What’s Up Wednesday? The Last Day of Winter…

March 19, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Still listening to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood on Audible, and Escape Artist podcasts, and started listening to ‘Culture: Excession’ again, though I feel like it’s a little hard to follow on audio, sigh. Finished the Secret Circle trilogy, and I’m branching out to some new markets of short stories, reading from ‘Shimmer’ and ‘Andromeda Spaceways In-flight Magazine’, as well as catching up on Strange Horizons.

What I’m writing:

NaNoEdMo clock count: 28 and a half hours! I’ve finished my revisions on ‘Gotta Have that Look’, and started making some big changes to my Orpheus story. I haven’t given up on HTRYN and “The Angel’s Charlie,” but going through the world triage seems to be dragging on a little, sigh.

What inspires me right now:

Write-ins, the Odyssey video chat salon, and getting back to using my Alphasmart Dana on the bus.

What else I’ve been up to:

Not that much lately. Waiting for more news from Kij Johnson about whether I get into the Novel workshop at CSSF, and organizing my huge Audible collection. 🙂

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.

What’s Up Wednesday? Another Blizzard!

March 12, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Still working through my Secret Circle ebooks and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood on Audible. Read many Escape Pod stories this past week and no PodCastle, because I’ve been trying different ways of choosing my podcasts and Escape Pod was coming up first.

I also read through a little ebook I got ages ago, “Alias Recruited” while I was at Comicon on Sunday, mostly while waiting for panels to start. It was a fun little read, part of a paperback prequel series for the Alias TV show with Jennifer Garner, which I never really got into that much but is still on my ‘to watch’ list.

What I’m writing:

NaNoEdMo revision, baby! I’m up to 17-ish hours so far, and pleased with the progress I’ve made, especially the HTRYN classes for “The Angel’s Charlie” which have been going much faster than the first time I revised a novel with them, and ‘Gotta Have that Look’ which should be ready for critique by Monday.

What inspires me right now:

Open mike night, hearing Eliza Dushku’s mother talk about the power of telling stories, and Billy Joel’s “Leningrad.”

What else I’ve been up to:

Had a pretty good time at Toronto Comicon over the weekend. Spent too much money on graphic novels and Star Wars picture books, and lost my water bottle, but what the hey? And I’ve been enjoying the nice weather when it shows up. (Glares out the window at the snow.)

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.

IWSG: The Revisions Edition

March 6, 2014

Welcome Insecure Writer’s from far and wide! So, I’m six days into my personal version of National Novel Editing Month, and even though it’s been hard to find the energy to log revision time, I think I’ve been doing pretty well. I’m nearly at 10 hours out of the 50 hour challenge now.

I’ve been bouncing around with my revision projects so far, mostly between going through the Holly Lisle ‘How to Revise your Novel’ course on a second manuscript, “The Angel’s Charlie”, and a follow-my-gut approach to revising a science fiction short, “Gotta Have that Look.” I wrote this version of GHTL during Odyssey, based on an earlier Camp Nanowrimo short that I sent to Jeanne while preparing to attend the workshop, and I both loved and hated the feedback I got on it. I finally broke ground on the revisions back in December or so, and I actually really like some of the changes I’ve been making to it over the past few days. Hopefully I’ll be able to send it back to the Team Ambitious crew in a week and a bit, see what they think of all the new stuff.

One cool bit that I was able to take from the ‘How to Revise your Novel’ course and apply to GHTL was the Holly Lisle three-part fix for talking heads: establish the setting, give a character a prop, and involve a gimmick. (I won’t explain that in detail here: Go buy the course for yourself!)

I’ve been counting other stuff as EdMo time too; if you’re going to reach 50 hours in a month, you have to dig deep. I’m not going out looking for lots of critiques to do in March, but whatever critiquing I do for other writers counts. I’ve also been planning another rewrite of Orpheus, hoping to expand it for the I Am the Abyss anythology. And I’ve been looking for other shorts to revise, finding Jeanne’s feedback on my Odyssey application piece, “The Time Bubble Blues”, and updating a list of every short story I’ve written over the past 4 years or so.

So I guess I’m not feeling that insecure about my writing just now, it turns out. 😀 What about you?

NaNoEdMo Eve (again?)

February 28, 2014

Well, it’s the last day of February, so tomorrow will be March 1st, and NaNoEdMo is starting all over again. My approach to revision and editing has changed a lot in the last year, (mostly on account of Odyssey,) but I’m still looking forward to getting 50 hours worth of editing in over the month.

So far, my revision possibilities list is fairly brief:

  • The Angel’s Charlie. I started working on the Holly Lisle HTRYN program with this manuscript last March, and then never really got back to it. It’ll be nice to get back to that.
  • “Gotta have that look.” Hopefully I can get the revision of this to a place where I’m happy enough with it to submit it to Team Ambitious by mid-month. (It’ll need to be good, since they all saw a draft back in the summer.) Then maybe I can submit it in the spring, get it working for my Race Score.
  • Expand “Orpheus and the Cameraman” for the Abyss anthology. Since the anthology call is for novellas of at least 10k, and my current draft is just over four thousand words, (from a first draft of 2k,) that’ll be a lot of expansion and new words, but I think the premise has enough to support that, and it’ll be nice to get to write some new scenes while still technically editing for March.

I just finished the last of my modest goals for Feburary, dreaming up some story ideas that I’ll be tossing out when the A to Z challenge starts in April! Of course, I still have to figure out some of the trickiest letters in the alphabet, but there’s time for that.

What’s Up Wednesday, off the waiting list!

January 29, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Let’s see. Still working away at my Kindle magazines, but at least I’m nearly caught up on short stories. I’ve decided to start with the shorts, (and the poetry,) then go back and try to be more selective with the novellas and novelettes, trying to figure out which are worth my time to read.

I’ve also started “Terra” by Mitch Benn, which Elizabeth was keen to loan out to somebody at the Evensies write-in, and I can see why. It’s a cool story with a British sense of humour, about an alien scientist who ends up adopting an Earthling girl and raising her on his home planet, and it’s already making me think about my ‘Kitchen Scale’ aliens in new ways. I’ve also started “Sandman Slim” on audible, and begun listening to the Escape artists podcasts.

What I’m writing:

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What’s Up Wednesday? The freakin’ Polar Vortex!

January 22, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Well, I just finished the ‘Lockstep’ serial in Analog magazine, loved the ending, but I’ve still got lots of magazine stories to read. Also finished ‘Vampire Diaries: Shadow Souls’ from the library, and been catching up on podcasts, but I just bought me some new books at Audible: The Handmaid’s Tale, Dune, Samdman Slim, and Thuvia Maid of Mars.

What I’m writing:

Finished the draft synopsis of “Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale,” and started getting back to revisions of  “Gotta Have that Look.” Once again having issues trying to figure out how much critique feedback to take and what to ignore, sigh.

What inspires me right now:

The Kitchen Scale soundtrack, Castle, Stringing Words, and the new Odfellows newsletter.

What else I’ve been up to:

Not very much. We drove around looking at new office locations for my day job team yesterday; looks like we have to be moved by March at the latest. Calling around to family making plans for my sister’s birthday. 🙂

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.

Race score down one (for now,) Rejections count up one

January 17, 2014

Yesterday I got an apologetic form-letter rejection from Sheila Williams at Asimov’s, passing on ‘Return to Civilization.’ I think this is only the second rejection I’ve received since getting back from Odyssey, so I need to kick the submissions up as much as I can.

First step would be sending Return to Civ out again somewhere else. I’m thinking I could try Analog but I’m not entirely sure. I’ll try to get it submitted before the weekend is out. That’ll bring my race score up to three, and then I can see what I can do about getting ‘Gotta Have that Look’ or “Orpheus and the Cameraman” whipped into shape to submit too.

What’s Up Wednesday, nearly at the Holidays

December 18, 2013

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

WUWWinterWhat I’m reading:

Nearly finished “Discworld: Moving Pictures”  from the library, and I’ve put a hold on another Discworld library book. Finished “The Ringworld Engineers”, and listening to three other Audible books that I want to finish in 2013: the first Secret Circle book, Dragon Harper, and Magic Bites.

What I’m writing:

Well, I’ve finally started revisions to “Gotta Have that Look”, following a new editing plan to keep myself from getting intimidated by all the Odyssey feedback. Also been doing some world-building for ‘Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale’; that counts as writing, yeah?

What inspires me right now:

Great music (like the Good Lovelies), Futurama, and the hope that snow will melt. 😉

What else I’ve been up to:

Brushing my car off, Christmas shopping, going to buffet lunches. Had a great time at the Vinyl Cafe concert Monday night, even if Mom wasn’t feeling well so I had to go myself. I’ve also started my first critique for the Codex writers. Oh, and I did some drawing exercises over the weekend, trying to get myself ready for the portrait chapter in “Right Side of the Brain”

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.

IWSG: Getting back to drafting

October 2, 2013

IWSGHey there! It’s time for the September 2013 edition of the Insecure Writers Support Group! First of all, I’m excited to report that I crossed almost everything off my September to-do list before I went to bed on Monday evening, including submitting a story! A revised version of “Tough Love’ has been entered for Writers of the Future!

But I’m still feeling like I haven’t been accomplishing as much as I’d like to in terms of writing and revising. I only got a little over 1000 new words written in September, finishing off one story and starting another.

I’m taking a break from the Team Ambitious critiquing this week and next. (I’m not the only one. Somebody decided that submitting to WOTF was an acceptable substitute for submitting a new story to be critiqued.) And I’ve resolved to get the first draft of ‘Steampunk Roswell 51’ finished by the morning of Canadian Thanskgiving. I want to do some serious revision on ‘Love is a Masterpiece’ or ‘Gotta Have that Look’ too.

If only I can avoid spending all my time for the next two weeks playing with my new Nexus 7 tablet. 😉

IWSG: There’s always more goals to reach for

September 4, 2013

Hey there, welcome to the August 2013 meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group! I’m still struggling with my insecurities about knowing when my stories are ready to submit, but rather than ramble on about that, I thought I’d share another source of insecurity; monthly to-do lists.

I’ve been coming up with to-do lists of creative goals for several years now, a habit I picked up over at Stringing Words. Almost always, because I’ve got an optimistic and competitive bent, I come up with a long list of around a dozen projects, and most of the time I leave several of them unfinished to roll over to the next month.

I’ve talked with Elizabeth about this, and she always tells me that’s a great spot to be in. “Aim high, shoot for the middle” is her usual catchphrase, and I try to take that advice to heart. But sometimes it’s hard for me not to look at my end of month progress reports and feel like a failure, or get this insane determination to push harder next time, even when I don’t have the energy to keep up that pace.

For August, I had ten goals listed. Five of them, I definitely accomplished, including one where I definitely went above and beyond the target. One more I feel very confident in marking as a win, even though there might be a technicality that a nay-sayer could argue. (That goal was to stay caught up on the Ad Astra slushpile, and two new stories came in just before midnight on August 31st.)

For one more item on the list, I pulled a late substitution, and instead of revising “Gotta Have that Look” to submit to critters, I did some superficial edits to “Love is a Masterpiece” and sent that in instead, because I wasn’t feeling confident on where I wanted to go with GHTL. Two more goals I made progress on, but definitely didn’t finish; fanvidding and my “How to Think Sideways” lessons. And the last one, submitting a manuscript to a paying market, I can’t even give myself a partial.

So I was looking at that list and giving myself something like a seven out of ten. Elizabeth and Rinelle both cheered me on when they did their own end-of-month updates, pointing out that I’d accomplished a lot, and I know I have. But it’s hard to feel that way somehow.

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