Category Archives: Reading & Writing

Weekly writing check-in: Keeping Time in the New Year

I’m going to switch things up a bit for the New Year. When I started my weekly check-in, I was spending the year doing a write one/sub one with short stories. That was a great year. It got me back into writing on a regular basis and reminded me why I love writing to begin with.

But I’m not writing as many short stories as I did that first year. Or rather, I tend to binge-write them. Also, this year, I hope to focus on longer, series work. (Now that I’ve stated that, just watch. I’ll end up on some sort of short story tear.)

So I’m going to change my check-in a bit, just covering what I did the previous week. I’ll still log submissions made, stories sold and published, but the format will be more free form.

Without further ado, I give you my week:

This week

Writing: ~3,500 words, plus outlining and structure work. I can see the end from here, but I’m not quite in the home stretch. Almost though. And I may be closer than I suspect.

Published: Keeping Time is in audio over at The Centropic Oracle. They’ve done a fabulous job with the production, and the narrator is marvelous. She brings so much to my little story. If you have seven minutes to spare, go give it a listen.

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Weekly writing check-in: year-end wrap up

It’s cold here, so very, very cold. Even with the sweater, coat, and booties, Oscar was in no way inclined to stray outside.

We had a nice, quiet holiday. I spent some time doing behind-the-scenes sorts of tasks to get ready for the new year. And I took a peek at what I did during 2017 as well.

Submissions

I submitted to ~46 short story markets this year. (I think it’s about 46, but it could be a few more since I sometimes forget to log a submission).

Sold

I sold five stories this year:

  • Straying from the Path (reprint in audio)
  • The Saint of Bright Red Things
  • A Knight at the Royal Arms
  • Keeping Time (reprint in audio)
  • Steadfast

Published

I had three of those stories published:

Steadfast in Flash Fiction Online

A Knight at the Royal Arms in Pulp Literature #15

Straying from the Path at The Centropic Oracle

I also wrapped up the Third Season of Coffee and Ghosts.

Writing

I’d really hoped to start publishing a new series this year as well. That didn’t happen. There were a few reasons for that.

One, I was contacted by an editor from one of the big(ger) publishing houses to audition for a work-for-hire project. I decided to give it a try, not so much for the traditional contract but simply to see if I could do it. The editor sent me a three-page synopsis, and from there, I worked up three sample chapters of about 6,500 words. That was back in May. And no, I haven’t heard anything yet. I actually don’t expect to.

That’s okay. I’m pleased with what I wrote and the fact I could take an idea and make it my own. Plus, the research I did for this project led me directly to one of the new series I’m writing now.

So it all works out.

Oh, and how did this editor know to contact me? She didn’t say, but my guess is Dating on the Dork Side, and one of her books were in each other’s Also-Boughts on Amazon.

If I didn’t get all the writing in that I wanted to, I did some amazing writing-related things this year:

  • I spent a wonderful weekend at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. I cannot wait to return this coming summer, and I’m going to make that happen if at all possible.
  • I took a couple of very helpful classes, including one on Flash Fiction from LitReactor. (Two weeks, seven stories, and I’ve sold one already–Steadfast.)
  • Some deep, story structure work via John Truby.

On the business side of things, I worked on graphic design (Photoshop in particular), and finally took the plunge and signed up for Mark Dawson’s Ads for Authors course.

In terms of sales, I had my first four-figure month and I’m ending the year at five figures, which isn’t too shabby for my part-time self-publishing business. Not only that, but Amazon selected Dating on the Dork Side as part of their Prime Reading list over the summer. That didn’t hurt.

So, all in all, not a bad year. I always think I can do more. But sometimes it’s good simply to do a little bit each day. It adds up.

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Weekly writing check-in: quiet holiday reading and writing

Things slow down once school is out for winter break, and the dance team is on a break as well (that sound you hear is my sigh of relief). So it has been a quiet week.

Well, except for the cat, that is. It took her until the 22nd, but she finally claimed the tree. She didn’t stay long. I suspect now that she’s older, it isn’t as much fun.

I did get some writing in this week and made progress on the fairy tale project. Plus, I hit 90 books read for the year (so far). Even though I’m on vacation, I’m not sure I can make it to 100 books by the 31st. That being said, I think I’m going to try.

Writing work:

  • Series work (structure, brainstorming, research)
  • Truby masterclass
  • Fairy Tale Project
  • Writing ~4,300 words

Submissions:

  • None

Rejections:

  • None

Acceptances:

  • None

Publications:

  • None

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Weekly writing check-in: hello, writing tear

I went on a writing tear this week, getting in nearly 8,500 words.

So now I’m closing in on 20,000 words.

In all that, I did manage to squeeze in some classes and Photoshop work as well. Not a lot, but some. It looks like a long list, but it was really a little bit here and a little bit there.

And that’s it. I think I used up all my words in my manuscript this week.

Writing work:

  • Series work (structure, brainstorming, research)
  • Graphic Design/Photoshop tutorials
  • Writing, ~8,400 words
  • Folklore classes
  • Truby class

Submissions:

  • None

Rejections:

  • Moving Day

Acceptances:

  • None

Publications:

  • None

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Weekly writing check-in: hello, new sale

A rejection this week, but we’re just going to ignore that because not only did I write +5,000 words, I sold a story!

I sold Steadfast to Flash Fiction Online. Details forthcoming. Steadfast is a modern (and non-magical) retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier with a gender flip and an unapologetic happy ending.

That’s about it. I’m almost to 10,000 words in the novel, which means it’s starting to feel more like a real thing and less like vaporware. I’m adjusting the structure as I go along. It’s a lot like going on a trip after you’ve done some extensive planning. Sure, you read the guides books, planned the route, maybe even checked Google’s street view. But there’s something about driving–and writing–that changes everything.

Writing work:

  • Series work (structure, brainstorming, research)
  • Graphic Design/Photoshop tutorials
  • Writing, ~5,200 words

Submissions:

  • None

Rejections:

  • Three by Three

Acceptances:

  • Steadfast

Publications:

  • None

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Weekly writing check-in: hello, new project

At long last I started the new series. Despite the planning and structuring and researching, when I open up a fresh, blank, document, it still feels a lot like that.

Even so, I managed to write +3,500 words. It’s a start.

I will also continue to research and adjust as I go along, because that’s just the way it works.

A couple of rejections, but I did turn one around and send it back out. Add in some tutorials and a class on witches, and that rounded out the week.

  • Series work (structure, brainstorming, research)
  • Graphic Design/Photoshop tutorials
  • Writing, ~3,500 words

Submissions:

  • Three by Three

Rejections:

  • Three by Three
  • Cheating Death

Acceptances:

  • None

Publications:

  • None

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Weekly writing check-in: Welcome, October!

I love October. October makes me think of Halloween, which makes me think of ghosts, which makes me think of Coffee and Ghosts.

It also makes me think of witches, and that’s up next–both in writing and an entire class on witches that begins in a few days. I’m very excited.

No actual draft writing this week, but most definitely this coming week. I really have nowhere else to go. Structuring and outlining and world building? I have more to do, but I’m at the point where I need some words on the page. So. Time to stop messing around.

I also completed another Photoshop tutorial as well.

That’s it for this week. Tune in next Sunday to see if I actually manage some words.

Writing Work:

  • Series work (structure, brainstorming, drafting)
  • Graphic Design/Photoshop tutorials

Submissions:

  • None

Rejections:

  • With Hair of Teeth and Claw

Acceptances:

  • None

Publications:

  • None

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