Welcome, Year of the Green Sheep

Western ideas of the sheep are in contrast to those of the East. When we think of sheep, we think brainless, follow the flock, kind of mindless behaviour. Susan Levitt writes:

The mildness of Sheep can hide an independent streak. In the wild, Sheep are surprisingly tough and able to tolerate severe weather and scarcity of food. Sheep have this natural ability to survive when one must, and are far stronger than they appear.

One of the themes of the sheep year is ‘wild heart’, to be open to love and acceptance at all levels. It is also said to be a good year to express your creative side, to cultivate beauty and artistic development. I’m a few weeks late in posting this, but yes, I am ready!

THE GREEN SHEEP

greensheepThe last time my medallion arrived before the start of the new year was was 2012, the Year of the Water Dragon. It was the last year when there was a modicum of things running to plan, of creative bliss, of feeling as though I belong to and of this world. So this year, I was on it early. And I actually spent almost a month waiting to put on my Green Sheep, beautifully hand-crafted by Kurt from A Touch of Native Beauty. It is a Navajo petroglyph of a long horned sheep.

THE YEAR OF AMPLIFICATION

It was a long way round to this years themes and I picked brains along the way, like bread crumbs until I arrived at AMPLIFICATION. This is not, and will not, be about a signal boost. Amplify is to:

  1. make larger, greater and stronger
  2. enlarge
  3. expand

It also encapsulates ideas of intensification, development and broadening. I am ready to be stronger this year. I am ready to work on longer form works – to literally enlarge and expand my creative pursuits.

To this end, I have a novella, a noveltini, a novel, a feature script and possibly some collaborative long form projects to work on. There’s also short stories and poems to craft and submit. I have chosen not to engage in any eP projects and I am grateful for the opportunity to reinvent the sabbatical I never quite got in 2013.

This is the first year I’ve had a writing partner who is unattached to a specific collaborative project. This changes the creative landscape for me. At a time when I’m still feeling the pressure of isolation and loneliness in my suburban stronghold, having Nic makes writing that little bit less lonely as an every day pursuits. It’s also means I can’t slack off. It’s one thing to make excuses to yourself. It’s another to have to make them to someone else.

May the Year of the Green Sheep amplify your hopes, dreams, opportunities, successes and the manifestation of your deepest desires.

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.

Going Lunar

For the past three years I’ve wanted to work more with the lunar ebb and flow of energy. While it seems out of step with the rest of the world which runs on arbitary dates on the calendar – this year I really want to try and see what happens if I respect the natural energetic flow.

For those unused to lunar workings – the moon waxes (grows bigger) for just under two weeks, the moon is full for three days and then the moon wanes for just under two weeks. The waxing moon is best for initiating projects, setting goals and using the go-hard energy to achieve lots. The waning to finish projects and tie up loose ends. The full moon is a great time for celebrations. The dark moon best for decluttering, cleaning etc. It is a ready made work time table.

Thus, with the moon new in Capricorn earlier this afternoon (and along with a pretty potent Eclipse) I’m here with my first check in (which includes all of December and the first two weeks of January) and setting goals for the next lunar cycle.

Since I checked in last….

…I’ve been as productive as possible given I’ve become another year wiser, had my mother visit, Christmas, New Years and the school holidays.

  • Bondi was submitted two days early for the 12 Day of Christmas project and received more than two dozen positive comments.
  • Chinese Whisperings (The Red Book) wasn’t finished by my birthday but was finished a few days before the official launch date which went off with a bang at midnight 1st January and to date selling well for an eBook unlisted on Kindle or any other eBook sites and getting fantastic reviews.
  • The Confusion was left in a state of confusion back on my side table and is now back on the shelf. It is the first time in two years I’ve thrown my hands up in the air and said ‘No.” It’s January, technically I’m not back ‘working’ and I want to enjoy what I’m ready.
  • Graceville is on it’s final time with a beta reader (thanks Chris!) after I lost my nerve to submit it in December. After this I will be submitting to Meanjin and keeping my fingers crossed.
  • Taping Lydia has been submitted to Jon Strother’s Best of Flash Friday 2009.
  • My Sandals, renamed Perspectives of Sand, went to Miscellanous Press, and as I blogged yesterday, was rejected. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
  • I didn’t get a week away from the computer, but I did get three days away over Christmas and Boxing Day and it was amazing how quickly vivid dreams came back and I was more relaxed, more even tempered and connected.
  • I didn’t manage to stay on top of the daily posting of the photo a day, but continued to chip away and upload at times with a week or more of photos.

Books read in the last six weeks:

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • The Lovely Bones
  • Her Fearful Symmetry
  • 100+ pages of The Confusion

Currently reading one third into ‘The Book Thief’

I’ve written and submitted a short story, The Chameleon, for Absolute Xpress’s Flash Fiction Challenge: Thieves and Scoundrels. It got fabulous feedback from my growing stable of beta readers so I’m hopeful it will be a successful submission. Again it went in a few days earlier which was almost as great a thrill as actually having it finished.

Now my goals in the coming month:

  1. Finalise the Chinese Whisperings line up (we’re recruiting 12 new writers to join the exisiting 8 writers from The Red Book)
  2. Finalise the first story for Chinese Whisperings (Paul and I are contemplated/attempting to write a joint story to start and then to end – crazy I know)
  3. Finish the final six entries of my Fourth Fiction novella.
  4. Run a competition to name my Fourth Fiction novella.
  5. Post up my remaining Captain Juan episodes so we can start afresh on the 14th.
  6. Revamp my writing area.
  7. Hem the curtain for the window which my desk sits at (this has been a two year project – sad but true)
  8. Post my photos up every day (I’ve sort of got into the swing of this).
  9. Finalise the projects I want to be involved with for 2010.
  10. Write up my business plan for 2010.

On top of those I’m supporting my creative efforts in a number of other areas.

  • I’ve given up sugar, cold turkey, for 30 days and hopefully longer.
  • I’ve got an exercise video and plan on doing it every day and go out for a walk – healthy body, healthy mind.
  • I’m taking up a hobby – not sure what yet? I’ve been yearning for years to take up dancing,  a friend has been showing us her quilting books and glowing about how much she loves do it and I used to cross stitch – so who knows? I feel the need to be creative in other areas.
  • I’m turning the computer off at 8:30opm (obviously not tonight because I didn’t get the time management quite spot on!)

So, anyone else crazy enough to go ‘lunar’ with me and work from one new moon to the next? And is going ‘lunar’ the organisational equivalent of  ‘going native’?

Image unearthed at Temporarily Going Out Rogue

September Review of Goals

Wordle: September GoalsIt is that time of the month again. Happy 1st of October – a pinch and a punch for the first day of the month.

September has been a busy month, with Chinese Whisperings hurtling full steam towards publication, a trip to Canberra for me and then several weeks holiday at home in the tropics to welcome a new baby into our family and to see my sister married.  But that aside – I do believe there are some goals to review.

1. Write something every day – building up to three pages a day

This month has been terrible – given the fact I needed (and Paul made the space) for me to take two full weeks off.  In that time I rethought my writing and editing goals. When I return home I’m angling for 250 words of editing/rewriting of the stories I’ve mentioned before as I have a new publishing goal.  Long Short Stories is a publishing opportunity being put forth by Affirm Press to publish six collections of short stories, novellas etc by single authors.  Deadline is 1st February and this is what I am now working towards.

I have begun editing and rewriting Second Chance (Jude and Lea’s story) and finding my writing style has changed dramatically since entering Fourth Fiction.  My style has become very pared down, minimalist and I’ve been adhering to the maxim of “does this advance the story”.

I’ve been chipping away at Fourth Fiction too.  Some rouns are better and easier than others but I have been keeping my two devoted readers Dan Powell and Chris Chartrand entertained. My intention is to include it with Second Chance and a couple of other short stories for Long Short Story.

2. Participate in [Fiction] Friday every week

There was only one story – though a very successful one, born out of tiny little snippets of thoughts super nova-ing into the guise of Taping Lydia. One story a month is probably a little more sensible given all the other writing and editing committments.

3. Read two books a month (or a minimum of 600 pages)

There was only two books this month – but the books I wanted to read to coincide with Mercury Retrograde.  I re-read Lightning and The Time Travellers Wife.  While TTTW will remain on my favourite list, Lightning now falls into the category of influential books.  I can see why Lightning wowed me at 19 and was able to pull all the elements which have shaped my writing to date, but having read far more sophisticated books I can’t say it remains a favourite.

I found TTTW a far darker book this time.  Due to the fact I was reading the final 50 pages in public I had to really control the tears.  This time around I didn’t have the burning desire to go back and open from page one and begin reading again – though I look forward to reading it again at some other point.  There is so much in it, and even though I obviously knew how it ended I rediscovered a number of nuances – such as the relationship between Gomez and Claire that I hadn’t got the first time.  Now to see how badly they trash the book in the movie – soon to be released here in Auastralia.

4. Complete a manuscript

I have divested the last of my non fiction writing gigs so I now only have to focus on non fiction.  While this may not be achievable this year – this will be the top goal for 2010 with Dylan at primary school five days a week and a chance to develop and evolve some healthy daily writing habits.

5. Enter a minimum of four competitions

Still three to enter.  Had I not been on holiday I would have entered several competitions with due dates in late September. Time to review QW mag again see what’s coming up.  I’d like to submit Taping Lydia and My Sandals.

6. Have a minimum of 2 fiction and 2 non fiction pieces published

Gracevile is all but finished – with Edwina having put her blow torch through it, Ben having also reviewed it.  The feedback from critting class should be awaiting me when I return home from holidays.  Then to decide where to send it.  Also need to start cleaning up Rum Balls for submission prior to Christmas.

I should add here – that by next month I will have signed up for the Australian Writers Marketplace and really get serious about having some things published.

Thanks also to Ben for sharing the publishing opportunities he comes up with. It is something I definitely need to invest more time and effort into.

7. Get my ‘Chinese Whispers’ novelette/anthology off the ground

Seeing the words “get off the ground” I realise how non committal in many ways I was at the start of this year – or perhaps unsure what would actually happen with this.  We’re onto our final writer – Paul.  In ten odd days time we will have the anthology completed in draft form – with a huge chunk of it at or almost at, final stage.  It is a good feeling – made even better by two weeks away from it.

So much editing to do still – not to mention research into POD partnerships, learning how to format for different eletronic readers (Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone).  This month we had 750 unique visitors, 4.5 visits per visitor and an average of 112 visits a day.  Not too bad at all.

8. Commit to a schedule of professional development

I spent some time at the Brisbane Writers Festival (tick!) -not as much as I would have liked but at least I made it this year.  Got to hear MJ Hyland and Jeff Lindsay speak about killing characters.  I also got to hear Erica (who recently joined our writers group) speak about working a Leumans in New York

I finished my critting course remotely – given I was away on holidays.  I am interested to know the thoughts of my fellow classmates on Graceville.

9. Watch one movie a week

With the school holidays it has all been kids movies.  Going in with REALLY love expectations seems to be the way to enjoy them.  We’ve seen Up (brilliant), G-Force (surprisingly funny) and Aliens in the Attic (surprisingly good and funny!)

10. Participate in the National Novel Writing Month

I’m still going around in circle as to what I will write this year.  It would be good to finish Blue Melissae and go into 2010 with a manuscript to work with.  But I’m also interested in persuing Hartog and the other macabre teenage time travel story.  I think the only way I will decide will be to run a poll.  Eek!

Moving to Weekly Goals …

I haven’t really had the weekly goals so much this month because of holidays b ut I remain by what I said last month – by the end of the year I’ve said I want to have tied up all lose ends. This includes having final drafts of:

  • Graceville (alm0st done)
  • Rum Balls (need to be a priority)
  • My Sandals (I think I remember where I wrote the new name!)
  • Light Years (terrified of trying to edit this!)
  • Summer Girl/Only My Heart Calling (this is a fav story from this year)
  • as well as trying hard to have a first draft of Jude/Lea’s story (have begun this and edited about 600 words of 2500 already)
  • continue on with Fourth Fiction (I’ve had some great feedback though at the moment I’m a bit caught on the Round 6 prompt)

I also started the 365 photo challenge and have been taking and blogging a photo a day.  I’ve really been enjoying it and loving having a daily record of life.  It takes next to no time which I love even more.

Image from Wordle a fantastic toy for creating word clouds.

Weekly Goals

goal-smLast week I got some and none done, given the fact my son had a TV fast for the week, meaning I had to get really creative with how I approached my time!  So there were no weekly goals.

Here we go for this week – a bit late but that’s OK …

1. Join Australian Writers Online Marketplace

2. Write and post Type A Mom article

3. Write and post Write Anything article

4. Post CW stuff for week one

5. Edit/comment on Edwina’s chapter.

6. Read all the stories for crit class.

7. Crit three of the stories for class next week.

8. Book session for Brisbane Writers Festival

9. Read and comment on Fourth Fiction installments.

10. Vote for Fourth Fiction

11. Write [Fiction] Friday

12. Revise Light Years

13. Revise Mercurial

14. Contact SMH contacts about Homebirth Rally on Monday

15. Write month in review

16. Kreativ Award blog post

17 Honesty Award blog post

18 Fix the bloody template on this blog

19 Redirect http://www.jodicleghorn.com here

August Review of Goals

AugustIt is that time of the month again.  Happy 1st of September to those who stop by. Spring has been here in the SE of Queensland now for at least week or more. Like someone just pushed the button from Winter to Summer and forgot Spring is the segue between the two.  But down to a review of what I achieve this month.

1. Write something every day – building up to three pages a day

Again this month it is hit and miss. I guess I write most days – taking Saturday off usually, but it is no where near three pages a day.  I think I probably should concentrate on working up to this before December. I have found getting up ridiculously early gets my articles written without the distractions I seem to suffer through late at night. The downside of this is it really knocks my body around and I haven’t yet had the stamina to make it through a week of 4am morning get ups.

But I can see a routine in creation.

Editing has slowed down again – but I did get Graceville ready and present to my QWC critting class for the final class of the course.  Edwina has also been through it ruthlessly – but says it is all sound now and I should consider sending it off after crit class.  I need the feedback from fresh eyes that the voices work and the tension is there.

2. Participate in [Fiction] Friday every week

I was the contributor of the prompts this month. After some weeks in the wilderness of editing and no new writing, I contributed two this week (which was actually my absolute minimum for this goal – it should actually read, aim to participate in FF every week, with a minimum of fortnightly)  I used a writing exercise from critting class to write to write the ten line flash fiction A Lover’s Tryst which was also my first entry into #FlashFriday.  The following week I came Gargoyles Revenge which got lots of comments via The Flash.

3. Read two books a month (or a minimum of 600 pages)

It was three books this month – which I am really pleased about.

Skinny Dip – Carl Hiaasen

I really didn’t get into it like I have got into Ben Elton’s work.  The American humour really just doesn’t do it for me in this novel, but I did love the redemptive journey of the hitman Tool in it.  He was the saving grace of the book. And there were some interesting twists and turns of narrative.  Feel a bit let down after being recommended Hiaasen last year.

The True Story of Butterfish – Nick Earls

There is every possiblity I didn’t enjoy Skinny Dip because I just had to get it finished so I could read Nick’s new book.  It is also a signed copy which encapsulates a crazy day in my life.  I thoroughly enjoyed it – the laughs came at the end for me.  It is almost a coming of age, having read Nick’s earlier books. I love the way he makes men both strong and vulnerable.  I thought Curtis was great, and was gunning for him to snog Kate in the pool, but my favourite character was 14 year old Mark.  Maybe it was my years at Smithfield High School coming back.  Having heard Nick talk about how the story came into being at Byron also lent a sort of surreal element to reading it.

Anatomy of Wings – Karen Foxlee

This was lent to me by Edwina without much of a word as to why I should read it. She had recently edited My Sandals which is told with a child’s voice. I heard Karen speak at Byron also. Not only did she talk about the development of the book but read certain paragraphs from it so I read with anticipation waiting to come to those passages. It is a book which works on so many levels you don’t immediatly grasp just how deep it goes.  Beautifully told from 10 year old Jenny’s perspective, her descriptive narrative blows you away in parts.  And the manner in which she weaves the back story of the other residents of Dardanelle’s Court into the story is superb.

September is slated to read Lightning and The Time Travellers Wife, as well as the One Book Many Brisbanes anthology – of which we got a copy of at the last critting group (Karen Foxlee has won the top prize for the last two years!)

4. Complete a manuscript

I’m am considering if I want to hit this benchmark I’m going to have to contemplate finishing Blue Melissae for NaNo this year.  The story I had been contemplating for NaNo is now being used for Fourth Fiction. If all else fails – I will at least get to the end of Fourth Fiction with a novella length manuscript and that is nothing to be sneezed at.

Every day I read Lilith Saintcrow’s Facebook statuses and Twitterfeed and wish I was sitting down every day to a manuscript.  And telling myself that will be possible next year with Dylan at school.

5. Enter a minimum of four competitions

Still three to enter.  The WQ magazine arrived today and I have started hanging out on the Editor Unleashed forums keeping an eye out on what comes up.

6. Have a minimum of 2 fiction and 2 non fiction pieces published

I got a by-line credit for a Sydney Morning Herald article with Kate Benson early in August.  While I didn’t actually write the article I did do the research and had things turned out differently it would have been me writing the article – but such is life.  I have formed some good links at SHM though and hoping to follow them up this month with the Homebirth Rally.

I am constantly thinking of ways to adapt and write for submission for Kindred – but haven’t actually made moves to do it yet.  And checking out some smaller presses – especially Pill Hill to see what is on offer there.  If nothing else – Mercurial will be published through Chinese Whisperings – but going to try and find a market for Rum Balls in the lead up to Christmas and to also sell Graceville.  Edwina insists the editor at Hecate will be interested.

7. Compile an electronic anthology of my best short stories from 2008

I wont be referring to this again this year.  Next year perhap.  The lesson from this has been editing is as important as writing – and it is an ongoing process.

8. Get my ‘Chinese Whispers’ novelette/anthology off the ground

Woo – hoo! This is one project which is kicking goals left, right and centre despite the numbers of issues we’ve had, including losing another writer last month. Again Paul was able to pull a rabbit out of his hat and we’ve now got the wonderful English writer Emma Newman on board and feeling very good about her being part of the project.  In the first month of “business” the website attracted 511 unique visitors – with an average of 3 visits per person. We had our biggest day over the weekend with 110 visitors.  We used the blog to introduce the writers over a two week period, and starting yesterday delivering the story tasters via there, along with the information about how the story came into existence and reflections on the being part of the project.  This should keep the blog busy for the next 10 weeks and lead up right into publication. We’re currently up to writer number 8 and by the end of this month, Paul will have begun writing the final story.  The 90 day project will be complated in just over nine months!

9. Begin writing my part of the Blood Sister project

Like the personal anthology project – this will be taking this off the list from now on. 2009 is not the year for this project

10. Commit to a schedule of professional development

Byron Bay Writers Festival was brilliant again. I got to chat with a number of writers, I met a new writing friend and heard lots of brilliant stories straight from the horses mouth.  I don’t think I “learnt” as much as I did last year – the lasting impact of Sue Woolfe would be hard to beat, but it was lots and lots of fun.  I came home feeling rather exhausted but topped up.  No wonder I was back into Fiction Friday!

After meaning to for more than a year – I am finally on Linked In! I haven’t fully utilised it yet – but I’m registered and that is a start.

This is the final month of the critting course.  I continue to learn things and hone my critiquing skills.  While it has been great and I have loved making friends with Trudie – I will be glad for it to be over. Between critting class, Chinese Whisperings, Fourth Fiction, helping Ben andEdwina out and reading via Fiction Friday/#FlashFriday I really am over editing, commenting and critiquing.  It will be good for things to go back to be slightly more normal – though I will miss class and the discussions. With the end of the critting course also comes the end of my professional development for the year.

Except to:

a) take in a few sessions at the Brisbane Writers Festival

b) going Australian Writers Marketplace Online. I went to do it a few weeks ago but needed the credit card details to finalise it. This will certainly help me to track down potential markets.

11. Complete the series of articles for the Reclaim project on ‘Reclaiming Your Space’

While Reclaim remains on hiatus – this series of articles needs to be written.  It shall be going on my weekly to do lists.

12. Watch one movie a week

This is a little hit and miss.  Watching The Holy Grail (under the influence – again) really doesn’t count. We did watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and like Gran Torina and Eight Pounds, I felt my as if my heart had been yanked out – I cried and cried and cried.Woke with puffy eyes the next day.

I saw Public Enemy at the movies on the Friday Night at Byron and was disappointed with it. I struggled to understand the heavy dialects (much less the trouble beautiful French Sarah who I was bunking in with at the hostel had!) and I agreed with Margaret there was little character development, it was like they all just walked on, said their lines and walked off again. The exception was the girlfriend and there is an appalling scene were she is being beaten by a zealous police officer. Sadly – just another gangster movie though.

13. Participate in the National Novel Writing Month

I’m edging towards finishing Blue Melissae but unsure.  Though realising once I get back from Cairns – it will be kicking off three weeks later so time to start doing some revision of Blue Melissae to see if that’s where I want to go. It could almost be where the panic button gets hit for NaNo!

I’m now wondering also if having written a few bits and pieces about Hartog – maybe that is where I should be focusing my NaNo energy? Ho hum??

Moving to Weekly Goals …

A few weeks ago I started doing weekly goals – to target certain things I want to achieve. When I wrote these goals at the start of the year I had no idea I was going to write for Fourth Fiction.  I also had no idea I would have regular writing gigs with Write Anything or Type A Mom. It has been good for working out how I need to budget my time each week and ensure that I am working through, especially, my committments to other people.

By the end of the year I’ve said I want to have tied up all lose ends – thus why I don’t really want to write anything new. This includes having final drafts of:

  • Graceville
  • Rum Balls
  • My Sandals (I hope I wrote down the title I wanted to change it to because damn if I can remember it now!)
  • Light Years
  • Summer Girl/Only My Heart Calling (this is a fav story from this year)
  • as well as trying hard to have a first draft of Jude/Lea’s story.

I also have to finish getting this blog sorted on my self hosted domain.  It wasn’t as simple as I had hoped even with the wonderful help of Dale. Time needs to be spent on the template and at the moment haven’t had the time to do it!

Weekly Writing Goals


goal-smGoals for this week:

1. Write my breastfeeding article. (Monday)

2. Resign from breastfeeding position.  undecided still on this course of action.

3. Book sessions for Brisbane Writers Festival.

4. Join Linked In.

5. Join Australian Writers Market Online.

6. Set up the official Chinese Whisperings emails and links

7. Post all the introductions blog posts for the next nine days. waiting for two more but all the rest done.

8. Critique two stories for crit group. (Monday) They have both been read but critiques pending.

9. Clean desk before the new Moon (Thursday)

10. Finish True Story of Butterfish

11. Re-write Light Years.

12. Write Fourth Fiction article

13. Write Fourth Fiction opening paragraph (Thursday)

14. Write Write Anything column (Sunday)

15. Set up new email address and email everyone. What a pain in the bum!

16. Get this blog hosted on my domain. though I have now discovered I have to rejig the template – argh!

17. Read and make comments on Jason’s story.

18. Look over and comment on Benjamin’s story. (newly added Thursday)

19. Read and comments for Edwina’s Spirituality Chapter. (newly added Thursday) Continue reading