So earlier in the week, I got sick. It sucked, because while I was feeling completely like crap, I didn’t feel like working on that short story I’ve got on the go (even though I had just a few paragraphs left to go on that editing pass!)
But what I did end up doing was reading. Quite a bit, actually. As of today, I finished one book and read two more, including Steve Brusatte’s The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, which I read in about 24 hours (thanks in large part to starting it while waiting to see a doctor yesterday). The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs actually ended up being book 25 in my reading challenge! So yes, as of earlier today, I accomplished one of my goals for the year – I read 25 books! At least some good came of being sick. 🙂
In all seriousness though, I am feeling a bit better today. I’m now on antibiotics, which I think is the main reason for that. I’ve eaten a bit more today without feeling super nauseous (thanks to being nauseous, I barely ate anything over the last two days). I’ve spent the evening making soup (it seriously has ended up an entire evening affair – I started at about 6pm, and it finally finished at almost midnight! Oh well, at least I now have soup). And over the last few hours of soup making, I sat down to finish this editing pass on my short story. 🙂
So with my story shaping up, I went to go and check the Duotrope listing I’m planning on submitting it to. The listing closes in about a week and a half, so I’ve still got plenty of time to work on it. Unfortunately, I just realized the listing wants short stories of 3500- 5000 words in length. And their website says they are looking for horror (the Duotrope listing says horror, sci fi, and fantasy). This story is currently quite a bit shorter than 3500 words (it’s now 2440, which is over 1000 words longer than the first draft, so it’s moving in the right direction), and is not at all a horror. I just sent them a message over Facebook asking about the genre and whether they are open to accepting shorter submissions (someone else asked about the shorter submissions on their website, but they didn’t answer). And of course after I asked my questions I found that they say they are open to all forms of speculative fiction. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get this story to 3500 words or not. But that’s a problem for another day. For tonight I’m just happy to be done this editing pass! And whether it gets submitted anywhere or not, at the very least it will hopefully be one of the two polished short stories I wanted to write this year. 🙂
I was working all day on Friday, and then I had plans to hang out with a friend. So I didn’t end up working on any personal projects on that day. But I did get to spend a bunch of time writing during work. I was starting to work on an article that’ll be due at the end of the month. I was also working on organizing some interviews for TBPL Off the Shelf (I’m once again interviewing the authors who are coming to Thunder Bay for the IFOA), plus I have to have a book review written early this week, and I have two more articles due at the end of the month. I’ve also got two articles that were/will be published (something in the Seniors paper, because the library columnist who usually writes the column is going to be away a lot this fall, plus an @ Your Library article which should be published in Sunday’s paper). So the whole month should be quite busy with work writing.
On the projects front, I wrote “Just One More Level” for Apocalypse Madness Tuesday night and published it on the blog Wednesday afternoon. I’m considering NaNoWriMo again this year. I haven’t participated for the last couple of years. I’ve kind of said (not on this blog I don’t think), that I’m not going to participate again because I currently have two messes of novels that I’m not sure what to do with. But while thinking of it, I realized that I don’t have to write a particular body of work that equals 50,000 words. I just need to write 50,000 words. So I was thinking I would do some work on what I’ve been calling the Grief Project, which is one of my goals that I have not done any work on so far. I’m not even sure how big of a story that’s going to end up, so I don’t want to commit to making it a 50,000 word novel. I’ll also have to write something for Apocalypse Madness next month, so I was thinking I’d tack on the word count for that as well. And probably any work I do on Tears of the King if I’m working on it (I may put it aside just for November, but we’ll see).
My friend and I finished Secret of Mana on the Wii Friday night! I played it by myself around September 11th, but he offered to help me play through it after that, which I thought was great. We’ve played it about once a week for the last few weeks. I thought we *might* be able to finish it last week, but there’s quite a lot to the game and we had to hold off because it was 5 in the morning. I think that was my first real video game RPG that I’ve finished, or at least my first old-school one. I was looking at it from a game design perspective, seeing what I can learn to help me make Tears. I need to choose another game to play now; I’m thinking either Chrono Trigger on the Wii or Whisper of a Rose on Steam. I’m swaying towards Whisper of a Rose because I think it was made with RPG Maker. Unfortunately most of the RPGs I’m looking at are single player, so my friend won’t be able to help me through them, too (so we’re going to find something else to play through eventually).
…time to see how I did with my goals and set some new ones for the year!
Last year I set ten goals for myself, but only wrote down the writing-related ones. But after a bit of a scare (I thought I lost the paper I wrote them all down on), I’m going to list all ten off here, along with my progress on them:
- Move out – success! I got my own place this December. I moved there with my new cat, Merlin. 🙂
- Get to GDC Main in SF – success! You can read all about it here.
- Finish reading 50+ books -success! I actually read 58 books!
- Get in better shape – sort of a success – I was going swimming twice a week all fall, but had to stop in December due to moving out and Christmas. Will be heading back to the pool this month though!
- Clear out my writing magazine stash – success! I got rid of a lot of them once I knew I was moving.
- Fix up my website (and eLance profile) – sort of a success – I fixed it up a bit before GDC, but haven’t done anything new to it since then (except update it with any articles I’ve had published). For the eLance profile, I don’t think I’ve even BEEN on eLance since the spring…
- Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 novel OR write a new novel using 90 Days to Your Novel – failure. All I did was look over 90 Days and decide not to use it. Since that time, I haven’t done a thing with my novel.
- Build 2+ of my worlds that need building – failure (sort of). I spent quite a bit of time working on worlds earlier in the year, and managed to get one up to a point that I think I could write stuff in it. It’s still not “done” though – there are some aspects that I still need to work on.
- Build a game (I don’t care with what) – failure. I was all gung-ho to build a Storynexus game after GDC, but that fell by the wayside (particularly when I realized the story I had in mind wasn’t going to work).
- Figure out Chat Mapper and write some branching dialogue – failure. I haven’t done a thing with Chat Mapper.
So of the ten goals, I succeeded at five, worked on two, and utterly failed at three. Unfortunately I didn’t really succeed at any of my creative goals (but I did a lot of work on worldbuilding, which will only benefit me in the future!)
With that in mind, it’s time to set some new goals for 2015!
- Read 50+ books off of The List (so that means non-library books – just books I currently own!)
- Stay in shape (get back to swimming and keep it up!)
- Get 2+ of my worlds that need building up to the point Imezza is currently at.
- Finish the screenplay I started. I forgot to write about it, but I started a screenplay at the end of November. It was meant to be a Christmas gift, but I ran out of time due to moving. So now it’s going to be a birthday gift. I have until August to finish it.
- Write the Grief Project. I had planned on doing this sooner, but my grief for my cat was too great and I couldn’t do it last fall.
- Write a story a month for Apocalypse Madness. Apocalypse Madness is a blog I started back in 2008. The idea is that every month someone would post a quote, then everyone who contributed to the blog had to write at least one story inspired by that quote. The blog died in 2011 (due to a number of reasons), but I decided I wanted to revive it starting today. So for the first time in three and a half years, there is a new quote; hopefully stories will follow! And if you’d like to join in on Apocalypse Madness, send me an email or comment on this post! 🙂
- Build a game. I don’t care with what (could be Storynexus, RPG Maker, Game Maker, a game book, whatever!)
- Figure out Chat Mapper. Same as last year.
- Take a Lego Picture a month. I’ve fallen away from Lego pics over the last while. I miss it.
- Fix up my Red Bubble profile. This kind of goes hand in hand with 9.
As a bonus:
- Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book. At least to the point where I feel okay sharing it with people.
So those are my new goals for 2015. This year there’s a lot more creative goals, so wish me luck with them! You’ll notice that there’s also nothing about getting to conferences. As much as I’d love to go back to GDC, or one of the other game ones, I don’t think that’s a reality for me this year. Of course, if that should change, I’ll blog about it. 🙂
Filed under goals, Updates
As part of my goals for the last few years, I wanted to build 2+ of my worlds that need building. I have a few projects that have gotten stuck in the worldbuilding stage for various reasons. At my last count, there are currently 13 worlds that I want to build; these are all for personal projects that I currently am interested in writing (meaning that I have more worlds, but they were left off my list because I don’t want to develop them at this time). I chose to develop 2 for my goal because that seemed like a reasonable number to me, leaving room for other projects.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been mulling over one world in particular. I don’t know what exactly caught my attention with it, but the more I think about it, the more hooked I am. It’s going to be a fantasy world, but more than that I don’t want to say right now. I’m hoping to develop it as a setting for some short stories.
I hit upon a rather strange snag about a week ago though: what kind of ocean tides do I want the planet to have? By extension, I need to decide how many moons I want to have orbiting the world. And this has led me to the work of Neil F. Comins. In particular, two of his books, What If the Earth had Two Moons, and his earlier What if the Moon Didn’t Exist, caught my eye. In them, Comins writes a series of essays where he speculates, with science, what our world would have been like had it been different (having no moon, two moons, a thicker crust, and many other scenarios). I’m currently reading the first, while eagerly awaiting the second to arrive. While dense, I’ve found What If the Earth had Two Moons to be fascinating. My world may not need all of this science (it is going to be a fantasy world, after all), but I’m having a lot of fun delving into it nonetheless.
When I wrote my new goals for the year, one of them was to either edit my NaNoWriMo novel from 2012 OR to write a new novel using 90 Days to Your Novel by Sarah Domet. In an effort to decide which I would prefer, I started reading 90 Days to Your Novel last night. I’ve had the book for almost three years now, so I thought it was definitely time to give it a read.
The premise behind the book is that you are given a new assignment every day for the course of 90 days. You start out planning your novel, eventually jumping into writing it linearly. I believe at the end of the 90 days, you should have a relatively polished draft (I’m not entirely sure if this is supposed to be the first draft or not though). Domet is a huge advocate of outlines and planning, so the initial planning stages are sure to help get you to a much more polished draft than you’d have at the end of writing a NaNoWriMo novel the way I did. So all in all, the book appeals to me on principle.
But once I finished reading Part 1, I immediately started to dislike Domet’s writing style. For one thing, her initial assignments didn’t really work for me. She wants you to sit and brainstorm ideas from your life, looking for something that could be useful as a story idea. That may work for other people, but for me, a lot of my ideas seem to pop into my head; I let my unconscious mind do a lot of the initial leg-work for ideas.
I also really didn’t like the way she harps on and on about outlining. I forgave that in the initial section, where she’s trying to convince people outlines are a good thing (and I do agree with her – writing without one makes a scary editing nightmare, as my NaNoWriMo forays have proven to me). But it hit a point in the book where she needed to stop trying to convince me that they’re good.
I realize that I’m probably not her target audience at all with this book, and that’s probably why I ran into problems with it. I didn’t mind reading Part 1, especially when she talked about the different types of outlines. But I don’t think I’m going to be using her book to help me reach my goal. Instead I’m going to just trust myself: I know what I’m doing, and I can rewrite this thing my way.
Filed under Updates, Writing
Last year I made myself a list of goals, most of which were writing related. Of the 11 goals I made for myself, I managed to accomplish exactly one off of the list. And it wasn’t one of my writing ones.
That being said, I did some work on the other goals. I played around with Chat Mapper a little bit. I started world building one of those worlds that need building. And while I didn’t clear out my writing magazine stash (one of my unlisted goals), I did clear out some other magazines.
I also accomplished some things which weren’t on my list. I was involved with a game project among friends. Sure, it ultimately didn’t go anywhere, but it was still a valuable experience. I also worked on Holdfast, which resulted in a published credit. And then I wrote that submission for the Dark Crystal Author Quest, which was quite a feat in and of itself (a couple months of research followed by three writing and editing it). I think the lesson from all of this is that while goals are good, it also pays to be flexible; you never know what opportunities life will throw at you.
So with that in mind, here are my new writing goals for 2014:
- Figure out Chat Mapper and write some branching dialogue with it.
- Build 2+ of my worlds that need building.
- Build a game (can be with RPG Maker, Game Maker, StoryNexus or whatever).
- Edit my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel OR write a new novel using 90 Days to Your Novel
- Get to GDC Main this year.
Most of these goals are the same as my last year’s goals, but that’s okay; I’m thinking they’re still good goals to strive for. For the fourth one, I’ve had 90 Days to Your Novel for quite awhile and wanted to give it a try. I might even just rewrite the NaNoWriMo novel using that book’s techniques since I’m pretty certain the book needs an almost total rewrite anyway.
I have a couple of other goals for the year that aren’t really writing related so I’m not going to post them here. That last goal isn’t completely writing related, but I do talk about conferences from time to time here, too. I’ve been saying I’m going to GDC for the last few years and still haven’t made it; I’d really like to change that in 2014!
Hopefully 2014 will be a creative and productive year for us all – Happy New Year, everyone! 🙂
I know, I know, this is a bit late. The new year has been here for a month already. I came up with my goals for the year about two weeks ago and have been meaning to post about them for awhile. You know how it is; life gets busy and sometimes the best of intentions get waylaid. But better late than never, right?
Back on January 14th, I wrote down ten goals for the coming year. About half of them were writing related, so I’m going to share them here:
- Submit at least six short stories for publication
- Figure out Chat Mapper and write some branching dialogue with it.
- Figure out StoryNexus and write a game with it.
- Build 2+ of my worlds that need building (I have a list of ten and counting).
- Build a game on RPG Maker.
Of course, when I wrote those goals, I managed to somehow forget about my NaNoWriMo novel, so a bonus goal is editing that, putting my goals up to 11 for the coming year.
There are many narrative systems that you can build a game with nowadays. I chose RPG Maker because I own it already and have been meaning to make a game with it for awhile. StoryNexus and Chat Mapper were both recommended to me by friends. I’ve checked StoryNexus out a bit and am intrigued with it, especially after playing Winterstrike (it’s well worth checking out!) For the branching dialogue, I wanted to give both Chat Mapper and Twine a try, but didn’t want to inundate myself with systems and so chose only one; if I manage to find more time I’ll be checking Twine out as well.
So what are your writing goals for the coming year?