Tuesday, July 29, 2008

July Writing Update / August Goals

Where did July go? There was a good deal of editing, some struggles to write a new story (more on that), a few days on vacation, and a few crazy days at work. I came very close to meeting my goals, and I am satisfied with my progress.

July Results:
  • New Submission: 1/1 (and submitted to a second market by month end)

  • Stories Edited: 2/2 (Sunguard and Treischan Strength, with edits in progress for Orchard, Eve, and the next draft of Sunguard).

  • Stories Written: 0/1 (too many ideas, not enough focus)

  • Adv. Fiction Class: 1/1 Lesson

  • Read: 1/1 Novel (Tinker, by Wen Spencer)

  • Crits: 2/2

August Goals:

  • New Submission: 1 (Sunguard)

  • Story Edits: 2 (Sunguard & one other)

  • Story Writing: 2-3

  • Crits: 2

  • Adv. Fiction Class: 1 Lesson

  • Read: 2 Novels

The short story writing has proven problematic in July because I've been in deep edit mode, and the stories I was trying to write, were not truly sincere attempts. I've been letting them simmer, which is fine, I like when things simmer, but I never really sat down and gave it my full attention. Once A Thief is actually 2 different stories I have to pry apart, and Stone Forest needs some more focus. However, they're going to sit on the back burner for August. There are a few anthologies I'd like to try and submit to before the end of the year (October deadline for one, December deadline for another). I've got a working title of "Radio Silence" for once, but that will change, and the other is Nighthunter's Bite, a short I started a few years ago, but lost interest in. I'm going to revamp it with the theme of the anthology in mind, and that seems to be sparking some creativity for me.

As far as editing goes, I'm aiming for Sunguard to be the next submission, so it needs one more good edit (after a few crits). Eve is on my mind, and so is Orchard, but they both need a decent amount of attention. I'll have to pick one as I get closer.

I'm looking ahead to August, the writing should be fun, but there are time constraints I have to consider. I'm away for the first three days of the month, and then my folks are coming in town for possibly a week or an extended weekend, so I need to make sure I'm using my time right.

Monday Update

I spent a good deal of time on Sunguard today, but a computer glitch resulted in a loss of every one of those changes. My evening was spent preparing for the vacation, so I had no time to redo the edits. I did receive a rejection on my short story, so I prepped the next submission package and will mail it out again on Tuesday.

The vacation is going to be fun, but getting ready to go on one is usually a fairly busy time, especially with kids involved. I'll get there, even if I don't sleep tonight!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Edit: Sunguard

Yes, still going with Sunguard. I haven't touched it since earlier in the week and I really want to try and finish this version before I head out on vacation. I had about an hour tonight and implemented the simple edits I marked on the printed manuscript, but I still have in-line comments I made with one scene to add and another scene to rewrite. Time remaining? I have my lunchbreak tomorrow, and a short bit of time tomorrow night before I start packing, so there is some hope. I'm eager - this one is going to be my next submission.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Knew It

I know when some weeks are impossible for completing anything, and I'm glad this was one week I did expect it. That said, I was able to not stress out over my lack of finishing anything I started. And, I was able to continue writing in dribs and drabs, keeping my projects alive. So what did I do this week?

* Once A Thief - Realized the main character is poking her head up in about three different short story ideas right now, and that I need to give her some free writing time next week to find out who she really is, and what problems she's really having. Once I know that, I can fit her into the correct story, and move the two others back into worldbuilding/plotting and come up with appropriate main characters.

* Sunguard - did some market research and found an anthology I believe is appropriate which sparked a revelation that my ending was all wrong.

* Crit - read a story for crit, and will try to get the crit done this evening. It's a short story (flash fiction) so it shouldn't be a days-long project. I just need to sit down and do it.

The one bad thing I did was daydream about my submission being accepted. I wasn't getting anything done anyway, so that's not the issue, but it's silly to get my hopes up. There are a lot of writers out there who are as good as me, and some better, and I have lots of practicing to do. That said, I do have a lot of faith in this story, and I want it to have a home like I've never wanted it before. But that will come in time, not on its very first venture out of the house.

I've been toying with the idea of writing a workshop on Time Management for writers to participate in S.L. Viehl's workshop week, but ironically enough, I don't think I have the time to write it up this particular weekend. Maybe I'll set it up and just post it when it's ready. It's not that I've mastered time, I think I've come a long way in understanding where it is, and where it isn't in my life, and I've gotten pretty effecient at determining how to use it. My July goals are near completion. The last item, writing a short story, is complicated because of the character issues. I hope to get it done, but like I said, this last week and a half of July promised distance from my writing. Maybe tonight, after the crit...

Here's a link to the workshops for next week. If you've got any interest in writing, go check it out Monday - Friday. Paperback Writer

Monday, July 21, 2008

Editing Sungard

I'm working on the next draft of Sunguard. The story has come a long way from when I struggled to write it, and it still isn't easy. The effort has been worth it though, I really think I salvaged a decent story from first draft garbage. Another day or two and the issues should be ironed out.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Celebrating 10 Years of Me

The 28th of this month marks the ten year anniversary of my adulthood. I'm not talking about legal adulthood, I'm referring to the day I left home. I left my family, left the city I'd grown up in, and moved to a strange new place where I had to fend for myself. Sure, I had people to fall back on, and I did rely on them, but this is when I truly became an adult. Let me tell you of the things I learned.

  • Proper finance handling
  • Car buying (and lemon trading)
  • Moving cross country
  • Job hunting and keeping
  • Marriage, and what it really means to have another half
  • Motherhood (one beautiful daughter, and a little boy on the way)
  • the meaning of Time
  • the importance of being me and enjoying my own activities

That last one hit me as soon as I moved out. I went from living in a house with three other siblings, two parents, a grandparent, a dog and two cats to occupying a one bedroom apartment by myself, in a town where I knew no one. I couldn't afford cable tv, and really, this is when I learned not only that I loved writing, but that I was good at it, and the dream came alive for me. Ten years ago, I decided I wanted to be a writer. Seriously.

In that time, I've researched and taken classes, and read everything I could get my hands on. The results? Take a look below.


  • 3 Completed (1 of which has been edited a few times)
  • 2 in progress
  • 7 in various stages of worldbuilding and outlining
  • 35 viable ideas (with at least 1 paragraph of notes) in 5 genres

Short Stories

  • 1 published
  • 1 in submissions
  • 31 complete (2 are intended for novel conversion)
  • 6 shelved (they were learning experiences and need to die)
  • 25 awaiting edit (Yes, that's 25 worth spending time to fix!)
  • 10 started but not completed (a project for 2009)
  • 3 in progress


  • 2 published
  • 10 ideas (being researched or in outline form)

So you see, I've had a busy ten years. I've learned much, and am continually learning. I've surrounded myself with positive people, and learned how and when to laugh at myself. That lesson I learned from my husband.

Tell me - either here or in your own blog - what have you accomplished? Celebrate yourself.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Moving Forward

I reread my edits to Sunguard, and between my own observations and a first reader, I made some notes for the next edit pass. I moved on to Eve, which has a good foundation in conflict and emotion, but I need to add some description which is sorely lacking. I think it's one of the reasons I tend to write more fantasy than science fiction, I have more to play with regarding description and environment. But who am I to back down from a challenge! I'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Edit: Sunguard

The Sunguard edit has met with some success. The story nearly doubled in size, and maybe 100 words remains of the original story. The changes are definitely for the better. The ending took an odd turn, but I think it works. I've got it out to some readers now, so hopefully soon I'll know if I've gone off the deep end or not. Happy reading, my friends. :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Submission

For the first time in three years, I have submitted a story to a magazine: Treischan Strength. For my non-fiction, it hasn't been that long, but I need to get that moving too. The point is: my story is out there, and being out there is the only way to achieve publication. It's exciting and scary all at once, and hopefully this "first" submission will not be my last. I have a few other stories to get into shape so I can get those out there, too.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Edit: Treischan Strength

Ending revised, story complete. Edited. Ready. Submission quality. I lack the proper words.

I'll do a quick check tomorrow, make sure I didn't make any silly typos, then print and head over to the post office. This will be my first short story submission in three years. It's about damn time!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Artifacts & Relics

I started some research today using Google's image search to try and locate some artifacts and relics for my short story, and wow am I amazed at the process an archeological dig has to go through and the issues they have to deal with once the project is moving forward. So, I found myself in Ancient Egypt again, I keep finding myself there whenever I do this kind of research. I need to find something new. Maybe I'll go look up the Incahs and the Mayans tonight. Just so I stay out of Egypt. :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

Derailed. Derailed by both exhaustion (did too much this weekend) and by inspiration (new stories want to be written!) Yes, I am battling the need to edit with the inspiration of two new shorts. Once A Thief finally shaped up and I need to get the first draft typed out quickly, and the untitled urban fantasy I mentioned has a working title of Stone Forest. Both are demanding my attention. I have until Friday to edit Treischan Strength, so I'll follow a friend's advice and go with the new stories for tonight.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Considering the level of exhaustion we experienced from our ultrapacked three day weekend, I'm surprised I accomplished anything at all. I was not in an editing mood and couldn't get there no matter what I did (exahustion, I'm sure) so I started the new short story (urban fantasy, untitled) and started getting my submission package together for Treischan Strength. The final edit will start over my lunch tomorrow, and hopefully I'll clean it up enough to mail on Tuesday.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

How Swiftly Time Abandons Me

Time is not my friend. I need to harness it, maybe bottle it, and portion it out as I see fit. Actually, I do prioritize my tasks based on the time I have available, but it just doesn't always fit into my imagined schedule.

I've been continuing the Sunguard edit. I tried to work on Once A Thief, but the character changed the rules on me as I got to know her, and the story is an entirely different idea than when I started. I'm keeping the old idea for future writing, and going with the new one this upcoming week. I completed a critique this week, and will try to do one more this next week.

Goals for this week are aggressive, but I'm giving it a shot. I have my priority items including a final edit and submission (Treischan!!!). We've had way too much fun with the holiday, so it'll be nice to get back into a normal routine where writing fits into my preplanned schedule. :D Hope your week goes well!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Market Research

I used my lunchbreak to do some market research, focusing on anthologies this time. None of the listings on www.ralan.com really jumped out at my before, but I wanted to give myself a second chance. I looked at the themes based on what I've already written and what I'd like to write, but this time, I really looked at the themes.

I selected two based on partial writings I have saved. There's a celtic anthology that I can use to help complete Nighthunter's Bite, which I've been stumped on forever. There's another one that didn't have the theme listed on Ralan's site, but which I discovered on the direct website specifying "radio" and "alternate worlds". It reminded me of a scene I wrote for an exercise a few weeks ago, a scene I can now morph into a story. Both have December deadlines, so I have enough time to write the first drafts and edit them to my heart's content.

My only fear with anthologies, is that everyone else will be writing these themed stories, and if mine doesn't get accepted, then all those people will be sending their stories to the same markets as I will be. I suppose I can always tweak them to be different so they don't look like antho-rejects. . .

That's a lot to be worried about without the stories being written though, so I'll add these little projects onto my August and September plans. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I've been working on multiple things since Sunday, not really getting too far with any of them. On the other hand, I've managed to regain control over the day-job workflow, and I think that (and the two year old) have consumed most of my energy. Oh, and the growing one, too. (Pats tummy).

Something drastic has to happen to Sunguard. I'm playing with the different scenes, but I still don't have the right combination. The story concept is right, the characters are right, even the viewpoint is right, but it's the sequence of presenting the events that's bothering me. Backstory is fine, but in a short story, an entire page of backstory is too much. I generally try to avoid flashbacks unless the story truly needs it. This story either needs the flashback (groan) or I need to start earlier. But that means dragging my readers through an event akin to a meteor shower and hitting those same people once a month for three to four months. I think that'll kill the interest in the character. Those events, those changes, lead to what Ashelle is dealing with now. I think the event isn't so much the "meteor shower" but Ashelle's interpretation of it. I don't like my options right now. I feel like there's another option, but at the moment, I can't identify it. I'll keep playing with it, I guess. It'll hit me eventually.