Goals Summary Wk. 9/12

Hello again Blogland.

Last week I set some lofty goals.

  • The Obelisk Gate Book Review
  • Publish two blog posts
  • Draft #4 of The Portrait of Sterling Madison
  • Chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story
  • A Monster Calls Book Review
oktoberfest

Yes, those are pretzel necklaces for easy, drunken snacking.

In hindsight, that was entirely too much, especially when we had a booked weekend. We were at Oktoberfest Saturday night and a friend’s party on Sunday. Apparently bringing a book to a party is frowned upon in certain circles, so I got very little reading done this weekend.

So, what did I complete?

  • The Obelisk Gate Book Review
  • Publish two blog posts

I also read/finished reading three books this last week, so that feels pretty good.

But, after a week with so much red left on the board, what’s my plan of attack this week? First it’s important to note that I have no social obligations this week, other than a standing sushi date on Friday. I also feel the need to acknowledge how unfocused I am. I have too many projects, that I’m not prioritizing very effectively.

So, what’s most important?

I still think that reading and writing book reviews here is very important. It’s my consistent, guaranteed word count, and it keeps the writing juices flowing when all else fails. It also keeps my critical thinking and reading skills sharp, which I need for editing. Luckily this is the one area I seem to be performing well in so far.

Writing Jordinn’s Story is very important. These characters, this world, has been waiting nearly a decade to find the page. I’m done putting them on the back burner.

And, as much as I’d love to shelve the project, getting The Steel Armada into its third draft is huge for me. The bulk of the hard work comes between draft two and three. It’s not just the grammatical, line by line work. I’m good at that. It’s the tearing out and replacing the things that don’t work. Adding and subtracting to build the world and characters. It’s looking at all the glaring errors, and instead of hiding from them, challenging myself to fix them.

Let’s face it, I’ve been hiding from this project for a long time now. It’s time I faced up to the task.

And so, I’ve decided that, yet again, The Portrait of Sterling Madison will get benched. I’m glad that I feel like my writing is finally at a level to tackle the project, but ultimately, it’s a_monster_callsjust not the right time to focus on it. Maybe next fall, when I’ve reacquainted myself with my former discipline and schedule.goldenson

So, the quick read bullet points for this week are:

  • A Monster Calls Book Review
  • Golden Son Book Review
  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story

Also, not white board official, I think the shelves will finally get installed this weekend! Everything is sanded. Wednesday we measure and drill. Thursday we stain and poly. Which means Sunday we install! Fingers are crossed that we can stick to some sort of time table with this project. The weather is turning here in the PNW, and I’d really like to be able to park in my garage when Fall decides the rainy season has officially arrived.

I’m over 100 pages into Morning Star, and am generally freaking out every single chapter. Something incredible seems to happen on every page. I’m not sure how Pierce Brown does it, but I’m taking notes.

So, now you know what to expect this week. Hopefully I can share more success stories next Monday.

Until then Blogland, have a good one!

 

BZ

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Avoiding the Research Paper

Hi.

Sorry about the delay in posts. This is the last week of school, and of course I’m working almost 50 hours this week. Add in a little personal drama (don’t you fret), and I’m am up to my earlobes in all kinds of time consuming things.

I’m still making steady progress with Red Sails Under Red Skies, but will probably have to read Stardust between the two Gentleman Bastard books. I just couldn’t devote quite enough time to them. Follow my progress on Goodreads!

But, for school I’m researching a pretty awesome topic. I have to write a paper about a literary topic of my choosing. My topic of choice? Mephistopheles as a Modern Archetype.

I haven’t been this excited about a research paper in pretty much my entire life. I’ve checked out about a dozen books about the Devil, the Trickster Archetype, Norse Mythology, and a couple comic books. All to arm myself with the argument that Goethe’s Mephistopheles is ready for a revamp. I think telling the Faust legend from his perspective would be wildly successful.

Anyway, I’ve basically been holed up in my favorite breweries/taphouses studying for days. I’m anxious to finally sit down and commit the words to paper.

Outside of school, it’s one of my best friend’s birthdays today. I’m balancing social interactions and academic responsibilities like a boss. Unfortunately that means my own writing endeavors have fallen a bit behind.

The good news is that the new issue of Fab Fables, in which I make my first appearance as Editor, is out now! You can buy it here for the low price of just £1.25!
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So, what else is up?

Basically, I’m just busting ass until school is done. I just have to get through this weekend, and then I’m off for the summer. Work will be easy enough to balance from there. My plan is to really commit to my writing, and reading, over the summer break.

And, sometime next week I am going to finish the rough draft of Fight of the Best. I’m still quite infatuated with the story and feel that it’s a much stronger first draft than A Stranger in the Mists was. The current story falls comfortably between Hunting Storm and A Stranger in the Mists, which leaves me feeling confident about what Leah and I can do to it. Between the two of us, we’ll polish it up nice.

What else?

I’m generally exhausted, as of this writing. But, I’ve been up since 6:45, and it’s a quarter after midnight. I have to be back up at 6am tomorrow. You know, the usual.

Anyway, I’m here. I’m thinking about you guys, and reading your posts. If my paper goes well, I’ll post it here after I’ve received a grade for it.

Also, if you haven’t visited my reading page, or my about page, keep an eye out for some updates!

I’ll talk at you all soon!

BZ

The Long Week, and a Surprise!

It’s been a while Blogland. This past week has been full of work, school, and an unexpected visit to the Hospital. Don’t worry, I’m fine, and so’s Trevor. My best friend’s dad lives in Hillsboro, and had a seizure. I went to visit him, since his daughter couldn’t leave Arizona herself.

I had a lot of poetic thoughts about my visit, and wanted to write them down. It was definitely a moving experience for me, and I am beyond glad I could be there for my friend and her family. But, today isn’t the day to wax poetic about the importance of a moment. Perhaps later this week.

Destiny, a highly anticipated video game, is finally here. I’ve spent quite a bit of time playing, but will reserve official judgement until I finish the game. So far though, great gameplay, terrible story.

And so I’ve been busy. This is my first chance to sit down and write, and I’m glad for it. I miss clacking away at my aging macbook. I’m still reading through ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’. With everything going on, reading is one way I can keep connected to my writing, plus Kvothe’s story is really picking up.

I also wanted to mention that, some point in the last few weeks, my blog passed the 200 Followers mark! Now, considering that this month marks the three year anniversary of the blog, this isn’t many followers. But, that’s over 200 people that I have never met. The only contact I have with these folks is virtual.

And it’s mind blowing. I wanted to thank you all. Knowing you’re here, reading my ramblings and following my version of the journey to publishing, helps me remember that I can do this. That I should.

I woke today, my mind muddled with the heavy layer of sleep twisted through it, to a WordPress notification on my phone. I thought it odd, given my silence over the last week, but was excited.

Now, I don’t really know much about this whole blogging community thing. I blog to get thoughts out of my mind to make space for fiction. But, there are these Awards, apparently, which people get nominated for. I have no idea how one earns a nomination, nor if a winner is ever chosen, but I was nominated nonetheless.

Thanks to A.D. Martin, who tagged me at the bottom of his list, I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award.

And thanks for the use of your logo mash-up!

And thanks for the use of your logo mash-up!

So, what does this mean?

I have no idea. Except that I must adhere to, and post the rules of the chain-letter nomination.

The Rules:

  • Thank and link to the person who nominated you
  • List the Rules, and display the award image
  • Include 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate an additional 15 blogs, and notify them by leaving a comment on one of their posts
  • Follow the blogger who nominated you

So, I have thanked and linked my nominator, and I just happen to already follow his Lovely Blog, and now his twitter feed. I have listed the rules. Now come the facts, followed by my 15 nominees.

Fact: I have an insurmountable love of purple. If not for Trevor’s good sense, our entire house would be coated in a fluff-pile of purple pillows.

Fact: I am tattooed.
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Fact: I am a coffee drinker. It comes with the Starbucks territory.

Fact: I love music. I listen to all kinds, but my top listens right now are: anything Chris Cornell was involved with, AFI/Blaqk Audio, Ed Sheeran, and Snow Patrol.

Fact: I drive a 2003 Toyota Corolla. I’ve owned it since 2008, it has almost 120,000 miles on it, and is unstoppable.

Fact: I believe that DIsneyland truly is the Happiest Place on Earth. And I’ll be really damn happy come September 29th!
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Fact: Bookstores have an effect on me. I imagine it’s the same effect an alcoholic feels when they walk into a bar. The hairs on my arms and back of my neck lift, my breathing deepens, and I am filled with contentment. A sense that all is right with the world. I have been this way since I stepped into my Elementary school library for the first time. I don’t expect the wonder, respect, and deep emotion I feel when I step into a building full of books will ever leave me.

Now for my 15 nominations.

Ileandra Young, writer of Fantasy and Erotica, and a longtime reader of this blog. She’s involved with some pretty awesome writer-ly stuff. You should be reading her!

Terzah Cain, author, poet, and wordsmith, who constantly offers up thoughtful posts about writing.

Jodie Llewellyn, writer, reader. She constantly opens my eyes to new books, in genres I might ignore otherwise.

Lynette Noni, whose blog is a reminder that hard work and dedication can, and will, pay off.

D.M.W. Lewis, writer of YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and over all an extremely entertaining read.

John Guillen, who consistently writes entertaining, opinionated posts about all things books.

Andrew Knighton, writer of Alternate History Sci-Fi/Fantasy. He’s also a Whovian, and we’ve got to stick together! Plus, he draws my attention to genres I would normally leave on the shelf.

Trent P. McDonald, reader, commenter, and writer of Trent’s World. His blog features all kinds of things, including his writing, reading, artwork, and vacationing habits.

Artemis Lousie, who writes interesting pieces reflecting on her experiences in the counter culture. I identify with her posts, and enjoy reading them. Plus, she’s introduced me to new music, which makes us instant BFFs.

Brittany Foster, the genius over at Quoth the Wordsmith. And, no, I didn’t select her just because we spell our names the same. It did help, however.

Rachael Stanford, a hilarious blogger, whose journey through writing and life is always a great read.

Jennifer Bresnick, author and blogger, whose posts are generally full of good writing advice and commentary.

Benjamin H. Hebert, a sometimes writer I met through Write About Dragons. I’m always glad to see one of his posts in my feed.

Erynn Im-Sato, book blogger, with a refreshing and upbeat look at reading, working in the publishing industry, and life.

Thomas M. Watt, writer and blogger, his posts are in-depth looks at elements of writing. Always an interesting read.

Fifteen is a lot of people. I hope this chain letter award thing is considered a good thing, and not some irritating waste of time. I enjoyed it, and it allowed me to revisit blogs I may have skipped over recently. If one of my Fifteen happens to read this before I comment on their blog, I’m sorry. The comment is coming, I promise!

Now, my writing was limited last week, though I made good progress on my reading. This week I want to finish chapter 5, and edit two chapters from ‘Vessels’. That’s the goal. Today was a blog catch up day, and with a fairly early work start time, I didn’t plan on writing much. But, tomorrow and Wednesday are big writing days.

We leave for Disneyland on the 29th. By then I want to finish chapter 6, and edit through to chapter 15 of ‘Vessels’. That last bit’s a pretty lofty goal, but hey, shoot for the moon and all that, right?

Anywho, I’m off to work, and probably lunch. I’ll see you soon, Blogland!

BZ

Meet and Greets and the School Year

I’ve mentioned quite a few times now how much I love Salem. Well, the reasons just keep piling up. Remember my post a week or so ago about all the awesome bookstores in town? Well, The Book Bin East just got that much more awesome-er!

You see, Brent Weeks, author of the Night Angel Trilogy and The Lightbringer Series, is an Oregonian. He’s touring in support of the third Lightbringer book, and he’s making a stop at Salem’s largest indie bookstore. 

Now, I own the entire Night Angel Trilogy, and I’ve read half of the first one, but I never finished the series. I also own the first Lightbringer book, The Black Prism. I enjoy Weeks’s style. It’s crisp, and clear. He creates the world and characters with very little fuss, and gives you a crystal view that does little to impede the imagination. 

When I saw Sanderson back in March someone asked who he would choose to finish the Stormlight Archive if the worst were to happen. He said Brent Weeks, because he was closest to Brandon’s style. I agree with that, but really need to give Weeks’s works a fresh look.

So, Monday September 8th he’ll be in Salem signing books and talking to fans. And I just so happen to have the day off! I can’t wait! I’m going to meet an author that won’t leave me gasping like a fish in awe. I might actually be able to talk to this guy!

In other news, it’s freaking September already! That means that school is in session everywhere, even for this girl. Kind of. My ASU Online Orientation course starts Monday, and it’s a seven day intensive on how to manage my time and resources. All the while I have speaking appointments for French, which are going well. Mademoiselle Peyton is very nice, and extremely insightful. She’s already taught me quite a few things, and we’ve only had one appointment.

There was a mix up with textbooks, but since the actual course doesn’t start until October, I’m not too concerned. The wrong textbook is sitting on my kitchen island, unopened, waiting to be shipped back for a refund sometime tomorrow. The correct text is on its way. 

Easy peasy.

I’m also counting down the days to Disney! We leave September 29th for the Happiest Place on Earth! Disney should put our tickets in the mail on the 8th. Dang, Monday’s a busy day for me!

I’m making solid progress on ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’, though I’m not as voracious as I was with its predecessor. I think that has to do with all the other things I have going on. I’m still undecided as to what I’ll read next. I’m leaning toward Melanie Rawn, but won’t be surprised if I’m suddenly obsessed with Brent Weeks after meeting him on Monday.

But, I’m working 40 hours this week, so I doubt I’ll finish Rothfuss before the end of next week. Especially since Destiny (a video game) releases Tuesday. 

Like I said, I’m a busy lady.

Anyway, I’ve got a few hours before work starts, and I’ve got a scene simmering in my mind. I may actually get some writing done!

Have a good Tuesday, Blogland!

 

BZ

The Healing Powers of a Weekend

Friday’s post was a bit humdrum, and here I’m sitting on a new Monday feeling refreshed and motivated. It’s amazing what a weekend can accomplish.

Trevor and I were both off Saturday, our first day off together since our return from our Wedding Getaway. We slept in, cleaned house, and then opened any lingering wedding gifts and put them to good use.

An old co-worker of mine has returned to Salem, and is now a new co-worker of mine. He and his girlfriend came over for dinner, and true to form, Trevor pulled out all the stops.

Using the Apple Green KitchenAid stand mixer his parents got us, we made our own Spinach Spaghetti. We’d never had fresh pasta before, and I think I will never have boxed pasta ever again.

Trevor cooked down chopped bacon in white wine with cloves of garlic, and once that was done he cooked shrimp in it. The result was garlic bacon shrimp in a white wine sauce over spinach spaghetti. Add side caesar salad and garlic bread, and we all stopped talking for a solid thirty minutes.

Our mouths were otherwise engaged.

And so we spent the night, until we lay down, tipsy on wine. And finally I slept, relaxed and happy.

I’ve felt renewed since then. And wishing there had been leftovers.

Anyway, today’s goal is purely writing. I edited enough over the last couple weeks, but my word count has dwindled. I aim to fix that this week.

I’m still reading ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’, though my progress has been slow. The book is great, I’ve just been busy this past week. Hopefully the next few weeks will find me reading more.

Anyway, there’s work to be done, and only a few hours to spend on it. Have a good Monday Blogland!

BZ

The Comedown

I feel worn out. I’m not sure if it’s just the final comedown from all this wedding excitement, or if I’ve just reached the maximum amount of social exertion. It has been a very active week, going out with friends nearly every night. And, thanks to weird scheduling, I haven’t written anything new. I’ve got some editing done, but no writing.

I aim to change that today. Though my time is still short. I’m still reading ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’ and haven’t made nearly the progress I would like; only 176 pages in.

Anyway, music is pumping along the umbilical cord that is my headphones, extending a lifeline and an escape. With headphones in the world around me fades out, leaving me alone in my head to coax characters to life.

I don’t feel like writing, if I’m honest. But, right now, I don’t feel like much of anything. I feel grey. I’m not sad. But I’m not happy, or even content. Nor am I angry or excited. I just am.

And tired.

Keep an eye out for a new page. I’ve considered it for awhile now, and realized that it’s something I should have included from the outset of this blog. Almost three years later I’m finally including it.

Anyway, I’ve got work to do. See you around.

BZ

Freaky Fruit and Fiction

Nectarines look like butts.

I’ve thought this for a while now, but staring down the last part of my breakfast this morning, I was struck by it. My fruit has a butt crack. It should be disconcerting. I don’t want to eat a butt crack.

So I flipped the nectarine back to right-side-up, and tried to burn the mental image of the Crackterine.

And, despite its incredibly awkward appearance, that fruit was delicious.

I spent most of my evening reading last night. I hit page 432, and decided to call it quits. Kvothe had finally hit a happy moment in his life, and I figured it wouldn’t last long, so I’d better stop there.

I’m going to focus on my fiction today. As much as Kvothe’s story is calling to me, it’s not something I want to speed read. I need to read it and absorb it. And I want to enjoy it.

Yesterday I edited chapters 9, 10, and 11. That means I only have 10 more chapters to go and ‘Vessels’ will be in draft 2!

So, the music is on, I’ve had my breakfast, and my requisite coffee. It’s time to get to work!

BZ