2010 Month in Review 1

Gratefully my business plan was rather specific and itemised what I wanted to achieve under some broad headings. Here we go for a look at what happened in the first month of the year and what I’m aiming for in the second.

Reading Goals

– Read three books a month (or a minimum of 900 pages)
– A short story a day for a month

Books read this month past:

  1. The Shining – Stephen King
  2. Stop Me – Richard Jay Parker
  3. From Dark Places (Anth) – Emma Newman
  4. One Book, Many Brisbanes (Anth) – various

I also got half way through HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Books to be read in the coming month:

  1. HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  2. Possession: a love story – A. S. Byatt
  3. Cat’s Eyes – Margaret Atwood

And a short story anthology (I haven’t decided yet)

The short story reading was going great guns until I hit the current anthology and have been struggling to face up to reading each morning. Resolution: get a new bloody anthology to read!

Blogging

  • I’m struggling with being as attentive as I need to be with my blog. I’m rarely hitting the pre-req of three blog posts a week – even with a weekly fiction piece and an old WA column. Unless I make blogging a priority it is not going to happen. The old WA columns I’ve posted so far have generated some interesting discussions – as I have new readers and new writing friends from a year ago.
  • 365 Day Photo Challenge is dragging and I’m wondering if it is time to take a break from something which is quite obviously not fitting into the mix. I keep being dragged down by the things “I’m meant to be doing an not” which is a mindset I’d prefer to do without.
  • Have approached a new editing friend who is setting up a blog about writing a guest post for her.

For the coming month:

  • Pre-post the old WA columns.
  • Give the Photo Challenge a break
  • Follow up Abigail about the guest post.
  • Put down some thoughts for a blog make over.

Writing

– A writing exercise every morning
– Fiction Friday/Friday flash twice a month
– Submit one story for publication a month.
  • I haven’t quite got into doing writing exercises in the morning yet. I have been struggling to get the balance between writing and editing correct. Again, like blogging, it is making writing the priority and not editing.
  • For the past two Tuesday I have been logging in and doing the writing races on the Australian Writers Marketplace – to give at least dedicate one portion of the week to writing (a bit like Friday evenings used to be.) The first week I wrote some Hartog and the following week returned to Second Chance.
  • Took Pearls of Wisdom to writers group, along with Summer Girl (more on that below) – Pearls got the thumbs up.
  • The much maligned 12.10 of my novella was written and now there is an empty space as I try and work out what needs to go in the final two episodes.
  • I have decided to dedicate the Hartog series to #FridayFlash and haven’t done any fiction Friday – though have had ideas floating around. Friday’s are now dedicated to doing stuff at Dylan’s school, so Thursday might need to be come the day of fiction writing.
  • Nothing submitted for publication this month – going to make up for it with two subs next month. I did do the required edits for the two stories which are due to be published – The Chameleon in Thieves and Scoundrels will be released on 31st March.

For the coming month:

  • Dedicate Tuesday night writing races to writing Hartog.
  • Thursday is a CW free day… reserved for writing – looking to hit four Fiction Friday inclusions.
  • Write and post 12.11 of Novella before the end of the lunar cycle
  • Submit Pearls of Wisdom to Australian Women Online.
  • Submit Graceville to Meanjin.
  • April 1 – new Flash Fiction Challenge from Absolute Xpress… ideas for a story.

Editing

– Edit two stories.
– Beta read – no more than 4
  • My entire life seems to be subsumed by editing at the moment – as Chinese Whisperings goes from strength to strength this year. In the past month there have been new stories from Em, Carrie, Paul S and Chris for CW – all of which I’ve had editorial input into. All the beta reading went into those stories. Ive also edited three stories for BOFF09 and have one left to do.
  • Wrote a WA column about structural editing which got lots of fabulous feedback and helped to solidify the process in my mind – after struggling a bit.
  • Editing hat took a bit of a battering when an edit I did on a piece wasn’t well received. Took a week to climb back onto the bike – but all is well now.
  • I spent an entire day trying to do a rewrite of took Summer Girl to take to writing group this month – I was glad that I at least took the day to work on it, but was tired and distracted, unable to get into the guts of the story and ended up jettisoning the edits I had didand taking the original. It need another complete rewrite.

For the coming month:

  • Do a complete rewrite/make over on Summer Girl (Marion suggests writing from scratch– which I think I have to agree with) for the next writers’ group in April.
  • Fix the ending of ‘Pearls of Wisdom.’
  • Edit and refine each Hartog installment before posting.

Professional Development

  • After fluffing around – I am finally registered at Australian Writers Marketplace Online and renewed my QWC.
  • Considering joining up for the Year of the Novel Online.. think it starts on the 1st April. If I’m going to get my novel written this year – I honestly believe this is going to be the only way to do it.

For the coming month:

  • Investigate YONonline

Movies

Watch a movie a week.

This month I watched:

  1. Orphan
  2. Mad Max
  3. Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief
  4. Fame
  5. C.R.A.Z.Y (French-Canadian)

This month coming:

  1. Remember Me
  2. Time Travellers Wife
  3. Alice in Wonderland
  4. The Rebound
  5. Date Night

Projects

  • Chinese Whisperings coming along wonderfully for 2010. It is much more work than last year and while it has been draining at times, I am loving working with all the writers involved.
  • eMergent Publishing has it’s first non-fiction ebook project to be completed early April for a 14th April launch.
  • More talk about Captain Juan & Reclaim Sex – but no action yet. They’re no high priorities so that’s fine.

The Great Adventure

This is my year of adventure – and last month did little to embrace this. My great adventure for this coming month is to take myself off to a life drawing class. I’ve wanted to do this for the longest time and I don’t see any point in putting it off longer.

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7 thoughts on “2010 Month in Review 1

    • Breathing isn’t the issue, Jen. It is finding time to sleep, keep my family happy etc.

      I’m glad I sat and wrote this up (even if it is late) because I have it clear in my mind what I am working towards this month (I felt completely scattered the month gone, with too many characters in my head, vying for too little air time) so I can best use all my time.

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  1. Let me know when you start Possession and I’ll read it through too. I bought a copy recently after watching an impressive interview with Dame Antonia. Just need to finish Let The Right One In first.

    Also – what is the non-fiction book from eMergent?

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    • I’m planning on reading Possession soon – whenever I get around finishing off Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (which in reality, could be knocked off in an hour if I put my mind to it).

      I can hold off until later on in the lunar month if you need more time. I have Margaret Attwood on my bedside table also (and I know once I start – I will devour that.)

      The non-fiction book from eMergent is a planning guide called ‘Gnarly Planning: tools for local and global action’ written by Dr Jane Stanley. Long story – but we have a mutual friend and Jane approached me at a literary gig last year to see if I was interested in helping them create some ebooks. It was actually the day after the curtain fell on Fourth Fiction and I was still a bit of a mess… but I must have made enough of a professional impression (between my glasses of wine) for Jane to think I was the one to help them.

      While non-fiction was always on eMergents radar – it was somewhere back in Phase five or six. But you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Dale’s hopefully going to create the website… the whole thing will end up being a joint project between eMergent Publishing and Global Skill Share (which is the banner Jane and Kerry (the mutual friend) and other colleagues will be joined under) Clear as mud – gosh I suck at explaining things.

      Kerry and Jane have done lots of writing for Government etc, and get upset to see the documents and recommendations they write get shelved with no action. So they are pulling out their work and making it avaiable under the Global Skill Share banner. We’re the people with the technical expertise to create the ebooks etc.

      I’m glad CW stuff is coming together a little faster now than it has the last few weeks – so there will be a little bit of breathing time to do any additonal formatting etc with the non-fiction stuff before the launch date on 14th February.

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  2. The 365 photo challenge does take a lot of effort and thinking about.

    I guess I have it easy for blogging in that if I don’t have anything writing related to blog about, some political rant is usually boiling around.

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