Things I Do Instead of Writing

Every writer is familiar with this phenomenon. We have a project we’re working on, and in general we are excited about it. We plug along and the words come and life is good. And then we hit a part of the story that is… not that. Maybe it’s the murky/muddy middle and we don’t know what the hell we’re doing. Maybe it’s a very emotional/exhausting scene and we’re avoiding it. Maybe we just had a realization that warrants extensive revision/rewrites and we’re avoiding THAT. Maybe it’s all three (been there done that).

Point is, that flow? It dams up and we’re suddenly doing anything but writing. It’s a joke online that a writer only has a clean house when there’s something wrong with the book. This is why discipline and habit are so important for writers. We can’t rely on inspiration or interest to keep us writing, because there WILL come a time when we want to do everything but write.

And we have to write anyway.

Discipline and habit. They’re like muscles. And, like the rest of me, they are wildly out of shape. It’s been a rough two years for my writing life. The blog can attest to that. All structure fled my life in the summer of 2019 and I’ve been grasping to wrestle some of it back ever since then. But you know, things haven’t been exactly what we’d call “stable” since March 2020. And as an ADHDer, it feels almost defeatist to make a plan I KNOW will have to change.

So, I’m floundering a little bit. But that’s okay. Because there is a silver-lining here. The “other side” of this procrastination conversation. Because, yes, discipline and habit are the keys to finishing a book. For sure. But, sometimes, the key to solving that problem in the project? That feeling that something just isn’t working and you’re not sure why?

The answer is rarely waiting for you at your desk, staring back out of your screen. The answer is lurking in your brain and it needs a certain amount of idleness to worm its way out. So, avoiding the work can actually help! In moderation, of course.

That’s the real struggle — balancing avoidance and habit. Am I avoiding the work because I need to do some dishes and listen to a podcast so my subconscious can work out an upcoming scene? Or am I avoiding it because I’m scared to write something so I’m going to watch Schitt’s Creek for the millionth time?You Go Rose GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Just like with characters, we need to understand our own motivations to know when it’s okay to walk away from the work, and when it’s time to buckle down and get it done.

Today is supposed to be a buckle down sort of day. I have a Black Friday tradition of trying to write 10,000 words in one day. I’ve done it once and it melted my brain for about three days afterward. Lately I’ve written more like 5,000 words on Black Friday, which is still a total win (and is less exhausting). If I hit 5k today, I’ll be happy. If I can eke out more, I’ll be thrilled. We’ll see how it goes.

But I also know my brain and can feel the restlessness in my bones. I think there will be a fair amount of walking away from the desk today. So, here’s a list of things that I tend to gravitate toward when I’m avoiding writing.

  • Dishes
    • I’ll do dishes and listen to a podcast or audiobook. This is an avoidance task that also benefits my household and my brain since I usually listen to writing podcasts and nonfiction audiobooks. It tends to be my most productive avoidance task too, because my brain usually figures out the writing problem while running in the background
  • Walk the dog
    • Another mutually beneficial task. The dog and I get some exercise, I listen to a podcast, and my brain runs in the background to sort out the damn book. Sadly, this task isn’t always pleasant due to the Oregon tendency to rain all the goddamn time. But, we do our best.
  • Read a book
    • This is one that I’m usually okay with. Obviously I love to read, and reading fuels writing. So, it’s at least related. But, reading rarely provides my brain with the sort of idleness that allows for processing. I don’t usually come away from reading with the answer to my book’s perceived problems. But I do come away refreshed and maybe even inspired.
  • Write a blog post
    • Yep. I do this quite a bit actually. It seems silly, on the surface, to avoid one writing project for another, but it is all too common. What’s interesting is that it works a fair amount of the time. If I’m feeling sluggish in the morning or at the start of some dedicated writing time, busting out a blog post really helps get my brain in gear and ready to work. That’s why I used to start every writing day with a blog post. And it’s why Vonnegut always wrote 500 words or so on a piece of paper and then threw it away before getting to work on the actual project. Sometimes our brains just need to warm up.
  • Play video games
    • This one isn’t really beneficial at all. It’s actually a pretty big indicator that I’m avoiding something not because I need to process but because I’m scared or anxious or similarly in my own head too much. I’m getting in my own way and instead of facing that and dealing with it, I jump into a video game. That said, not every time I pick up a controller is avoidance behavior. I play a fair amount of video games for leisure, so I have to really monitor my feelings and motivations to make sure I’m having fun and not just ignoring my writing.
  • Rewatch/Binge TV
    • I’m not really big on watching much TV or movies. It’s a source of contention in my household because Trevor loves movies. So, if I’m watching something over and over again, or bingeing a long series, odds are I’m avoiding the book.
  • Work on other projects
    • This is a trap. I start working on a new book and suddenly there are new, shiny projects everywhere! Or, old projects that fell by the wayside FOREVER ago suddenly rear up and demand attention. I will say that I frequently indulge these interest-boosts, but I make stern rules about them. An old fanfic I never finished wants my attention? Not until I’ve met my word count goal for the day. That podcast episode needs editing? Not until I’ve spent X amount of time working on the book. I basically dangle carrots for myself to get work done when I really want to work on something else. And it works!
  • Doom Scrolling
    • Social media is fucking awful. And at times, wonderful. I’ve increasingly viewed it less as a virtual living space, and more as a tool. Which I think is much, much healthier. I don’t post much these days, and if I do it’s on twitter or instagram. My facebook is pretty quiet. My tumblr is mostly just reblogs of pretty fanart. Yes, I still have tumblr and I love it very much. Point is, I’m trying to be really cognizant of my time on social media. It’s so easy to lose hours of my day on my phone, with really nothing to show for it. So I’m trying to be better.

Honestly? There are probably a bunch of other avoidance tasks I do on the reg that I’m just not coming up with right now. I haven’t had any writing to avoid for a like a year now, so I’m out of practice. Maybe that means I’ll actually get more than 5k today! We’ll see…

Until later, Bloggarts.


In Which There are Goals

It’s been so long since I had any sort of goal other than “please God, let me write SOMETHING” that I’m feeling a bit out of sorts. Both nervous and excited. Goals. Huh. Wasn’t sure I’d see those again.

August To Do’s:

  • Finish reading Black Sun
  • Finish listening to The Only Good Indians
  • Continue various research
  • Record the next episode of Top Shelf Librarians

I’d say I am on track to meet all my goals for August. I’m already working on all of them, so I don’t see why the next two weeks should be any different. Feeling good!

September To Do’s:

  • Submit Fellowship Application to Oregon Literary Arts
  • Complete Tavi revision #3
  • Continue various research
  • Record next episode of Top Shelf Librarians
  • Read Salem’s Lot and Dracula

A bit more happening in September, but it’s still mostly reading. Sure, there’s more revision on the horizon, but when isn’t there? Sprinkle in some writing for the fellowship application and it’s a busy but doable month.

I feel like these are less goals and more like priorities. It’s reminders to keep doing what I’m doing and to feel good about the work again. That makes me very happy.

I think the real reason I’m here, at this hour (almost 10pm as of this writing) is that I’m nervous about returning to work tomorrow. There’s so much uncertainty around schools right now and I don’t think I can handle more rollercoaster. If we’re going to be online again, just say so my dudes so I can fall back into that routine. It wasn’t fun or comfortable, but at least I’ve already been there and done that. I can go back to it with (slightly) fresher eyes and improve upon the work I did. But if we’re going to force in-person full time school in the middle of another corona surge…

That’s just sounds like a bad time.

So I’m anxious. Uncertain. Not as excited as I hoped to be. There’s a lot of things happening this year that give me a sense of dread instead of hope. So I’m here, talking about writing instead of prepping my lunch and going to bed. Because if I don’t go to bed then the morning won’t come, right?

I’m pretty sure that’s how time works.

Or not. Damnit Jim, I’m a writer, not a Time Lord!


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 2021 – Wk #1

I won’t lie. A few weeks ago I thought I might never write another goals summary. But, the husbando gave me a new whiteboard for Christmas (with a slew of new expo markers!) and I find myself falling back into the old habits.

I didn’t have any goals last week. Shocker. At least, not any writerly goals. I had house goals, chore goals. And I accomplished them, so that was nice. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. What’s on the docket for this week?

This Week

  • Revise Abbie
  • Write 1k words
  • Read Harrow the Ninth
  • Begin Tavi read through
Quitting Social Media – Jeremy C Kester
Literally these are the platforms I deleted.

I gave up social media for the month of January, so I find myself with a lot of extra time these past few days. It’s been nice. Weird, but nice. I didn’t realize just how much time I let waste scrolling aimlessly. I reach for my phone whenever there’s a calm, spare moment. Only now there’s nothing to engage my brain.

So I’m reading more. I’ve finished one audiobook already, have started another, and am making decent progress on Harrow. My butt is in the chair tonight because I had spare time and didn’t feel like watching a movie. I think it’s pretty clear that my phone addiction was eating away at my productivity. I’m very curious to see how I feel at the end of the month and if I want to reinstall my apps.

(Prediction: Twitter is the only one I’ll want to reinstall. Anyone wanna place bets?)

I’m also doing 30 days of yoga this month, so I’m back to waking up in the 5 o’clock hour to get my stretch on before work. There hasn’t been any poetry yet, but I won’t rule it out. I’m also eating better and doing cardio three times a week because March will be here before we know it and I refuse to let a single weekend pass me by. There. will. be. HIKES.

And I’ll be ready for them.

Tonight I want to write a little bit more on my Dragon Age Modern AU fic (don’t worry if that’s gibberish to you). I’ve got a scene in my head that’s clamoring, but once that’s done, I want to return to my haunted house story I started in November.

Abbie is a short story I finished in November, as part of Nanowrimo. I remember it being long and winding and unwieldy, and thus a lot of work revision-wise. I’m excited to see what I think of it when I read it in the next day or two.

And then there’s Tavi. I’ll be honest, I’m more than a little intimidated by the prospect of returning to this novel. It’s a lot of work. And it’s deeply satisfying and simultaneously gut-wrenching and exhausting work. But, I don’t have to rush this, I can take my time and do it right. Right?


Anyway, that’s where I am at. That’s the state of the author. Feeling oddly optimistic and energized and ready to do… things. Thanks for coming along with me.

I’ll be back soon to talk January goals. Until then, Blogland.


The Recap – November 2020

Hahahahahahahahahaha. What even are goals in this shit-heap of a year? I definitely didn’t set any (official) goals going into November. But, I still managed to get quite a bit done. Let’s talk about it. I basically have to thank Willamette Writers for all of my success in November. I signed up for their Month of Mastery program, which was a virtual community support for Nanowrimo. Basically, throughout the month of November they offered three workshops and weekly “cohort” meetings. There were several cohorts with various themes that met at different times each week, and you could go to any of them. This meant that I was thinking/talking about writing at least three days a week, and actively writing two days a week, beyond any discipline I managed to dredge up myself. Now, I didn’t have a novel to write this Nano, and I didn’t want to do a Nano Edmo (editing/revision month), so I decided to set a custom goal for the month. I had five short stories in various states of doneness. I wanted to get at least three of them done and/or write 20,000 words. Thanks to Willamette Writers, I achieved both of those goals! I finished three stories and very nearly finished a fourth. Plus a little bit of fanfiction sprinkled in.

Salt Bae GIFs | Tenor

Total Word Count: 20,795

Thankfully, Willamette Writers is considering doing more of these Months of Mastery, so I look forward to participating even more. I made writing friends and acquaintances, and even have a new weekly writing group, where we join a zoom call for two hours just to write together on camera. It’s awesome! All because I was willing to spend a little bit of money to get my writing butt in gear again. And it seems to have worked.

So, thanks Willamette Writers!

What else can I catch you up on? I have a story being held at a pretty big name magazine and I’m slowly dying from the anxiety of waiting to hear back about it. Like, the fact that it’s made it to the Editor-in-Chief’s desk (“awaiting final assessment” was what the email said) blew my mind. This is a magazine that has published Rebecca Roanhorse and Sam J. Miller (among many many others). A magazine that has won awards, and so have the stories its published. I. Am. Freaking. Out. But in a very very calm way. It’s all internal. Outside I am the coolest of cucumbers. So, in order to stop thinking about this, let’s talk about December!

December Goals

  • Revise Nano Stories
  • Submit to The Timberline Review
  • Work on Santa Sarita
  • Keep Reading!
Yep. You read that right. I’m working on my giant Mass Effect: Andromeda fic series again. I’ve already written two new chapters, so I’m hoping to just keep busting those out until I can finally put Sara and Reyes to bed. That way I can get back to Dragon Age, haha. I have about 500 words to cut from a short story to get it in shape to submit by the end of the month. I’m making good progress and expect to have it done by the end of the week. I’m basically giving myself a week with each of my Nano stories to revise them and see if there’s anything worth submitting. Kinda fun. I also only have another scene or two in another short story and it’ll be done drafting. I’ll be able to revise it in January. So lots of writerly things happening! And I have less than two weeks left of work until winter break!!!!! Hell yeah! Things are looking up, Blogland! Until next time. BZ

Goals Summary 2020 – Wk Who the Heck Knows?

Can I just say something? I really hate the new WordPress editor. I don’t want to have to select the “Classic” block every damn time I want to write. It’s WORDpress motherfuckers. Let me do the thing with the words!

Anyway I’m here to talk about some goals I set for myself, quite unofficially last week. 

Wk #???

  • Write
  • Read The Silent Patient
  • Enjoy my birthday!

How’d I do?

  • Write
    • Yeah, a little. And a little is better than none.
  • Read The Silent Patient
    • Yep! Got it done in like two days once I actually sat down with it.
  • Enjoy my birthday!
    • You know it! It was a wonderful weekend full of loved ones and relaxation.

Weekly Word Count: 324

Well, will you look at that. I did things. Writerly, readerly things. That’s… novel. 

(insert eye-roll gif here)

Yeah. I’m sorry about that one. I couldn’t help myself. Anyway, I’m being productive again for the first time in a long time. Or, at least consistently productive. I’ll have another post up soon talking about November and December goals, but first — what’s going on this week?

This Week

  • Edit A Lullaby for Mattie Barker
  • Write
  • Read something

So, yeah. Keeping things simple. I want to submit Mattie Barker to The Timberline Review by the end of the month, but I need to shave off about 500 words, so I have my work cut out for me. I cut over 200 so far tonight, so it’s going well. 

I’m working on Santa Sarita again, which was wildly unexpected. I’ve written two chapters in the last week and hope to hammer it out and finally put a big ol’ DONE stamp on this fic series. You know, so I can get back to writing Dragon Age fanfic. 

Reading-wise I’m a little adrift at the moment. I just finished a craft book, and now have a couple of weeks before I need to pick up The Ten Thousand Doors of January for my work book club. I should finish reading Harrow the Ninth, but for some reason I’m hesitating. Probably because I want to read anything and every Dragon Age at the moment, because I am OBSESSED and need serious help. Also, I’m waiting to get Sam J. Miller’s new book delivered so I might pick that up instead. Who knows. Point is, I’mma read SOMETHING this week. 

So, yeah. That’s where I’m at. Nothing too crazy, nothing too ambitious. Just around, typing things and crossing out things until it all gels into something vaguely story shaped. And reading things. 

Until next time Bloggarts,




Goals Summary 2020 – Wk #27

Hey-o Bloggos,

I didn’t formally set goals last week, but I did manage to write the following on my whiteboard:

  • Write every day
  • #aStoryaDay

Um… neither of those things happened. I did manage to read 5 stories over the weekend, and have two more to read today to get caught up. I did not write every day but I did get a lot of outlining done and started in on one branch of the story.

Weekly Word Count: 47

That’s an abysmal word count, but there was a lot of formatting, assessing bits and pieces from previous attempts at this story, and a LOT of outlining. Work was done, it’s just not the sort that’s quantifiable. Hopefully that can change.

What’s Next?

  • Write every day
  • #aStoryaDay

That’s it. That’s all I’m striving for. I have a lot of household chores to catch up on and a hike planned for tomorrow, so it’ll be a busy-ish week outside of writing. Hopefully I can focus up and get some work done too.

Talk at you all soon.



The Recap – May/June 2020

All right. I’m not gonna waste time pretending I know what the hell happened in June. There were a couple of frantic work weeks and even more emotions. I numbed out with some serious video game bingeing and reading. So, instead of breaking down the goals from May, lemme just sum up where various projects are at.

  • Tavi is on pause. I have a lot to think about with this book. My mindset in regards to the entire project has done a 180 and I don’t really know what to do about that. So, until I’m feeling a little less shreddy toward it, I’m going to work on other things.
  • The Shadowboxer is back on the front burner. It’s an extremely ambitious story and it’s demanding a lot from me. I’ve maintained for a while now that every story requires something different from me, some more than others. This one wants me to basically re-invent the wheel when it comes to my “process” and I’m struggling with that. I’m going slow, climbing this story mountain one rock at a time and doing A LOT of outlining. The joys of non-linear narratives!
  • The Bahn Hexe has reappeared in my imagination, so maybe that will come next. I dunno and it’s silly to even think of “next” when I’m still hip deep in the rough draft of something else.
  • I also have a new novel idea (I may have mentioned that) and I think that will be my Nanowrimo project this year. It’s percolating.
  • Three short stories are currently out on submission. Fingers-crossed, as usual.
  • The Cost of Rain is OUT NOW at Corvid Queen! It’s a Speculative Western(ish) that has some serious Folklore vibes. I hope you like it!
  • I’m reading #aStoryaDay in July and tweeting about them as a little challenge to myself. If you have any recommendations, please share them in the comments or @me on twitter.

The fact that I’m here, talking about projects and thinking about goals for July is a win in my book. This is the most work I’ve done since school “ended”, which I shouldn’t feel so bad about, considering it was only like two weeks of vacation. I seriously need to learn to chill.

But, since I obviously don’t know how to chill (yet), let’s talk about July!

July Goals

  • Write every day
  • Read a short story a day
  • Keep reading (novels)!

So, yeah. That’s where I’m at. The Shadowboxer is my main focus this month. I’d love to get the rough draft finished before August, but I don’t feel very hopeful about that. I’m grappling with it a little too much at the moment to feel confident about a completion date. It’ll get done when it’s done and not a moment sooner.

I’m reading The Stolen Throne right now, but think I’m going to put it down in favor of the mountain of new books I got from curbside pickup at the library. There’s some really good titles in that stack that I’m much more interested in reading. Besides, The Stolen Throne is a reread and it did not age well.

I’ll be back on Monday to talk a little more formally about goals and progress. Until then, Bloggos.