Unexpected Boon

Last night I randomly checked the email address that I haven’t checked in a couple of months. I haven’t been using it very much, because I use it as my professional email and I haven’t been submitting anything for publication in a while.

There, sitting in my inbox was a response to a submission I made well over a year ago. In fact, it was so long ago that I had long since assumed that I had been rejected and forgotten about it. But the editor wrote to let me know that she had finally caught up on her slush pile and that she would love to publish my poem in an upcoming issue! Yay! She also said that she hoped that I would submit more poetry in the future (she has a staff now to help her read the entries more quickly). So, double Yay!

I’m so happy and excited, because this is an online journal that I love and respect, so it is such an honor. I want to get confirmation as to which issue it will appear in before I say what the name of the publication is just yet, but I’m thrilled and joyous today. Furthermore, I’m feeling inspired to keep writing and submitting my work.

[X-posted to my livejournal.]

The New Year – A Grand Symbolic Gesture

Even though I know that the possibility to change, grown, and improve one’s situation exists every day, there’s something about the symbolism of a new year starting that helps to inspire me to help me refocus and to get my rear in gear and jump start my goals again. So here I am publicly setting my goals for the new year.

Last year, I didn’t set any year long goals, and instead tried to stick to weekly goals (which are posted on my livejournal). I only sort of succeeded. I still intend to set weekly goals this year as a way to keep me constantly aware of what I’m up to, but I also have some BIG things that I want to get accomplished in the course of this year, so I’ll go ahead and post those, too.

2010 Goals:

  • Finish draft 0 of my Untitled Alternate World Fantasy Novel (currently at 51,189 words). In order to accomplish this, I plan to set aside time to write. There’s a local coffee shop, where I know there’s no wifi, so I can go there and get some focused writing done one to two days a week. Otherwise there are just too many distractions at home. It’s the same way I was able to complete Nano.
  • Actively write poetry and short stories for submission to anthologies (which will give me focus and a deadline), preferably a minimum of one submission a month. This is rather scary for me, because completing that many stories and poems on top of completing a novel feels like a lot, not to mention the possibility of facing rejection. However, I’m trying to look at it this way: if I complete a story that’s rejected by an anthology, then I will still have a story that can be reworked for submission elsewhere.
  • Train for and participate in the Disneyland Half Marathon in September. I’m not putting “lose weight” as a goal, because I don’t think that’s a good thing to focus on for me. But running in a marathon with my mother and sisters will be a lot of fun, will challenge me physically, and will probably achieve the “lose weight” thing in the process.
  • Attend a convention of some sort. This is just something that I’ve been wanting to do and talking about doing for quite some time. I think it’s about time I actually did it.
[X-posted to my livejournal.]

Nano – day 30 & Win!

Last night, as the minutes ticked closer to midnight, I began to get a twitch in my eyelid — a sure sign that something in my brain was going to over heat and explode. It wasn’t so much any lack of words that was causing the problem, I had a clear sense of what I would write once I got to a computer. And that was the problem getting to a computer.

Every Monday night my mother, my sisters, and I take a 3-mile walk around the local track. Due a completely failed sense of time that night, I figured I could take the walk, head on home, and get to writing with plenty of time. I was clearly delusional.

By the time I got back to my sister’s house, it was drawing near 10 p.m. and I had 4,000 more words to write. Worse was that it would take me half an hour to get home where my lap top was sitting idly by waiting for my command. There was no way I could head home first and still have time to finish.

Fortunately I was able to use my sister’s laptop to finish off the novel. While my family watched Intervention and Hoarders, I typed away frantically, caring less than usual about the bad, bad sentences and the repetitive phrases. I eeked through the finish gate with 50,189 words and 5 minutes to spare.

Project: Untitled Alternate World Novel
New Words: 30,184 (Over the course of 5 days with 4,000 written between 10 p.m. and midnight on November 30th.)
Current Total Word Count: 50,189
Goal: 50,000+ words

Random Sentence(s): Mitra tumbled off the boulder. Her shoulder stuck the stones as she fell, and her arms and hands were cut up by the rocks beneath her. She realized with perfect clarity what the vision had been telling her. Sonia had been sent to her for help and Mitra had failed her. She lay on the ground and wept.

Notes: So, here’s the score. While I have completed Nano, there are many upon many more words to write before this story will be complete. In fact, I think I’m not even a quarter finished, in part because of the natural fluff that goes into first drafts. Therefore, I will be continuing with this story. For the time being the goal will be extended to 100,000 words, but I think its going to take more than that.

[X-posted from my livejournal.]

Nano -day 24

I would like to say that the reason that I have no posted over the past several days was a sign that I’ve been writing wildly away at my Nano novel. I would like to say that, but it would be a lie. I have written nothing, well, next to nothing, in the past few days.

There are several reasons for this. One, I am currently car-less due to a blown head gasket. I’m also currently in an internal debate of whether or not its worth it to get it fixed or find a way to get a new used car for myself that might run better over the long haul.

Two, I started reading Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest (a.k.a. ), which not only has an awesome cover, but is a fantastic read. Furthermore, while it combines two of my favorite things (steampunk and zombies), the storyline is totally addictive and the characters totally believable. The result was that I was totally absorbed in the book and could not think of doing anything else until I finished it, at which point I was promptly upset that it was over.

Three, as happens occasionally, when I overwhelm myself with creative projects and life, I get to the point where I burn out and can’t do much usefull until I’ve unwound enough to return to making progress. Hopefully, during said unwinding (involving much TV and movie watching), I don’t lose any come back just as inspired as I was previously.

All that being said, I’ve managed to come back to the computer and make some progress today. So, here are the stats.

Project: Untitled Alternate World Novel
New Words: 3,303
Current Total Word Count: 28,434
Goal: 50,000+ words

Random Sentence(s): Sonia watched him, slightly disturbed by the flash of his yellow teeth and the way his skin shook when he talked. had an instant distrust of really old people. Her mother would have smacked her upside the head if she could have read her thoughts. Sonia clicked her tongue, imitating the sound of her mother’s hand connecting with her skull.

Notes: I found that I have written entire scenes that I already know will be thrown out at a later date. I’m jumped back one scene, simply restarting it so that I can be on steadier ground as I continue. I expect that changes like this will continue to happen throughout, but I suppose it matters little as long as progress continues to be made.

[X-posted to my livejournal.]

Nano – day 17

Project: Untitled Alternate World Novel
New Words: 5,126 (Two days worth of writing.)
Current Total Word Count: 25,131
Goal: 50,000+ words

Random Sentence(s): The children ran up the rows collecting the stones, laughing and shoving and pushing. It was a race and the children threw the stones into separate piles, which their father would count at the end of the day. To the child who had carried the most stones, the father would award a prize. Sometimes the prize was to be carried into the house on his shoulders for dinner. Sometimes the prize was an extra story when they went to sleep. Sometimes the prize was simply a kiss on the cheek, a pat on the head, and a well done. These were the only gifts he had to give them.

Notes: Passed the halfway mark! *joy*
Of course, that’s halfway for Nano, not halfway for the novel itself. In fact, up until the 20,000 word point, I’ve only been dealing with the first three chapters, which I know will be much shorter in the final version. I’ve kind of been feeling stuck in those chapters. Part of it has been because the chapters have been especially long due to all the back story that’s been slipping in as I figure out who exactly these people are and what exactly are the rules of the world in which they live.

But I’m past them now. There are still one or two more introductory kind of chapters to do. Writing from multiple points of view means getting to know each character and what they mean in this world. But these chapters should hopefully goes smoother. And beyond that I’m into other chapters that deal more with the progression of the plot, which is far more interesting than figuring out the whole back story thing. So, now I’m starting to get excited again.

I’m figuring this excitement will continue until I begin to reach those points where I’m not sure what’s going to happen next. Hopefully, those answers will fill in as I work my way up to them.

The one worry that these long opening chapters give me is that this will probably mean that my draft zero will require a monsterous amount of writing before I call it done. I imagine it to be well over 100,000 words. But that’s just my inital impression and who knows what will actually come about.

Oh, and I’ve discovered one major inconsistency in the “rules” of my world, but I’ve also fixed it as soon as I discovered it. So huge sigh of relief there.

[x-posted to my livejournal.]