So we come to the end of another month. For those who are running off to check their calendars, I’m talking about the lunar month. This morning the moon clicked over into a new lunar month–the month of watery, dreamy Pisces.
Looking back, I remember the trepidation I felt waiting for the new year to start a month ago. I was afraid for so many reasons, the biggest one by far: would I fall apart again? I did a hell of a lot of soul searching, deconstructing what was left of myself before the year began, thus started with a better understand of how the wheels fell off last year and knew what to avoid at all costs. Walk the middle path between imbalance and depression.
Unconsciously I made a commitment to be gentler with myself–to stop forcing demanding deadlines on myself. In light of this, I organised with Paul to have a part-time re-entry to work. And while the first week was pretty messy and hectic, with the imminent roll out of two new writing initiative at Write Anything, and I did work stupid hours, including well into the night, once February clocked in, I took it slower.
The Writing Round Up
In the last month I’ve written more than I have since November of any year in the last five:
- completing a vignette entitled Intersected and submitted to Vine Leaves Literary Journal. Fingers crossed my first sub for the year is a successful one.
- completing two brand new short stories for the Form and Genre Challenge: the crime short What I Left to Forget and a contemporary romance Thirty-Eight Degrees South. Thanks again to Laura Meyer and Stacey Larner, as well as Adam Byatt who bought the virtual pom poms.
- writing two articles for Write Anything–The Secret Project/BirthPunk Mashie which details the two writing projects I am working on in the first six months of the year and Get Me to the Page on Time which is my search to find the best time to write, and how a routine can actually free you.
- adding two new installments to #thesecretproject with Adam Byatt. This project is pushing all kinds of boundaries with me. I don’t think I have ever been this up close and personal with a character. The nature of the project means I can’t stand back and observe from a far–it is intense and has an immediacy which isn’t apparent (or expected) because of the structural framework, which includes delayed gratification between each installment. I’m so grateful to Adam for saying yes and believing in the project. At this point we have five installments and still have a tentative launch date for Easter.
- re-wroting my author page and giving the blog the first of several make overs –the most important of which is a new name, 1000 Pieces of Sky, reflecting where I am in life now.
- completing the first six days (of 30) for the First Draft in 30 Days book. Writing shorts took over and distracted me from the research I’d set myself up to do.
- writing at least one haiku every day since the start of February for the haiku challenge with Tiggy.
- completing the first article in a multi-part series on beta reading. The articles will form the basis of an online course at some point in the not too distant future.
Many thanks to Chris Chartrand, Laura Meyer, Adam Byatt and Tiggy Johnson who have all beta read for me (some multiple times) in the past month. And a special thank you to Stacey Larner who did the final line edit and proof read for me on Intersected and Thirty-Eight Degrees South.
The Reading Round Up
My reading list was a short, just two books (and a half-read Poe novella).
- Jessica Bell’s beautiful and brutal debut novel The String Bridge (which I devoured over a week in the shelter of a dodgy tent awning as it poured rain) and it’s equally haunting soundtrack.
- M.J Hyland’s This is How which moved and disturbed me in equal measures.
The Movie Round Up
My watched list is a healthy one for the first time in a very long while:
- District 9
- Oceans 11
- Ghost Writer
- The English Patient
- Crazy, Stupid Love
- The Good German
- The Descendent
- The Texas Killing Fields
Devin Watson publicly launched Literary Mix Tapes: The Movie Project today so it’s go. There will be movies from LMT/eMergent and a bunch of emerging filmmakers this year. Very exciting.
In addition to that, we bid good-bye to [fiction] Friday and launched my two babies, The Form and Genre Challenge (2012) and PROPMTed at Write Anything. The Form and Genre Challenge is helping to rebuild the community of writers which once existed via [fiction] Friday and has driven a lot of the old writing crowd out of their funk and back into their stride, including myself. Chris Chartrand’s help administering the first week of the Form and Genre Challenge Judging helped to put it all into administrative order and meant I got to hang out with him twice in a week on skype.
Sadly, my workshop for the QWC didn’t reach minimum enrollments and I received word lunchtime Monday that it was cancelled. I’d lie if I said it wasn’t a blow but the timing was spot on. My energy bottomed out yesterday and with the stress of the pending workshop removed, I took a slower and gentler approach to this week.
New Writing Partnerships
Teaming up with new writing partners Laura Meyer and Adam Byatt is doing wonders to kick start my story writing again. I feel utterly at home in their creative confidence and not surprisingly, it’s having a flow on to my own confidence. Laura penned the heart-tugger Son Esprit Noir for the 3rd Person Challenge and Adam The Photographer’s Concerto, a prequel to my What I Left to Forget.
A Return to Editing
Last week I completed my first week of editing since last October and managed to edit and write with little problem. The only real trouble was dragging myself away from writing to concentrate on editing Deck the Halls. One story is day is a very doable amount. The hard work in releasing my old thought processes and welcoming new ones in, has wrorked wonders. I’m still on track to have all the editing done in time for Easter, at a pace which accommodates all aspects of life.
All in all, the month fleshed out better than I could have hoped; the pieces slowly, but surely, finding a good fit and life in turn, continues to develops a resonating rhythm. I’m looking forward to being able to say the same (or better) this time next month.