The next chapter: April 2017 update

Greetings, writerly friends 🙂

Yes, it’s that time of the month again—no, not that time—it’s time for my next chapter update. Yay (flailing Kermit arms)!

Ok, maybe that’s a little too enthusiastic.

That’s what spring does to me, though.

Even though we haven’t had a particularly warm spring up here, the fact that there are more hours of sunlight each day really helps me find my energy.

And what do I do with that energy? I overcommit. That’s what I do.

What does that look like in 2017? Let’s see …

  • work full time;
  • write as much as I can, evenings and weekends;
  • produce the monthly Sudbury Writers’ Guild newsletter;
  • serve on the Canadian Authors Association Program Committee (and various sub-committees); and
  • sign up for Writing the Other with Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford (yay—it’s awesome, but I can’t keep up with the assignments and so feel crap about it).

Truly, though Writing the Other is one of the bit of writerly awesome to happen this past month. It continues through to the middle of May, so I’ll save the deets for a future weekend wrap-up post. Suffice it to say for now, though, that I would recommend the course to anyone.

A second is my continued semi-regular SF&F column with DIY MFA, Speculations. As I mentioned last week, I’ll be posting to share those columns on the blog. The next one should be coming up Tuesday, and it’s a dreamy one, so stay tuned 🙂

A third bit of awesome was that I participated in was the Sudbury Poetry Project. April was National Poetry Month, after all. When Kim Fahner, Sudbury’s Poet Laureate put out the call, I wrote a new poem and submitted it.

thiswintersky

“this winter sky” was inspired by what has been a particularly gloomy winter here in Northern Ontario. I believe that almost everyone who lives in the northern hemisphere experiences some degree of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and those of us predisposed to depression tend to feel the effects of SAD more than others.

More than, that, though, the poem is about the hope that blossoms when one recovers, or learns to live with, mental illness. This is why I was honoured to have the poem posted outside the Northern Initiative for Social Action (NISA) which is a safe place where survivors of mental illness and consumers of mental health services can gather, learn, and heal.

And now, onto the writing progress report 🙂

April was a decent month. I finished my latest revision of Initiate of Stone. Unfortunately, it only reduced the overall word count of the novel by a few thousand words 😦 I was, however, after a short respite, move on to Apprentice of Wind.

I also revised two short stories for submission to a contest and an open anthology call. We’ll let you know how that goes in the future.

All the new writing in April was once again on this blog.

AprilProgress

Here’s how the numbers break down:

  • 79,078 words revised on the Ascension series, or 113% of my 70k goal.
  • 4,105 words of short fiction revised, or 164% of my 2,500 goal (makes up for not revising any short fiction in the last two months).
  • 6,098 words written on the blog, or 92% of my 6,600 goal.

That’s a total of 83,183 words revised and 6,098 words written. That’s not counting my column for DIY MFA, which I really don’t have a place for on the tracking sheet.

What’s up next: I’m going to continue work on revising AoW, which I don’t anticipate will be finished until next month. Revision will yield (I hope) to writing with respect to short fiction. We’ll see how everyone likes the new plan for the blog.

Next week, I’m heading down to Story Masters in Toronto, with Donald Maass, James Scott Bell, and Christopher Vogler, but that, of course, means that there will be no post next weekend. I’ll have another wrap-up post to share on this lovely event later in the month.

And then we’ll see. This writer’s life is never boring, that’s for sure.

Until next I blog, be well, be kind, and stay stong, because this winter sky will always yield to the light.

The Next Chapter

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 23-29, 2017

Lots for the visual learner this week 🙂

I’ll just leave this here … Andrea Wallace shares her struggle with the failed Phoenix pay system. Medium

SciShow marches for science.

 

Deborah Tannen examines the (sometimes unintentional) subtext of digital conversations. The Atlantic

Why can’t you use your phone on a plane? SciShow

 

Rachel Ginder: introverts don’t hate people, they hate shallow socializing. Introvert, Dear

Veritasium looks at the sun sneeze gene (don’t know what that is? I didn’t either!)

 

Sandrine Ceurstremont reports that female dragonflies will fake sudden death to avoid unwanted male advances. This made me lolz. Way to go, ladies 😉 New Scientist

Dogs are doggos: an internet language built around love for the puppers. Jessica Boddy for NPR.

And speaking of dogs … kind of … this seal just wants a belly rub 🙂

 

Shel – Enter Sandman. Eerie and beautiful.

 

Now that your mental corn is popping (I hope) I shall leave you to your own devices until the weekend.

Be well until next I blog.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, April 23-29, 2017

It’s another week chock full of informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland shares three ways to make your fiction more visual. Helping Writers Become Authors

Later in the week, Kate returns with how to write (and not write) expository dialog(ue).

Colleen Oakley guest posts on Writer Unboxed: how to make your readers believe the unbelievable (or, the importance of facts in fiction).

Barbara O’Neal explores the complex power of mapping the world of your novel (with neuroscience!). Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb explains why changing up your writing process from book to book works. Writer Unboxed

Allie Larkin says fighting writing stage fright is about more than picturing your readers in their underwear. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Craft: to sleep, perchance to dream. Writers in the Storm

Jamie Raintree asks, are you writing out of fear, or love? Writers in the Storm

Sara Letourneau: seven steps to honouring your reality. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira recommends some must-read books for your writing library. DIY MFA

Kolina Cicero reviews Scratch for DIY MFA.

Angela Ackerman shares some of her fantastic finds for writers. Writers Helping Writers

Julie Glover guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog: four common copy editing issues to watch for.

Bonnie Randall guest posts on Fiction University: what writing rules do you always get wrong?

Elizabeth Sims guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: four methods for developing any idea into a great story.

Jenna Moreci helps you choose your next story.

 

Margaret Atwood shares seven tips for writers. Writer’s Digest

Roz Morris pleads with reviewers: can we open up a dialogue about self-published books? Nail Your Novel

Chris Winkle helps you depict internal conflicts. Mythcreants

Oren Ashkenazi examines five stories that are afraid of their own premises. Mythcreants

Aaron Miles returns with part two of sieges and siegecraft: defenders. Fantasy Faction

Kate Elliott: the status quo does not need world building. Tor.com

Eight words that changed the way we think. Kelley Grovier for the BBC.

Marie Mutsuki muses on the nature of fairytales and storytelling from east to west. [yes, it’s from last year, but it’s awesome] Literary Hub

Alexandra Alter reviews William Gibson’s Agency. The New York Times

Jeff Vandermeer and Cory Doctorow discuss the future of science fiction and the world. Electric Lit

Twelve women authors share how Margaret Atwood made them feminists. Elle

Another oldie but goodie from 2015. Emily Asher-Perrin thinks Real Genius is the geek solidarity film that nerd culture deserves. Tor.com

Germaine Lussier takes a look at the trailer for Kingsman: the Golden Circle. i09

And this is how we improve our craft 🙂

Hope something here gave you what you need to get to the next level.

Be well until thoughty Thursday comes along to pop your mental corn!

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