Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 21-27, 2016

Sorry to have missed a week of curation, but life happens. I’m back now, though, and here with your informal writerly learnings for the week 🙂

Jane Friedman explores discourse communities as a means of distinguishing yourself among agents and editors. Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb writes about revision and how to make it through. Writer Unboxed

We need to give ourselves permission to begin, courage to continue, and forgiveness to try again. I so needed this, Dan Blank. Bless you. Writer Unboxed

Angela Ackerman offers some advice on creating mood in a scene using light and shadow. Writers helping writers

Later in the week, Angela announces the expansion of One Stop for Writers.

Roz Morris shares three surprising to measure your progress when you’re writing a slow burn book. Nail your novel

Susan Brooks guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction University on the importance of being genre-specific. Part one of a new series. Later in the week, Janice guests on Jody Hedlund’s blog, sharing five reasons your plot stalled. Then, Marcy Kennedy stopped by to explore indie choices: writing in multiple genres or specializing.

Jenny Hansen guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog (while she recovers) and offers some strategies for overcoming fear, the writer’s enemy number one.

Leanne Sowul writes about the importance of quality sleep. DIYMFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews MJ Rose for the DIYMFA Radio podcast: build buzz around your book.

Jamie Raintree guests on Writers in the Storm: the career mindset comes before the writing career.

Love this woman’s big squishy brain 🙂 Kameron Hurley shares her thoughts on why being a writer is an exercise in cognitive dissonance.

K. Eason shares six tips for writing a science fiction series. Writer’s Digest

Steven Pressfield studies stuff that works: True Grit and Paper Moon, which are essentially the same movie . . .

DBC Pierre lists ten books all writers should read. With the exception of a couple, they’re not what you’d think. The Guardian

John Bradley evokes Marshall McLuhan’s statement, “the medium is the message” to examine how we read and how it affects us. The Wild Detectives

Brandon Taylor states that there is no secret to writing about people who do not look like you. Literary hub

Sarah Gailey encourages SFF writers to “do better” when it comes to writing sexual violence. Tor.com

Laurie Garrison’s #women_writers manifesto aims to build the community of female authors. Lara Williams for The Guardian.

It was the 101st anniversary of James Tiptree Jr. (Alice B. Sheldon)’s birth. Tachyon Publications offers this tribute to her work and influence. Leah Schnelbach writes this article on Tiptree and the power of the SF community for Tor.com.

Fiona Macdonald reports on the secret libraries of history for the BBC.

Alexandra Alter interviews Hugo award winner, N.K. Jemisin, for The New York Times.

J.M. Frey explores how fantasy tropes can bring out the power of being a fan girl. The MarySue

And here’s the cover reveal for her new novel 🙂

Cheryl Eddy presents all the new science fiction and fantasy books you must read this fall. i09

Charlie Jane Anders previews Dominik Parisien’s new fairy tale anthology, The Starlit Wood for i09.

Katharine Trendacosta shares photos of some of the set pieces for the Ready Player One movie for i09. I have to say that this was one of my favourite novels I read last year. So looking forward. Here are some more from Collider.

And that was Tipsday.

See you Thursday!

Tipsday

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CWS 2016: Diversify your writing income

And . . . I’m back from WorldCon and my blogging vacay 🙂

Disclaimer: I am not perfect and neither are my notes. If you see anything that requires clarification or correction, please email me at melanie (dot) marttila (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll fix it, post hasty.

Presenter: Robert J. Sawyer

RJS1

One of the easiest ways to diversify is to use your expertise and become a public speaker. If your expertise is in writing, you could receive a nominal fee, funded by a professional writing organization or granting agency.

A science fiction writer, however, can use their scientific research as the basis to become a futurist. A futurist demands a more substantial fee, potentially between five and ten thousand dollars. The more established the writer is as an expert, the higher the fee offered for their presentation.

Public speaking ability, is, of course, a benefit. Join your local Toastmasters to develop that. Sign up for an improvisation class.

Short fiction can earn a small amount, but even small amounts can add up over time and the publication credit becomes part of your platform. Hugo Gernsback, for whom the Hugo award is named, founded Amazing Stories and paid .06 cents a word. It’s still a payment standard used today.

A more lucrative form of writing is screenwriting. The Screenwriters Guild has standardized rates of pay for screenwriters. A one hour script for a television series, such as ABC’s Flashforward, based on my novel of the same name, earns the writer about $3600. That’s approximately 6000 words. Compare that to a short story of 6000 words paid at .06 cents a word.

If you do get a novel published, pursue film and screen rights. It doesn’t happen without effort, though.

I’ll never win a Giller Award, but I earn the equivalent of that prize amount every year.

Whatever you write, become an expert in that subject.

Authority comes from the same etymological root as author. Market your authority.

Record your presentations. A video is a great promotional tool. It will convince people to hire you. Embed it on your web site.

Too often, the author is the only person not being paid.

If you present in schools, don’t be shy about asking for a fee. The only classes I don’t charge are the ones studying my book. If they’ve bought a class set of my book, it’s not fair to charge further, in my opinion. Some professional writing organisations will provide you with a reading fee. Some will cover travel or accommodation expenses as well.

In general, non-fiction sells better and pays better that fiction. I might avoid book reviews, though. The Globe and Mail will pay $175 for book reviews, but you have to either be prepared to hold your punches, or have someone want to punch you. You can’t like everything you’re given to read.

Write what you want to find out about. Maureen Jennings writes the Murdoch Mysteries. She also writes articles on historical Toronto.

Q: What are the tax implications?

I happen to be a dual citizen so that makes some of it easier. The IRS is assiduous about getting its money, but you can work around it to some extent. I live and do most of my work in Canada. It makes a difference. For a presentation I gave in the US, I wrote it in Canada. If the work is completed in Canada, the income is declared in Canada.

For publishing income in the US, you need to have a ITIN or EIN.

Q: Do you enjoy public speaking?

Yes, I do. The more speaking engagements you get, the more comfortable you get on the stage.

Q: How did you get started?

Back in 2000, I was invited to speak at an AI conference based on my research from a recent novel. Previous to that, I was making $250 per speaking engagement as a science fiction author. I asked for $2500 and the organizers said yes. I could have asked for more.

I used to be on panels with Jay Ingram and Bob McDonald, but now I can earn more than they do for a speaking engagement.

Q: How does the unpublished or minimally published author make a living?

The number one thing is to get on television or radio as soon as you can. An agent or publicist can be helpful with this.

I used to teach for Ryerson, but it was actually the least lucrative channel of income I had when you factor in the hours spent on prep and marking.

Q: Do you have to seek out engagements?

Initially, yes. Not so much anymore. Once you’re an established expert, people will come to you.

If you have an author newsletter, let your readers know that you’re available for talks. Fans will convince their businesses to hire you just so they can meet you.

Q: Can diversification compromise your author identity?

It can.

There are some writers who end up making more public appearances and presentations than writing novels.

In 1988, I was 28. I wanted to be a novelist, but I was writing financial columns. That was how I paid the bills. I decided to start turning down these opportunities to make more time for writing novels. I was terrified. In 1996, eight years later, I won the Nebula award. It took that long to make the transition.

And that was time.


You’ll be happy to know I’m returning to Tipsday and Thoughty Thursday curations starting this week.

Next week: I’ll be offering up my next chapter update for August and then I’ll have only one more session from the Canadian Writers’ Summit to share before I move on to WorldCon panel notes 🙂 I have enough of those to keep the weekend blogging going into 2017 (considering the time I’ll be taking off for NaNoWriMo).

Be well until next week, writerly peoples 🙂

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 7-13, 2016

Canadian Olympic news:

I’ve shared articles to Facebook that later turned out to be erroneous. I’ve curated some of them here with their debunking articles appended. As a public service, I’m sharing the Snopes’ guide to fake news sites and hoax purveyors. You’re welcome.

80,000 Hours explores the qualities that make a job a fulfilling career. High income isn’t the main consideration. Follow the links at the bottom of each part through to part six and map out your career path (aimed at 20-somethings, but everyone can assess, or reassess, their careers using their quizzes and tools).

Sudbury writer Laura Stradiotto shares a personal story that every woman needs to read: I was happily married with kids and I made the decision to have an abortion. Chatelaine

Eckhart Tolle: You’re not your Facebook ego.

 

Allie Brosch’s Hyperbole and a Half is amazeballs awesomesauce. Read about her adventures in depression. It doesn’t end on a happy note, but there’s more to read on her site, and in her book. For my money, there’s no one who describes what it’s like to have depression better.

Anna Lovind muses on what we are called to do when our hearts are breaking. She also writes about how people use the excuse of not having enough time to skimp on self care: that’s the most ridiculous thing she’s ever heard.

Kimmy Dee reports on five scientific reasons our idea of happiness is wrong for Cracked.

Brother Devid Steindle-Rast recommends five small gestures of gratitude that counteract violence. Uplift

Jennifer Wolkin shares more about the brain-gut connection. Mindful

Last week, I shared an article about how scientists have discovered a new kind of light. This week, it’s a new kind of fire that may be useful in cleaning up oil spills. Andrew Liszewski for Gizmodo.

A new trans-Neptunian object (TNO) is making the solar system look a whole lot weirder. Shannon Hall for New Scientist.

Kivi Park will become Sudbury’s largest outdoor recreation space. South Side Story

Archived photos of Sudbury will change the way people see our city. Up Here

And here’s the mural Ella and Pitr were commissioned to create for the Up Here festival. CBC

In honour of International Left-Hand Day, BrainPickings reviews David Wolman’s book A Left-Hand Turn Around the World.

The theory of how North America was populated is wrong. Emily Chung for the CBC.

Paulette Steeves, an Indigenous anthropologist, is challenging the origin story of First Nations peoples. Denise Ryan, The Vancouver Sun.

Alan Yuhas reports on a recently uncovered Mayan tomb that sheds light on the “Snake Dynasty.” The Guardian

John Vidal examines how millions of trees brought a broken landscape back to life. The Guardian

Okay, tourists. Stop stacking rocks at Hanakapiai beach. It’s not pono (right). Christine Hitt, Hawai’i Magazine

Maddie Stone reports on the Greenland shark, which may hold the cure to aging. Gizmodo

The White Wolf Pack reports on a couple of heroic beavers from Ogden, Utah, who stopped a fuel spill with their dam, but had to be taken to a wildlife rescue for rehabilitation as a result.

A cockatoo freaks out a bunch of cats by meowing at them. Daily Kaos

That should get your mental corn a-poppin’.

With any luck, I’ve tracked Mary Robinette Kowal down and delivered the decoded phrase 🙂 So looking forward to meeting her (among others) at WorldCon.

See you on the other side (that’s the 27th)!

Thoughty Thursday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 7-13, 2016

Bumper week here at Writerly Goodness 🙂

The week previous, K.M. Weiland shared the reasons she believes writing is important, last week, she collected her readers’ thoughts on the issue. Helping writers become authors

On a related note: what do we write when the world feels insane? Sarah Selecky’s Story is a state of mind.

K.M. Weiland returns with more writing lessons from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with the single best way to write powerful themes.

Roz Morris offers ten eye-opening tips to add impact to your storytelling. Nail your novel

Chuck Wendig lists 25 reasons he stops reading books. Terribleminds

Then Chuck shares ten things he learned about storytelling from Stranger Things.

Related: Janice Hardy shares lessons learned about handling flashbacks from Stranger Things. Fiction University. Nick Wisseman then guests posts on Janice’s blog, explaining how to plot your pants (wait . . . that sounds bad).

Janice then hopes over to Writers in the Storm to post: using internal conflict to create plot.

Finally, Janice guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog: if you’re stuck on plot, start at the end.

Lisa Cron writes about getting out of your process comfort zone: there is no safe place. Not plotter or pantser, but seeker. Writer Unboxed

Allie Larkin shows us how to organize a second draft with note cards and Tom Petty. Writer Unboxed

Christine Frazier shows us how to write a fight scene in which the hero fends off an attack to save a friend. The better novel project

Chris Winkle shares what she knows about creating realistic cultures. Mythcreants

Sarah Callender writes about enduring the long road to publication for Writer Unboxed.

The author as busy, busy bee and other bee-filled nightmares. Kameron Hurley.

Phil Stamper-Halpin shares what the editors of Penguin Random House look for in the first page of a novel.

Jennifer Johnson Blalock offers six ways to make comp titles work for you on Carly Watters’ blog.

Susan Spann helps you understand ebook rights. Writers in the Storm.

Robin Lovett shares what she learned from a negative experience: when your book doesn’t sell. DIYMFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Andrew Piper (not the Canadian author) on her DIYMFA Radio podcast. Will an MFA influence your chances of success as an author?

Timothy Beck Werth looks at Djuna Barnes’ 1936 novel Nightwood and what may be the first trans woman in western literature. The Awl

Lorraine Berry: the horror of female adolescence and how to write about it. The Guardian

Michael Newton leads a celebration of Alan Garner. The Guardian

Ursula K. Le Guin writes about the golden age for The New Yorker. “I . . . think it ungrateful in a writer to write science fiction and deny that it’s science fiction.”

BrainPickings looks at Le Guin’s thoughts on aging and the meaning of beauty.

“What the market wants” is code for white stories in science fiction where black writers face universal racism. Amy McNeill for The National Post.

Michael Swanick lists five fantasy novels you won’t find in the fantasy section. Tor.com

Sarah Gailey writes in defence of villainesses for Tor.com.

Writing begins with forgiveness: why one of the most common pieces of writing advice is wrong. Daniel José Older on Seven Scribes.

Every writer’s worst nightmare: Helen Gladwell died before learning that her first book had been accepted for publication. Worse, her body remained undiscovered for months. The Telegraph

I saw this article in many forms over the last week. This one, by Jenn Savedge for Mother Nature Network, was the first. Reading a minimum of 30 minutes a day can extend your lifespan.

Jacob Mikanowski examines the Oneirocritica, an ancient encyclopaedia of dreams and dream interpretation. The Awl

Anthony Jones lists 25 words for other words. Mental Floss

Abraham Riesman interviews Margaret Atwood at San Diego ComiCon. The Vulture

Katharine Trendacosta reports that The Silver Chair, the next film adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series, is in production. Whee! i09

Germaine Lussier presents a first look at the Arrival trailer. i09

Phil and I are looking forward to September 30 for this reason: Luke Cage. i09

Laura Prudom breaks George R.R. Martin news for Variety: Wild Cards series in development.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer.

 

Thems was some juicy informal writerly learnings, eh?

I’m off to WorldCon tomorrow. Poor Phil’s holding down the fort. Not to worry, my mom’s going to feed him 😀 Thursday’s curation has already been scheduled, but the blog will be silent from the 19th to the 26th. For the sake of sanity, I’m not going to catch up on the curation.

Be well. Be kind.

Tipsday

Canadian Writers’ Summit 2016: Writing hard truths

Disclaimer: I’m not perfect, and neither are my notes. If you see anything that needs correction or clarification, please email me at melanie (dot) marttila (at) gmail (dot) com and I will action it post hasty.

HardTruths

Panellists: Lorri Neilsen Glenn (moderator), Kim Pittaway, Clem Martini

LNG: So many people are struggling with how to approach difficult topics and hard truths in their writing. Each presenter will have the opportunity to frame their work, each will give a reading, and then we’ll open the floor to Q&A.

CM: In 2010, I wrote Bitter Medicine, which is about my family’s struggle with mental illness. It ends on a positive note, but the story itself is difficult in that it documents our journey with my brother’s schizophrenia and my mother’s developing dementia. When I recognized the first signs of my mother’s dementia, the support structure we’d had in place for my brother collapsed. They were living together, and had been able to take care of each other, with my support, until then. I’m now working on the continuing story, the working title of which is The Book of Lies. Caregiving is a verb. Ideally, it’s perfect, like a spider web, a delicate network of mutual and community support. In reality, it’s more like a spider web that’s been woven by a spider on LSD. It’s full of flaws. My problem now, because I’m writing our story as I’m living it, is to decide what’s safe to write about. What do I include? How far do I go? Those are cogent questions for all writers facing true stories with demanding subject matter.

KP: My current manuscript is about families and unforgiveness. The concept of difficult knowledge versus lovely knowledge is used in curation. Deborah Britzman defines lovely knowledge as easily assimilatable. It confirms what we know, or think we know, about the world. Difficult knowledge does not confirm, or conform with, our reality. How do we curate suffering? Are we showing it?  Are we turning suffering into something productive? How is truth-telling gratuitous? How is it harmful? This is intriguing to me as a writer because most memoirs are full of lovely knowledge. There’s nothing wrong with sweetness and nostalgia, but we have to be aware that everything contains within it, its opposite. Do you face it head on, or obliquely? We have to question our tools, our strategies, and our craft.

LNG: I was reading Martha Nussbaum. She states that the heart cannot change without story. I found myself thinking about readers and readers’ responses. My students ask me why I don’t have any happy stories or poems. It’s a valid question, but it made me think. Writing hard truths forces us to confront our shadow selves as writers and as readers. Despite what you think you’re writing about, the tough stuff is already there. Do we really need those details, though? There is a hunger for stories that get close to the bone. Take a look at the stories that have come out as a result of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for residential school survivors. Those are terrible stories, but they’re also healing stories. Stories about difficult truths invite us to remove our masks. They can be, and often are, gendered.

Readings ensued, with the attendant and courteous trigger warnings, followed by Q&A.

Remember: I’ll be on blog-vacation, so there won’t be a post next weekend, though this week’s curation posts will be scheduled and should be posted on their regular days. No curation on the 23rd and 25th, though. I’ll be back on August 27th with my notes from Robert Sawyer’s presentation on diversifying your income and regularly scheduled blogging will proceed from there until November.

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 31-Aug 6, 2016

Lots of thoughty to get that mental corn a-poppin’.

Someone asks for advice on how to deal with grief. This response nails it. That Eric Alper.

Michelle Steinke reports on stifled grief and how the west has it wrong. The Huffington Post.

Minda Zetlin: here’s why you must make a happiness list right now. Inc.

Elisha Goldstein shares five ways to increase happiness in daily life. Mindful

Eric Barker examines how to find happiness. Time

Angelina Zimmerman presents eight ways to make a positive impact every day. Inc.

How to get rid of a stiff neck in 90 seconds. Real Farmacy

Nicolas Cole lists twenty brutal truths all twenty-somethings need to hear. Frankly, everyone could stand to be reminded . . . Inc.

Abigail Haworth reports on the Tanzanian wives: why these straight women are marrying each other. Marie Claire.

Actresses over 60 are the new box office powerhouses. Mark Harris for The Vulture.

Rejected Princesses features Jeanne de Clisson (1300-1359).

The Bright Side lists eleven of the most breathtaking buildings humanity is building right now.

I’ve shared this before, but it’s just that awesome. Kale in the arctic: an igloo greenhouse that could inspire fresh food production in the north. CBC

Chinese Canadian and First Nations artists created huge prints in Chinatown. The Georgia Straight.

The CBC invites you to meet the five commissioners leading the missing and murdered Indigenous women inquiry.

Angelique Eaglewoman explains why the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women must engage all Canadians. The Globe and Mail

Female genital mutilation has been banned in Nigeria. A triumph. Kimberley Richards for A Plus.

Ijeoma Oluo explains what those feel-good cop videos are really all about. The Establishment.

Jonna Ivan knows why Trump supporters chant his name. The Establishment.

A neuroscientist explains what’s wrong with Trump supporters’ brains. Bobby Azarian for Raw Story.

Foz Meadows makes a note on mansplaining. We all do it, if we’re honest.

Melissa Dahl discovers why reading makes you carsick: your brain thinks it’s being poisoned. Yup. Still gives me the queaze. Science of Us.

The science of emojis. ASAP Thought.

 

Open Culture presents an infographic of the tree of languages.

The Decolonial Atlas names the Great Lakes in Ojibway.

A dark ages has been discovered in Cornwall. David Keys for The Independent.

UpWorthy asks you to try not to jiggle as you watch these new, bladeless wind turbines.

Super cool: check out this prototype for China’s new elevated buses. Bored Panda

Jonathon Ramsey reports on how UC Irvine accidentally invented a battery that lasts forever. The Drive

Scientists discover light could exist in a previously unknown form. Phys.org

The Perseid meteor shower will peak on Aug 11 and 12. And wouldn’t you know it? It’s cloudy tonight 😦 Phil Plait for Slate.

The so-called alien megastructure just got even more mysterious. Maddie Stone for Gizmodo.

Every year, the Curiosity rover sings happy birthday. It’s kind of sad, actually. Curiosity

The Declaration of Arbroath has been awarded UNESCO status. BBC

Feeling wicked? Here are nine spooky spells from an Icelandic book of sorcery. HMB

The power of smudging: the different types of blessing herbs and their healing properties. Spirit Science.

Why Sudbury needs a busy hub for creators. The Sudbury Star.

See you Saturday!

Thoughty Thursday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 31-Aug 6, 2016

K.M. Weiland: how to get the most out of your scene sequels. Helping writers become authors

Margie Lawson shares her writing rule number 16: add subtext with dialogue cues. Writers in the storm

Marcy Kennedy explains how to use layers to create rich character emotions.

Jessica Strawser offers five ways to keep writing when life intervenes on Jane Friedman’s blog. Later in the week, Angela Ackerman guest posts: how to find and reach influencers to help you promote your book.

Donald Maass guides writers to the secrets of wonder for Writer Unboxed.

Your senses can come to your rescue. Juliet Marillier for Writer Unboxed.

Vaughn Roycroft shares his amazing writing journey. Writer Unboxed

Jo Eberhardt examines the problem with female protagonists. Writer Unboxed

Jami Gold teaches us how to tell whether a shocking scene is necessary, or just gratuitous.

Kristen Lamb considers when it’s time to give up. Warrior Writers

Self care and productivity for authors with Ellen Bard. The Creative Penn podcast.

 

Oren Ashkenazi lists five times stories broke promises to audiences. Mythcreants

Kameron Hurley offers her usual pithy and practical wisdom: you don’t owe anyone your time.

Lisa Cline interviews Orly Konig for CultureSpot MC.

Gabriela Pereira interviews Joanna Penn for DIYMFA Radio: how to be an author-entrepreneur.

K.M. Weiland shows you how use Scrivener to edit your novels. Helping writers become authors.

Publishing news: Suzanne Brandreth and Ron Eckel acquire Cooke International. Quill & Quire

Stacy Conradt shares ten facts about Lois Duncan. Mental Floss

Adrienne LaFrance lists the 200 happiest words in literature. The Atlantic

Alex Weiss compiles 24 quotes from Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore that will make you fall in love with books all over again. Bustle

The conjuring: writing as spell. Megan Abbott for Catapult.

Troy L. Wiggins presents nine diverse fantasy novels that will challenge your idea of fantasy fiction. BookRiot

Cheryl Eddy lists fifteen must-read science fiction and fantasy books being published this month. i09

Dangerous Minds presents images from the 1973 masterpiece, Fantastic Planet. I remember seeing this when I was a kid. It disturbed me.

The biggest flaw of Stranger Things is its treatment of women. Genevieve Valentine for VOX.

How a 16th century Chinese legend transformed into the movie, League of Gods. Cheryl Eddy for i09.

Deadpool 2 will take aim at superhero sequels. Beth Elderkin for i09.

And this is how we get our informal writerly learnings.

See you Thursday.

Tipsday

The next chapter: July 2016 update

So, here we are again at a monthly update. August. Where has the year gone?

One of the great things about tracking your production (and this applies to all things, not just writing) is that you can look back and see the evidence of your work. It’s very comforting.

In addition to wrapping up my work in July this time, I’m going to review the year to date.

July

JulyProgress

This month, I finished my first review of Gerod and the Lions. As with the last couple of novels, I wasn’t twitching as I reread, reacquainted myself with the story, and worked on some of the flow issues I saw. One reason for the flow issues was that GatL was written in chunks, separated by work done on other projects.

Sometimes the gaps were months long, and it shows. I had to get my head back into Gerod’s world and each time I returned to it, it took a few days to recapture the feeling.

The draft comes in at 44,996 words, which is decent for a middle grade book and 124% of my revision goal for the month.

I also continued work on the short story, which I’ll be submitting for consideration soon. 2,615 words written on that.

And, of course, there was the blog, and since I continued to participate in the weekly challenges presented by Gabriela Pereira to her DIYMFA Street Team, I far outblogged my goal.

Between the short story and the blog, I wrote 173% of my goal for July.

I also had the pleasure of guest blogging a couple of times in July, once on Mel’s Madness, and later, on DIYMFA (holy cow!). I have another guest blog due out this month on Kristene Perron’s Warp World blog.

I continued querying.

Year-to-date

Please keep in mind that revision is a very different animal than writing. I’m not writing all these words from scratch. I’m rearranging words, rewriting sentences or paragraphs for flow, inserting or removing punctuation, and making notes for future revisions.

Writing equates to original words.

Month Revision Writing Projects
January 69,774 words 186% of goal 9,274 words 141% of goal Apprentice of Wind, blog
February 40,708 words 108% of goal 5,027 words 90% of goal Apprentice of Wind, blog
March 66,637 words 177% of goal 8,436 words 141% of goal AoW, Figments, Marushka, blog
April 37,478 words 100% of goal 10,498 words 187% of goal Marushka, blog
May 50,882 words 136% of goal 10,474 words 181% of goal Marushka, Reality Bomb, blog
June 48,009 words 128% of goal 12,013 words 207% of goal Reality Bomb, blog
July 46,656 words 124% of goal 11,387 words 173% of goal RB, Gerod and the Lions, short fiction, blog

 Now and the rest of the year

With GatL, I’ve finished reviewing all of my drafted novels. Many of them are still grossly underwritten, but at least I have a better idea now of where I’m going with each.

For August, I just finished up my short story, which I will now revise, and otherwise, the only writing I’m doing is on the blog.

I’ve taken some time off to consider the remainder of the year and what I want to do.

Under consideration are:

  • Assembling a poetry collection (going to submit to a local small press) – August
  • Organizing a collection of my non-SFF short fiction (again, targeted at the small publisher) – August
  • Outlining the third book in my epic fantasy series. I’ve already taken a shot at it, but I know I have to rework it. I’ll do this anyway, because it’s this year’s NaNoWriMo project, but it’s on the list. – concurrent with other projects through to the end of October
  • Returning to Initiate of Stone and AoW, to recapture the voice of the series and bring everything into line in light of the outlining and NaNo for the third book. I want to get to November steeped in the world and its characters. – September and October

Because the third in series is of the epic nature, I expect to be continuing the drafting well into December.

I’m also taking a bit of time to think out how I want to structure my writing year from here on out. Previous to 2016, my focus was on getting the words down. Great, but then I had six novels drafted, only one of which was ready for querying.

This year, I’m focusing on the revision of all those drafts. They won’t be completely ready to go, but I’ll be in a place where I can alternate writing and revision in the coming years.

I want to draft new work twice a year, and then work on revision in between. I don’t know exactly what form that’s going to take (except for NaNo), but I think it’s something I can do.

Other stuff

I’m heading out to WorldCon/MidAmeriCon II on the 17th. It will be my first big con, so I’m super excited. This will be my last convention or conference for the year, though. I’ve blown my budget.

As a result, though, I’m going on a blogging vacay. I’ll schedule my Thoughty Thursday curation for the 18th before I leave, but you won’t hear from me again until I’m back and recovered and ready to resume bloggage on the 27th. Sacrifices have to be made.

I’ve done the crazy and applied for Brenda Drake’s #PitchWars. I’ll find out how that goes on the 25th. Not saying more about it for now.

I’m investigating partnerships with an editor. I want something long term, a professional editor who can help me get my drafts into publishable states.

I signed up for a first five pages workshop with NLA. Again, I’ll leave the deets for later.

And that’s this writer’s life.

Next weekend, I’ll be continuing with my CWS 2016 reportage with my notes from the Writing Hard Truths panel.

The Next Chapter

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 24-30, 2016

And here we are in August . . . where has the year gone (so far)?

Jim C. Hines hosts a couple of special guests for this post on policing in problematic times.

Onto the good news . . .

Sudbury will get a new rooftop mural for this year’s Up Here Festival. CBC

Jennifer Wolkin recommends mindful eating for a healthier brain-gut connection. Mindful.

The discovery of the heart. Paul Kennedy’s Ideas, on CBC.

The Scottish Refugee Council: Courage.

 

Parmigiani Fleurier restores a 200 year old double barrel pistol and its animated songbird.

 

Nicole Prause: what women (don’t)  need. Nova’s secret life of scientists and engineers.

 

Bored Panda presents pictures of modern women wearing traditional Ukrainian crowns.

The Vintage News reports on crinolinemania, the dangerous Victorian fashion garment that killed nearly 3,000 women (!)

April Holloway reports: DNA testing on the 2,000 year old Paracas skulls may change anthropology. Ancient Origins.

It turns out you only need one hour of moderate activity to make up for a day’s sitting. Exactly what I didn’t need to hear (Mellie = sluggie). Jennifer Ouelette for Gizmodo.

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Oprah Winfrey all use the five hour rule. Inc.

Dying is hard. Death Doulas want to help make it easier. Ellen McCarthy for The Washington Post.

Rosetta’s final resting place has been chosen. Phil Plait for Slate. Later in the week: A white dwarf zaps its red dwarf companion with a death ray.

Kevin Kelly wonders if we’re heading toward a Minority Report style future. Tech Insider.

Monarch butterfly population triples over last year. Terry Turner for Good News Network.

When a crow dies, other crows investigate. Katherine Ellen Foley for Quartz.

Watch the Chincoteague ponies complete their 91st annual swim. Jason Daley for the Smithsonian Magazine.

Humpback whales protect other sea animals from killer whale attacks, but no one knows why. IFLS.

Tony Wu captures amazing sperm whale rituals. bioGraphic

Happy Friday!

See you Saturday for July’s next chapter update 🙂

Thoughty Thursday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 24-30, 2016

Yummy, soul-feeding stuff this week.

The first post of the week for K.M. Weiland was intensely personal. It was also inspirational. It was exactly what I needed to read as the world around me seems to be falling to pieces (though that’s more apparent in my Thoughty Thursday curation posts, of late). Read it, my writerly friends, and take heart. This is why we write: five reasons why writing is important to the world. Later in the week she cautions us: don’t make this mistake with story structure.

Bonnie Randall guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction University. Once more with feeling: writing emotionally strong characters.

Chris Winkle offers five ways to restore tension in your novel. Mythcreants.

Two of my favourite writerly women: Joanna Penn interviews Roz Morris for the Creative Penn podcast. Finding your author voice.

Katharine Britton guest posts on Writer Unboxed. On the road to a first draft: when you don’t know where you’re going, any road will do.

Marcy Kennedy is back with part four of her reading as a writer series.

Kelly Harms: writing a book takes how long, now? Writers in the Storm.

Jami Gold shares more lessons learned from her recent RWA conference. Do you belong, or are you a fraud?

Shawn Coyne wonders if good enough is good enough . . . This post was a bit controversial for a friend. Yes, we need mentors; we need editors. I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with learning through experimentation, practice, and study, however. The idea that writers aren’t good enough, that they can’t be good enough without the intervention of others can result in sensitive creatives believing that they are inherently worthless. Or, it can result in the following problems, which can be just as bad . . . Just sayin’.

Karen Woodward encourages us to let go of perfectionism.

Kristen Lamb explores stress and burnout . . . and how to get your writerly mojo back.

Heather Webb has some advice on what to do when you feel like you’re treading water. Writer Unboxed.

Kameron Hurley: the wisdom of the grind.

Jane Friedman offers a definition of author platform.

Constance Renfrow writes about the do’s and don’ts of query letters. DIYMFA. AND . . . I had the opportunity to guest post on DIYMFA thanks to my participation in Gabriela’s Street Team! Five things I’ve learned from being on the DIYMFA Street Team.

Camille DeAngelis says that having her book go out of print was a pretty great thing, after all. Publishers Weekly.

Lynn Neary: can serialized fiction turn binge watchers into binge readers? NPR.

Sudburian Matthew Heiti wins the Carter v. Cooper competition! The Northern Life.

Working girls: the Bröntes. Elizabeth Hardwick for The New York Review of Books.

Alex Kulaev for BookBaby: The Jungle Book is a beautiful film with flawed storytelling.

Orange is the New Black’s Samira Wiley joins the cast of Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Amy McNeill for The National Post.

Katherine Trendacosta thinks Christophe Gans’ La Belle et La Bête (Beauty and the Beast) is the most beautiful thing she’s seen in ages. i09

We are not things: shining examples of women’s autonomy in science fiction. Delia Harrington for The MarySue.

Babylon 5’s Jerry Doyle dies at the age of 60. Sadness 😦 James Whitbrook for i09.

And that was your informal writerly learnings for the week.

See you Thursday!

Tipsday