Posts Tagged ‘plans’

Hooray for July!

Oh man, squiders, you have no idea how happy I was when Monday rolled around. All the craziness of May and June are finally behind me and I feel like I can breathe again.

It is lovely.

Now that all the sundries are taken care of, summer can finally begin.

(The relaxing part. It’s already ungodly hot. Booooooo.)

Here’s how July looks from a writing standpoint:

  • Still working on the space dinosaur story. Now that the madness is done, I hope to actually get some decent wordage going on it. I am having a bit of an issue where my Google Drive isn’t syncing on one computer, which is frustrating. Oh well. Old fashioned way it is until I have time to figure that madness out.
  • In theory, it should be my turn on the sequel to CoHaR’s draft next week. The sequel is gooooing slowly but the good news is that the publication schedule has moved out by a few months, so we should still be okay.
  • My scifi serial continues. I thought I was almost to The End but then there was a rogue plot twist.
  • I have the itch to write a short, but I don’t actually have any ideas floating about. I wrote that one back in April/May and then promptly forgot to do anything about it, so I should probably edit it and find it a home.
  • We have a Fractured World-related anthology coming out at the end of the year, and I suspect I need an outline if not a partially written story by the end of the month. So that’s pretty high on the to-do list. I have characters, premise, and setting, but am sadly lacking in plot. I will have to poke it fairly actively to get something percolating.

That ought to keep me extra busy. It’s probably too ambitious, especially since the small, mobile ones are home and bored, but hey, one can dream.

Any fun plans for July, squiders? Aside from writing, we’ve got a couple festivals planned (uuugh, nothing like wandering around outside when it’s 100 degrees) and are apparently climbing the second-tallest mountain in the continental United States next Friday.

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A Look Back at 2017 and Thoughts on 2018

While I am not particularly one for resolutions, Squiders, I do find it helps to take a look at what one accomplished in the previous year and make vague plans moving forward.

Here’s what I did, writing-wise, in 2017:

  • I wrote 75K on the rewrite of Book 1.
  • I had four short stories published (here, here, here, and here).
  • I sold two more than have not yet been published.
  • I redid all the back matter in my published books and redid the book description for Hidden Worlds.
  • I published a short story collection.
  • I finalized my query/synopsis and started querying agents for my YA paranormal novel.
  • I used the blog here to work on my nonfiction book series.
  • I continued writing my monthly scifi serial (which is almost done now!).

I mean, it’s not nothing. But I did intend to get a lot more writing done last year, which was mostly waylaid by the Book 1 rewrite going slowly (we’ve talked about that elsewhere) and also life generally getting in the way.

For 2018, I’d like to get more writing done. The marketing stuff is all well and good and unfortunately necessary, but I feel like I’ve gotten hung up on it to some extent and am not producing as much as I’d like to/could be.

Projects for 2018:

  • Finish the rewrite for Book 1 and get it critiqued/betaed. It’s at 76K right now. The last draft was 103K but I have a sneaking suspicion we’re going to end up more in the 110-120K range this time through due to where I am in the plot.
  • Write the sequel to City of Hope and Ruin. Siri and I are currently brainstorming everything and starting to put the plot together, but I believe we need to have the book written and in mostly publishable condition by December, so we’d better get on it a little faster. We also need to put together a series bible so that other authors can start working in the universe. (If you recall, CoHaR was supposed to be the first of a shared universe.) Along those lines, I believe a Fractured World anthology will be released in December, so I’ll need to write a story for that as well.
  • I’d like to finish up my serial. It’s been going since 2009 or 2011 or some ridiculous time ago, and I’m so close. Not sure what to do with it when it’s done. Edit it and try to publish it? Shove it in a drawer? I’m kind of leaning towards shoving it in a drawer. With so many things I want to write, is it worth it to spend a lot of time on something that kind of feels like it’s run its course?
  • I’d like to get the nonfiction book series out this year as well. Blogging the books has been hugely helpful toward this and I believe I’ve only got one or two more after we finish with common writing mistakes.
  • Continue querying my YA paranormal.
  • Continue writing and submitting short stories to various markets.

To be honest, between Book 1 and the CoHaR sequel (which Siri and I have dubbed “Sekrit Project 2” although we’ve already got a real title), I may not get a lot of other writing done. But I would like to, and here’s what I’d like to work on:

  • I’d like to finish my scifi space dinosaur adventure story. It’s about 2/3rd of the way done and has been since the end of Nano 2014. I hate leaving drafts undone for so long.
  • I’d like to write a companion story for Shards. I have two partially planned out (and, if you remember, I wrote a bit on one this past year to give myself a break from the Book 1 rewrite slog) and at least one is novella-length, so wouldn’t be too much of a time commitment.
  • I’ve also started developing two separate series that I wouldn’t mind getting started on. One’s a steampunk mystery/adventure series and the other is a paranormal cozy mystery series. Both require some research before I can get started, and I should also probably do some practice mysteries. I love mysteries but writing one seems really hard, though the first Nano I ever did, back in 2003, was a murder mystery (that story is so far in the drawer it’s never coming out again).

So! That’s me. How did 2017 go for you, Squiders? Big plans for 2018?

MileHiCon and Nanowrimo

I have survived the con! \o/ Barely. But I had a good time and made some new friends (yay!) and am now on a search for a refillable notebook cover. (Craig Griswold who was in the art show, on the off chance you read this, you have no online presence and I would like to buy things from you.)

(If you know of nice refillable notebook covers–i.e., a cover you can move from notebook to notebook that attaches to said notebook’s cover, kind of like a dust jacket for a notebook–in a larger size, such as composition book or steno book size, let me know. It seems like the perfect solution to my need to buy fancy notebooks but then my reticence to use said notebooks because they’re too fancy.)

I think the panels and limited signing/selling books time is a much better combination for me. I might have sold more books if I manned a table all weekend, but hey, maybe I wouldn’t have. I sold a decent amount for the time I did man a table, and any difference in sales is not worth being trapped at a table all convention. I got to see the costume contest for the first time ever.

The panels were mostly fun. The Trek one was the best, both because of the obvious love for the franchise by everyone on the panel and in the audience, and also because we actually discussed things back and forth on the panel. The audience was engaged and had great questions and comments. The Doctor Who one was the worst. It was a roundtable, which is basically just a big discussion between everyone present, but it was dominated by a small minority who wanted to talk about special effects and other background things while it was obvious some people just wanted to geek out over their favorite companions and whatnot. And the fangirling panel was fun, but we would all just go in a row to answer each question, and I wish we’d had more actual discussion.

It was a learning experience, though, and I’d definitely do it again.

There were a lot of questions from con attendees about Nanowrimo. It makes sense–the convention attracts a lot of amateur and beginning authors and it is almost November (I wrote Navember, haha)–but it still surprised me. So I figured I’d better do my obligatory Nano post for the year here.

I’m not doing Nano this year. I have not been terribly productive this year, at least not as productive as I’d planned to be, due to various stresses, and while November should be pretty chill (after next Wednesday, anyway) I know that the moment I commit to anything, something else will fall apart. So I’m out for the year, though I will probably do a smaller goal (somewhere between 10K and 20K) on my rewrite.

Doing Nano, squiders? Thoughts on MileHiCon if you went, or conventions in general?

Also, happy Halloween!

A Lack of Focus

Oh, Squiders. Normally I’m so good at multitasking. And then I go through bouts where I can’t seem to focus long enough on anything to make any progress.

Take June, for example. I had four goals.

  1. Finish a short story (related to CoHaR) that will go up on Turtleduck Press’s website in August.
  2. Write most of a story for a space princess anthology (first drafts due July 15).
  3. Get to the conflict remapping stage of the edit/revision on the first draft of my Trilogy book one.
  4. Finalize the new description for Shards.

I did write my short story. I started the space princess story (which is currently sitting at ~2600 words, which should tell you how that went). I read the current draft of my editing project (back in May). I wrote two drafts of a Shards description.

Aside from the short story (which is fairly short, under 2K), I didn’t really get squat done. I can’t quite figure out what I spent my time doing.

Even today hasn’t gone so well. I sat down at the computer two hours ago with the intent of doing an hour and a half of paid editing and writing this blog post. I’ve done ~70 minutes of work and am about half way through this post. I have also talked to my mother twice (who wants to buy the larger, mobile one clothes for his birthday even though he does not need clothes), did some work on a different paying job that was not planned for today, and, quite honestly, I don’t know what else.

To say I am frustrated is an understatement.

I think a lot of it may be because the larger, mobile one is out of school for the summer and going stir crazy, and so is also driving me stir crazy. We’ve got him in some summer classes, one at the rec center on Mondays and one at his school on Wednesdays, but there is no longer enough structure in his life or something.

Well, if nothing else, it will give me an excuse to try out some things for a book I’m writing. But I may go mad in the meantime.

In other news, Smashwords is doing some sort of sale, so if you go direct to their website, you can get Hidden Worlds for free or Shards for a dollar. They’ve got every ebook format you can want, so head over that way or miss out! The sale goes through the end of the month.

Tips for focusing around children, Squiders?

Limbo and April

I find myself in kind of a weird place right now. The sekrit project still needs work–most of that marketing stuff we talked about last week, though the excerpt has gone out for approval and will go up at the beginning of the month–but there’s nothing I can actively do while I wait for my co-writer’s input on the book description and the cover.

So I’m in this sort of limbo. I feel like I can’t start up one of my other novel projects while the marketing stuff for the sekrit project is still outstanding, but I also feel like I should be doing something.

The best I can figure for the moment is that I’ll do some short stories. I have some written but not typed up, and other ones that need to be submitted. But, unfortunately, that’s probably only 2-3 hours of work, and then I’ll be stuck again, because it sounds like I’ll be getting nothing from my co-writer until Sunday (boo!).

I could…write a new short, I suppose? I’m delaying the release of my short story collection until the fall, even though it’s essentially done, because what’s the point of putting out two books within a month and then potentially nothing else for the rest of the year? (Although…now that I think about it, I think I’ve got an anthology coming out in the fall. Maybe release it late summer, then? Argh.)

I guess the next step would be to move on to my nonfiction books until the marketing for the sekrit project is done.

I mean, some of that will be ongoing, such as contacting potential reviewers or bloggers, but that’s not necessarily creative in any way.

For April I’d like to participate in Camp Nanowrimo. Camp is very hit or miss for me in terms of whether it’s useful or not, but I figure why not try? I’m behind on everything for the year, and it might help me get back on track. I’ve set a goal of 15K and will primarily be working on my scifi space adventure with dinosaurs (you may remember that from Nano 2014) which needs about 25K more on the first draft.

I’d like to work on my submission docs (query/synopsis) for my YA paranormal novel too, but I’m not sure it’s possible to be into two different books that closely, so that may be a terrible idea. Especially with ongoing sekrit project stuff happening.

I don’t know if I will be able to work on the scifi novel while also getting the sekrit project launched, but I suppose I can do 15K on my nonfic stuff instead. There’s certainly that much (probably closer to 25K, or more) to be done there as well.

Can you do submission stuff for one novel while writing and/or marketing another, squiders? Any tips on keeping everything straight?