Burn, in the spirit, January, Kotahi Bay, publishing, round-up, The Way the Sky Curves, writing

January round-up

It’s February!!!!! A whole month of 2015 has already passed us by, and wow, it was a busy one. I’m thinking if I can keep January as ‘busiest month of the year’ that would be nice, and if I can manage even half the productivity, this year is going to be awesome.

A quick break down of how I spent my time:

Edited: 3 novels and one novella.
Critiqued: 2 novels and one MA book.
My stuff: finished the 1st draft of a novel, plotted out the rest of the Kotahi Bay series, edited Burn, began final edits on The Way the Sky Curves.
Read: 9 books on GR and a couple more besides. NINE!!!!!!!! And I only set my goal at 40 for the year.

On top of that we still had home school trips, catching up with old school friends, lots of swimming and exploration, lots of fun times with the kids. January was a really busy month, but it was completely awesome as well. I’m not interested in being *quite* that busy again for a couple of months, but it feels amazing to have started out the year so well.

I also made a few tweaks to my site the other day, changing the Books tab around so that there are pages for each current series, as well as adding an In Progress page at someones request – apparently, he couldn’t keep track of what went where and how they connected! Sorry if I confused anyone else. I want to do a complete overhaul of the website, but that might have to wait until I move to a self hosted one – if you have any suggestions, or things you’d like to see on my site, please feel free to let me know 🙂

Oh, and I found out yesterday that In The Spirit was nominated for a Sir Julius Vogel award for Best Novella! Thank you, kind reader! That was really lovely. I may not make the final ballot, but it was pretty awesome to get that email. While I’ve co-won an SJV before for editing an anthology, this is my very first nomination for something I wrote, which makes it pretty special.

So, what does February hold??

Oh so many things!

BURN_Final E-cover_JC HARTFirstly, releasing Burn. Gosh I can’t wait!! I don’t have a release date yet, as I’m waiting to get it back from proofers, and need to go over it again myself before I can set that. But it will definitely be February.

I’m looking into doing a limited print edition of Burn because I’ve had a few requests. I’ll also look at doing a small run for In The Spirit for the same reason. It would be kind of nice to have a copy of my own too, just for giggles – I’ll blog about it before I go ahead just in case anyone wants to order a copy.

I’m hoping to get through this final big edit of The Way The Sky Curves and have that ready for a final reader by the end of the month. It should only need a few tweaks, copy-editing and then proofing before it’s ready. I was worried before I dove in a few days ago, sure that it was going to need a lot more work, but it’s a great story! I’m going to become a broken record ‘I love my WiP so much!’ lol, I seem to say the same thing for every WiP.

I’ve got a few editing jobs lined up as well, and plan on doing a lot more reading. It’s the first February in a long time that I’ve not been gearing up for study, which is a bit weird, but also wonderful.

I hope January and 2015 in general is treating you kindly – here’s to an awesome February!

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Winner!

I did it! Successfully managed to write to my goal of 20,000 words for the month, which means I ‘won’ Camp NaNoWriMo. Feeling pretty happy about that, though I didn’t quite finish writing the novella which sucks a bit. I thought I would finish it yesterday but ended up spending the entire day in bed with a crippling headache. I have codeine now though, and am actually capable of functioning a little (yay codeine!).

August is lined up to be another busy month. It’s ‘The End is Nigh‘ over at Kiwiwriters and I need to finish the first draft of Shell & Bone, and then make the beginning of Burn as good as the rest of it before submitting. And then I think it’s back to revision on ‘The Way the Sky Curves’. Which I guess makes it a month of novellas. Will be super nice to have them all at the next stage of writing though, and puts me well on the way to completing my goals for the year.

How was July for you? And what are you planning for August?

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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 😉

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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So what DO I want to write?

*this post only relates to my novel writing, my short stories are coming along just fine ;-)*

Having decided to set Lifelines aside, I find myself presented with the next problem. One which has me feeling like I am floundering around.

If that’s not what I want to write – what is?

Do I have any novels that are good representatives of what I want to write? Or am I going to need to start fresh?

A quick run through the list leaves me with this: I have an unfinished trilogy of pure fantasy novels. I’m currently not sure how I feel about fantasy.

I have a YA supernatural type novel. I don’t think I want to write YA.

I have a space novel with young adult characters but which I don’t consider to be a YA novel. This one could be okay, but it does need work.

Novellas? I have two, ones a dark fiction tale that I really want to see reworked and published. That’s more in the vein of the writing I want to do. The other… it was a fun piece to write and it was more about just having a bit of a break from ‘serious’ writing.

Hmm…

I think I’m letting myself get too trapped by ‘genre’ when thinking about what I want to write. I would probably be better to say that I want to write thought provoking stories, stories that explore characters selves and how that relates to the situations that they are in, how that is changed by their circumstances and the choices they find themselves making.

Which could be just about anything.

I keep telling myself that I don’t need to think about this right now because I’m not novel writing, not for a fairly long time yet. I’m not even considering novel writing until next year, possibly not until the second half depending how this whole 3 child thing works out. There are too many unknowns in the equation – it could be much easier than I thought, or I could have no energy or drive to do anything other than be the best mother and wife I can be for awhile.

I’m going to put these thoughts in a box for now, but I really felt like I needed to get them out of my head first. It will sort itself out.

Possibly the most surprising thing about this post is how ambivalent I feel about ‘fantasy’ right now. I used to think that was all I would write, and now… well I just don’t know if I do want to write it. Traditional fantasy, sword and sorcery, whatever, has kind of lost its appeal for some reason.

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On track

I managed to get my two chapters edited yesterday (YES! – I’m inordinately pleased with myself lately, probably a good thing), as well as getting some stuff critiqued for a friend. I’m slowly ticking things off my list and it feels so good! I should have the extras done in the very near future.

I’m trying to compile a list of my works though, which I guess is an extra – I have a tonne of stuff written and I need to find an easy way to see exactly what there is and what stage things are at.

Is there a programme out there that helps? Or does anyone have a system that they use? One folder for first drafts, one folder for edits and one for final documents? At the moment, each version is clearly labelled and each story/novel/novella has it’s own folder, every version is kept in that folder, but that doesn’t make it easy to see which ones still need work and which don’t. I guess I could move all the ‘finished’ stories folders into a ‘finished’ folder and so on, that might work.

Still, it seems pretty messy… I think having a list of stuff might be helpful for now until I can find a solution to the organization problem.

It’s sunny here this morning, after a fairly unpleasant weekend of weather, so I am hoping to get back into the garden at some stage. Hubby has the day off and we’ll probably be booking him in to sit his restricted licence, and get some other little things done as well. Life is good. I’m very happy, very content.

Bliss.