NaNoWriMo, writing

Failing at NaNo and why that’s fine by me

I’m guest posting over at Kiwi Writers today about why I’m failing NaNo and fine with it. In that post I mentioned that at day 4 I realized I didn’t want to be writing a new draft.

So what am I doing instead?

Finally settling down to edit Sun-Touched, that’s what. This novel has been sitting around for long enough and I am well and truly ready to get it out into the world. Once the fog of my last assignment had cleared and I realized that I was finished with study for the year, it hit me that the main barrier to revision I’ve had in 2013 has been study, so, now that study is done it’s time to get back to it.

I’m going to be spending the next couple months kicking this into shape, and then hopefully I’ll have time to edit The Way the Sky Curves afterwards. Β It would be amazing to get to March next year and have two things I can shop around while I complete my final year of study.

Part of me really wanted to write this new novel, but if I keep focusing on drafts, I’m going to get to the end of next year and not feel like I am any further towards my goals. It’s kind of scary, but also incredibly amazing to be working on getting things ready to submit. Am certainly feeling no regret whatsoever for ditching NaNo πŸ˜‰

For those of you still cranking out the wordcount – you rock! Keep up the good work. And for those who, like me, have falling off the NaNo wagon – don’t beat yourself up over it, just keep writing πŸ™‚

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The first

I finished the first draft of a new short story last night. I feel too blah about it to read it yet, but I am sure it’s not as bad as I imagine it to be (after all, the last time I felt blergh about a story it placed 3rd in the Ergo Fiction Search Term Challenge, and found a place in Tales for Canterbury. Feeling this way is not an indicator of worth of the story, but that’s probably a whole other blog post).

It got me thinking, though, and after doing some math this morning I realize that it’s the first story I have started and completed since the earthquake hit, back in Feb.

Which isn’t to say I’ve been doing nothing. I’ve worked my ass off in those three months on the anthology, I just hadn’t realized how much of a backseat my own writing had taken until now. One short story, and like, 4 scenes on the novella. In three months. I think I produced more after the birth of my third child πŸ˜‰

In any event. This one is done, and I am hoping that by passing this milestone I’ve signaled to my brain that I am back on board and ready to work. So many writers around me are gearing up for SoCNoC over at Kiwi Writer’s, and I’m finding myself…envious, you could say. I want to work on something new, too! But I have to finish this novella first. I’m hoping to get the rest of this version finished by the end of June so it can get back to some readers for feedback, because my end game goal is to be finished with the submitting of the MS before the end of the year so that I can either self pub it, or whatever. I have SO many ideas lined up that need to be written, I just need to get back in the habit. Take some deep breaths, and focus.

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Being lazy…

And linking to the post I wrote for Kiwi Writers this week! It’s relevant still.

This month we were blogging about change, and mine was inspired by all you wonderful people out there reminding me that writing goes on, eventually.

You can see it here.

In other news, have mostly been doing some revision today. We had a rough night last night and a long day today so I’m pretty exhausted, but feeling a little more positive than I was yesterday about the writing stuff πŸ™‚

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It was inevitable

Lauren has a cold, I should have known I would get it too. It certainly adds to the generally bleh feeling I’ve had lately, what with the broken sleep and general lethargy.

Anyways! Gotta push on right? It’s Taranaki Anniversary weekend, which means no school for Ivy and no work for Hubby today, and no good sleep for Lauren today because those two are here causing more noise and distraction in the house lol.

Love them all dearly but I am very much looking forward to tomorrow and regular routines. And to L getting a decent day sleep which translates into a better night time sleep. Mummy needs it!

The new Kiwi Writers site seems to be going down well. We had a glitch where not all accounts received their activation emails, but hopefully people will see the site notice and email so that I can sort that out for them. Other than that… pretty smooth really, and we’re very glad of that.

The writing is still ticking along – I took my day of reprieve on Saturday night I think it was, Lauren needed to be held and that was simply more important than getting some words on the page. I got stuck into it again last night and all going well I’ll finish it off today… I just hope that the little issue I have resolves itself and the exact ending becomes clear. I think I got sidetracked by a small detail I felt I needed to clear up, but am back on track now.

And, I finally finished reading through what I have of Chasing Ascension! I feel as though I knew what I was doing when I stopped writing, which is a shame because I only vaguely remember where I was going with it. It will fall into place, I think they were off to see a man about some weapons, and we will have to wait and see whether Lissa risks all by broaching a topic with someone she suspects is not who they appear to be…. interesting times. I’m really looking forward to playing in that world again.

Anyway, baby is kicking, Lauren needs a feed and Ivy is calling out for me to look at her latest masterpiece so I better go.

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Kiwi Writers 2.0

I figured this probably deserved it’s own post – I’m thrilled to let everyone know that the new site is now LIVE and there seems to be a fair few people coming through and checking it out.

We had a couple of weeks to pull it all together, and Kerryn has done a wonderful job of learning drupal very quickly and getting everything in the right place. We’re still working out the ‘challenges’ aspect of the site, but I have no doubt that we’ll have that in place in the near future.

As it stands, there are heaps of improvements – you can now actually edit your forum posts, have more detailed info on your profile, have a profile image, subscribe to different threads and forums. And we have a shiny new critique and revision forum that only members can view, which will allow a lot more of that kind of interaction to occur on the site rather than off.

I’m stunned by how smooth things have turned out when we initially thought it was going to be a nightmare. I only wish I’d had more knowledge and time to give Kerryn more help with the technical side of things.

Anyways. It’s up and open for business! If you’re a member you should have received a couple of emails (the regular KW monthly news, and one from the new site with your login details). If you’re not a member yet, why not check it out?

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small update

Nothing special, just to say that I am doing my writing every day like a good girl, though I haven’t managed to get over 500 words yet! Maybe today will be the day?

I’m feeling incredibly unenthusiastic about everything right now. I mean, I am loving the short story I’m writing, and I’m looking forward to getting into Chasing Ascension. I’m excited about the launch of the new version of Kiwi Writers that’s happening over the weekend and a couple of other things – but I just don’t feel enthusiastic. It’s like I KNOW I feel good about these things, but I just don’t have the energy to actually show it.

Kind of like I know that right now I should be working on that short story and not blogging, but… yeah. Or that I know I should have come up with something more interesting than this to say in a post, but I didn’t.

Ah well! Maybe tomorrow I’ll be feeling a little more alive about things. Maybe it’s that I’m trying not to consume any junk today but all I can think about is eating sweetened condensed milk from the can, or munching on spicy tomato munchos… Who knows.

Hope you’re all having a good day though. I better go and get some writing done before Lauren wakes up.

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Taking a break – yesterdays post, so kinda old news

I’m worn out. I’ve burnt all my reserves and I have nothing left. I’m getting by day to day and am thankful that Hubby is off work until next week to help out with the girls.

Christmas is tiring, streams of visitors are exhausting and I just have nothing spare to give – at this point it’s even a struggle to remain patient and loving in the middle of the night with a sick child.

So I’ve not written in… a week I think? I have no intention of writing anything for the rest of the year (thankfully it’s only a few days). I’ve got nothing to draw on right now so it’s an impossibility for me. I need to build some energy back up, I need to rest enough so that I can feel things properly again and then maybe some words will come to me.

I’m hoping that a new idea will grab me soon, seeing as Tama has conned me into signing up for the New Year Novella. I need a quick hit, a rush of writing adrenaline, a shot of literary crack to get me started, which means tackling something fresh and something to do with coffee (it’s becoming a tradition that my New Year Novella’s all intersect at the same coffee shop, it’s a fun thing to do!).

At this point in yesterdays post I was about to say I was going to go and have a sleep or read my book but my Mum called and we had a massive chat and I began to feel a whole lot better about a number of things. Mum’s are awesome for many reasons, one of the really big ones is for being able to see solutions to problems that you can’t seem to find your way out of. Manageable solutions that you know you can achieve even if it’s not going to be easy to change the necessary habits. So thanks Mum! You rock and I love you to bits, I don’t know where I would be without you.

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Frustrations and to-do lists

I was seriously miffed yesterday after a number of things conspired to cut into my writing time, and even worse, lose the words I did manage to write. Between friends with dramas, computer issues, baby’s not wanting to sleep anywhere but me…

Arg!

But I’m pushing that aside. I’m not going to let yesterdays issues drag me down today, oh no.

I have a to-do list!

It looks a little something like this: force husband to fix computer so that it stops crashing and stealing my words. Let Johnny kill Ellie. Chase the yellow out of the rest of the kitchen/diner with some pristine white undercoat. Plant the rest of the veges so that they don’t die from sitting in a plastic bag for a week.

And then I have housekeeping to do – both in the house and on the web. I managed to get the Kiwi Writers newsletter written and emailed out this morning, but I need to do a massive tidy up of the SpecFicNZ message board, and see if I can come up with some preparation challenges for the KW members who are doing NaNo next month.

Once again, if you’re doing NaNo, friend me, I’m here.

I’m feeling like I have the energy to tackle that list this weekend. I need to feel like I’ve gotten something done.

Most importantly, I really need to finish Johnny’s story… I’d hate to have him visiting me in my dreams again.

Better get moving then.

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Opportunies for Spec Fic writers in NZ

Yesterday I briefly touched on the fact that there are limited places in NZ where a writer of speculative fiction can go to publish. For the most part, Kiwi writers look elsewhere – and it’s a wonderful thing that the internet exists, because it makes submitting work to anywhere in the world a much simpler (and cheaper) thing.

That said, there are a few places here that do publish spec-fic. The first one that I want to highlight is Semaphore, which has been around for a couple of years now, and is run by Marie. There have been some amazing stories published through here and the covers always feature fantastic artwork – I urge you to check out the site, whether you are a reader or a writer (or both), the e-zine is free so you have nothing to lose!

Second up we have a new market, SubSpaceTV.com. I first heard about this through this months SpecFicNZ newsletter (which, if you want to get on the mailing list drop me an email and I’ll get Ripley to add your email). They are open to submissions now and are looking for speculative fiction.

It seems a somewhat limited list, I know, but I’m sure that in the future there will be more NZ options. There are a few competitions throughout the year though, which cater to spec-fic, one in particular which I’d like to give a little more publicity to is the short story competition for Au Contraire – they are looking for science fiction and fantasy stories for an Anthology, to be released at the convention next year. Check out the details here, entries close at the end of January 2010, so there is still plenty of time to get something in.

Recently, over at Kiwi Writers, we decided to give some of our members an opportunity to get published. Okay, so the idea was born last year and it’s only recently come out, but we ran a challenge asking members to submit stories to us for a short story Collection. We didn’t get as many entries as we had hoped for, but really enjoyed a lot of them and had a lot of ‘fun’ putting the Collection together. You can find it here, the e-book is free to download, and there is a print version available through lulu. There are stories in it from a variety of writers, some of who have never been published before and it was so great to give them an opportunity to see their writing in print.

Anyways, I’m going to sign off here for today – tune in tomorrow for an interview with the lovely PJ Ballentine. She was kind enough to answer a few questions, which I really appreciate. She was also our guest judge on the Kiwi Writers Challenge Collection, and is an all round wonderful writer and person.