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.

 

BZ

Summertime, and the livin’s… all right?

Heyo Bloggos,

Just wanted to let you all know that I am still around. The last couple weeks of work/the school year were pretty ding dang intense. I’m sure I mentioned it (here and here). Rightly so, I’ve taken this first week of summer break to breathe, chill, and come down from the frenzy that was closing down my library for the summer. I’ve watched a couple movies, way too much Jeopardy, read a bunch, and have generally just pretended I’m on vacation.

But, y’all know me. I don’t sit still well. A week in and I’m all ready getting antsy. But, I’m doing some writing (fanfic) and some outlining (new short story) and I’m still waiting to hear about some stories that are still out.

So, yeah. I’m here. Just give me some time.

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2020 – Wk #19

So… huh. I just discovered that, apparently, my Goals Summary post for last week never actually went live. So this is awkward. I’m here to talk about goals you didn’t get a chance to read about — hurray!

Last Week

  • Tavi revisions cont’d
  • Post bloopers video
  • Finish Destroy All Monsters
  • Write 800+ words

How’d I do?

  • Tavi revisions cont’d
    • Yes? I didn’t get as much done as I wanted, but I did get three more chapters revised.
  • Post bloopers video
    • Nope. So now I’m a week behind. Cool. Coolcoolcool.
  • Finish Destroy All Monstersdestory all monsters
    • Yep!
  • Write 800+ words
    • Not even close.

Weekly Word Count: 0

So, yeah. As you can see, things sort of went off the rails last week. My energy levels are down, I haven’t been working out, and all I really want to do is watch Schitt’s Creek until I am fused to the couch.

Full disclosure, I have been rendered utterly useless by this show. I love it so much. In fact, I don’t plan on being very useful for a few days because I need to inhale the remaining episodes and avoid these revisions. I’m at a chapter that requires pretty major rewriting and I don’t have the attention span for it right now. I’m accepting that at the moment and trying to treat myself with some grace.

So, What’s Next

  • Tavi revisions cont’d
  • Post 2 videos
  • Read 100+ pgs of Priory
  • Write 800+ words

Yep. More of the same. Just like the days. Maybe that’s part of the problem… I dunno. I’m feeling pretty distracted and uninterested at the moment. I think this is about all the juice I’ve got for today. Not a great omen for the how this week is going to go.

Wish me luck Bloggos.

 

BZ

 

Goals Summary 2020 – Wk #18

Hiya Blogland. Another blur of a week, another post to try and make some sense of it.

Last Week

  • Tavi revisions
  • Make and post The Last Sun video
  • Finish Storm of Locusts
  • Write 800+ words

How’d I do?

  • Tavi revisions
    • Ah, yiss. I finished my read-through and note-taking and am now making substantive changes. I’ve revised 9 chapters so far!
  • Make and post The Last Sun video
  • Finish Storm of Locustsstorm of locusts
    • Yep! As predicted I flew through this book. What I did not predict was that I would fly through the next book on my (literal) TBR pile The Wrath & the Dawn.
  • Write 800+ words
    • YES! I finally got some words down. Nothing too crazy, but enough to celebrate the small victory.

Weekly Word Count: 1,253

It was a good week. Productive in many (mostly writing) ways. I read a ton, made good food, edited a lot, and wrote a bit. I did not workout at all and I wasn’t very diligent with my household chores. Striking a balance in all of these things feels damn near impossible.

I’ve made a plan for revisions: 3 chapters a day, 5 days a week. If I follow it, I can take weekends off from revising and enjoy some free time. For instance, this weekend we made Hot Chicken Sandwiches, French Dips, watched lots of Bon Appétit, and played video games. It was quite chill.

I also attended a Zoom meeting for Willamette Writers on writing and publishing Flash Fiction. It was cool and nice to get face time with Oregon writers. Those are happening basically weekly, so I’ll be popping into more of those, to be sure.

So, What’s Next?

  • Tavi revisions cont’d
  • Post HQR episode
  • Finish Destroy All Monsters
  • Write 800+ words

I’m feeling pretty good going into this week. I have my Quarantine Reads video for this week more or less done already. Just needs a couple finishing touches. I’ll still make another one this week so that I have one in the hopper, since I read TWO books last week. I’m loving Destroy All Monsters so far. But, I’ve loved everything I’ve read from Sam J. Miller so this doesn’t surprise me.

I played a little bit of Spyro last week, then played all of What Remains of Edith Finch, a beautiful interactive narrative game. Then I started playing Vampyr. It’s a horror RPG about a London doctor during the Spanish Influenza (horrible timing on my part) who is attacked and left for dead, only to awaken as a vampire. I played a few hours last night and really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to more game-time in the evenings this week.

Revisions continue. I’m still feeling good about them, but this week will have me working on a couple of the “weak” scenes that need rewriting. We’ll see how I feel by the time those are done.

Submissions continue, as usual. And as usual, no news is good news.

no noose is good noose
I adore this movie.

Writing is a little all over the place right now. I’ve got fanfic to work on, but nothing terribly pressing. I wrote a 50 word story as an exercise in the Flash Fiction meeting. And I started writing a very experimental (for me) “mundane” fantasy story after a discussion on twitter with C.L. Polk. I’m approaching it COMPLETELY differently than I would another story. Handwriting in a notebook, first thing in the morning over coffee. It doesn’t come to me every day, and when it does come it’s just little snippets. We’ll see if it goes anywhere. Regardless, I have a quote from Kevin Hearne on my whiteboard that says, “Write more, write different, write better.” That’s exactly what this story is doing. I’m viewing it as more of an exercise than anything.

So, yeah, that’s what I’m up to. Reading, writing, and editing with some video games sprinkled in. And work. I mean, I still have responsibilities to the school, they’re just cut way back in comparison to my normal day-to-day.

I’ll be back soon to share another video and probably lament my idealism when it comes to revision.

Until then, Bloggarts.

 

BZ

The Recap – April 2020

March felt long, but April felt… like a single long day. Not actually that much time, and yet exhausting. I am an introvert. I enjoy my alone time and staying home. I read and play video games and entertain myself pretty well.

… I miss my, albeit small, social circle. Tomorrow would have been Cinco de Micro. We would have convened at the convention center and enjoyed sampling microbrews and listened to dubious cover bands and ate lots of tacos. We would laugh and joke and tell all kinds of stories. We would have had fun.

Instead, we’re home. Again. And I know why and I deeply believe in the need to stay home and save lives. But man. It isn’t easy. The only thing getting me through is my work.

April Goals

  • Submit The Lament of Kivu Lacus
  • Begin Tavi revisions
  • Keep Reading!
  • Write 4000 words

How’d I do?

  • Submit The Lament of Kivu Lacus
    • Yes! I got some great feedback from my first round of readers and was able to make the final tweaks I felt it needed. It went out on Monday.
  • Begin Tavi revisions
    • YES! I did the read-through and note-taking and have now started really digging in and making changes. This meatier round of revisions is going well so far.
  • Keep Reading!
    • Oh yeah. I read another 6 titles in April, and a couple short story tie-ins. On a recent FaceTime chat with my dad I gave him a tour of my TBR piles, literally. There are PILES of books all over my house, waiting for me. There is no shortage of reading material here.
  • Write 4000 words
    • … No. But, I knew going into it that writing would be slow. Revision takes up parts of my brain that draft new content. My output is pretty much halved when I’m revising.

Total Word Count: 2,162

I don’t really know what else to say about April. I’ve been reading lots, making more videos, and working on my writing projects. I finally made some headway on my fanfic which accounts for the 2k words, and I’ve outlined subsequent stories through to where I’ve played the game so far. It’s looking good, and oh so close to the heartbreaking ending.

Which means I have an excuse to play more Dragon Age, haha! Like I need one.

Revisions are going very well. I’m really pleased with the direction I’m taking this book and the clarity of vision I have to guide my decisions. There’s a lot of work to be done, but I’m not daunted and I’m confident in the choices I’m making. That feels real freaking good, I tell ya what.

May Goals

  • Tavi Revision #1
  • Keep reading!
  • Write 4,000 words

I have 31 days to revise 20 more chapters. I’ve already revised the first six in the last two days. I’m feeling really good about my progress and my grip on the project. I’ve broken it down into Revision Phases, each with its own goal. I could probably write an entire blog post about that. Hmm…

Anyway, I know where I’m headed and what I want to accomplish and I’m really excited about that. It’s going well.

Again, there’s reading aplenty in this house. I started Destroy All Monsters last night and am in awe of it already. Yet again, Sam J. Miller proves he is a top-notch storyteller. I love his work.

We’ll see if there’s an uptick in writing this month. I’m feeling good about it, mainly because I got over a weird emotional hump in the story and now there’s just some fluff before the angst train comes barreling through. But, if revision continues at this pace, I might not have much gas in the writing tank. Which is fine. I’d much rather focus on the novel than the fanfic. Obviously.

So, yeah. That’s where I’m at. That’s what I’m working on. I hope you’re all doing well, keeping safe and sane, and finding a little bit of joy in your day-to-day. If not joy, maybe just peace.

I’ll be back on Monday to discuss the week. Until then, Blogland!

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2020 – Wk #17

I know we’re all experiencing this “Stay Home, Save Lives” business differently, but I’m really not digging how the days are beginning to blur. What did I do last week? I dunno, when even was last week? What are the boundaries? How do I delineate time beyond archaic alarms and a white board?

Last Week

  • Tavi revisions
  • Finish The Last Sun
  • Make and post Finna video
  • Write 800+ words

How’d I do?

  • Tavi revisions
    • Yep! I only have 8 chapters left on this pass through.
  • Finish The Last Sunthe last sun
    • Yep!
  • Make and post Finna video
    • Sure enough.
  • Write 800+ words
    • Ha.

Weekly Word Count: 336

I’m in a weird spot this morning. Emotionally I’m feeling pretty good, until I try to break down last week into something I can talk about. Then I feel sort of foggy and glum.

I edited pages. I read a lot. I played Spyro and watched another MasterClass. We made good food over the weekend, braved a trip to the grocery store. I talked with students, worked my two days in the building prepping print packets and accepting returns from graduated seniors. I worked out a bit.

But that’s it. Just bullet points, not even a highlight reel. Nothing stands out as particularly interesting or worth sharing. I was here. I did things and did my darnedest to stay sane. But, I’m not eating PopTarts yet, so I’m not doing THAT poorly.

What’s Next?

  • Tavi revisions
  • Make and post The Last Sun video
  • Finish Storm of Locusts
  • Write 800+ words

Yep. Lather, rinse, repeat. You know this drill. This to-do list is working (mostly), so why change it?

I’m curious to see how the revision process changes this week. So far I’ve been working with a paper copy, noting where changes need made and scribbling ideas and little rewrites. The REAL revision happens once this stage is done. This is the first book that I’ve liked enough to not completely rewrite it. I think it largely works and I just need to create some stronger through-lines and iron out a few wrinkly bits.  But I have no idea how long that will take. But I still don’t feel daunted. Maybe not quite as excited as I was a week or so ago, but no less determined.

Videos will continue as long as we’re Staying Home™ and as long as I’m reading. I’m almost done with Storm of Locusts — I’ll probably finish it today — and I have no idea what I’ll read next. There’s no shortage of choices, which sort of makes the indecision worse. But I’ll figure it out. I always do.

The writing… well. It is what it is. I’ve got some fanfic I’ve been fiddling with, and my shadow-boxer short story is still alive up in my brain, it’s just percolating. There are a lot of considerations and weirdness where that’s story concerned and it’ll make itself known when it’s ready.

Submissions continue to continue, so much so that I forget to update anyone when a rejection comes in and another submission goes out. I hardly react to rejections anymore, which is really nice. The process feels much less personal now, even though I still get that wave of excitement with each new submission.

So, yeah. That’s good. This is getting a bit ramble-y despite my claims of having nothing to say. That’s the quarantine for ya. I’ll be back this week with another video.

‘Til then, Blogland.

 

BZ

 

Goals Summary 2020 – Wk #16

Another week gone by in the era of COVID-19. Even as they drag by they somehow slip through my fingers. Highlights included beating Ripto’s Rage, signing up for MasterClass, and eating lots of good food.

Last Week

  • Tavi revisions
  • Read Finna
  • Create and post Vengeful video review
  • Write 800+ words

How’d I do?

  • Tavi revisions
    • Yep! I edited 6 chapters last week and am actually enjoying the process so far, which is weird.
  • Read Finna
    • Yep! Finished it in a day.
  • Create and post Vengeful video review
    • Yarp. Had fun, struggled, learned some things. It was all good.
  • Write 800+ words
    • Nope. Not much writing at all. But hey, a little is better than zero!

Weekly Word Count: 228

I somehow forgot that, when I’m editing, I don’t write much. It’s hard for me to switch modes, I think. So, there wasn’t much writing, but oh man there was so much editing! Six whole chapters of Tavi and another draft of The Lament of Kivu Lacus. I’m just waiting to hear back from a couple more readers before I do any last polishing and send it out. Reactions so far have been very positive (and tearful), so that feels pretty ding dang good.

Reading is keeping a steady pace. I finished Finna and will probably finish The Last Sun in the next couple of days. And, despite a FAT stack of books (more like 6 fat stacks) I have no idea what to read next. I’m gonna just decide when the time comes.

I still have two short stories out. One is in a contest, which closes to submissions this week. I submitted it in… January? Yep. January. I’m looking forward to hearing back something soon(ish).

MasterClass was running a buy one subscription get a second one free special, and I found someone to split the cost with me! I’m very excited because I’ve always wanted to try MasterClass but was too cheap to do it, haha. So I have those to look forward to for the next year.

What’s Next?

  • Tavi revisions
  • Finish The Last Sun the last sun
  • Make and post Finna video
  • Write 800+ words

You know the drill by now. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This routine is working (mostly), so why make any changes? At least, not right now. Not with all the weirdness in the world.

My big focus this week will be continuing Tavi revisions and polishing Lament. I’m looking forward to more reading and making another video and watching more MasterClasses.

That’s about all I got for you today Blogland. Short and sweet. Have a great week, y’all.

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2020 – Wk #14

Last week was… intense. There was a lot of work to be done in a very small amount of time to get students ready to transition to distance learning. Add in a migraine and I honestly don’t have many details on the week.

Last Week

  • Edit The Lament of Kivu Lacus
  • Finish reading Ashlordsashlords
  • Write 800+ words

How’d I do?

  • Edit The Lament of Kivu Lacus
    • Yep! Sent it out to some friends to get feedback.
  • Finish reading Ashlords
    • Yes. The last 100 pages or so would not let go.
  • Write 800+ words
    • Yes, barely.

Weekly Word Count: 952

I don’t have a lot to say about this week. I finished reading Ashlords, immediately started Vengeful, and then listened to The Ocean at the End of the Lane over the weekend while I was down with a migraine. So, a productive reading week, at least.

I did get another revision on the short story done, and sent it off to a handful of friends for feedback. So, that’s good. Once I hear back from them I’ll make any final tweaks and then start the submission process. Which is kind of crazy to think about. Every time I start a new story, submission quality seems so far away. And then one day… it’s just ready.

It’s wack.

I did a little bit of writing on some fanfic, but not a ton. I’m really struggling with this oneshot, and I’ll admit it hasn’t had much of my attention lately. Hopefully now that school will fall into some sort of routine again I’ll be able to hunker down at the keyboard and get some words down.

What’s Next?

  • Tavi revisions
  • Finish reading Vengefulvengeful
  • Make and post The Ocean at the End of the Lane video review
  • Write 800+ words

It’s pretty straightforward again. I’m over halfway through Vengeful already (because V.E. Schwab owns bones). I have a good chunk of time tomorrow to work on the next episode of Mrs. Harlow’s Quarantine Reads!, and I want to finish this oneshot.

The big question mark is the novel. Revisions suck. I can’t help but feel that way for a project this big. I’m not even 100% sure where to start, even though I just read the thing two weeks ago.

I think I need to just read through it again and let myself make the edits that come to me. I had some questions and notes on the first read through, so I should just make the changes and answer the questions. I need to sprinkle in some foreshadowing, get the main character’s emotional struggle on the page sooner, and iron out some details in the ending.

… Okay. Maybe I do know where to start? I might have thought about this more than I realized.

So, yeah. That’s the big project on the docket this week. And I’ll be honest, I’m not expecting huge strides here. It’s a big, super daunting task, and I need to take it piece by piece or I’ll get startled and run and hide.

But, I’ve been listening to the playlist again, which is always the first step in any writing project. I’ve been thinking about the book, about the characters, and wondering how to make every moment shine. I think I’m just about ready to try.

So, yeah. That’s where I’m at. Feeling good, if a little nervous. I’ll be back later this week with a video book review to share.

Until then, Bloggarts!

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #47

The end of the year is creeping up. Does anyone else feel like they’re running out of time?

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Read Gideon the Ninthgideon the ninth
  • Write 5000 words

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Read Gideon the Ninth
    • No. But, I read two graphic novels and finished an audiobook, so I’m not sad about it.
  • Write 5000 words
    • Hahahaha… No.

Weekly Word Count: 649

I hit a major inspiration block in writing this week. I don’t know if I’m just burned out, if work is too stressful, or if this just isn’t the right project for Nanowrimo, but I’m not being very productive this month. I keep bouncing between the novella and fanfic, and then bouncing between fanfic projects. Then, when I feel totally uninspired, I play video games instead.

I like the idea of writing, I feel that familiar mental swirl of a story taking form, but I lack the motivation to actually put ass to chair and make it happen. I’d rather read, play video games, or watch Disney+. It doesn’t help that my family will be here in a week and there’s still a lot of chorin’ to be done.

Let’s just blame it on stress and move on.

I finished playing Uncharted 4 and Beyond: Two Souls. I liked them both, a lot, and am glad to have played them. They were both right up my alley and long overdue.

I decided to withdraw Lifelike from a market that had it for over six months. The website hadn’t been updated since April and the email for the editor was no longer valid. I think it’s safe to say that wasn’t going to get picked up. Exodus: Descent was rejected today, but it was a personal rejection, which is always nice. Both stories will be submitted somewhere else by the end of the week.

So, What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish Gideon the Ninth
  • Write 3000 words

Keeping it pretty straightforward again. I have no idea what writing project I’ll work on, and honestly, I don’t much care. I just want to write before the holiday sneaks up and steals all my time. We’ll see if anything demands my attention.

I’m just over halfway through with Gideon the Ninth now. I expect to have it done in the next couple of days. I finished listening to City of Ghosts and will have the book review up before the end of the work week. I want to start listening to the sequel, Tunnel of Bones sometime this week too.

So, yeah. Lots of reading, writing, cleaning, and working. We’ll see where that takes us before the holiday season swallows me whole.

Talk at you soon, Bloggarts.

 

BZ