The Recap – March 2019

March was a crazy month of travel adventures, writing, reading, and working so so much. Considering the utter derailment of my routines thanks to the Cincinnati trip, I’m pretty impressed with my output this month.

March Goals

  • Write 500 words/day on Tavi
  • Read one short story/day
  • Continue short story submissions
  • Keep reading!

How’d I do?

  • Write 500 words/day on Tavi
    • No. BUT! I got really super-di-duper close. If I take out the six days of vacation/travel in the middle of the month, I wrote 491 words a day. So… Win?
  • Read one short story/daywinning gif
    • OMG YES! This was my favorite thing about this month and I’ve screamed my overtures from the twitter rooftops. You can see the full list of stories on the What I’m Reading page.
  • Continue short story submissions
    • Yes! Both “That Which Illuminates Heaven” and “Lifelike” went out to new markets in March and “The Cost of Rain” is still out from the end of January, so fingers crossed everybody!
  • Keep reading!
    • Yep! I read four titles in March. Not a stellar performance but on track with the rest of the year so far.

      Total Monthly Word Count: 12,276

Last month I was really concerned about the time suck Anthem was going to be. Turns out, that wasn’t a concern. The game, while good, failed to pull me in like I thought it would. I enjoyed the story, and only have one mission left before I can call it finished and mentally move on. Which is perfect timing, because Trevor and I have discovered a new couch co-op (where you play together on a split screen) called Outward and we love it so far!

The novel is coming along. I’ve struggled with this middle bit, but I’m feeling optimistic going into April. Things are solidifying in my mind as Tavi’s life unravels and she has to pick up the pieces. The end is coming, I just have to hope there’s still enough words between it and now. I need 25k more before I’m willing to say this draft is done.

Reading a short story a day was an absolute delight. I forgot how much I love short stories, and this was a really wonderful reminder that wonderful stories come in all shapes and sizes. Although, Flash Fiction still has a special place in my heart, I can’t get enough of them.

If you missed my little freak out moment the week before, I got a note from one of the magazines that my story “That Which Illuminates Heaven” is being held for consideration by the Co-Editors. That is very exciting news, for a couple of reasons:

  1. The Assistant Editor liked my story enough to recommend it for consideration. They even used the word “enjoyed”. In reference to my story. A human being that reads and evaluates fiction professionally enjoyed my story. As the Assistant Editor for The Audient Void, I know what that means. I’m pretty critical, and a story needs to impress me if I’m going to send it to Obadiah. And that’s at our super niche, if high quality, market. This is a giant, award nominated professional market… *screaming*
  2. This ups my odds of acceptance at least a fraction. While I’m fully aware that receiving a rejection is still MUCH more likely, the story is competitive at this level and could be accepted. *more screaming*
  3. But, the most exciting part is that my odds of getting a personal rejection is MUCH jd faints gifMUCH higher now. And personal rejections are the gold mines of bad news. I LOVE personal rejections. They are so valuable and life-affirming and often lead to tweaks and edits you couldn’t see on your own. Did I mention I love personal rejections? *faints from all the screaming*

I’m trying not to hang all my hopes on this, which is hard because I do believe that this story is something special. There’s a gap between it and other stories I’ve written so far, like I took a giant leap skills-wise when I wrote it. And it’s very dear to me. It’s very much a part of me, I’m there, in the lines in a way I haven’t been in my other works. I took risks and I’m really hoping they will pay off.

So, yeah, I’m a little bit excited anytime I see love for “That Which Illuminates Heaven”.

Reading last month was slow, mainly because I spent most of my reading time with short stories. I managed to read four titles, which I’ll tell you all about in my Reading Round Up later this week.

April marks the true start of spring here in the Pacific Northwest, which means it’s officially hiking season! Expect to see lots of pictures and hear me complaining a ridiculous amount as my friend Laurel drags me across the state in search of wild beauty in remote locations.

Now, then. What comes next?

April Goals

  • Write 500 words/day on Tavi
  • Read 1 short story/week
  • Continue short story submissions
  • Keep reading!

Another straightforward month. I need to focus on this novel and give it the time and attention it deserves, especially in the later stages. Like I said, I’m hopeful going forward and am excited to see where this thing takes me over the course of April.

I’m adding in short story reading because I liked it way too much to stop now. But a short story a day really did cut into my long form reading, so a story a week going forward ought to be a good compromise.

As ever, submissions continue. And as ever, I could hear back about any of them any time now. Although, it’d be really nice if something could sell so my stress level could drop at least a little. Please?

That’s April. I’ll be around with the Reading Round Up later this week, and hopefully have a book review for next week!

Until then, Bloggarts.

 

BZ

 

Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #13

This was my last week at Starbucks, and that good mood trickled down into every aspect of my week. Plus, a friend was in town so we went out and did social things, I bought a new rug for the foyer, and ate sushi. And me and the hubs found a new game to play together so that’s exciting!

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on Tavi
  • Keep reading!

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on Tavi
    • No, but I made some really good progress this week.
  • Keep reading!sons of ares
    • Yes. I didn’t finish The City in the Middle of the Night, but I did read The Sons of Ares graphic novel, so hooray!

Weekly Word Count: 2,906

This week was really just about playing as much catch up as possible, in all aspects of my life. Writing, reading, talking with family members, hanging out with friends, and chores around the house.

The manuscript crossed the 50k word mark over the weekend, so that’s something! I’m on chapter 16 with probably about 8 more chapters to go? I honestly have no idea. I’m just writing through until I stumble onto the end. It could be longer, but there are at minimum 25k more words to go. Hopefully the novel agrees with me!

The only way I really know I’m entering the last stages of this draft is that other stories are waking up and asking if it’s their turn yet. That means I’m getting to the end of this project, and gearing up for the next one. Just a couple more months.

Short stories are still out. I haven’t heard back from any of them yet, which is promising for two of them, including the one that sent me a note to let me know “That Which Illuminates Heaven” is being held for consideration. I’m still riding that high, by the way, because man does that feel good.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on Tavi
  • Finish The City in the Middle of the Night

Another straightforward week. Now that I’m no longer working at Starbucks I’ll have that much more time to write so I’m hopeful for my word counts going forward. It’s April now, which means the start of the hiking season, which means my first hike is this weekend!

Now, I’m not much of a hiker, yet. I like the outdoors very much, but I am not what you would call fit. My preferred activities are sedentary ones. I write fiction, read, and play video games in my free time. But this year is the year I take a hike almost every weekend of the season. I live in one of the most beautiful regions of the world, and dammit it’s high time I saw the sights!

So this weekend is Cape Lookout in Tillamook, Oregon, which is famous for being the absolute best spot to see whales in all of Oregon that doesn’t require a boat. And this month marks the start of the Gray Whale migration, so I am very excited to see what we can see!

cape lookout
The weather isn’t likely to be this nice on Saturday, but a little rain never hurt anyone.

I’ve got a slew of blog posts queued up for this week, including the Monthly Recap and the Reading Round Up, so keep an eye out for those. Otherwise, it’s just more reading and writing this week.

Talk at you soon Blogland,

 

BZ

Rainy Days and the Introvert

I’m still not used to the rain here. Especially summer rain. I grew up with explosive bursts of lightning and thunder, and torrents of rain that came and went faster than the Looney Toons Roadrunner.

But today’s rain, though accompanied by occasional lightning strikes and low rumbles of thunder, is calming. It doesn’t ignite the soul like a monsoon. Instead it seems a salve, a balm to bring a gentle calm to my mind, and relaxation to my tense muscles.

It’s my day off, and already plans have built up, with people claiming my time. Yesterday, in the scorching heat and bright sunshine, I was excited to spend time with friends. But today, under a bank of mercury clouds, I’ve lost that motivation.

Instead I’d like to disappear into editing and writing, but even that seems unlikely. Doesn’t mean I won’t try.

So, today’s plan is sparse, but I want to edit another chapter of ‘Vessels’, and then start the second chapter of Jordinn’s Story.

Wish me luck!