The next chapter: August 2015 update

Ok. Let’s just get this out of the way. August sucked for writing.

I had every intention of writing when I was down in London, but I should have kept in mind the lesson I learned back in the spring. Mel + travel to deliver training = no writing.

Well, it wasn’t absolutely zero writing. I revised a short story and submitted it, and I revised my query letter based on feedback from Kristen Nelson (more on this in a bit), but that amounted to very few words.

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, delivering training, though I’m good at it, drains introvert me something fierce. Add that to travel, not feeling well for most of my time away, not being around home to help Mom with her first cataract surgery, and not being around my support system, and you have the perfect storm of non-productivity.

Plus, it was two and a half weeks away. That was a fair chunk of the month. I shouldn’t have been surprised.

Here’s how the month broke down (pun intended):

August progress

I drafted another 2,206 words on Marushka, but am still not quite at the end. I hope this month will see the end of the draft (at last). I am 95% toward my 75k word total goal for the draft, so that’s something.

I revised 62 words on short stories, only 8 of those while I was down in London. I sent two stories out and received two rejections.

I blogged 3,801 words, and I decided not to blog on the weekends while I was away. Ostensibly, this was to make it easier to write, but I’ve already mentioned how that went.

Total words for the month: 6,069. That’s my lowest monthly total all year.

August Summary

Other stuff I did in August:

When Roz Morris shared HodderScape’s open submission period, I had to submit Initiate of Stone. I’ve had no word, but I’ll definitely fill you in on the results.

Last year, I missed out on Kristin Nelson’s query letter intensive. It was that whole work thing, again. So, this year, I signed up, hoping against hope that my manager would find someone else to go to London in my place. It was not to be.

So I emailed NLA and advised that I would not be able to join the webinar. And Kristin offered to meet with me one-on-one when I got home.

That meeting took place this past Thursday and Kristin gave me some excellent direction.

Kristin was great, and though I think I was still a little fan girlish, I tried to make the most of the opportunity.

Yeah, I get star struck by agents. That’s the kind of geek I am.

So that’s it for my very unproductive month.

Rest assured, I’m back on track and aiming high.

The Next Chapter

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, August 16-22, 2015

We’re starting out seriously. Such is the nature of thoughty Thursday.

Anna Lovind’s wish for us all: the year without rape.

Amanda Palmer’s open letter to a fan on the topic of the choice to have a child as a working artist. Brainpickings.

Alison Bechdel gives credit where credit is due: please call it the Bechdel-Wallace test, thankyouverymuch. The Mary Sue.

Check out these anti-suffragette post cards from the early 20th century. Brainpickings.

Alan Watts speaks about death, in a beautifully animated short. Brainpickings.

The Canadian Medical Association is still polarized about doctor-assisted death. CBC.

I’ve just spent two and a half weeks in London, a city with the most wonderful, heritage buildings, well preserved by a concerned municipal council. So I wanted to share this post by Studio 123 that looks at how Sudbury is brightening up its downtown. [Mel’s note: The Forken Spoon is now a pizza joint O.o ]

Watch Jeff Bollow’s TED talk on how to expand your imagination:

Amazing photo captures a plane struck by lightning as it flies through a rainbow. What are the chances? IFLS.

Fire rainbows (actually circumhorizontal arcs) seen over South Carolina. ILFS.

The science of six degrees of separation from Veritasium:

An albino humpback whale! IFLS.

An Outlander post in the Thoughty Thursday curation? Yup. Cause its focus is on herbalism.

Tori Amos is one of my all time favourite musical artists. Silent all these years:

Have a fabulous Friday!

See you Saturday.

Thoughty Thursday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, August 16-22, 2015

Blissfully back to normal!

And Mom’s surgery went wonderfully, thanks.

Now, on to the Writerly Goodness:

Are you protagonist and your main character the same person? K.M. Weiland explains how the answer could transform your story.

The Pixar way to think about conflict in your story. Katie’s weekly vlog.

Chuck Wendig shares his writing process and invites us to share ours. Terribleminds.

He also smells our rookie moves . . . and tells us how we can avoid them.

Marcy Kennedy guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog on the topic of internal dialogue and three story problems it can help us address.

How to become a bestselling, full-time novelist—it’s so easy! Dan Blank takes a facetious look at becoming an overnight success as an author on Writer Unboxed.

Stephen Kings asks, can a novelist be too productive? The New York Times.

Jeff Bollow’s how to write FAST. By the way, that’s an acronym. It’s not about speed or productivity.

Leta Blake highlights diversity in the LGBTQ community for Writer Unboxed.

The Rabbit Box: a strange and wonderful storybook for grownups. Brainpickings.

Neil Gaiman explains why our future depends on libraries, reading, and daydreaming. The Guardian.

Dylan Landis shares her experience with grief and how it affected her. The New York Times.

The BBC talks to Verlyn Flieger, who helped to bring J.R.R. Tolkein’s Kullervo to print.

R.F. Foster on Yeats, faeries, and the Irish occult tradition:

Flavorwire shares this list of 50 books for 50 classes—a curriculum on your bookshelf.

Who won the Hugos and why it matters. Wired.

Noah Berlatsky chimes in with this take on women authors in SF and the Hugo controversy for Playboy.

Gary K. Wolfe writes about it in the Chicago Tribune, as well.

Takeaway of the week: It doesn’t matter whether your write fast or slow, full-time or part-time, only that you write. Don’t go comparing your work or process to anyone else’s. You are you and your novel is something only you could have created. Value yourself and your time.

So get writing.

And we’ll see you in two days.

Tipsday