Week in Review – Week Ending 02/16/2014

This week was an interesting one.  Blizzards, shoveling, blizzards, shoveling.  I’ll admit all of that left me drained physically and mentally.  I was able to push through some of the writing goals I had, but the week ended with a lot left to be done.  I can only blame so much of this on the weather, as the rest lies squarely on my shoulders.  I knew the week was going to get bad and I didn’t take precautions and frontload as much writing into the better days as I should have.

The plan should always be to think of tomorrow as being worse than today in terms of productivity.  Tomorrow could be perfectly fine and productive, or the car could break down or the heating system could die and the day could be spent dealing with that.  Better to assume it will get derailed and focus on the present than to hope for a better tomorrow.

With that said, the rough drafts of four stories were finished.  They are:

  • “Fallout Ariel”, originally on the goal list.
  • “Ninja Mama”, originally on the goal list under the Kazka 713 “Journeys” theme.
  • “Alien Concept”, a flash fiction story that just came to me and had no bearing on the original goals.
  • “Listening Post”, originally on the goal list under the Penumbra‘s “superhero” theme.

“Songs of Fate” and “Interstellar Explorers” were not started, though some planning/outlining was accomplished.

On the reading front, I did finish the stories that Daily Science Fiction sent out, and look forward to enjoying more next week.  My goal with this reading is to eventually start reverse-engineering the tales and breaking them down into their component parts.  Such an exercise can only help improve my own grasp of the craft of writing, and it’s something I want to start doing with everything I read.  The more I can understand what goes into an accepted tale, the more likely my own work will find a home in the publications I read.

Writing in Public: Day 02, Month 01

Started my writing at 12:00 PM today.  Normally I like to get writing started at 10:00, get a solid two or three hours in before lunch, and then hit it again until dinner.  The “hit it again until dinner” also didn’t happen.  With the bad weather rolling in, it’s been a busy day of running more errands and gathering firewood.  No excuse for someone trying to make a career of writing.  Writing time is something I need to guard jealously and insure that only writing is done during those specified blocks.  That is something I will implement first thing tomorrow.  10:00 – 12:00, then 1:00 – 5:00, or something to that effect.

With that said, there was some productivity.  The rough draft of “Alien Concept” is finished, clocking in at approximately 1,050 words.  The rough draft of the Kazka “Journeys” theme story is also finished.  It’s another flash fiction piece, and it will need quite a bit of work to get it up to where I’m satisfied with it.  On the planning and outlining front, I’ve figured out a starting point and protagonist for the “Songs of Fate” story that I’ll begin actually writing on Friday.  That is for the Crossed Genres‘ music themed issue.

  • Nonfiction: 211
  • Planning and outlining: 481
  • Fiction: 1,218
  • Salable words: 000

Total Fiction for Month: 3,168

Total Salable for Month: 000

Goals for the Week Ending 02-16-14

Starting today, every Monday there will be a post of my goals for the current week. This will include writing goals as well as reading goals. Reading is as important to a writer as writing, for both are learning experiences that help us to grow in our craft.

Or, so I like to think. Anyway, on to the goals!

Writing Goals (Any titles listed are working titles):

  • Write “Fallout Ariel”, a flash fiction story of a technical diver meeting a mermaid at the outset of nuclear war. (1,000 words or less)
  • Write a flash fiction piece for the Kazka 713 “Journeys” flash fiction contest. (1,000 words or less)
  • Write “Songs of Fate”, a fantasy short story for Crossed Genres‘ “music” theme. (4,000 words or less)
  • Write “What Use, This Strength?”, a short story for Penumbra‘s “superhero” theme. (3,500 words or less)
  • Write “Interstellar Explorers”, a science fiction short story about human prospectors discovering – and dealing with – a pre-spaceflight alien race that is very warlike and will be a threat if they do reach the stars. (6,000 words or less)
  • Write outline for the second draft of “Into the Wastes”, a fantasy novel about a company of crusaders sent into their kingdom’s northern hinterlands to deal with one threat, only to discover multiple threats.

Reading Goals:

  • Read each of the five stories that Daily Science Fiction puts out this week.  It’s free to subscribe, so I highly recommend it.  They put out many wonderful stories of varying sizes, shapes, and stripes.
  • Re-read my notes for “The Wastes” and lay the groundwork for a second draft.
  • Re-read portions of Elizabeth Haydon’s Symphony of Ages series, mostly for how she incorporates music into her writing.  This will be important for my own musically-themed stories.  Plus, it’s a good series!