The Audient Void‘s call for submissions last week, and you guys did not delay! In our first four days of accepting submissions we’ve received over 75 short stories and poems! So now I’ve got an inbox full of stories to consider, and I couldn’t be happier! I love reading your guys’ work.

And of course, there’s the Urban Fantasy novels to read. Rosemary and Rue is going slowly, but not so slowly that I’m willing to give up. Reading just might have to slow down for the time being to make way for the other projects going on right now. I’m four books ahead of schedule to meet my reading goal for the year, so I’m comfortable taking a breather in this regard for now. There will still be reading and reviews, so don’t worry! They’ll just be a bit slower to show up than normal.

If I can finish Rosemary and Rue this week, you’ll see me again here at the blog. If not, next week has a lot of posts planned thanks to the end of the month and the start of National Novel Writing Month.

Until then, Bloggos,

 

BZ

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

 

The Recap – June 2018

Hey Bloggos,

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

June Goals

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

How’d I Do?

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

Total June Word Count: 16,938

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

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

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

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

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

Post Traumatic cover

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

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

So, what about July?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until then Blogland,

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 25

Bloggos,

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

 

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day of The Steel Armada
  • Write 2 tumblr prompts
  • Finish listening to Side Jobs
  • Write 500 words of Sanctuary
  • Review Madhu’s pages

How’d I do?

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

Weekly Word Count: 3,531

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

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

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

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

What’s Next?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until then,

 

BZ

 

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 23

Hey Bloggos,

This week sort of ran away from me, and I can firmly place the blame on E3 and Horizon Zero Dawn. Which of course means I’m really the one to blame. But, before I go pointing fingers, let’s talk about what happened.

Last Week

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Finish listening to Side Jobs
  • Submit Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship application
  • Review Madhu’s pages

… And?

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
    • Nope. I did well each day I sat down, but it was only four days this week instead of seven.
  • Finish listening to Side Jobs
    • Not even close. I don’t think I listened to it at all. Yikes.
  • Submit Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship application
    • Yes! That is done and now out of my brain until someone contacts me about it. Hurray!
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • Yep. You know, it’s the one thing I can count on getting done, no matter what.

Weekly Word Count: 3,199

All right. That wasn’t as bad as I thought. Yeah, I should have spent more time writing, especially since I got through the harder part of the chapter I’m working on. The next bit is actually really exciting to me, a big action sequence, so I’m surprised that I didn’t get to it faster.

I may not have finished Side Jobs, but I did get halfway through Kill the Farm Boy, so that’s exciting! I’m making progress, again, slowly but surely. Summertime is always a bit trying on my reading simply because I spend more time outdoors and in social settings. And as much as I’d like to bring a book to that backyard barbecue, I’m told that’s in poor taste.

I’ve signed up for my library’s Summer Reading Club (“Libraries Rock”), so you might see some adventurous reading  over the next couple of months. A Jeff Buckley memoir, random books about music, etc. I’ve also volunteered to help host the Hamiltunes: An American Sing-a-Long, which will basically be me performing Hamilton karaoke in front of library patrons. If there’s video/photographic evidence, I’ll be sure to share it.

The Fellowship application was only stressful in its redundancy. I had to fill out the same form three times! That and figuring out the best shipping method for documents. I’ve never sent documents through the mail before. Like, what a strange concept. Sheafs of paper. In the mail. When I could have just emailed it.

b99 what.gif

But, that was the requirement, so all right, I guess. Whatever floats your boat Oregon Literary Arts.

Madhu’s pages are getting better and better. She’s really good at implementing feedback from earlier pages into the ones she’s currently working on. I rarely have to point out an issue more than once.

Honorable Mentions

I completed my passport application! Hurray! That was a big scary hurdle between me and Germany, so I’m glad to have that simmering stress finally addressed. Now I can continue to be low-key panicked about these short story submissions in peace!

I wrote a tumblr prompt fill this week, which was not part of the plan, at all. But it was fun, and relatively well received, so that’s nice. I also got a teeny-eensie bit done on Sanctuary so… woo?

What else?

I reached out to my library mentor of sorts to ask a question for a blog post I’m drafting. So that’s good. I also finished writing my Library Pick column for the local newspaper. So, though neither of those things are really “goals”, they are work that I finished this week. So there.

My goal was to publish 52 blog posts this year. With the upload of The Master Magician book review, I have officially crossed that threshold! That is absolutely amazing to me, and wildly unexpected. I am tempted to erase the goal from the whiteboard and increase it, but I also want the reminder that I way underestimated myself. This way, when it’s time to assess the year’s achievements I can be impressed/plan better for 2019. So, I guess I’ll leave it for now.

I submitted The Cost of Rain to another magazine today. That makes for number six. When I see it in writing it looks way less disappointing than it feels. Five rejections is nothing.  There’s still hope for this story. I just need to convince my heart of that. Lifelike is still out. This is day 51. I am dying and the stress has ate away at my fingernails and the lining of my stomach, I’m sure. I can’t query the magazine for another week at least, but I really hope it won’t come to that.

If I query them, and then get a swift rejection I will need more than a pint of ice cream to soothe my bruised ego. Maybe a beer or two, and a big pretzel. Then ice cream. Yeah, that sounds like a plan.

What’s Next?

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Finish reading something
  • Write two tumblr prompts
  • Review Madhu’s pages

Blog post content may actually be thin this week. I don’t have a book review queued up, but I am poised to cross the 20k word mark on The Steel Armada. I should be able to share my next Editing Check-In later this week.

My reading has really slowed down, which I want to fix. So I’ll be focusing on making headway on Kill the Farm Boy and Side Jobs. I’ve really enjoyed them both so far, I just need to make a more concerted effort in my reading and listening. I want to get the review for Kill the Farm Boy out before July, since it’s my first time reading an ARC (advanced reader copy) and I should post my review before the book releases.Kill the Farm Boy

I opened my tumblr inbox for writing prompts, specifically for my Mass Effect series. I thought it’d be a good way to boost my work on Sanctuary. Instead I got several prompts for my Dragon Age characters. So, not what I intended, and yet I’m not unhappy. I love writing for both Mass Effect and Dragon Age, so spending more time with my Warden and Zevran is hardly a bad thing.

Madhu was ahead of the game this week. Normally we share our pages on Tuesdays, but she already emailed me her next batch for consideration. I’ll probably read them tomorrow night or Wednesday morning.

Somehow, this post grew pretty long. Sorry about that. Anyhoo, that’s how I’m doing and what the plan looks like for this week. I’ll be back later to talk about the last 10k words of The Steel Armada rewrite.

Until then,

 

BZ

 

 

 

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 22

Ahoy Blogland!

It is a quintessential spring day here in the Pacific Northwest. Sunshine, wind, a smattering of clouds, and a comfortable 70ish degrees. It makes sitting still difficult,  but I’ll see what I can manage.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Finish reading The Master Magician
  • Review Madhu’s pages

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
    • Yes! I didn’t think I was going to cross the finish line this week, but the writing came very easily last night, giving my word count the boost it so desperately needed.
  • Finish reading The Master Magicianmaster magician
    • Yep! I managed to sit my butt down and give this book a chance. Turns out, the last 70 pages are by far the best. But, I’ll talk about that in more detail later this week.
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • Of course! This is the one thing I always do. Need I say more?

Weekly Word Count: 3,866

This week was a really good one. I committed to my goals and made sure I did what was necessary to see them through. I can’t say I do that every week, but I’m doing better. I’m trying, and sometimes I even manage to succeed!

Aside from the writing going so well, my biggest win of this week was finishing The Master Magician. I was horribly opposed to that book by the middle of the week, but I finished the last 70 pages in one sitting, and I even liked them! So, that shows that sometimes, you really should forge ahead through that book that’s giving you grief. It might just be worth your while.

Progress continues on The Steel Armada. I wrote quite a bit on it this week and it continues to surprise me. I’m excited for the scenes I’ll be exploring in the days to come. And I think I might have come up with a new title! But, I’m not sharing until I’m certain, sorry.

My husband and I also did a TON of work on our front yard this weekend and found time to hang out with family and friends. It really felt like I was Superwoman this week, capable of anything and everything!

That was until the rejections for The Cost of Rain came in. One last week and one this morning. Now, I’m not too bummed, I know this is par for the course in writerland. But, it still stings a little, yeah? It still sucks for a second, before you decide to buck up and submit it to the next place on your list. I tell myself this is the harder story to place, that it falls between genre lines and between desired word counts and yadda yadda yadda. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what I tell myself, I’ve already decided to submit it until it sells. So there, self.

It was nice to keep things straightforward this last week. It made buckling down and getting the work done that much easier. Unfortunately, there’s a bit more on my plate this time around.

This Week

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Finish listening to Side Jobs
  • Submit Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship application
  • Review Madhu’s pages

Thoughts

I really should add a bullet point for Sanctuary, because I need to make sure I actually work on it this month. But there’s a lot of bullet points on this week as it is, and that doesn’t include my non-writing goals for this week! I have to get my passport application turned in, work on the yard some more, and do some of the general house chores that are starting to fall behind. Yikes!

The good news is that I’ve got the review for The Master Magician for this week, so there’s one goal that’s good to go. I’ve also got a big ol’ blog post planned that’s a bit of a self-indulgence. I think you’ll like it though, don’t worry! I’m not sure when it will be posted, but I promise it’s coming.

Since setting my writing goal of 500 words/day, I’ve only fallen short once or twice. I’m really plugging away on this book, and so far there’s no end in sight. That feels good. Like, really, really good.

side jobsI maybe, kinda, sorta forgot I had the audiobook for Side Jobs. I’m so used to digital audiobooks on my phone that I completely forgot about the CDs in my car! I started listening to it Saturday, and am making some decent progress. They’re fun, though a little repetitive. Hopefully I’ll get through them quickly, since Brief Cases comes out tomorrow!

Yes, you read that next bullet point correctly. I am applying for the Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship. My dance teacher, Mrs. Buren, always said that you should always try for the things you want, because the worst they can tell you is ‘no’. That’s damn good advice for any kind of endeavor, but particularly artistic ones. And well, this was another unexpected writing thing that came across my radar thanks to Madhu. And since I wouldn’t have thought to apply otherwise, getting declined won’t sting half so much as some of these short story rejections.

And who knows? There’s always a chance they’ll say yes! “You can only catch fish that are in the lake.” More sage advice from dear Mrs. Buren. If I don’t apply, then I have no chance at all. So, I’m applying, and other than next week’s Goals Summary, I won’t be talking about it again until I get the results.

Anyway, that’s the plan. That’s what’s up. That’s the skinny, the downlow, the scoop. You know, all those cool catchphrases only dads and cutesy moms still use. You know the ones, the ones that say “cool beans” unironically. Those ones.

Until later, Bloggos!

 

BZ

 

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 20

Bloggos,

This last week just flew by! Reading, writing, and helping a friend tackle some major yard projects while the weather was nice helped my time go real quick. We also finished a campaign of Arcadia Quest, which was a lot of fun.

But enough talk about fun, there was work to be done!

Last Week:

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Finish Sanctuary chapter 3
  • Finish reading The Master Magician
  • Review Madhu’s pages

How’d I do?

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
    • YES! This has been going very well so far. I’m not technically writing every day, but I’m crossing the 3500 word mark each week, so I’d say that counts.
  • Finish Sanctuary chapter 3
    • Yes! Finally! This took longer than I liked, but it’s done and I’m ready to move on to the next one.
  • Finish reading The Master Magician
    • No. But, I did finish listening to Skin Game, so I feel like that’s a win.
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • Of course! She’s making a lot of quality changes and working hard on her novel. It’s good to have someone to work in tandem with; it’s inspirational!

Weekly Word Count: 4,803

I don’t have a whole lot to reflect on today. Rewriting The Steel Armada is going well, and I have some very nebulous thoughts and ideas about where the story is going and what format will let me tell the story best. It’s beginning to look like I might be taking a very roundabout route to getting to the real story, which is somewhat disappointing. But this is also a huge learning experience for me. This is my first novel, so there’s is a lot to learn.

But, I’m not going to commit to any further changes until I get more words down. I just crossed the 12k mark, which is good, but not quite enough to start making big decisions.

Sanctuary is coming along slowly. It’s the project I work on when I’ve reached my goals everywhere else and I still have some creative juice left. That’s not often the case, so sadly Sara and Reyes are taking a back burner.

I also opened up my NaNoWriMo project from last year and proofread it this week. It’s a crossover fic of Mass Effect: Andromeda and Mistborn: Second Era, just over 52k words. A tumblr friend is doing illustrations for each chapter, and then we’ll post it as a weekly serial, starting in November. Since we’ve got the time, I’m going to start doing some simple edits and fleshing out certain scenes.

wayne and wax triptych
Mistborn Era 2 triptych by Marc Simonetti

… You know, in my downtime.

I did receive my form rejection from the magazine I sent The Cost of Rain to, so there’s that. However, I console myself that the story “reached the highest level of consideration” before being declined. It’s a professional level magazine that accepts about 2% of the submissions it receives. I’d say this rejection isn’t all that bad.

I still haven’t heard back about Lifelike. It’s been 30 days. I’m trying very, very hard not to get my hopes up. Very, very hard.

That was my week. Lots of writing, reading/listening, and nail-biting as I awaited submission news.

So, what’s next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Start Sanctuary chapter 4
  • Finish reading The Master Magician
  • Review Madhu’s pages

Thoughts

I’ve got a couple different posts lined up for this week. The Skin Game review and Editing Check In #2. If I get any news on the submission front I’ll share that too. And you know, I might just have some personal rant or observation that might eke its way onto the blog.

The Steel Armada continues! Just writing away, trying to figure out where this story is headed and how I can help it be the best version of itself. I’ll have more on this subject later this week.

Oh, Sanctuary. I want to spend more time with you. I do. Maybe I’ll finally make some headway in this department. I’ve got a pretty good outline of events, I know what scenes come next, but the plot has (yet again) grown out of my control. The whole point of this fic was to wrap up the Santa Sarita series completely, not keep it alive forever.

The Master Magician is going kinda slow. If it doesn’t pick up and end on a high note, I might not bother with The Plastic Magician. It’s all feeling a bit underwhelming, so far. But, it’s quick and easy reading at least.

I haven’t received Madhu’s pages yet, but I’ve been promised some new scenes with one of my favorite characters, so I’m looking forward to that.

It’s Memorial Day weekend and my best friend will be in town! We’re going wine tasting on Saturday and I cannot wait! Other, non-writing things I need to do include figuring out where the heck my birth certificate is, applying for my passport, and enjoying the weekend with friends and family.

I’ll be back this week to talk about The Steel Armada rewrites, and to share my review of Skin Game.

Until then, Blogland,

 

BZ