Writer’s Retreat Accountability, Day 1

June 6, 2017

Well, it’s Tuesday morning, but I do have progress to report from Monday. I started a revision of my “Magic Milkshakes” story; starting in the middle, because I’m a little blocked on the new beginning, but I got 404 words written, (not feeling lost at all ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and like the scene so far!

I also sat in on the first day of critiquing for the Young Gunns writing workshop, (not a “short story workshop” as Chris M said, though short stories are the format he uses to teach writing,) and gave critiques for three stories which were well received I think.

Today I’ll be auditing less, (though James Gunn is doing some talks that I want to attend,) so hopefully I’ll be able to keep writing more for this story! Will keep you all updated.

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Writer’s retreat and accountability progress

June 3, 2017

Hey friends and followers–I know, long time no blog. It’s been a kinda busy time–a few publications, starting a podcast,ย and so on. But here’s a new thing!

I’m on my way to Kansas again, this time for a four-week writer’s retreat. Well, to be precise, I’m writing this post from a motel room in Bloomington, Illinois, which was about halfway between Hamilton and Lawrence. I’ll be auditing one workshop in the first two weeks, and participating in an alumni novelist workshop in the last two weeks, but compared with other workshop programs, I’m going to need to push myself to get writing done. Read the rest of this entry »


What’s Up Wednesday? October already…

October 8, 2014

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

What I’m WUWMaple65%2reading:

More Xanth; I finished “Esrever Doom” and started “Board Stiff”, which the library had as an ebook. Also plowed through Larry Niven’s “The Magic Goes Away” in a few days, and read a bunch of stories from Crossed Genres, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Nightmare.

What I’m writing:

I’ve started a new round of revisions on my funny sci-fi story, “Return to Civilization”, based on feedback I got at Young Gunns. I’ve also dived into doing more prep for my 2 Nanowrimo ideas, and I’ve been doing a fair bit of critiquing.

What works for me:

My new living room table workstation! This is actually based on a setup I had a while ago – my black wooden IKEA chair is set against the broad side of the table I got from my parents, opposite the comfy armchair which faces the television. There’s lots of good lighting in that area, and I have the new refurb Dell laptop set up there, and it’s been a great place to get some work done, including critiquing and getting into revisions.

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What else I’ve been up to:

Getting into the new season of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”, loading dual-boot Xubuntu onto my red netbook, and sorting out Thanksgiving dinner plans with the family! (Canadian Thanksgiving is this coming Monday, in case you didn’t know that.)

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


Ready Set Write… just in time for the end?

August 25, 2014

Okay, it’s time for Ready Set Write again. RSWCoffee75I’ve only done this a few times, but apparently it’s time to wrap up for the summer already!

How I did on Last Week’s Goals

Exceeded them! I said I wanted to work through six critiques, and I finished off the entire stack, which I figure was at least eight. And I figured out a bunch of great stuff that will make my story better, once I actually figure out how much I’m ready to change with the next draft.

Summer Recap

Well, I think I’ve done pretty well. I went to two amazing writing workshops this summer, drafted four new short stories, finished two quick revision rounds for “TimeBubble Blues” and got started on some revision for ‘Gotta Have That Look.’

Favorite Line from my WIP

I’m going to pick another line that one of my critique partners from Young Gunns picked out as liking:

“I dunno, Jimmy,” Stephanie said. “I never thought you’d be one of those kids who chose to look like somebody we’ve all seen on the tabloid shows.”

The Biggest Challenge I Faced This Week

Trying to figure out how much I’m willing to change for this revision. I’ve got lots of great ideas, involving big changes to the plot and some of the characters. Not sure yet how they’ll all fit together, or if they all will.

Something I love about my WIP

The premise, with teenagers getting genetic therapy injections to look like anybody they want. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, I guess that’s it for me. Click here if you want to join in, or check out other writers doing Ready Set Write!


Ready Set Write, my week 2.

August 18, 2014

Okay, it’s time for Ready Set Write again. Let’s go RSWCoffee75‘write’ to the headings…

How I did on Last Week’s Goals

I finished my draft! And – well, I broke ground on revising ‘Gotta Have That Look’ based on the feedback I got at the Young Gunns workshop earlier this summer. That’s not much, but it is ‘measurable progress.’ ๐Ÿ™‚

My Goals for This Week

Work through six more ‘Gotta Have That Look’ completed critiques from Kansas.

Favorite Line from my WIP

From ‘Gotta Have That Look.’ This was a line Jean liked enough that he wants to make it the opening line of the story somehow:

“It’s always hard to recognize people after a long weekend,” Bryan said.

The Biggest Challenge I Faced This Week

Hmm, not sure what to say here. Making time to write? Getting myself excited about revision?

Something I love about my WIP

The secondary characters, who are Jimmy’s best friend and his new girlfriend Stephanie.

Okay, I guess that’s it for me. Click here if you want to join in, or check out other writers doing Ready Set Write!


More Clarion disappointment.

March 23, 2013

Late last night, I got an email from the Clarion West writer’s workshop. They thanked me for applying, and then “We are sorry to let you know that you have not been selected for our 2013 workshop.” I’m sorry too.

But I’m not sorry that I took the time (and the money) to apply for Clarion UCSD and Clarion West. I knew that they were both long shots; there were probably hundreds, if not at least a thousand writers applying to both workshop, and I don’t think either take on twenty students every summer. But going to either would be such an amazing experience that it was worth the try. (Especially with Neil Gaiman at Clarion West this year!) After all, if I was ready to get picked, but didn’t apply, I’d never have even known that I was good enough.

I’m still hopeful for the two workshops that I haven’t heard back from yet, especially Odyssey, since I got wait-listed back in 2011, and I know that I’ve improved a lot since then. But there’s no way to be sure about that but waiting.

If those options don’t work out, I’ve been reconsidering trying to go back to Kansas for the two-week short fiction critique circle workshop that I’ve attended the past two summers. I was thinking that I didn’t want to do that again for the third year straight, but now I’m not sure why not. I can certainly learn more from that workshop, and I’ll get to meet some interesting new people.

Of course, if I wait until I hear back from Odyssey before getting in touch with Chris M at Kansas, I might find out that there’s no room for any more critiquers. ๐Ÿ˜‰


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