Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #7

Hey Blogland,

Yet another week has passed us by, with absolutely no regard for my feelings on the matter. As usual. Damn inconsiderate of it, really.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 3k on Tavi
  • Work on something Santa Sarita related

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 3k on Tavi
    • Nope.
  • Work on something Santa Sarita related
    • Nope.

Weekly Word Count: 4,492

That’s an awful lot of words for no progress on either of my projects, so what gives? Well, back in December I signed up for a Valentine’s exchange in my Writer’s Discord, where we would basically be a secret admirer for another writer the week of Valentine’s Day and celebrate by creating content for them and generally making them feel loved. I ended up writing a Mass Effect oneshot (fandom speak for short story) in two days. I’m actually pretty proud of how it turned out.

Honestly, I think I needed the break. I’ve been pretty stuck with Tavi this month, and feeling pretty down due to the lack of writing. Busting out this story in such a short time and liking it as much as I did was a big ego boost. I needed it.

Between that, a bit of reading, and lots of working hours, that was my week in a nutshell.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish Tavi chapter 12
  • Write one tumblr prompt

Given my rocky, stumbling steps this month, keeping things simple and straightforward is really all I can do. As of this moment I’m feeling upbeat and hopeful. I’m reading, I wrote a bit last week, and I finally have some clue where the heck this scene of the novel is headed. Add some caffeine and sprinkle in a playlist or two and that should be a recipe for success.

But, Anthem releases on Friday. I have zero expectations after that. This is the first new IP from Bioware since… Dragon Age? That was 2009 y’all. It’s been TEN YEARS since Bioware made something completely brand new. And it’s beautiful, and the hype is so so so real. I’m warning you now, I am going to go silent for a while and that’s okay. I’ve planned for this.

plan gif

So. Yeah. Reading, writing, and video games. That’s the week ahead. Hopefully in that order. If so, I’ll be back later this week with a review of Lies Sleeping.

Until then, Bloggos,

 

BZ

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Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #6

Blogland,

As much as I like to complain about math, for once it just made me really happy.

Remember a few posts ago when I realized I had seven rejections in the month of January? That number hit me hard. I’m still not entirely sure why, but man, it hurt. Like… Seven? In one month? Yikes.

But then, I did some more math. *GASP*

Image result for the horror gif
Me whenever someone suggests I do math.

Guys. Thirty percent of my rejections in 2018 were personal. 30 PERCENT! That feels amazing! I did that math and I was over the moon.

But, do you know what doesn’t feel so amazing? Another fucking migraine.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 2k words on Tavi
  • Write something Santa Sarita related

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Nope. I started to draft a second post for Saturday, but that obviously didn’t happen.
  • Write 2k words on Tavi
    • Nope. More on this in a second.
  • Write something Santa Sarita related
    • Nope. Not even a little bit.

Weekly Word Count: 980

So, this week was rolling along just fine until Friday night. I didn’t feel well the further into my shift at the library, but I went out to celebrate the one year anniversary of a local business anyway. My first clues should have been the smell sensitivity and the hot and cold flashes. But with the weather so out of control here, I didn’t think anything of it.

By the time I went to bed Friday night, I knew there was a migraine incoming. I took a dose of advil migraine and went to bed. I had Saturday off and could spend the day nursing the headache if need be.

Except this was the worst migraine of my life. I didn’t leave my bed for two whole days unless I was puking. I tried to eat easy things, ramen. Crackers. Water. Nothing stayed. So I just lay there listening to I’ll Be Gone in the Dark and wishing I could sleep or eat or something. i'll be gone in the dark

So, yeah. That’s why nothing happened over the weekend. I’d planned on writing another blog post, writing more on Tavi, and maybe even working on Santa Sarita a little.  I couldn’t even keep my eyes open, let alone look at a computer screen. But, I did have a little breakthrough on the chapter I’m working on, so at least I know where I’m headed for now.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 3k on Tavi
  • Work on something Santa Sarita related

I have to try and make up for lost time. We all know that as soon as I get my hands on Anthem next week it’s all over for me. I’m going to fall off the radar for awhile. That means this week will have to carry the bulk of my word count for the month. I’ll admit, I’m not feeling particularly optimistic about my odds right now.

But, I’ll do my best, like I always do, and hopefully that will see me through.

Until later, Bloggos.

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #5

Well, last week did not go as planned, at all.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 1,500 words on Tavi
  • Write something Santa Sarita related

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Yes! Actually, I published three blog posts. So there!
  • Write 1,500 words on Tavi
    • Nope. Not even a little bit.
  • Write something Santa Sarita related
    • Nuh-uh.

Weekly Word Count: 0

What the heck did I do last week? I worked 52 hours and did the only thing that sounded the least bit of interest to me: played video games. Between Kingdom Hearts and the Anthem demo, my limited free time was booked solid. And I am okay with that. I knew going into this month that 12k was a stretch, and that video game releases would prove problematic.

Submissions continue to continue. I was a little down about this yesterday when I wrote my Monthly Recap for January, but I know there’s still a big mountain to climb in this regard. I’ll keep going until there’s nowhere left to submit. That’s the plan.

What’s Next

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 2k words on Tavi
  • Write something Santa Sarita related

That’s it. I’m keeping things low key in hopes I can climb back out of this little funk and get back on track. But, I’m also unwilling to guilt myself for decompressing with things I enjoy, like video games. I’m working a lot, and I want/need to make progress on this novel. And I also need to stay sane. Sometimes, escaping into a good video game is the only thing that helps.

I’m still reading, slowly. I’m still writing. I’m still posting here. The world is not crumbling around me, no matter what my brain says. I’m here, I’m only a little bit behind schedule. Nothing is beyond the point of no return.

Breathe.

… Better?

Talk soon, Bloggos.

 

BZ

The Recap – January 2019

Hey Bloggos,

January felt long. And yet, it went by entirely too fast for my liking. I feel like I spent too much time sleeping or otherwise recuperating from all the work hours I put in, and not nearly enough time on writing. I’m sensing a trend for 2019 already.

January Goals

  • Write 12k words on Tavi
  • Write 1k on Sanctuary
  • Continue short story submissions
  • Keep reading!

How’d I do?

  • Write 12k words on Tavi
    • No. Which, wasn’t entirely unexpected. I did get pretty close, just under 1500 words short of the goal. I’ll take it.
  • Write 1k on Sanctuary
    • Yes! I also wrote a tumblr prompt or two.
  • Continue short story submissions
    • Yep. On and on and on.
  • Keep reading!

Total Monthly Word Count: 12,552

This was a busy month. Lots of writing, a lot more reading than I expected, and more time spent playing video games that I SHOULD have expected. I’m trying my best in all areas of my life, which is exhausting. So, sometimes that means a weekend of video games, or a week of no writing. It’s going to happen, because my mental health is going to make demands. And the less I fight it, the better I’ll feel and the quicker I’ll get back to work.

Writing went well until it didn’t. I’ve spent a week away from it now, and think I’m just about ready to figure out this scene. Tavi’s been working this way so far, in a whirlwind and then stalled. I let the scene marinate, until she calls me back and I can work on it again. It’s a different rhythm, but I trust it. It’s led me to more than 35k words so far.

Reading continues, slowly but surely. I’m not feeling particularly drawn to anything, so I’m trying to get through the Firefly novel in my down time. big damn hero.jpg

The short story submissions continue. I had 7 rejections in January. Seven. That stings. I’ve never looked at the number of rejections in a single month before, and I don’t think I want to again. Ouch. That’s a third of what I had all of 2018!

And yet, they continue. As Utada said, “On and On and On”.

February Goals

  • Write 8k on Tavi
  • Continue short story submissions
  • Write 1k on Sanctuary
  • Keep reading!

So yeah. That’s the plan. Write a bit, give myself permission to relax, and schedule in gaming time. I knew going into this year that Kingdom Hearts and Anthem were going to take their toll on my free time, and they already have. I need to schedule that in if I hope to get this manuscript done before the summer.

And that is still the plan. I want to finish the rough draft in April so that I have May and June to revise it before the writing workshop in July. Granted, I only get to go if I’m awarded a scholarship, but it’s WAY better to have a prepped MS and not get to go than arrive with nothing to share.

Writing 8k on Tavi doesn’t seem like enough, and it isn’t, but I think it’s a big ask for the shortest month of the year. We’ll see how it goes.

See y’all tomorrow to talk about this past week!

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #4

Hey Bloggos,

Welcome to a new week, that bleeds right into a new month. It was a busy week for me, with over 47 hours spent working between the two jobs. It definitely had an impact on my creative output this week.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 5k on Tavi
  • Work on something Santa Sarita related

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Yep! One post was sort of a site identification/introduction, and the other was a sort of personal purge. Sorry, not sorry.
  • Write 5k on Tavi
    • No. But I still made some good progress.
  • Work on something Santa Sarita related
    • Nope. Not even a little bit.

Weekly Word Count: 3,383

Basically, this week was a lot of me working all day, coming home to dinner and catching up with hubby, only to stare at my computer and hope words would come. Some nights they did, others I was best suited to sleeping and little else.

I made progress on Tavi, made a good dent in The Business of Being a Writer, and I spent time on the blog and on Twitter. On days I couldn’t seem to write, I worked on updating my lists of potential markets to submit short stories to. I think I got something like three rejections this week. I forget, because they don’t really bother me any more. Mostly, I feel like all I did was sleep.

And it’s going to be more of the same this week.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 1,500 words on Tavi
  • Write something Santa Sarita related

tired gif.gif

I’m working 52 hours this week. I’m tired just thinking about it. Thanks to this insanity I’m keeping the writing goal small; all I want is to cross the 12k mark on Tavi by the end of Wednesday, anything written after that is just gravy on the biscuits.

There will be plenty of blog posts this week, including a Monthly Recap and an all new Reading Round-Up. I’m also hopeful that I’ll finish reading The Business of Being a Writer before the end of the month.

I don’t think there’s any other updates or goals. I just have to stay the course into February and eke out a couple wins in the process.

I can do it. Just keep swimming and whatnot.

 

BZ

 

An Introduction, of Sorts

I realized last night, as I read The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman (highly recommend, btw) that it had been a really long time since I’d talked about who I am and what exactly this blog is for.

Like. A really long time. Like, maybe never. When this blog started, way back in 2011, I had a viewership of zero and expected it to remain that way. I also had no experience or expectations to guide my posts and the content I shared. 2011 was truly the Wild West of this site. I was 21 and still coming to grips with the reality that I wanted to write fiction for living. I was young, in so many respects. So, so young.

Now, almost ten years later, allow me to introduce myself.

Hofbrau Pretzel
Ah, Munich. I miss you and your pretzels.

Hi! My name is Brittany, but if we’re friends you probably call me B or BZ, and this site is my home in the virtual cosmos of the internet. I created my WordPress blog back in 2011 after a guest speaker visited my Planning and Structuring the Novel class. He suggested that having an online presence would make us more visible to agents and editors, help keep us accountable to our goals, and that having consistent blog posts where we discussed our writing could help protect us from potential plagiarism and theft.

Just as I do now, I thought the plagiarism bit was kind of funny, because that implies someone has read my work and liked it enough to steal it. But I liked the sound of all the other bits. Visibility? Accountability? Sounds great, sign me up!

Almost a decade later and I’m still here, and I can tell you that you’ll only get out of your blog what you’re willing to put into it. Like so much else in life, time and energy are the keys to making anything successful. Maintaining a blog is no different.

So, what does this blog do? A lot of things actually. Mainly, it holds me accountable. I talk about the things I want to do, the goals and dreams I’m striving for, and then I either get to tell you how I succeeded or how I failed. Guess what? It’s a WAY better day when I can say that I’ve succeeded. And that’s motivating as heck. If you’ve been a reader here for long, then you’ve noticed the weekly, monthly, and yearly Goals posts, where I talk at length about my various projects and how I intend to complete them. It took years to get to this level of routine and habit, but I think I’ve finally found a system that works.

april whiteboard
My whiteboard is the linchpin of all of my productivity, and the blog is my virtual whiteboard.

The blog is also a place where I can write down my thoughts when they get to be a little overwhelming. This happens less and less as the years go by, thankfully, but occasionally I just need a way to clear my head, and writing has always been there for me.

I also share book reviews and my observations on writing, editing, and publishing. I’ll admit, the latter posts are fairly few and far between, mainly because I’m not sure I have much authority on the matter. I’m in the thick of it, learning and growing with every experience, and that’s what I share here on this site. I’m building a writing career, slowly but surely, and I’m documenting every step along the way on this blog.

If you want to know more about me, or to contact me, you can click on any of the links in the upper right-hand corner of this site to find my various social media pages. You can also find these links and my official author bio on the About page of this site.

Thank you so much for stopping by. After all this time, it was really nice to meet you.

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #3

Blogland,

Well, this is awkward.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 3,500 words on Tavi
  • Work on Santa Sarita

How’d I do?

Horribly. I did not complete a single objective on the docket for the week. Not one. I did manage to finish listening to Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, and honestly, I’m not sure that any of it stuck. It’s going to require a reread at some point in the future.

Weekly Word Count: 0

So, what derailed me so utterly? First, we got a new bed. I mean, a new mattress, new bed frame, sheets, etc. That was a solid two evening’s worth of time that I didn’t spend writing because I was prepping our room for the new set up, and then putting together the new bed frame. Thursday night was trivia night, and I had every plan to spend my Friday and Saturday elbow deep in my manuscript, when of course, I was struck down with a migraine.

So, I binged Roswell (the original and the reboot) and tried not to puke all weekend. Sweet.

roswell
I had such a crush on Michael Guerin. Let’s be real, I still do.

I did finally hear back about That Which Illuminates Heaven, and it was a decent enough form rejection, so it’s off to the next place. Otherwise, there’s nothing much to say about last week.

So, What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 5k on Tavi
  • Work on something Santa Sarita related

I need to make up for last week’s slump, and if I can eke out five thousand words on the novel this week, then I’ll still make my monthly word count goal. I don’t know if I can really do it, but I’m going to try.

I’ve got some graphic novels queued up on the TBR stack, so that’ll be some good padding for the Goodreads challenge this month. And I’m already almost halfway through The Business of Being a Writer. I still think I’m going to buy a copy, because I think it’s a quality resource to have, and I want to mark up this copy so bad it isn’t even funny. But, taking notes in library books is highly frowned upon.

My focus this week is the novel. If I make my goal on that, I’ll switch gears into Santa Sarita and probably decompress with a tumblr prompt or something. So, it’s going to be another straightforward, no nonsense week. Hopefully that means I’ll actually be able to get something done.

Until later Bloggos,

 

BZ