Life is busy. That’s an extreme understatement. Over the last sevenish months I haven’t been making any time for writing, which was extremely unfortunate. So as my added fourth goal for 2017, I vowed to spend one hour a week on writing. I didn’t do so well through January (I wrote a little bit here and there near the end of the month, plus built that chatbot, which took quite a bit of writing initially). But it’s the beginning of a new month, which means time for a new start.
I started out by writing down an idea I had for a 10 minute play. There’s a theater event called 10×10 here in Thunder Bay which I went to a writing workshop for back in 2015. I didn’t submit anything that year (I was dealing with sorting out my NaNoWriMo blob around that time) and hadn’t really thought much about it since then. But then I had a random idea from work that I wanted to get onto paper. It’s way too late to work on anything for this year (the deadline was back in January), but maybe I’ll get this into shape in time to submit it for next year. We’ll see! It will definitely need a lot of work (and an ending!)
After that, I also finally tweaked my Imezza and Faeriia docs to reflect the work I did on Imezzan magic back in December. Faeriia was an easy edit – the magic on that world will not use the basic elements at all now so I just had to take any reference to that idea out. Imezzan magic is going to be the one dealing with the elements now because it’s way more appropriate there.
I have to say, I’m very happy to have taken the time to do this writing, even though it’s really not a whole lot.
I think my next project is to work on a short story. There’s a local writing contest coming up that I would like to enter. And that would go hand in hand with my goal to write some polished short stories this year!
Happy New Year everyone! 2016 was in many ways a difficult year. But in other ways it was a great year. I started my radio show AND got a permanent part time position at the library. I also just got back from a wonderful few weeks in sunny Florida (pictures forthcoming on Flickr!)
Here’s all the things I wanted to do in 2016:
- Finish Tears of the King – failure. I didn’t finish it, but I did work on it a bit more earlier in the year (to the point that I would say 1/3 is functioning and built). I think I made this game much bigger than I should have; it’s going to take me awhile yet to finish it.
- Write four polished short stories – failure. I don’t think I really wrote any short stories. I brought a few older ones with me to edit and that didn’t even happen. Oh well.
- Take a Lego Picture a month (and actually post it in a timely manner) –
failure huh partial success. I took one and posted it relatively on time every month until the fall. I seriously thought this had fallen apart long before then.
- Eat healthier – huh, partial success. I started using my dietary scale to make Greek yogurt parfaits with granola (which I love). I’m also a bit more conscious of my portions. Not bad!
- Be more active – partial success. I walked a lot over the summer, and a lot over the last few weeks in Florida. Plus last month I went swimming a lot, too.
- Read the anthologies I own – failure. I read 4 anthologies or short story collections. One of them was honestly an accident (I didn’t realize The Jungle Book was a short story collection when I started reading it). I also think I’ve read one of the four before (but didn’t realize it until I recognized the final story in the collection). I’ve also got two anthologies on the go right now and haven’t read from either of them in awhile.
- Build 1 of my worlds that need building. – this is another partial success. I did spend some time working on another world, but I don’t think I got it to the point where I feel it is ready to work with (the setting is still unnamed at this point, though I have spent some time trying to name it with no luck thus far). Hilariously I also spent a bit of time working on magic in Imezza while I was in Florida; sitting on a beach watching dolphins is sort of the best inspiration for an ocean world! 😉
- Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book – failure.
- Take apart my NaNoWriMo 2015 blob – success! I succeeded at this back in February! 🙂
- Work with Chat Mapper – failure. I have done nothing with Chat Mapper since January 2015 (which was fun though!)
While I didn’t accomplish many of my goals for the year, as I said, I ended up starting a radio show, which has been a great experience! My life has taken me in some unplanned directions, making me a lot busier than I may have previously been. So with that in mind, I’m going to make less goals for this year, but make them things I really, really want to accomplish. Hopefully this way I can keep myself a little more focussed on things now that I have more limited time. So this year I want to:
- Read 40 novels. In 2016 I read a lot of shorter things (both graphic novels and short stories). So this year I’d like to focus on longer works. Ideally most of those longer works will come from books I have stockpiled in my house but we’ll see what happens.
- Write four polished short stories. I have three worlds built to a point they can be written in/about, and a fourth one coming along okay. It’s time to start using these worlds!!! Plus there’s a short story contest I’d like to enter.
- Work on Tears of the King. Ideally I’d like to finish it. But even getting another third built would be awesome!
Those are realistically my most important creative goals for this year. Taking Lego pictures is fun, but I don’t want to bog myself down thinking I HAVE to take them. Chat Mapper hasn’t happened for the last few years, so there’s no point in worrying about it now (but if it does happen this year, that’s still cool). Likewise, I haven’t gotten around to editing any of the NaNoWriMo books I’ve written and they’re not a priority to me at this time (but again, if I do get around to them, that’s great). And I don’t need to do any more worldbuilding, but again if it happens, that’s great (and I already know I have to tweak a few things in my Imezza and Faeriia Google docs thanks to my brief work on Imezzan magic over the last few weeks). I also decided not to bother posting my non-Creative goals here since this blog is entirely devoted to my creative endeavours.
EDIT: I came up with one more goal. Goal #4 is to spend one hour a week on writing. This hour can be spent on Tears of the King, worldbuilding, editing, short stories, novels, whatever. I’ll even schedule it into my week if I have to!
So there we have it – my goals for 2017. Wish me luck as I work to accomplish everything! I’ll do my best to keep this blog updated with my writing progress. 🙂
A friend of mine told me about the Realm’s Crowd Sourced Story Contest a couple of weeks ago. The Realm is a game that Atomhawk Design+Lantern Interactive tried to fund on Kickstarter last year. In an attempt to find a new source of funding (and use some of the beautiful concept art they created for the game), they ran a contest. Anyone can write a story using up to 20 of the 24 images they provided (4 are blank images that you can use in places where the existing artwork won’t work in your story). The winner will have their story published in an animated storybook app (and get a share of any profits the app gets).
My entry is titled “For the Fear of Monsters.” It was originally titled “The Monster and the Flower,” but I felt that title didn’t really work, especially after I received feedback from my brother and changed the story. I purposely tried to keep descriptions to a minimum, letting the pictures do the “talking” as much as they can. I hope you enjoy reading it. 🙂
Back in January, I came across the 91-Word Memoir contest, which was hosted by the Gotham Writers Workshop. In honour of a Gotham student who passed away a few days before her 91st birthday, the Gotham Writers Workshop challenged writers to tell a personal story in 91 words or less. The winner and finalists were announced a few days ago (congrats all). I didn’t make the list of finalists, but I thought I would share my entry here (I called it “One Word”):
“Shauna has diabetes.”
I sat with my mother, the two of us bawling while the doctor told us what happens next. I didn’t know why we were crying; the word the doctor said meant nothing to my seven-year-old mind. But mom was crying, and so I cried, too.
The doctor told us to go home and get some of my things. Then my life changed forever. I had to fear low blood sugars and complications. Plus the nurse made me eat my crusts. All thanks to that one word.
I tried to make it exactly 91-words, but unfortunately it ended up only 89.