Wordsmith Studio homecoming blog hop number three

WSS Homecoming 2015It’s been three years since I joined a bunch of fellow platform builders in what became Wordsmith Studio.

Today: blog hop, part the third.

1) What are you currently working on?

The final (for now) revisions of Initiate of Stone, drafting Marushka, my 2014 NaNoWriMo novel, and revising one long short story that may actually be a novel in disguise 🙂 Plus, I blog.

2) For past work, what was your greatest joy or greatest challenge?

Finishing my first draft of IoS and getting my two short stories, “The Broken Places” and “Downtime” published would all have to tie for greatest joys.

My greatest challenge to date has been the first chapter of IoS. Oh, and trying to keep things balanced. Actually, the balance thing wins out in the toughest challenge category. I suck at balance.

3) For current work, what challenge are you working through now?

As mentioned above, my first chapter. For some reason, this particular opening is kicking my buttocks. I’ve tried starting the story earlier, later, a prologue (very bad), and rewriting the first chapter from scratch about four times. I’ve tried Surry Idol at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference, Ray Rhamey’s Flogging the Quill, beta readers, and advice from writing mentors.

4) For work you are just planning or starting, what challenges or growth are you expecting or hoping to encounter?

Every novel I draft, revise, or edit improves my craft. The next work I’ll be starting from scratch will be this year’s NaNoWriMo. It’s a new adult science fiction thriller. Oh yeah. That won’t be hard to sell at all 😛

5) What have successes or challenges in your work (recently) taught you?

I write a lot more than I thought I did. Others see value in my work. Tracking your writing progress is a great motivation. I generally rise to any challenge I set myself.

6) What obstacles or challenges have you not been able to overcome, or still frustrate you?

The aforementioned beginnings, though I think a breakthrough is due. Overdue, frankly.

7) How would you describe a great writing day (or week)?

A great writing day is any day that I write. Period. If I achieve my goals, that’s a lovely cherry on top of the sundae. In a way, every word is a victory 🙂

8) What specific tools or strategies help you succeed? 

Jamie Raintree’s writing spreadsheet is a fabulous tool and motivation. K.M. Weiland’s Helping Writers Become Authors blog and her books are some of the best craft advice out there. Awesome. Similarly, Roz Morris’s Nail Your Novel series and blog are teh best. And she’s so generous with her time and advice. Finally, attending conferences and conventions have been a big help. I learn metric tonnes at each one 🙂 The networking isn’t half bad either.

And there you have it.

See you on Tuesday for my Tipsday writing curation.

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The next chapter: April 2015 update

Where I’ve been

I don’t know how to say this, but April kind of sucked.

Due to the situation at work, I decided to give myself a true break for the Easter long weekend. So, no writing there.

The next weekend was Ad Astra and I knew better than to even promise a blog post. No writing that weekend either.

After having left things for so long, it took a while to get restarted.

I didn’t get either of the two stories written that I had wanted to, and only revised one story, but incompletely.

You won’t be surprised by my progress, or lack thereof.

April 2015 progress

11,907 revised words on Initiate of Stone. I’m about 70% finished.

5,541 words written on the blog.

2,931 words written on Marushka. This is so far below what I’d hoped for in progress that it makes me weep a little. According to my original goal, I’m just over 50% of the way to finishing the draft. I’m closer than that, but I don’t know how much more.

38 words is all I managed on my short story.

20,417 was my total for the month.

April 2015 summary

I submitted my story “The Broken Places” for consideration to the Aurora Awards and several people were kind enough to nominate me.

I’ve also sent it to Sandra Kasturi for consideration in the next Imaginarium anthology.

Will be sure to let you know what happens.

Where I’m heading

Friday was my last day as a consultant. It’s truly a relief to be back at my old position with the training team. I’ve realized that I appreciate my position so much more now because I actually get to see the results of my work.

Even if I’m frustrated because my learners tend to hear what they want rather than what I’m actually teaching them, I maintain relationships with many of them and can see how they’re doing.

I’m burnt. I’ve actually been so tired I’ve felt sick, but when I’ve tried to nap, I don’t actually sleep. I close my eyes and my mind won’t settle down. It happens at night, too. I just need a break.

I have only two weeks at work and then I’m off for five.

Since I need the rest, I’m not going to be slaving away over my break, but I do intend to get some work done and finish a few small projects around the house.

I aim to have my revisions on IoS and my drafting of Marushka all, or mostly, done by the time I start my leave.

Then, I’m writing my query and synopsis, researching agents, and I’m going to send IoS into the world to see how she does.

I’m trying to arrange a bit of a promotional visit for a new author friend, Madeleine Callway, some time in June as well.

Because of that, I’m not aiming high for the next couple of months, though I do intend to pick up with drafting Gerod and the Lions once I’m finished Marushka, and trying to pull together Apprentice of Wind, the second book in the Ascension series.

Since I’ve been working toward the goal of querying, I’ve taken a load of courses, including Jane Friedman’s MBA for Writers and I’ve picked up Jeff Goins’s The Art of Work.

I’ve had Julie Czerneda and another author friend review my opening (‘cause openings still kick my arse).

I’ve ordered the 2015 Guide to Literary Agents and signed up for Publisher’s Weekly, ShelfAwareness, and Publisher’s Lunch free newsletters.

I’m getting serious about this writing gig in a whole different way.

Of course, I’ll let you know how all of this pans out.

One more post today and then I think I’m done.

See you in a few!

The Next Chapter