June Goals

So May was as busy as April. How’d I do?

  • Keep my short stories on submission
  • Finish first draft on my new novel project
  • Have a blast reading at the Ottawa ChiSeries
  • Attend Creative Ink Festival
  • Finish my next chapter of An Excuse for Whiskey
  • Apply for a travel grant
  • Apply for a creative writing grant
  • Maybe see the sun? If it happens to shine on Winnipeg? ::VIOLENT SHRUGGING::

Wahoo!

John Oliver FIRE

Every goal met for May! It’s been a while since I’ve had a month like that. A good feeling, considering I was on the road for the first 9 days of the month.

Nothing new on the short story front. I keep sending them out though. Looking at my submissions spread sheet, I’m going to have to write some new stories soon, as a few of these are running out of applicable markets. Might be time to trunk the oldest batch. One thing I’ve noticed looking at my submission stats: I tend to do better with anthology open calls then I do with the magazines. The only magazine sales I’ve made have been stories that were originally written for anthologies. Not a bad thing, just an observation. And the last three stories I’ve written specifically for anthologies have been accepted. Still, I’ll keep trying them. It would be great to appear in Lightspeed some day.

I finished the discovery draft of my latest WiP! It came in at 52000 words, spread over 64 separate writing sessions in roughly 9 weeks. Not the fastest first draft I’ve written (that was Tombstone Blues) but close. And pretty good considering this is a first book in a series, where Tombstone Blues played in an existing world. Also the first time I tracked the progress this specifically. Trying to evaluate my writing routine from a variety of angles to streamline things and be able to write (and edit) faster. Lots of work left to do on this book, obviously, but I don’t need to turn it in until November. Hoping to bring the novel up to 80-85K as I fill in the edges in the next pass. Then polish, polish, polish!

So those days I spent on the road in May were pretty great! Two cons, a reading, and a bit of vacation with family. Ottawa ChiSeries is great, well-run, and a lot of fun. I hope I have a chance to get back. Creative Ink Festival was also lots of fun! I hope the timing for their second year works out with my schedule. I’d love to go back there too.

I finished a draft of my chapter for An Excuse for Whiskey on the plane home from Creative Ink. Probably because Sandra was able to threaten me in person (I kid, I kid). I had the bonus fun of leaving her with a ridiculous cliffhanger to solve in her next chapter. Which she did so now it’s my turn again, I guess.

Both of my grant applications made it into the Manitoba Arts Council on time (ie, both on the last day possible, and with the help of someone who works downtown who could actually get them to the office on time). I never know how to feel about grant applications after they’re dropped off. Obviously, I want them to be approved, but I have to temper positive expectations with reality until I hear for sure. As my buddy Michael Van Rooy had his Monty Haaviko character say, “It’s bad luck to gamble with money you haven’t stolen yet.

I did see the sun! It’s a real thing! I managed to get the vegetable garden in the ground this year and some perennials and annuals have been added here and there. I also managed to squeak in a game of D&D with my old high school group, which was a blast, even if it didn’t involve seeing the sun at all. I’ve missed a lot of gaming of late, and as it was my intro to storytelling and creating characters, I’ll always want to play, but the schedule rarely allows these days. My new writing routine is working better and better, so it might be that I’m able to carve out some more time to roll dice.

And for June?

  • Keep my short stories on submission
  • Final edit on my previous WiP to incorporate first reader feedback
  • Edit pass on my Illuminaughty novella
  • Finish my next chapter of An Excuse for Whiskey
  • Read a couple of books I’ve been approached to blurb
  • See the goddamned sun, play some tennis, roll some dice (not writing related, but I need to hold enjoying the little things to the same account as my writing

Stretch goal!

  • Work on my agent query package for my next book

This seems like a lot, but I’m also going on a creative retreat this month with some writing pals, so I hope that dedicated time will make a big difference.

Write on!

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