Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 6

Hi Blogland,

It’s that time again! Let’s talk about goals!

Last Week

  • Publish two additional blog posts
  • Finish Sanctified Chapter 32. Post chapter 31.
  • Finish reading Iron GoldIron Gold
  • Edit two chapters of The Steel Armada

 

How’d I do? 

  • Publish two additional blog posts
  • Finish Sanctified Chapter 32. Post chapter 31.
    • Chickity-check. Got some good responses on chapter 31, feeling good about chapter 33.
  • Finish Iron Gold
    • Honestly, I didn’t think I would be able to get this one done. I should know better than to doubt Pierce Brown. He swept me along just as I hoped. Done.
  • Edit two chapters of The Steel Armada
    • Barely. Sweet Baby Jesus this project is huge. And humiliating. And really satisfying when I get things done. Which I did. I’m planning a post later this month to discuss my experience editing these first five chapters.

Well, will you look at that. Another week where I managed to get everything done. This feels like some sort of magic at present, this whirlwind ability that has been gifted to me. Someday I’ll look back and credit determination and willpower, but for now: Magic.

Weekly Word Count: 2,893

This Week

  • Publish two Book Reviews
  • Start Sanctified chapter 33
  • Finish reading The Stone SkyThe Stone Sky
  • Edit two chapters of The Steel Armada

This formula worked last week, so as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ve got the review for Changes to do, and Iron Gold. I’m about 150 pages into The Stone Sky out of 419, so that should be doable. And if I could edit two chapters last week, I can do it this week.

Next week we’re flying down to Arizona for my cousin’s wedding, so there won’t be any goals or posts on my part other than the recap for this week. I’m hoping to get a lot of reading done on the flights, and that is about it.

When we come back there are a couple days left in February, in which I’ll be focusing my attention on getting Lifelike ready for publication.

So yeah, that’s the plan. Read, write, and edit. Lather, rinse, repeat. See you all soon with a book review!

 

BZ

Advertisements

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 3

Hi Blogland,

Sorry for my absence last week. I contracted the flu that’s going around so badly this year. My husband was ill first, and then I succumbed to it a week later. I spent the majority of the week on the couch watching nature documentaries and napping. Not remotely productive, but I’m hale and healthy now, so it worked out.

So obviously, I didn’t have any goals last week, but I never discussed the previous week’s either. So, what did I want to accomplish in week three?

Goals?

  • Publish Dark Sky book review
  • finish my last giveaway fic
  • Finish chapter 31 and post chapter 30 of Sanctified
  • Finish listening to Shockaholic
  • Send Lifelike and The Season to my friend Matt

How did I do?

Not great, but not awful either. I didn’t write that book review, which is a shame. I hate writing reviews too long after I’ve finished the book. It’s hard to remember everything. But, I did finish my giveaway fic, as well as my fanfic chapter. I posted it to some positive feedback from the readers, so that’s always nice. I have yet to finish listening to Shockaholic, but I’m making some serious progress this week already. I didn’t incorporate any feedback from Madhu yet. She felt pretty unsure of her comments, and felt a bit out of her depth, so I decided to hold off on reading her comments until I hear back from Matt. I did send my stories to Matt, but he’s yet to get back to me on them. Hopefully that doesn’t mean he hates them :/

Weekly Word Count: 4,488

What about this week?

  • Publish two book reviews
  • Start Sanctified chapter 32
  • Finish Shockaholic
  • Edit Lifelike and The Season
  • Edit chapter 1 of The Steel Armada

I lot of editing. Blegh. I hate editing my own work. I LOVE editing other people’s work, but my own is a special sort of hell. But, Madhu is working on some rewrites of her novel, and she’s eager to get back to sharing work, so I need to have something to share. Editing is the only way I’ll have that. Which was the goal of having someone to share with, at least to me. Sharing my work with someone I don’t really know, but see on a weekly basis will help keep me accountable while valuing their feedback. I just have to get my butt in gear.

 

I’ve got the Dark Sky review written and cued up, it’ll publish tomorrow morning. So, I can either write a review on Turn Coat or hurry up and finish Iron Gold this week. Yeah, right. Turn Coat it is. Iron Gold

February is my month to really start focusing on my editing. Tentative goal is a chapter a week at least, but if Madhu and I keep with tradition and send each other 20 pages, that’s closer to two. If I do two chapters a week, I’ll be done in just about 10 weeks. So we’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, that’s where we stand going into week five. A little behind schedule thanks to the flu, but feeling healthy and ready to get back on track.

Wish me luck, Blogland!

 

BZ

New Year’s New Look!

Every year, on or around January 1st, I overhaul the blog. I’m not sure if it serves any other purpose besides catching my interest in my site and giving me a fresh breath of air after 365 days of something else.

So, here’s the new look, I hope you all like it. I was a little sad to see the last look go, because it was my favorite so far in the past 4 years of blogging. But, I have high hopes for this one. It’s even more streamlined than last year’s (weird), and I like the headers with social media links at the top.

Yeah. It feels good, man.

All right, here’s the gross part about New Year’s posts. I have to talk about my ambitions for 2017 and how I did in accomplishing them. Spoiler alert, 2017 was not a good year for me.

Last year I said I wanted to:

  • edit The Steel Armada into draft #3
  • submit The Portrait of Sterling Madison to The Audient Void
  • finish From the Quorum rough draft
  • edit Cards into draft #2
  • publish 104 blog posts, roughly 2 per week
  • read 60 books

How did I do? Well, I did make some progress on The Steel Armada, especially in the last half of the year. I’m about halfway through editing the second draft, but the realization that it needs pretty extensive rewrites has me a bit disheartened.

I didn’t submit The Portrait of Sterling Madison this year. If you don’t recall, this is a horror short story that has haunted me for the better part of seven years. I wanted to do a lot with this small piece, and every attempt just proved that my writing chops weren’t where they needed to be to make it work. But, I did finally hammer out the best draft of it yet, quite unexpectedly, as I’d shelved it yet again. I’m confident I’ll find a home for it in 2018!

I did not finish From the Quorum. In fact, I got about halfway, because it’s the largest story I’ve ever undertaken. I outlined the whole book through to the end back in April, and we’re looking at about 100k word manuscript. It’s currently at 51k, so literally halfway there. I saw that projected word count and panicked, and haven’t worked on it since then.

I made a deal with myself: I cannot edit Cards until The Steel Armada is complete. Since I didn’t make the headway with edits like I planned, I did not even look at Cards this year. However, I did some minimal edits on my Cards short story Since the Fire, in the hopes that I can find it a home in 2018.

I published 42 post last year… Ugh. No where close to my goal. Not even all that close to half of my goal. That’s rough buddy. Sorry for neglecting you all this year.

I managed to squeak in 62 books this year, according to Goodreads, and man that feels good. I needed a win.

I read 14,072 pages across 62 booksImg bookstack 72

What the heck did I do in 2017?

I wrote. A lot. In 2017 I wrote two original short stories and four chapters for From the Quorum. The short stories are both Horror pieces, The Seasons is an all new piece that I’m really proud of, and Lifelike is the newest incarnation of The Portrait of Sterling Madison. Honestly, it’s different enough, and written in such a whirlwind of inspiration that I don’t even consider it a rewrite; it really is an all new story. These projects total 17,321 words.

But, I did my most damage working on Fanfiction. I know, I know. You roll your eyes, you immediately see me differently because you know that I write fanfiction. Trust me, I did my fair share of eye-rolling and berating because of it. But, there are a lot of benefits to being a content creator in an active fandom, and I will probably write a whole separate post to talk about my experiences as such. Finally, months later, I regret nothing.

So, I wrote 264,850 words of Fanfic in 2017. Yep. Go ahead, read it again. 264,850 words across multiple longfics (basically multi-chapter serials), oneshots (read: short stories), and drabbles (aka flash fiction).

I wrote more this year than I ever have before, in more styles and genres than I ever thought possible, because of fanfic. I have no regrets. I also won National Novel Writing Month for the very first time because of fanfic. I proved to myself that I absolutely can write long form, can produce content quickly and of a pretty high quality on a deadline. When I needed it most, Fanfic gave me an ego boost. I am proud of my output and my content, and am feeling buoyed into the new year.

But, I did have some other projects this last year.
Audient Void issue 4

I continue to provide “Editorial Assistance” for The Audient Void. I’ve stepped up my duties to weeding through the fiction slush-pile as well as offering line edits when necessary. So, if you submit fiction to us in 2018, there’s a 50-50 chance I’ll be the one who decides whether your story gets considered for publication. MUAHAHAHA!

Ahem.

We released two issues in 2017 and have just finished selecting pieces for the first issue of 2018. So, there was that. Also, I spent a few months swapping fiction with an acquaintance and work-shopping her Middle-Grade Adventure novel. It was an eye-opening experience that really challenged me to leave my comfort zone and learn more about publishing. I also helped her fine tune her query letter, which is really good practice for me when it comes time to write my own.

I also took on some personal projects. I stopped biting my nails, for realsies this time! It’s been months, and I love it. I still keep them short, because typing with nails is nigh impossible, but I’ve accumulated more polish colors and indulge in giving myself manicures now, so that’s nice. I did a 30 day yoga challenge, and signed up for another one that starts tomorrow! I love bringing stretching and movement back into my life (former dancer, here) and it’s really grounded me over the last month. Today we were invited to set an intention for the month, a word or phrase that would guide our practice through to the end. But, I’m going one step further. I’m setting my intention for the year.

FOCUS.

2017 was a wild ramble that saw me dart from project to project, taking on things that were fun and interesting, at the expense of my more serious ambitions. I want to bring focus back into my life. I want to set clear, attainable goals, so that I can set myself up for success. So…

What the heck am I doing in 2018?

  • I am finishing The Steel Armada. Whatever that means, and how ever long that takes. I wrote this book in 2013, it’s time to stamp it done and move on with my writing life.
  • I am finishing my committed longfic series. There are a couple chapters left in this installment, and then a planned sequel. Then it is done. Chickity-check, move on.
  • I am submitting at least two short stories for publication this year, only to SFWA Logomagazines that pay their authors. I’m done sticking ‘feathers in my cap’. I don’t need feathers. I need payouts. I need proof positive that my content is worth buying, I need credentials to pad my query letters and my efforts to join Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) within the next two years.
  • I am giving myself permission to write things for fun. Drabbles and tumblr prompts keep me limber and energized. I love writing them, I love engaging with a fan base. I will not feel guilty for that.
  • I am reading 65 books, per the Goodreads reading challenge.
  • I am publishing 52 blog posts, preferably once a week, no matter what.
  • I am committing to my yoga practice, about 20-30 minutes/day

If time allows, I would like to…

  • make considerable progress (30k words) on From the Quorum
  • Read through and begin edits on Cards
  • write a new Sci-Fi short story
  • maybe begin querying process for The Steel Armada, if I like how it turns out

 

Whew. All right. That’s a pretty big “to-do” list for 2018. Whoops. But, if I’m being honest, these are the goals that mean the most to me. These are the projects I want to work on, and the only way I can do that is if I make the time.

What about you? What will you make time for in 2018? What will be your focus?

As always, thanks for stopping by Blogland, I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and look forward to sharing 2018 with you.

 

Best,

BZ

Book Review- The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

Hi Blogland!

I’m finally here to discuss The Obelisk Gate. Though I fear it won’t be in quite as much detail as usual, because I’ve read five more books since then. It’s just no that fresh in my mind right now, and that’s totally my fault for taking so long to get this review out.

First I would like to strongly suggest you read my review of The Fifth Season, because I outline the general characters, magic system, and world there. I won’t be doing that again here, so read up. Also, if you haven’t read The Fifth Season yet, you really should. It won the Hugo for Best Novel this year, and deserved to 100%.

Now, without further ado, The Obelisk Gate!theobeliskgate

This book picks up directly where the first left off. Essun is with Alabaster and Antimony in Castrima’s makeshift hospital, discussing how she must catch the moon and return it to its proper place in orbit around the Earth.

Since Essun has never even heard of such a thing as a moon, the concept takes a bit of time for her to digest. Alabaster begins training her to use the Obelisks. How to call them and commune with them, so that she can amplify her powers in order to be strong enough to capture the moon. This training is slow, mainly because Alabaster is dying. Bit by bit he is turning to stone, and will be eaten by Antimony.Any time he uses his Orogeny, more of him calcifies.

While this laborious training takes place, the book bounces between Essun’s point of view, Nassun’s point of view, and Schaffa’s point of view.

Nassun is a very talented Orogene. Better even than her mother. She learns intuitively what Alabaster struggles to teach Essun, that all Orogeny is actually magic. There’s something in them, in the very Earth that isn’t quite quantifiable. A silver thread runs through them and the the Earth, through all living things, and it is able to be manipulated by Orogeny.

As Essun learns this, Nassun experiments with it. And Schaffa battles it. It’s this silver thread that pulses within Guardians. It controls them, gives them their unnaturally long lives and the ability to silence Orogeny. But it also craves Orogeny. Their power is almost like a food source and the Guardians need it to feel less pain. Nassun learns this because she and Jija go to Antarctica and find Schaffa. He takes her under his wing, and teaches her to become a better Orogene than even her mother.

When Schaffa went after Seyenite and nearly killed her, we thought he’d drowned. But, he succumbed to the “evil” Father Earth, and sacrificed much of himself in order to survive. He has fleeting memories of his life before drowning, and he’s spent the last decade traveling and collecting young Orogenes, creating a small, fledgling Fulcrum of his own, off the grid in Antarctica.

And he has his own plans.

Central to all of this are the Stone Eaters. It seems that extremely strong Orogenes are irresistible to Stone Eaters. But once a Stone Eater has claimed an Orogene, that person is off limits to other Stone Eaters. Alabaster has Antimony. Essun has Hoa. And now Nassun has Steel. These creatures remain the most enigmatic element of Jemisin’s books. I’m still not sure what they want. What is their stake in all of this?

JemisinHiRes1.jpg
The lovely N.K. Jemisin

Hoa is aligned with Essun. And Antimony is too, via Alabaster. But Steel? He nearly killed Hoa, and would have killed Essun too. And now he’s attached to Nassun.

As much as I enjoyed this book, it left me with far more questions than answers. There are so many moving pieces, and I feel like I was handed the tools to figure it all out in this book, but lack the knowledge to actually use them.

I don’t understand Schaffa’s motivations right now. I like him a lot, and his tenderness for Nassun is touching. And his quiet brutality is riveting. It seems like he has very similar goals as Essun and Alabaster, which seems counter to what I know about him. But, all told, I don’t actually know that much about Schaffa, or Alabaster for that matter.

But, I know that those three all want to do something to/with the moon. And according to Hoa, some Stone Eaters want that too. However, they are not a united people. There are Stone Eaters who want to harvest Orogenes, and basically slaughter them all. Steel is one of those Stone Eaters.

That’s pretty much where the book leaves off. Obviously there’s much more interpersonal drama that fills the pages. Like Essun and Alabaster getting closure on their doomed relationship, and even enjoying one another’s company again. Or, Tonkee and Essun nearly getting kicked out of Castrima as tensions rise when food rations shrink. There’s the tense, fragile relationship between Nassun and Jija, as she convinces him time and time again not to kill her like he did Uche. And there’s the burgeoning parental love between Nassun and Schaffa.

Character development was huge in this book. Much more so than world-building. Characters and the magic system were the headliners here, and it does not disappoint. In the moment, The Obelisk Gate is very good. I enjoyed every moment. It’s when the veil falls away, and you start looking at the book with closer scrutiny that it starts to fall short in comparison with its predecessor.

But, The Fifth Season is a hard book to compete with. I think I can give The Obelisk Gate a break there. Still a great book, and I can’t wait for the last title in the series!

Thanks again for reading this far Blogland. I should be back tomorrow with a goals update. Spoiler Alert: it didn’t go that well this week. I’m also looking to write the A Monster Calls book review, as well as catch you all up on what I’m reading now. I’ve been burning through books, so hopefully I can keep the reviews coming.

See you soon,

 

BZ

 

In Which the Thing is Sent

Humans and Blogbots, gather ’round, for I have a tale to tell.

Tonight, I took a daring plunge into writerdom by sending my first ever query letter!

The joyous jitters coupled with a simultaneous wave of nervous nausea at clicking the “send” button was a very intriguing sensation. I’m freezing, mainly because the apartment is really cold right now, partly because I’ve been up for the better part of 17 hours, and because of the uncontrolled nervousness rolling through me.

But, I’m exhilarated. I just did this crazy thing, something I kept thinking of as far away. Something for someday. And then, through some research and encouragement from my friends and family, I figured, why shouldn’t someday start today?

Well, I figured that a month ago, when I set out to write the query letter, but I had to perfect the letter and really hammer out those edits before I’d feel all right with querying anybody.

But, someday is here and it’s now!

And in the spirit of seizing the day, I’ve sent the manuscript out to my wonderful Beta readers! I’m not sure they realize what they’re in for, but I appreciate their willingness nonetheless.

Anyway, I just wanted to swoop in and write to you all  while the adrenaline was pumping. I look forward to sharing all the nerves, joys, and absolute despair of querying and editing with you  in the weeks to come.

Talk to you soon,

 

BZ

Book Review- House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones

Hello Blogland!

Just a quick update before we dig into this book review. Edits on The Steel Armada are now complete!

(insert applause)

I’m just writing up a quick epilogue, mainly because I’m not sure about the ending. Granted, I’m not sure about the epilogue, but that’s what Beta readers are for, amiright? I should have the novel sent to said Betas this weekend, and I can hardly believe it.

Stories are still coming in for The Audient Void, and since I’m editing them as they roll into my inbox, I feel confident that we’ll release Issue #1 in a timely manner. If you enjoy Weird Fiction, à la Lovecraft and Bierce, check us out here. We’re accepting submissions of short fiction and poetry, through March 20th. So if you want to submit, you still have some time, and if you’re waiting for the issue, like our page and keep an eye out for sometime in April.

The What I’m Reading page has been updated, so take a peek, and follow me on Goodreads to see real time updates and annotations.

Anyway, enough gibber jabber! On with the review!
House_of_Many_Ways

House of Many Ways is the third and final installment of the Howl’s Moving Castle series. I’m not sure if it was intended to be that way, because the ending definitely leaves the door open for Sophie and company to have further adventures.

Published in 2008, 18 years after its predecessor and a whopping 22 years after the original title, House of Many Ways is a very different book.

Instead of a whirlwind love story, as the two previous books, this one is more of a coming of age story. It follows teenage Charmain Baker on an unexpected, and rather unwanted adventure. You see, her Great Uncle William, the Royal Wizard of High Norland, has taken ill, and needs someone to watch his house while he’s away being treated.

In true Wynne Jones style, Charmain gets very little say in the matter, and before she knows it, she’s at Great Uncle William’s house, forced to take care of it, the multitude of chores left behind by the ill man, and his dog, named Waif.

Sadly, Charmain is pretty miserable at first. Both as a character in the book, and as a character for the reader. She’s cantankerous, entitled, and snobbish. She doesn’t clean anything, which is the whole reason she’s been brought to the house, and just complains the entire time that she can’t read and eat all day. Brat. It doesn’t help the that house is giant, full of magical hallways that require precise movements to navigate, and a long, 3-Dimensional map to keep track of everything. There are even segments that haven’t been mapped yet! Charmain is mostly annoyed by the house, and refuses to learn more of its secrets, until she’s forced to.

If you can’t tell, Charmain and I didn’t quite jive. I identified much more with Sophie’s determination and optimism than I did Charmain’s bitterness and laziness. But, I agreed much more with the book when Peter showed up.

Peter is the son of the Witch of Montalbino, good friends with Great Uncle William, and his new apprentice, which of course is all unbeknownst to Charmain. She immediately takes a stern disliking to the boy, and yet he weathers her various stormy moods, and helps take care of William’s house. Though, he’s a bit clumsy and accident prone, so he often causes Charmain more trouble than he is help.

Serves her right!HouseofManyWays

Anyway, Charmain, in the midst of supposedly caring for the house, has taken up a job with the King, sorting through and cataloging the vast Royal Library. This is where the plot really comes in. The Royal family is in a bit of a pickle. Their fortune is disappearing, to the point where they’re selling artwork off the walls.

Usually, they would consult William, him being the Royal Wizard and all, and yet they sent him off to the Elves, on account of his illness. So, in their desperation they’ve called upon a dear, old friend.

Sophie Hatter. Or, rather, Sophie Pendragon, as she’s now called. And in tow she has not only toddler Morgan (who we met in the last book) but small, eerily golden-haired boy, with a very suspicious lisp. And attitude.

I knew early on that this Twinkle, as he calls himself, is none other than Howl in an infuriating disguise, and felt rather badly for Sophie who now had to pull double mother duty. Between Howl’s antics and Morgan’s demanding nature (he takes after his father) Sophie is hardly much help to the Royal Family, but true to her nature, she does her damnedest to find the missing money.

So, Charmain realizes that the King is near destitute and that the gold has been hidden somewhere. Through a vast series of interlocking coincidences, which are never actually coincidences, Twinkle (Howl) finds the gold, Charmain discovers who’s stealing the tax money, and Peter and Charmain out the Prince and his waiting man as Lubbockins.

Lubbockins, for the record, are inherently evil, half humans identified by purple eyes or patches of skin.

There’s much running about and yelling as Twinkle fights the Lubbockin Prince in order to free Morgan (who was taken hostage by said Lubbockin) and Sophie chases after him promising murder. If she means the Lubbockin or Howl, I’m still not quite sure.

But, in the end, the evil is vanquished, the money returned, Uncle William is restored to health, and Sophie and her family return to their castle, still yelling and arguing, as is their way. Charmain learns valuable lessons in patience, kindness, and the joys of a job well done, and Peter gains an unexpected champion and defender in Charmain.
Howl Jenkins

As per the usual storytelling of Diana Wynne Jones, every detail comes together at breakneck speed in the last 20 pages or so, living you laughing, mystified at the perfect, shiny bow that is the ending.

Usually these types of ending seem convenient and unsatisfying, but I’ve yet to feel that way with the Howl’s Moving Castle books.

I will say, this was my least favorite of the three. Maybe because I knew it was the last one, so my expectations were set pretty high. I expected this massive sendoff for Howl and Sophie, a grand adventure. Instead I saw them in glimpses and spurts, while I was forced to follow along with Charmain and her complaints. Perhaps I’m too far removed from her and her concerns, and much closer to Sophie and Howl’s. I don’t know. But, it was a little difficult for me to care about Charmain.

I did thoroughly enjoy Waif and Peter, who ceaselessly made life difficult for Charmain, who thoroughly deserved it. And of course, the moments shared by Sophie, Howl, and Calcifer were magical. They will forever be some of my favorite characters, and they will always have a warm spot in my heart and memories.

Again, House of Many Ways was not my favorite installment, but it was an extremely quick read. I will say that this one felt more like a children’s book than the last two, and that could be another reason why I didn’t enjoy it as much.

I’m glad I read it, mainly because there’s never a good reason to leave a perfectly good series unfinished. I can now say that I’ve read them all, check them off the TBR list, and move on with my reading life. Howl's Castle Series

Right after I buy a copy of Howl’s Moving Castle

Tomorrow’s my long work day, but I’m planning on finishing the Epilogue for The Steel Armada tomorrow night. Then I’ll send it to the Betas on Saturday. Book Club meets Wednesday to discuss Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey. I usually don’t post book reviews for those until after the meeting, but I leave for Disneyland the next day, so I’ll probably post it before Thursday.

So, if all my planning goes well, there should be some activity here before Thursday! See you then, Blogland!

 

BZ

Good News and the Itch

I feel like it’s been forever.

Forever since I had free time to just think about and enjoy my writing. School is the primary obstacle here. I am so sick of classwork that I could puke. Or consider giving up. Like, seriously consider just ignoring the mountains of responsibility I’m treating like molehills, and move on with the next phase of my life.

What started as this wonderful opportunity, this chance to do something for myself that would matter, has suddenly become a burden. The thing that must be overcome before anything else can even be brought to the table.

Trevor and I are preparing to buy a house. I think we’re ready. The money is close enough to the goal we set last year, and I am tired of living in a tiny, wore out apartment, and walking through rain and snow to wash clothes. I want a place that’s truly ours.

And a space that’s mine. With a desk and bookshelves, and maybe a tiny reading nook.

But, now we’re thinking that we should wait until school is over. Until I’m done. And I’m angry at the very idea. And not just because it would keep us out of a house. I’m angry at school in general. I want to finish the edits on The Steel Armada. I want to write Jordinn’s Story. I want to edit Cards. I want to work on side projects, and read all kinds of books.

And even though I’m doing some of those things, there’s so much I’m still unable to do. And school is the most readily available scapegoat.

But, besides my general dissatisfaction with my productivity, things are good.

I sent my query letter and first five pages to my best friend Bill (aka Brittany) a couple days ago, and have been waiting anxiously all this time. Every notification on my phone made my heart pound, thinking it was her email, telling me how terrible my story is.

I sent it to her because, although I know she loves me, I also respect her taste in literature. She’s intelligent, and writes a little herself, and enjoys editing. So, when I told her about my intent to query an agent, she offered to look things over if I wanted her to.

She got back to me today.

She loved it! I asked for more details, and she gave really great feedback. I trust her input, and I’m trying my best not to talk myself out of believing the compliments she gave my work.

I suddenly understand the gnawing doubt inherent in being a writer. No matter how much I trust, respect, and like what she said, there’s still a part of me that doubts it.

I’m telling that part of me to go to hell.

… I’m also getting a second opinion.

I’m going to send the same exact email to both my best friend, and Sister from another Mister, Patty, as well as Trevor. Believe it or not, he hasn’t seen a single word of The Steel Armada. We’ll see what they say.

After all their feedback, and any necessary changes thus, I’ll send it to the agent. And that has me beyond nervous. Even though I’ve told myself a thousand times that it won’t come to anything more than feedback at best. Showing my work to a professional has me tied in knots.

Anyway, I’m ignoring pretty serious amounts of homework for this. I don’t mind personally, but my guilt is eating at me. If I don’t do my homework tonight, or at least a big chunk of it, it’ll cut in to my time with Trevor tomorrow, and that’s not fair.

So, I’ll see you soon Blogland. Probably Monday, with a review of Mistborn: Secret History.

 

BZ