2010 Month in Review: 3rd Month

What I planned for last month was promptly revised in the wake of a Mercury Retrograde inspired back to basics epiphany. This meant less time on eMergent projects, including Chinese Whisperings but more time for writing and beta reading.

This is how the month panned out for me.


Goals from last month

1. Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley

2. Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson

3. 36 :the collected short stories – Jeffrey Archer

4. Thieves and Scoundrels – Absolute Xpress’s FFC #3 winners

As it was Mercury Retrograde I chose to go back and read some favourite novels, something I have done over the last three Retrograde Periods and really enjoyed. It ended up being a failure, with me completing no books – the first time in 2 ½ year which was rather disappointing. I was unable to get into Mists and didn’t even open Snow Crash. Fed up I started The Secret Life of Bees.

On the other hand the short story reading found feet again and I’m on track to complete Jeffrey Archer’s 36:the collected short stories. Problems with my wifi connection with my iPhone has prevented me from shifting the eBooks I was planning on reading as short story catch up.


Goals from last month

  • Just blog and enjoy doing it.
  • Put together some ideas on what I’d like the blog to look like – and do it!
  • Accept the two blog awards I have outstanding.
  • Read and comment on a blog a day.

The just blog and enjoy it lead me to the decision I needed to get back to basics… of which blogging is one important element. I haven’t been quite as organised as I would have liked but I’m getting there. I’m am getting around to more blogs though (still not one a day though) and I’m still to officially accept my blog awards.  My favourite blog at the moment is Tony Noland’s Landless – even if we beg to differ he’s actually made landfall and no longer adrift.

As for the redesign of the website – the creative investment in blog looks went to setting up the Hartog site – though I do have ideas for how I’d like to change my personal one.

I have been invited by Anne Whitaker to contribute a guest post for her blog about astrology and writing too. Put it out to the Universe and it will come back to you.

#blog posts (not short story posts) for this month: 3


Goals from last month

  • Four Fiction Fridays for the month – or four #fridayflash pieces
  • Finish novella… only two episodes to go
  • Submit Pearls of Wisdom
  • Write first draft of Dirty River (nee Summer Girl)
  • After Mercury Rx – send in Graceville
  • 4/4 for the Writing Races
  • First draft for FF#4

This month past was all about returning to writing. When I look at my goals I can see what I was straining to achieve – but it required a shift of priorities to make it happen. Without the shift back to a focus on writing there is no way I could have achieved what I was looking to do.

[Fiction] Friday is back in the forefront of my mind, and while I wrote to three prompts, I only successfully finished one – which was an outside story of the Captain Juan series.

I completed three pieces – “Pearls of Wisdom”, “Don’t Tell, Alice” and “In Their Own Good Time”. Pearls was a work in progress and I had my mind on submitting it to Australian Women Online and then got cold feet when I saw what was already up there – not wanting my story to end up in ‘contemporary romance’ – so time to find a new home for it. Don’t Tell, Alice was from the 2008 back catalogue, written to a FF prompt, later revised for my 2008 anthology and then forgotten!  It was polished up rather easily – with some tweaking of the narrator’s voice and a brand new ending.  In Their Own Good Time ended up as my entry for the 4th Flash Fiction Competition and was submitted, lost in transmission (literally) and then resubmitted. Phew! The Goddess was watching over me that day.

I got 4/4 writing races and enjoying interacting with the folk there. I haven’t been writing any Hartog – but the plan from here in is to use it for that. The last two weeks I utilized it to rewrite ITOGT.

With the emergence of a new hashtag search #TuesdaySerial Hartog has his own blog now and I’m itching to get writing – so Tuesday will from here on in, dedicated to Hartog as was my original intention (competition entries aside!)

Dirty River has been put on hold. I want to do a bit of research in to the band scene and into what Brisbane as like in the last 80s. And the plan is to use it as my submission for One Book, Many Brisbanes at the end of the year.

The novella is unfinished – but that’s OK. The creative vibe went in a different direction. With the desk cleared somewhat, I’m going to collect up all the episodes and have them printed out – and then see what fires from there.


  • Rewrite Pearls of Wisdom
  • Complete my editing duties for BOFF.
  • Rewrite the next four installments of Hartog
  • Edit my final installments of Captain Juan

The ending of Pearls, got rewrite after rewrite until it settled and the correct ending found its place. I completed over the ANZAC weekend my final BOFF story and found it to be a really rewarding experience. So much so – the writer in question emailed and telephoned me to say thank you.

Hartog hasn’t seen a rewrite or edit, though the final instalments of Captain Juan went up (finally – only a year after they were originally written.)

In the lead up to the closing date for the AXP’s 4th FFC the beta reading was falling from the sky. I beta read for Annie, Dan, Chris and Tony. In addition to that I had the honour of looking at Dan’s final piece for his Open University course and got to call him and chat “in real time” with him about it. While beta reading can be long and arduous – it binds communities of writers together and I’m glad to be doing it.

Professional Development

The only thing on the list last month was to book for the EWF – which I did. I have a Golden Ticket and looking forward to traversing Melbourne’s emerging literary scene under the cover of night with some good, old mates.


Date Night*

Iron Man 2*

Robin Hood


New Moon (again)

The Boys Are Back

Hallam Foe

I also saw the stage adaptation of Jane Eyre which was mind-blowing and have been devouring Torchwood series one when I’ve had the opportunity to visit annie.


Chinese Whisperings

Everything has sort of been put into a holding pattern with The Yang Book in terms of my editing – but stories continue to be written. I spent time with Dale trying to unearth his character and was sent through Jon’s story.

After weeks of missing each other for a live catch up, Paul and I finally got hold of each other and we’re not going to let ourselves be blocked any longer from getting the Red Book published –which means I’m in the market to get myself a credit card. How nice!

eMergent Publishing

Goals from last month

  • Finalise the website for GP – including the dial up version of the site
  • See the first of the money flow in and the downloads flow out.
  • Map marketing ideas
  • Get an eMergent website up (we finally got an URL which is more in keeping with what eMergent has become)
  • Become a legal entity (finally)

We haven’t yet managed to get the Gnarly Planning site completed. Dale’s got a job, and I’ve been focused on writing, but we do have a list of marketing ideas.

We also have ideas for the eMergent site and Paul’s organising the paperwork to become a Limited Liability Partnership.

Captain Juan

Is back! Spurred on by my back to basic approach, I knew it was time to revitalise CJ. We agreed to invite Chris Chartrand to join us. And a flurry of emails resulted. The entire scribblings are now compiled – an impressive 74,500 words! And there are big things to come. How exciting to finally be able to type that… and we’ve even managed to badger Paul into coming back to write.

Reclaim Sex After Birth

Three speaking engagements book. Well the Universe is telling us it is time to breathe some life back into this project. Funny how you decide to have a back to basic approach and the Universe comes to the party.

The Great Adventure

Staring at and conquering the blank page was adventure enough. I never thought I would say that. The theme of adventure seems to be a little misplaced I think… but perhaps I just haven’t sought out the opportunities. It feels good to be living the dream again.

Goals for this coming month to be posted shortly. Have a lot to think about in terms of the best utilisation of my time – spurred on by Benjamin and his weekly word count (and how he reminds me I haven’t set one every Monday via twitter) and Jim Wisneski’s guest post at Scribo Ergo Sum (online home of Jen Brubacher) today. The renovation of my creative life continues.

5 thoughts on “2010 Month in Review: 3rd Month

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention 2010 Month in Review: 3rd Month « Writing in Black and White -- Topsy.com

  2. Thanks Ben. I feel as though I am finally finding my rhythm. I know Mr D going to school this year really busted up how I had worked in the past – and rather than having more time, I actually had less time and more sleep deprivation.

    I’m glad my writing practice is evolving… and you can nag away. The word count it going to be pivoutal in how I structure my work week – and I believe it will be a good thing. Thinking I will be aiming for 3500 – 1000 for Friday fiction, 1000 for Hartog, 740 words of WA column and 750 words for a new blog post a week. Then there will be the editing and rewriting. I want to pull two old stories from the archive and rework them every month. Until I’ve completely been through the entire back catalogue.


  3. My favourite blog at the moment is Tony Noland’s Landless

    I blush!

    I admire your goal setting. Although I do it in other areas of my life, that’s a habit that I don’t have very strongly as a writer. I think if I were to make more of an effort in that regard, my productivity would go up a lot.


  4. Oh do you count blog posts? I don’t as I find them too easy for me. I always can’t wait to open my opinionated Marxist mouth and if I counted those words, there’d be less pressure to write fiction. But I suppose it’s different for you given you’re trying to build up that blogging.


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