Tag Archives: Writing

Weekly writing check-in: I’m going to the moon

Okay, maybe I’m not going to the moon, but my stories are. I was lucky enough to secure a place on the manifest for Writers on the Moon.

Essentially it’s a lunar time capsule project conceived by author Susan Kaye Quinn. You can read more about how it’s going to work here. In short, my writing will be going to the moon and staying there–until some future humans (or aliens) come across it. At which point, I’m sure they’ll be thrilled to read about Coffee and Ghosts.

This week, in addition to working on those margins in my life where I can write, I finished strong with Storystorm. I ended up with 51 ideas! I’m pleased with that. It was fun, and I enjoyed reading the blog posts each day.

I also made some excellent progress with Coffee and Ghosts, which is good since they’re going to the moon. (Well, not season four. The aliens will simply have to land on earth to read that.)

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Weekly writing check-in: writing and routines

I had a lovely long weekend last week—lots of reading, lots of pondering, lots of relaxing.

This week, I’m up to 31 ideas for Storystorm. So, technically, I’ve completed the challenge, but I’ll keep going. One week left!

I’ve been thinking lately about writing and routines.

Before March 2020, I had a routine that was working fairly well for me. When I was in the office, I would write over my lunch hour, usually in one of our tiny conference rooms (called ponder havens—yes, I work for a tech company).

I’ve now switched to working remotely. I no longer go into the office, I tend to work through my lunch break, and while I no longer have the commute, I haven’t considered how to use that extra time.

Plus, I learned something significant this past weekend. Audiobooks are one of the ways I fill the creative well. I did most of my listening during that commute. I don’t just miss audiobooks; I need them. They help me create.

So, I’m looking at small, incremental changes I can make to my day to get more listening and more creating done. At this point, my days are fairly routine, so now’s the time to find those new margins where I can write.

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Weekly writing check-in: weekend respite

I’m taking this three-day weekend as a respite: lots of reading, some historical podcasts, and maybe a movie or series or documentary or two.

I am keeping up with Storystorm. I’m up to 23 ideas for the month. That gives me a cushion for days where I don’t jot down an idea. Although, I’ve been finding that simply being aware that hey, I’m collecting ideas, brings more of them. Funny how that works.

Also, I’m making revision progress on Coffee and Ghosts. Slow, but progress.

And that’s it because I am committed to some rest this weekend.

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Weekly writing check-in: still stormy out

So, you might be wondering how that “eliminate distractions” thing went last week.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Okay. Whew. Done with that.

Yeah, I took a deep dive into the news and decided to do a deeper dive with some relevant nonfiction as well. As I said last week:

I won’t miss the big things. I can do without all the little things.

It’s not every day that you watch history unfold right in front of your eyes. I needed more context, and I needed to pay attention. Last week qualifies as a very big thing.

However, I did keep up with Storystorm. I’m up to 16 ideas for the month. Even if you’re not participating, I encourage you to check out the daily posts. They have been inspiring and informative.

Coffee and Ghosts progress? Eh, not so much. So with that in mind, I’m going to see if I can open the manuscript and use this lull in the storm to get some revision done.

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Weekly writing check-in: peering into 2021

Three days into 2021, and I’m keeping up with the Story Storm challenge. I have three ideas, and I’m inordinately proud of that.

I noticed that last year, I really didn’t do a “year in review” or post about goals (well, other than the (Love) Stories for 2020 project–that was the goal for 2020).

And I’m not going to post goals for this year. I’m really not all that prescient, and I can’t peer that far into the future. If 2020 taught me anything, it’s that.

However, there are a couple of things I do plan to work on:

  1. Lean into my strengths. My writing process actually involves a lot of thinking. You know that saying: Don’t think, write!
    Well, mine should be: Go think, then write! This is contrary to a lot of popular writing advice. Then again, a lot of popular writing advice can be wrong (as least on an individual level).
    For instance, way back in January of 2020, I mentioned in the comments that I had an idea for a pirate adventure. The story didn’t come together until late in the year, and not until I decided Heart of a Pirate King was a Christmas story.
    I need to give myself more time to think. To that end I also plan to:
  2. Eliminate distractions. I like to stay informed. During 2020, it felt crucial to stay informed for so many reasons. But it’s one thing to stay informed; it’s another to drink from the firehose.
    I’ve been drinking from the firehose. Intellectually, I know I don’t need to. I have trusted go-to sources for news, politics, and the publishing industry. I won’t miss the big things. I can do without all the little things.

And that’s as far as I’m peering into 2021. Here’s to a year full of writing and stories and joy.

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Weekly writing check-in: winter and story storms

We have storms. Many storms. All the storms. After our October surprise snow, we’ve had nothing here until the 23rd.

Then it was Mother Nature playing catch-up with a blizzard.

Now we have lots of snow.

This week, I did a little work on Coffee & Ghosts. Mostly I focused on the holiday and musings for 2021.

I also officially released Here’s How We Survive: The (Love) Stories for 2020, which is the ebook and print version of all the (Love) Stories for 2020 (which you can absolutely still read for free).

I also signed up for Tara Lazar’s StoryStorm. 30 story ideas in 31 days. I’m pondering what sort of ideas I’ll (hopefully) be generating. Fiction? Nonfiction? Blog posts? Really, you can use it for any type of writing.

Want to join me? Click the image or the link to visit Tara’s site.

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Weekly writing check-in: that’s fairly rough

I’m not really sure why I’m so surprised that my rough draft is so … rough.

But it is, and I am.

Okay, not too surprised. I do need to pull out an entire section (trust me, it doesn’t work) and delete an entire character (he’ll just have to wait for another book/series). I was hoping that the structure, at least, was solid, if not the prose.

Alas.

But I slept on it. In the morning, things looked brighter (as things tend to do). I have a sense of what the story and the revision need and how that will cascade into the other two novellas in Coffee & Ghosts Season Four.

Again, I’m writing at the speed of tortoise, but I’m nevertheless pleased with my progress this week.

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Weekly writing check-in: brewing up some Kona blend

Just like the editing and scheduling last week, it took me a while to get everything formatted, submitted, re-submitted, and so on.

But it’s (nearly) done!

It’s weird having only two scheduled posts on my dashboard.

I’m pondering what I might do with my blog in 2021. I know I can’t maintain the one-story-per-week pace. I don’t have enough stories in reserve, either on my hard drive or in my head.

Also? I want to get back to writing longer fiction. I’m itching to dive back into Coffee & Ghosts Season 4, and I’m brewing up some Kona blend to do just that.

I have two (maybe three) spin-off series in the Coffee & Ghosts world I’d like to write.

Then there’s that fairy tale series.

A possible epic fantasy duology.

That time travel.

That cold war spy series.

You get the idea.

You can’t do it all, at least, not all at once. (I can’t anyway. No doubt there’s a writer out there who can. We’ll pretend she doesn’t exist.)

So I’m looking at picking a small number of things to focus on for 2021:

  • Definitely Coffee & Ghosts
  • A follow-on series
  • Back to blogging more (because I like blogging more than I like social media–actually, I like blogging and loathe social media. I’m terrible at social media anyway, so I might as well do something I like)

I’m leaving the list at that before I’m tempted to add even more to it.

Now for some coffee.

And some ghosts.

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Weekly writing check-in: It’s going to take longer than you think

I didn’t quite get all the editing, formatting, and scheduling done last week, but I did accomplish it all this week.

Which brings me to the lesson I’ve learned (over and over again) this year:

It’s going to take longer than you think it will.

Always.

At least in my case. But then, I’m not one of those writers who likes to live on the edge, pounding out a draft an hour before the submission deadline.

That being said, I do have a jumpstart on the ebook since I’ve been adding each story to the manuscript as I finished it. This may be the second lesson because I can’t tell you how happy I am that I do not need to pull that together this week.

But will I have everything formatted and on the retail sites by next week?

Maybe … but I think lesson one applies here as well.

It’s going to take longer than I think it will.

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Weekly writing check-in: Done!

Well, I am happy to report that all the stories for the 2020 Project are done! Finished! Complete!

I need to do some editing and proofing (I mean, we’re not barbarians around here).

And then there’s the post formatting and scheduling. So that’s what I hope to accomplish today.

As a result, I’m keeping this check-in extra short.

See you next week.

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