Monday, April 3, 2017

March 2017 goals roundup

You know that saying, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb? I remember doing construction paper lion/lamb faces, curling the paper for the lamb's wooly curls. However, that saying has little relevance on the March I just had, which came in like a lion and went out in much the same way, leaving us all thankful we didn't get eaten. Granted, lions tend to only eat people if there's something wrong with them (the lions, not the people), which is ultimately what that Val Kilmer movie "The Ghost and the Darkness" is about, based on the book The Man-Eaters of Tsavo (free on Kindle, it's been in public domain for years and years), which is an interesting book indeed and more about hunting for fun than the lions themselves or the tribulations of finishing that particular brand of a railroad.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

February 2017: goals complete!

In February, I wrote not one but two! short stories .Both were the product of my writing workshop at the library, actually.

With the first one (as yet untitled. Tell me you're surprised, I dare you), the writing prompts I used just hung together well enough to keep the same narrative thread going. It kidna sorta takes place in the same real-world-but-witchy that "Sugar and Spice" (published in Sockdolager Summer 2016 issue, fantastic review of it by Charles Payseur here at Quick Sip Reviews. I am unused to being reviews, and it was very nice and insightful.) does.

Incidentally, I miss summer. Do you miss summer?

The second story came from a "write a complete story" prompt. I bought a spandy new Rider-Waite deck and passed it around, telling people to draw three cards and use them as their inspiration. Beginning, middle, end. Whatever. My story turned out as actual second world fantasy, which isn't something I end up with very often, and I feel like it only needs a couple of tweaks before it's ready to be submitted.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Looking back on January 2017: how'd I do?

White rabbits!

It's February already!

January went well. I wrote a story, currently titled "The Mountain's Wife", and really it might just stay that way. It's not quite ready to be sent out yet...there's something it needs, and I'm not sure what. So it waits.

I also got over my "reader's block" a bit and read three books! I've added the pages "Readings 2017", and I'm keeping track not only of the books I've read, but also the short stories, poems, and longer articles. I realized that for one, even when I'm not finishing books it doesn't mean I'm entirely not reading and two, it'd be nice to keep track of those great stories, etc. that I read for if/when I want to refer back to them.

The book I read most recently was Eelgrass, by Tori Curtis , who blogs here and tweets here and is in my writing group, so I did kind of cheat by being able to read/hear some of the novel before it was published. Also, I did a livetweet as I read, which I've collected via Storify.

So, if you like fantasy, and selkies, and the ocean, and #ownvoices novels, definitely have a look at Eelgrass (currently available in paperback and on Kindle).

Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 2016 and year end wrap up

Well, 2016, I hope you're happy with yourself. What a year. Everybody knows what I mean so we won't get into that because I don't want to and you can't make me.

So let's talk about writing! On January 1 of this year, I talked about my goals for 2016. I did not do the Book Riot Read Harder challenge, and actually only read 14 books this year. Lots of short stories, though. So I've got a goal related to that for 2017 that I'll squeeze another blog post out of.

Friday, December 9, 2016

2016 NaNoWriMo winner!

As I reported on November 20, NaNoWriMo went quite well for me. I validated my winning word count at 57,333 words, which I am quite pleased with.

I had several days in which I wrote only a couple of hundred words, and many more days in which I reached the minimum word count goal (1667) and still others where I wrote more than 4,000 words! All in all, I call that a productive month. 

However, I did not reach "the end", which really was my goal this year, especially with how well my word counts were going some day. However, I have still been working on it, which is unusual for my past NaNoWriMo experiences. Not 4k a day working on it, but some, and that's a pretty sharp contrast to "I validated I'm done now!"

Additionally, I rewrote one of my short stories, committing to making it actually science fiction. Previously it was just a little odd, a little Shirley Jackson-esque (think "The Lottery"), taking place in an unspecified place and time, perhaps a little old fashioned, but a war torn esque country. Well, I replaced the setting with an unnamed planetary settlement, replaced bombs with meteor showers, and thought "well...actually that works." We'll see. I've of course already submitted said story in its newest state (after letting it sit until November was done).

So I consider November to be quite the success. Even if I didn't write "The end" on the novel just yet ,I'm still considering under the umbrella of "write a new story every month". I just need to write a story in December now (have a couple of ideas knocking around already, if you can imagine such a thing), and this year's writing goals will be fulfilled!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: cyberpunk sequel madness (and assorted esoteria)

I know you're all very surprised, I'm doing NaNoWriMo this month. And can I say how goddamn delighted I am by the SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE theme that the flair has? I already bought a participant t-shirt, and I'm debating on when to order the winner shirt (I haven't won yet, but....)

I'm not writing a space novel this year (though I did last year!). No, this year I'm writing the sequel to the novel that I wrote in July for CampNaNoWriMo. I really liked those characters, actually, though I will confess that bits and pieces of their personalities and tics may or may not come from characters I've played, and may end up in some way familiar to people who were in those games with me. Other things, most things, are fresh. But, in July, the novel was a cyberpunk diamond heist carried out by three young independent women. This month, the novel is two of the three, and something to do with militias and hijacking army supplies and what they spent their money on from all those diamonds. Because the characters don't know yet, I don't have to know yet, isn't that great? I think that's great.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

I finished October Madness early. No, I don't care that early is "cheating".

I don't know what it was this year, all those stories on submission made me super frenetic about how I had all those stories on submission. So I loaded up the submission queue super quick and then crouched over my email like


But, I soldiered on and got it done!

31 submissions for the 31 days of October! Of those 31 submissions, I have received 11 rejections. I'm not going to give you the form/personal breakdown, but I will tell of those rejections was a one hour rejection,which was a first. I mean, don't get me wrong, the agony of Schrodinger's Submission is real, but one hour? Ouch.


I also know that submissions are very subjective. There could be a specific issue an editor is building, and an editor's taste and vision is always a factor as well. It isn't necessarily a value judgement. Etc. Etc. It's hard to keep that emotional balance on a day when you get 4 or 5 rejections, though.

But, the fact that I still have 20 submissions from just October is staggering. And 5 more from prior to that, with a grand total of 25 submissions, 24 of them unique submissions (I simultaneously submitted that one story which had its submission birthday. What've I got to lose, right?) That's an awful lot of short stories I think are ready enough to be out there, just waiting for the right editor and market to say yes, and that's something I'm pretty proud of.