• News,  Writing

    March Writing Update

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    So the targets I set for March were aggressive considering a family vacation and what I met and missed is a bit scattered. I didn’t really contend with the level of exhaustion when I got back from vacation and didn’t predict a small hardware failure (and fried flash drive) resulting in the loss of several days work (yes, I’ve been lazy about backups lately) or taking a week off after that hardware failure. Or the amount of time the girls and I have spent prepping for Ad Astra next weekend.

    All of which is okay. Especially the last one. That’s better than okay, it’s awesome.

    But to focus on writing, the original targets for March:

    • Dreams of Freedom = 5,000 words
    • Short Fiction = 5,000 words
    • Ancient Runes = finish 2nd draft (there are only 4 chapters left of 35)
    • Warforge: Caledonia 2nd Draft = 4,000 new words and 20k editing
    • Blog = 3,565 words
    • Overall goal of 18,815 new words.

    The actual achievements:

    • Dreams of Freedom: 1,100 words. Far short, especially considering the flash drive failure, but it depresses me having to redraft things. I’m over it now, but it took a few days (or maybe a week).
    • Short Fiction: 896 words, “Klaatu Barada Nikto, Baby!” got a little longer and, at this moment, sits at 10,407 words. Same note as for Dreams of Freedom.
    • Ancient Runes 2nd Draft is complete, though a quick skim shows me several things I’d like to go back and layer in.
    • Warforge: Caledonia 2nd Draft, I did finish the transitional scene applicable to where I am in the story right now, but lost a fair bit of editing progress. I worked through 3,898 words of revised scenes. Twice.
    • Blog = 2,368 words, including this post. All of that is in the last couple of days for things that haven’t posted yet. I actually managed to go through March without posting a single entry to either blog. Depressing, but April will already be better.
    • Draugur Rising: 9,134 words. Wait, what the heck is this? Well, it’s a novel that I started while on vacation. I’d planned to work on “Klaatu Barada Nikto, Baby!” by hand in Cuba, maybe getting it finished between lying on the beach and plane rides, but instead decided I’d start on something new, picking up an idea that had been bouncing around in my head for a year or so and letting it loose. It’s taken on a life of its own.
    • Overall = 15,601, which isn’t horrible even if it misses what I planned and most of the fiction wasn’t on projects I’d planned.

    And I’m still not caught up on book reviews, but I did get one done.

    I’ve put Small Realities on hold for the moment while I work some things out in my head.

    Submissions: 0, which makes me ask what the hell is wrong with me? Oh yeah, I took half the month off.

    Revised goals for April:

    • Dreams of Freedom: 5,000 words, and I mean it this time.
    • “Klaatu Barada Nikto, Baby!” has 3-4k left, I think. It would be nice to finish it this month.
    • Warforge: Caledonia 2nd Draft: 20,000 words of editing progress which, looking at the scenes ahead, includes one new scene probably about 2,000 words long.
    • Blogging: targeted at 3,450 words.
    • Draugur Rising: I don’t know. I’m trying an experiment with this one, dictating for part of my commute each day then doing a quick touch up to fix what the software didn’t make sense of. I have 21 work days this month and wonder if 500 words on each of those is reasonable. Let’s go with 10k for April.

    Cyborg Bunnies is proceeding. We may conduct some interviews at Ad Astra if we can find some willing victims participants.

    Be well, everyone, and stay tuned.

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  • News,  Writing

    February Writing Update

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    February Writing Update

    Covering the month of February, 2013, here’s an update of my writing progress for the month with maybe a couple of sentences at the end on where I am for the year.

    Total Words of New Fiction: 16,586

    Of which 5,880 were in Dreams of Freedom. Yes, I set a low bench mark of 5,000 this month, but that was to focus on other things while still making a progress on the first draft.

    Another 4,918 went into new material for the first of the Warforge: Caledonia short novels, finishing off one transitional scene, all of a second, and starting a third. There are three more add in scenes after this one, at various points in the story, but I’m going to write them as I work my way through the second draft process.

    The remaining 5,788 words made up the rest of “Closing Time” (which turned out to be a novelette and not a short story) and getting back into “Klaatu Barada Nikto, Baby!” I keep leaving this story and coming back to it with the same ending in mind but with no idea how to get from where I am to where I want to be. That may have changed, but it’s going to take another three or four thousand words.

    On the editing side of things:

    Second draft of Ancient Runes is 90.5% complete, which is a little more than double what I’d originally set as the goal for this month. Here and there I neglected a little bit of first draft on something in order to squeeze in an extra scene or chapter of problem fixing. Really liking how the story is shaping up and I hope to have this draft complete before our tropical vacation (planned, booked, covered by a house sitter, and partially paid for) at the end of the first week of March.

    The slow 2nd draft of Warforge: Caledonia is going to pick up a little speed. It already has, to a certain degree: I blew by the modest 5,750 word edit/new scene goal for this month by more than 1,500 words, but once I’m back from the previously mentioned vacation, I’m going to dive into it, letting Ancient Runes rest for three or four months while I do the whole second draft on this set.

    As far as blogging goes, I’m coming in at 4,743 words next to a modest goal of 3,220 for the month. A good chunk of that is across several posts written in the last couple of days of the month, including this one.

    While book reviews aren’t on the official list of writing goals, I’d sort of promised myself I’d write at least a short one for each of the books I read this year, putting it up on Good Reads to demonstrate that I’d actually read each book as part of meeting my reading goal. Way behind.

    Cover art for Small Realities may be a reality. Still need to teach myself some formatting.

    Still no submissions out this year, but several rejections back and two short list notifications that I’m hopeful for. I need to smarten up.

    Final total, counting everything but editing as new words, is 22,904 for February, next to an overall goal of 17,970. A very good month, really, since by my measurements I also met every individual writing goal.

    But for the year to date, I’m still not quite where I wanted to be because of the too-high goals I originally set for January. But that’s okay, too. As I promised myself at the end of last year, all of the goals are moving targets and what the year looks like at the end might be very different than the beginning.

    In that spirit, here are the revised goals for March:

    • Dreams of Freedom = 5,000 words
    • Short Fiction = 5,000 words
    • Ancient Runes = finish 2nd draft (there are only 4 chapters left of 35)
    • Warforge: Caledonia 2nd Draft = 5,000 new words and 19k editing
    • Blog = 3,565 words

    You’ll note March is fairly light, totalling barely more than February at 18,815 words. It actually should probably be lighter than February as I’m going to be somewhere tropical for a week. I still hope to do some manual scribbling on the plane and in brief moments lying by the pool, probably to the tune of 250 words per day if I’m lucky. Again, stretching the goals is a good thing.

    Oh, and if you’re interested in Cyborg Bunnies, test recording is done, as is an introductory episode that will never see the light of day, we’ve done nearly all of the Admin stuff to set things up, and there’s a rough cut of the first real episode. With luck, it will be edited and we’ll record at least one more before leaving on vacation.

    Be well, everyone, and stay tuned.

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  • Writing

    January Writing Update

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    So, as promised, here’s the first Writing Update for 2013, covering the month of January.

    Total Words of New Fiction: 15,740

    Of which 6798 were in Dreams of Freedom. Considering the goal was 20,000, that’s not all that impressive, however more on that in a minute.

    1021 were the first half of a new scene in Warforge: Caledonia.

    The remaining 7,921 words went into “Klaatu Barada Nikto, Baby!” and a Warforge short story tentatively titled “Closing Time”. Neither of these stories are actually complete at this point and the overall word count left me 604 words short on this month’s short fiction goal.

    On the editing side of things:

    I did a full read of Ancient Runes, making revision notes all the way, 5200 words worth for a 67,000 word novel. And I finished them with three days to spare. I wonder how long the second draft will end up being. By the time this posts, I’ll have already started.

    The slow 2nd draft of Warforge: Caledonia is just a touch slower than originally projected, at least so far, with me getting 68% of the distance I wanted to into the manuscript.

    Between here and Renaissance Ninja, I’ve written 10 blog posts, including most of this one, totaling 5020 words. Plus book reviews for the first four Star Trek: Titan novels (a discussion for another day), and a partial draft of the author’s notes for the stories to be in the first issue of Small Realities.

    So, the final total, counting everything but editing as new words, is 28,197 for January. Not too shabby, really, even if, from a goals perspective, it works out to only 2 met out of 6 with the other 4 missed by varying degrees.

    It’s also worth noting that I received two story acceptances this month (“Strength of Stone” at Sorcerous Signals, and “Dragonomics” at Cast of Wonders), but didn’t manage to actually send any submissions out. Need to fix that for February.

    Speaking of February, I’ve done the breakout for specific goals and have set the new fiction goal very lightly for the month in order to focus on the second draft of Ancient Runes as much as possible. But aside from that, I have to do the real prep work for the first issue of Small Realities, and I have no idea what kind of time commitment the Cyborg Bunnies Podcast is going to need.

    A good month, and one I’m counting as successful. All goals are a moving target, and to paraphrase something I read once, if you shoot for the stars and fail, you might still make orbit.

    Be well, everyone, and stay tuned.

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