Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 39

Blogland!

It’s Monday, and man does it feel like it. Between 13 hours of travel on Saturday and working two jobs again as of today, I am exhausted, so let’s get this show on the road!

Last Week

  • VACATION
    • Neuschwanstein Castle
      • Pics or it didn’t happen!

How’d I Do?

  • VACATION
    • Neuschwanstein Castle
      • Pics or it didn’t happen!

Yeah. This vacation was insane! And exhausting. There was so much to see, and there’s still so much left that we hope to return to Bavaria in a few years, hopefully at Christmastime.

I could go on and on and on about how delicious every meal was, or how picturesque and idyllic the alps are, but I’ll let the photos do the work for once.

What’s next? 

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Edit That Which Illuminates Heaven rough draft
  • Begin NaNo project research: read one book from the library
  • Write 500 words on Sanctuary
  • Record an episode of Santa Sarita
  • Read two short stories from More Human Than Human

I think this is a good start to the month. I do want to keep writing, but nothing taxing and without any strict goals. This will be a good month to sprint for fun with my longfic or work on that tumblr prompt. Gotta get that sprinting muscle ready for November!

As always, reading is still a priority, with science fiction short stories and urban fantasy novels being the focus this month. I’ve also been listening to The Adventure Zone podcast, which has really eaten into my audiobook time, but it’s amazeballs so I have no regrets.

I actually have two full days off this week, and have a bit more free time than I really expected to, so I’m looking forward to getting some quality work done. Right at this moment I am so tired that this list looks awful ambitious, but hopefully I can manage some sleep tonight and wake up ready to take on my goals with renewed vigor.

I’m not one hundred percent what else I’ll have to share this week, but I’m sure something will come up.

Until then, Bloggos.

 

BZ

Advertisements

The Recap – September 2018

Bloggos,

Everyone call Green Day because September is ending! I’m back from vacation and pleased to find Oregon well on its way into fall. The leaves are falling, pumpkins beg for carving, and the weather is wonderfully dreary. A very nice change from Munich’s humidity and warmth. There’s a lot from my vacation to talk about, but I’ll get into that more tomorrow. Today, we talk about:

September Goals

  • Tumblr prompts
  • Finish chapter 7 of Sanctuary
  • Keep reading!
  • Continue short story submissions

How’d I Do?

  • Tumblr prompts
    • No… I didn’t get that research done that I needed to, so this prompt moves on into October.
  • Finish chapter 7 of Sanctuary
    • Hahaha nope! I wrote like… a paragraph?
  • Keep reading!
    • Yes. I read four titles this month, with two book reviews, and a handful of short stories.
  • Continue short story submissions
    • Yes! I received another rejection while on vacation and just sent The Cost of Rain off to the next place.

Total Word Count: 265

Well. I knew September would be incredibly unproductive, I just didn’t imagine it would be that bad. Like… zoinks Scoob, that’s really bad. But, I planned for this. I planned for a lax September and an editing/research heavy October because November is National Novel Writing Month! I won last year, and I aim on doing it again. The difference this time is that this project isn’t fanfic, the plot isn’t preordained and the world doesn’t already exist (well, it’s an Urban Fantasy, so yes, actually it does, but you get my point!). This year it’s going to take a lot more work to get to that 50k mark, and then a few more months of dedicated effort to finish it off.

But I’m excited for this story. I’m ready to do the research and spend the time outlining so that I at least have some idea of where the hell this novel is headed. That way, when I get stuck, I have some kind of map to help guide me out.

October Goals

  • Tumblr prompt
  • Edit That Which Illuminates Heaven
  • Research/Outline for NaNo project
  • Keep reading!
  • Continue short story submissions
  • Finish chapter 7 of Sanctuary

This is going to be an ambitious month. July and August were busy months with very high output for me, but September saw a decrease in all reading and writing. I want to spend October really revving back up so I can put my best writerly foot forward for NaNoWriMo and to get back into the swing of things.

I hate to admit it, but I think I’m going to shelve The Mechanical. I like it, but it’s a slow book, with a very atmospheric narrative style that is the exact opposite of what I need to read right now. So, instead, I’m going to focus on Urban Fantasy novels for the month of October, starting with Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks.

I’m always open to recommendations, so please let me know if there’s any Urban Fantasy out there that I absolutely must read! I’ve read all the Dresden Files books, all but the most recent Peter Grant book (it’s on hold at the library), and have the first books of Seanan McGuire’s October Daye novels, Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, and Paul Cornell’s Shadow Police series on hold at the library.

Please tell me what I’m missing!

So that’s October! Probably another low word count month as I edit, research, and read my butt off in preparation for NaNoWriMo! I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about last week and share a bunch of pictures from my vacation in Germany, and then it’s back to the grindstone. Don’t expect any book reviews this week, since I’ll be starting fresh this month with a new book, but hopefully I can get a few out later this month.

Talk soon, Blogland.

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 38

Blogland!

After last night’s adventures, today has been very slow to start. Slept in later than I have the entire trip (traveling really messed with my internal clock), and then a trip to the local supermarket leads us to lunch.

Last Week

  • VACATION!
    • Eat a pretzel every day
      • Pics or it didn’t happen
  • VACATION!
    • Visit at least one castle
      • Pics or it didn’t happen
  • VACATION!
    • Oktoberfest!!!!
      • Pics or it didn’t happen

How’d I do?

  • VACATION!
    • Eat a pretzel every day
      • Pics or it didn’t happen
  • VACATION!
    • Visit at least one castle
      • Pics or it didn’t happen
        • Have not yet visited Neuschwanstein Castle, but just booked the tour for Thursday!
  • VACATION!
    • Oktoberfest!!!!
      • Pics or it didn’t happen

We also took a bus tour up to Kehlsteinhaus, aka Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria. It was the single most beautiful place I have ever been, and it felt like being on top of the world. What’s even better, I had a beer there!

So yeah. Vacation has been a wild success so far. We’re still here for a few more days, but we’re both wearing down and almost ready to be home. I miss my bed, my stuff, and most of all, my dog. Thank goodness for my best friend who is watching Simon for us; she keeps sending me pictures and I love them!

Just a few more days of adventure in Bavaria and then it’s back on a plane and up, up, and away, back to the Pacific Northwest.

So, What’s Next?

  • VACATION
    • Neuschwanstein Castle
      • Pics or it didn’t happen!

There isn’t really much else to accomplish this week. We’re going back to Oktoberfest tonight, though I highly doubt it will be half so rambunctious as yesterday’s visit, and we have a dinner date with my best friend’s brother, who is basically my baby brother. We’re looking into visiting the Dachau Concentration Camp tomorrow, but aren’t quite sure just yet. And then Thursday is the castle tour day, then Friday we’re keeping things close to the apartment so we can prep for our travel day on Saturday.

And then it’ll be over. A whirlwind 10 days in Bavaria. A dream vacation for my husband and a damn good time for me.

As you can imagine, I’m not doing any reading while we’re here. I’m too busy taking in the sights and talking to the wonderful people we meet. But I’ll be back to the usual programming next week.

Until then, Bloggos,

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 35

Bloggos,

Labor Day weekend found us celebrating with friends from out of town, and then I streamed another play-through of Detroit: Become Human, from beginning to end, on Monday.  I’m paying for all that screen time with a migraine and delayed blog posts.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write/share a tumblr prompt
  • Record/share 2 episodes of Santa Sarita
  • Read two stories from More Human Than Human
  • Write chapter 7 of Sanctuary

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write/share a tumblr prompt
    • Yep! It took a little while to get a response, but it’s doing well enough.
  • Record/share 2 episodes of Santa Sarita
    • Hahaha. Nope.
  • Read two stories from More Human Than Human
    • Nope. Although, does playing 40-60 hours of Detroit: Become Human count? They are androids after all.
  • Write chapter 7 of Sanctuary
    • No. But I wrote just about half of it. So there’s that.

Weekly Word Count: 2,596

So, not a very productive week, it turns out. I’m not too torn up about it. The word count is good considering how few projects I had to work on, and I did a really good job of emptying my brain and just being human for a few days. I’m happy enough with the output of last month as a whole not to worry too much about how the last week played out.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 1000 words on Sanctuary
  • Finish reading Borne
  • Read two short stories
  • Review Madhu’s query letter

I’ll admit, that’s more bullet points than I expected. Lots of reading this week. A little bit of writing, nothing too crazy. Gonna keep it low key and prep for Germany! My big goal is to have a great, relaxed month and come back ready to prep and research for my NaNoWriMo novel.

And that’s where I’ll leave this. Migraine brain has got me good, so I’m not much use right now.

Talk at you soon,

 

BZ

Goals Summary wk 11

Hi all,

Gonna keep this brief. I think. I wanted to let you know that  I’ve been using the Windows laptop exclusively now for about a month. I like it. I’m acclimating, and in general it’s much more reliable than my poor, ancient Macbook. It was the right decision to transfer over.

Last week’s goals were extremely straightforward. Publish two blog posts, and write the Mass Effect Fanfic.

Well,  I didn’t publish two posts, but I wrote over 3,000 words of fic. Plus another 1500 tonight. So that’s going well. I’ve had a few views, multiple follows, and one review so far, which feels really good for only two chapters.

I just posted chapter 3 tonight, so we’ll see how that goes. If you’re interested here’s a link. However, keep in mind that this is fanfiction. It’s barely edited, and not very indicative of my original work. I own nothing in it, it is purely my imagination running wild in a world I love. It’s how I’ve coped with the waiting for Andromeda.

Which is here TOMORROW!!!!! So long world, I’ll see you again in a few weeks/months, depending on how obsessed I become with it. Therefore, I will not be setting any goals for next week, unless you count “not leaving the house until Sunday”.

Until then Blogland,

BZ

The Comedown from the Perfect Trip

Blogland!

Vacation was quite possibly the best four days ever! We ate all the delicious food, drank a ton of beer, and spent nearly every waking moment outdoors, soaking in the unlikely sunshine and warm weather. We both rocked sunburns, though mine turned to tan well before Trevor’s. My Alaskan man is by far the whitest person I know.

whaleface
That look? I’d just spotted my first whale in the wild. A juvenile Gray Whale. I was completely mystified, and a tad emotional here.

As promised, have some pictures sprinkled throughout this post!

But now we’re back, and life is settling back into that all too familiar sprint. Work, eat + read, homework, sleep. Work, work, eat + read, homework, sleep. Somewhere in there I squeeze in a social life, but usually it’s just playing Magic The Gathering with our circle of friends. Or maybe staying up far too late to watch a couple episodes of Game of Thrones while we snuggle on the couch.

I like those nights.

lighthouse
Trevor caught this as we made our way down the 114 steps of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

I’m still reading, and a lot. Summer school has kept me dashing from novel to novel, and this Noir Literature and Film class has been awesome. Probably my favorite class so far at ASU, and I have this professor again in the fall, for a Science Fiction class. I’m excited.

I’m still reading for fun, though I’ve kept that to novellas and short fiction since I finished The Gentleman Bastards. And, of course, there’s Book Club. We’re meeting next week to discuss Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I started it tonight, and so far, I actually enjoy it. We’ll see what everyone has to say Wednesday night.

After this we’re reading The Princess Bride, which will be fun. And my next pleasure read? I want to do something brand new. Something I know nothing about. But, also something fairly manageable in size. I only have a week off from school before I’m write back at it.

The Rogue Brewery Tour Train! So much fun!
The Rogue Brewery Tour Train! So much fun!

Maybe something different. Like, I, Robot. Or Lord Valentine’s Castle. Or maybe the newest Veronica Mars book, because why not?

Who knows? Certainly not I.

And writing? How’s that going?

Well, it’s not. And it’s slowly eating away at me. But, edits for Vessels are coming along, with only three (?) more chapters before the changes can be made in the computer. That’s going to take forever, but it’ll be worth it to see just how drastic the change is.

Tidepools during low tide at Cobbles Beach at Yaquina Head.
Tidepools during low tide at Cobbles Beach at Yaquina Head.

Plus, round two edits will go much faster, since the first round deal with a lot of the cohesion problems. I’m looking forward to it, kind of.

I haven’t dug up Cards yet, true to my word. But, after a bit of silence, Mal poked his head in, wondering just when he’d get to tell the rest of his story. And of course, Whit, Cora, and Jacob had to chime in as well. So, looks like there will be a sequel! I always thought so, but it’s nice to know that almost a year later, those characters still waiting around.

And what of Jordinn and Ellesaire? Of Joanna and Troy? Well, they’re still there. But, they’ve waited a long time as it is. What’s another year of school? And that story is still very much alive in my mind. I’m eager to get back to it. I won’t start the Cards sequel until the first draft of Jordinn’s Story is finished.

So, tentative plan:

I’d like to have Vessels ready for round two edits before Christmas. I’d like to continue editing through numerous drafts until I’m done with school. Any writing on Jordinn’s Story, or various short pieces for Caladria in the meantime is great! Once school is done, I’ll go back to normal human work hours. And if I can swing it, maybe even a little less. Like 30-ish. From there it’ll be all about polishing Vessels and finishing the rough draft of Jordinn’s Story. Once that’s done, I’ll start editing Cards and begin writing its sequel.

Me after nearly falling face first into the fragile ecosystem, and slippery by nature areas known as tidepools.
Me after nearly falling face first into the fragile ecosystem, and slippery by nature areas known as tidepools.

And of course, I’ll be reading constantly throughout.

School and the second job definitely threw a wrench in my writing spokes, but I think the lessons in time management and prioritization are worth it. I have accomplished a lot with very limited time. So when life calms down, I’ll have room to work on all the projects I want, and the skills to prioritize them and actually finish them on a set schedule.

And that’s invaluable to a writer.

Anyway, I have to go watch a movie for my noir class. Then to bed, so I can start my final paper in the morning before work. And then Saturday morning, I’m off to pick up my childhood best friend from Portland! I can’t wait!

Trevor took this postcard worthy shot from the walking path up from the lighthouse. It was a perfect trip.
Trevor took this postcard worthy shot from the walking path up from the lighthouse. It was a perfect trip.

Have a great night Blogland, as ever, thanks for reading this far!

BZ

One More Day…

Hey! Listen!

(Please read that in your best Navi voice.)

(If you don’t know who Navi is, please disregard and continue reading.)

One more day, Blogland. One more day and Trevor and I will have been married for a whole year. We’ve got some fun things planned for the next few days, and I can’t wait to spend some quality time with my favorite human being.

Don’t you fret, there will be pictures.

In my writing life things have hit a lull. Mainly because my time is spent reading and working. It’s pretty much all I do. I work, read on my breaks, and then do homework with my spare time before sleep takes over.

I keep telling myself it’s worth it. Others keep telling me it’s worth it, too. And really, at this point, I’m way to close to give up. One more year, Blogland. One more year of 48+ hour work weeks and school full time.

I take a lot of deep breaths and tell myself I’m a badass a lot. Otherwise I would have curled into a sobbing bawl under my covers a long time ago.

So, besides our upcoming trip to the coast, my best friend is paying us a visit in a couple of weeks. I’m stoked, because she’s my second favorite human being. And, I actually managed to get the weekend off so we can actually have adventures while she’s here.

This summer has been good to me, even if I’m exhausted.

Now I’m looking towards fall, and all the awesome that is sure to come with it. I’m taking a couple interesting elective classes, one The Art of Anime, and the other The Art of the Comic.

What else?

Oh!

Hozier concert and MS MR concert are back to back, and we’re going. So that’ll be awesome! And then we’re going home for Christmas!

So let me revise my previous assessment. 2015 has been so good to me!

Anyway, you’ll see some updates to “What I’m Reading”. But other than that, you probably won’t hear from me until this time next week. If that, because by then my BFF will be in town, and I’ll be off having all the fun!

See you in a couple weeks, Blogland!