September Goals

First off, how’d I do in August? (I cannot believe it is August.)

  • Copy edits of Too Far Gone.
  • Page proofs of Too Far Gone.
  • A couple of shiny things popped on to my radar, and there’s a couple of anthologies for which I’d like to write a story. I have started noodling with both, they’re at the 1K mark. But both have deadlines of August 31st. I can probably get one, but not both done in the month so I’m seeing which one jazzes me the most.
  • Have a blast at When Words Collide in Calgary. (This is a bit of a soft pitch, but whatever. I’ve got some work to do while I’m there also.)
  • Keep my unsold short stories on submission.
  • Get that unsold short story out the door.
  • WiP: I’d initially hoped to have this ready to go for When Words Collide, but that’s not going to happen now. Hello, World Fantasy Convention deadline! Forward progress is the big thing here. I really want this book out the door and on submission this year.
  • Start writing pre-writing blog posts for Too Far Gone promotional purposes.
  • Write my final report for my last Manitoba Arts Council Grant.
  • Write a travel grant for World Fantasy Convention

Got both of the biggies off the list. Unfortunately, my page proofs landed the first weekend of my holidays. Normally this would be a good thing, but I was counting on having them off the plate and away so that I could concentrate on other stuff. I knew I’d be away from home that weekend and hoped to use some of that time to recharge and regroup to tackle new projects, and finish some lingering hangers on. Alas, not to be. Edits, be they substantive, copy, or proofs, are inevitably time-sensative and always draining for me. An excuse, but whatever. They’re done. I’ve signed off on the text and the cover, which brings me to this item from the Yearly Goals list:

  • Finish Too Far Gone.

BOOM. Another yearly goal bites the dust.

As for the rest, not bad, I guess, but not as good as I was hoping. The other big thing that happened that I wasn’t necessarily expecting to fall during my holidays was replacing my rotten old fence with a new one. (Okay, I was expecting to do it eventually. Dreading might be the more accurate word for how I was feeling.) I lost a solid three days there. And while I managed to scratch away at a few items in the evenings after work had halted, I was mostly too exhausted to think straight. Oh, and the fence isn’t done yet.

Also: surprising no one, I enjoyed demolishing the old fence a lot more than building the new one.

hot fuzz fence

I started drafting stories for both of those anthologies. One made it to a finished draft, but not a polished one. The other one stalled at around 1200 words as I found the legs on the first story.

When Words Colllide was a blast (even a killer headache on Friday couldn’t dampen all my fun), but then I knew it would be. It always is. As for the short fiction: stories went out. Rejected stories came in. Made a sale. Unsold stories went back out again. I’ve managed to stay on track with that goal a lot better lately. Less so, the WiP. I managed a couple more runs at a difficult chapter, and made some notes for future chapter revisions, but sadly, future book got beat up by present book. As did that other short story I wanted to submit.

Speaking of Too Far Gone again: I managed to prewrite a couple of blogs. And arranged for some interviews and guest appearances on blogs and podcasts. Didn’t pre-write as many blogs as I’d have liked, but hey, if the book missed it’s printer date, those blogs would’ve looked pretty silly, amirite?

I did write my final report for my Too Far Gone grant, as well as a proposal for a travel grant. I still have to finish crunching numbers before I turn them in, but looking back at the wording, I’m going to call those lines a win.

What’s on deck for September?

  • Blogging, blogging, blogging! I’ve got guest blogs to write, and blogs for round here to promote Too Far Gone, and I probably don’t want to be doing that while I’m actually prepping for events! Great early career advice I received from Dave Gross (Thanks, Dave!)
  • Figure out what I’m going to read at the launch, and work out my intro.
  • Write a chapter of a collaborative novel I’m working on with Sandra Wickham
  • WiP Lock two more chapters, dammit.
  • Keep my short fiction out on submission.
  • Get that unsubmitted short story I’ve been plugging away at out the door.
  • Oh yeah, finish building my damned fence. (not really a writing goal, but it’ll steal writing time until its done)

Probably too much. But the list never gets smaller nor cares how busy I am at the day job.

Write on!