Halfway Point!

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We’re now just past the halfway point in National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo. I wish I could say I’m halfway to the goal of 50,000 words too–but I’m not even close.  I have a little more than 7000 words written so far.

I’ll admit NaNo hasn’t been my main writing priority lately. I wanted to focus on getting another manuscript ready to go for the #PitMad pitching party on Twitter, which is scheduled for December 4th. It’s a former NaNo novel, which I first started writing in 2008. I think it’s past time it was kicked out the door to start the search for a publishing home.

My focus this week will be trying to find a better balance between revising the old novel and working on the new one. Also, I have another follow-up with the hand surgeon next week. Hopefully to discuss what the next stage in my treatment will be. The steroid shots are not helping much at this point, and some of the side-effects have been a bit unnerving. At least, I hope it’s side-effects from the shot and not my body trying to mess with my mind.

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National Novel Writing Month: NaNoWriMo 2015

National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo is underway! I probably should have published this post at the start of the month, but put it off.

I have no expectation of actually winning this year. For one thing, I still have my wrist issues, and using dictation is extremely awkward for me. The other reason is that I’m actually working on the novel is started during NaNoWriMo 2013, and I’m not entirely certain there’s another 50k words left in the story. But it doesn’t matter at this point. I just want to finish it.

So far, I haven’t hit the daily goal once. Maybe I should be bothered by that, but honestly? What I have managed to write feels like a major accomplishment. In the first week of November, I wrote more words than I did in the entire month of October. And that’s with losing two days of work last week. I had another steroid shot done to my wrist done on the 3rd and for the first couple of days after the injection, my hand and wrist were even more painful than usual. Even though I could have used dictation to try to keep up the writing on those days, the pain itself was too distracting. Hoping that this was my last injection, and that my wrist will finally respond to the treatment.

As of right now, I’m at 5000 words written for this month. How about you? How many words have you written for NaNo this year?

Awards Time!

Some exciting news to pass along! First, I received an Honorable Mention in the 2nd Quarter of the Writers of the Future Contest. I’m excited, of course, but still hoping to disqualify myself from the competition all together by pro-ing out as soon as possible!

I also was informed that my first published fantasy story, “Ink,” which originally appeared in Liquid Imagination Issue 21, has won a Write Well Award 2015, which is sponsored by the Silver Pen Writers Association. The anthology of award winners is available in both e-book and print through Amazon.

Forward Progress

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Two months after injuring my hand/wrist, I finally started occupational therapy yesterday. The weird thing is, I can’t pinpoint precisely how I hurt myself. All I’m certain of is that this is the second time I’ve been dealing with this issue since October. I know part of it was due to writing, or rather handwriting, a portion of a story I was trying to re-write. But now that I’ve been told that it’s not carpal tunnel (which was my first assumption) but is actually De Quervain’s Tenonsynovitis–inflammation of the tendons that are responsible for thumb movement–I think the actual injury may have been caused by the origami folding I do for my Etsy shop. Since it’s the second time in less than a year, I am giving serious consideration to giving up the business, but it’s hard to let go of something I’ve been doing for ten years, even if it causes injuries that interfere with writing.

I’ve had to stay off the computer a lot since getting hurt, as dictation software frustrates me and typing with only one hand isn’t a great option, either.  The latter is how I’m writing this blog post. The self-imposed restriction meant that I unfortunately missed posting about the publication of my short story, “Fortune’s Dance” in Fantasy Scroll Magazine when it went live last month. Here’s the link if you want to check it out.

I’ve been given a rough timeline of up to five weeks of therapy to heal my injury. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take that long!

2014, The Year that Wasn’t — Or Was It?

When I first started thinking about writing this post, I was definitely focused on what I haven’t done. I didn’t send out a single submission to agents for my novel. I stopped writing short stories in the summer–at least, I stopped finishing stories. I wrote two first drafts, then never bothered to try to polish and edit them.

I could blame part of my lack of progress on moving across the country during the summer. Even after the move was finished, I never seemed to have much drive or energy for anything creative. I looked at the number of rejection slips I’ve collected over the last couple of years and got so discouraged, I stopped sending out subs. I resolved to quit writing shorts completely.

Then I heard about a submission call that intrigued me. I still couldn’t bring myself to try writing something new, so I decided to look over all of the stories that were still lingering on my hard drive.

As I did so, I realized I still like my stories. It dawned on me that I needed to work and edit several of them all over again — I’ve learned a lot as a writer since I first started subbing some of them. One, in particular, sparked the idea for a complete overhaul. The basic events of the story will remain, but not much else. And I’m ready to look at the other stories, with an eye toward possibly tearing them to shreds and seeing what I can salvage from the carnage.

Thinking about sending stories out again forced me to realize that I have achieved things in 2014, even though it felt like nothing happened. I got my first short story published. I had a second story accepted for publication. I was short-listed for the first time at  a pro-level magazine (though that ultimately ended in rejection.) Baby steps forward, maybe, but I’m that much closer to my ultimate goals.

I’m not quitting. I’m going to write again. To take on the highs and lows of sending stories out on submission. So, bring it on, 2015! I’m ready for anything you might throw my way…

Progress Report–September 2014

I know I haven’t done one of these for a while. Needless to say, the summer was absolutely crazy for my real life and a lot of writing stuff got placed on the back burner.  Here’s a recap of my 2014 goals, and where I stand with each one:.

1. Finish 18 new stories.

Progress report: Finished just 1 new short story since May.  Total for the year-to-date:

2. 100 short story submissions.

Progress report:I can’t give you a breakdown by month, but I’ve sent a total of 58 short story submissions as of the end of August.

3. Keep up with this blog and Twitter

Nothing to report here.

A couple of interesting notes. One, I sold another story, this time to Fantasy Scroll. I will post the direct link to the story when it goes up. Second, I’m quickly closing in on a dubious milestone in my writing life: I have accumulated a total of 95 rejections. Only 5 to go before I hit the big 100. On the one hand, that’s a hell of a lot of Rs. On the other… it does mean I’m getting my work out there.

How about you? How are you doing on your goals for this year?

Progress Report #5

One more month down, seven to go.  Here’s a recap of my 2014 goals, and where I stand with each one:.

1. Finish 18 new stories.

Progress report: Didn’t finish any short stories in May.  Total for the year-to-date: 7

2. 100 short story submissions.

Progress report: 6 short story  submissions made, giving me a total of 37 for a year.

3. Keep up with this blog and Twitter

More preparations and stresses related to moving house. I keep thinking life will settle back to normal soon, or that I’ll have more free time somehow, but it just hasn’t been happening.

Not expecting June to be better — we’ll be living on the road for most of the month. We’re hoping to make the final move into our new home towards the end of June, provided nothing goes wrong. Although, with no tv to distract me, I may actually get more writing done. Maybe.

How about you? How are you doing on your goals for this year?

Short Story Success!

Now that the contract has been signed, I’m pleased to announce my short story, “Ink,” will be published in Issue 21 of  Liquid Imagination, which is due to be released at the end of this month. It’s my first story sale in the fantasy genre.

I am beyond thrilled right now. Not only am I being published, but I happen to have a particular soft spot in my heart for this story (though I suppose writers aren’t supposed to have favorites), which involves subtle magic and Japanese kanji tattoos. I had a lot of fun writing it .

Progress Report #4

One more month down, eight to go.  Here’s a recap of my 2014 goals, and where I stand with each one:.

1. Finish 18 new stories.

Progress report: Finished 2 new short stories in April.  Total for the year-to-date: 7

2. 100 short story submissions.

Progress report: 7 short story  submissions made, giving me a total of 31 for a year.

3. Keep up with this blog and Twitter

Another crazy month in real life, so haven’t spent much time even thinking about these things. Got long-awaited orders for my husband, for one–we’ll be moving to Colorado in June–and the whirlwind of preparations has already begun. Also had a close call with the Alabama tornadoes at the end of April. One of them passed within 5 miles of my house, crossing directly through the main road that my husband takes to work. Fortunately, we got the tornado warning just minutes before he was ready to head out that morning.

Here’s hoping that May will be better.

How about you? How are you doing on your goals for this year?

Progress Report #3

One more month down, nine to go.  Here’s a recap of my 2014 goals, and where I stand with each one:.

1. Finish 18 new stories.

Progress report: I did not complete any new short stories in March. Started a few, but never finished. I did manage a long overdue revision of a story I originally wrote last year. Total for the year-to-date: 5

2. 100 short story submissions.

Progress report: 12 short story  submissions made, giving me a total of 24 for a year.

3. Keep up with this blog and Twitter

Too much happened in my life to really do much in these. Plus, towards the end of the month, I got sick. I’m actually still sick now. Coughing and exhausted.

I hate having bad months. Here’s hoping that April will be better.

How about you? How are you doing on your goals for this year?