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The Clarion Write-A-Thon, Week 2

Writing 150The first week of the Clarion Write-A-Thon is in the books! I’ve written 3,643 words so far, raised $145 in donations, and finished a grand total of 0 short stories! My word count is a pretty far cry from where I had hoped to be by now; I started off strong, but a series of social engagements and general exhaustion from work really slowed me down. I’m hoping to get my mojo back by knuckling down and making time to write in the mornings before work and during my lunch break. Donations-wise, I’m sure there’s a way to drum up more support — I’ll be personally asking a few folks if they can kick in a little. But thanks SO much to everyone who’s donated so far. It really means a lot to me that you’re willing to help!

Last week, I worked on a couple of blog entries and “Feedback Loop,” my story for Defying Apocalypse. “Feedback Loop” focuses on an inner-city college student as he tries to deal with the news that a runaway greenhouse effect will steadily turn the planet into a Venusian hell-scape. He must manage to deal with the crumbling world around him, his family’s issues and his own depression to find some way to survive the coming ordeal.

I’m really excited to write this story because it draws so much on my own experience and understanding of depression, and the scenario I’ve chosen is frighteningly close to reality. The story is flowing out of me when I have the time to write it, and it’s been a really long time since that’s happened. I don’t know if it will be good enough to actually be accepted, but if not I’ll at least have finished something. I can polish it and submit it elsewhere, at any rate.

This week, I’m committing to three blog entries this week — this one, a couple of thoughts about my Buddhist practice on Wednesday, and a small short story about a character I’ll be playing in a Star Wars campaign a friend’ll be starting up this summer. “Feedback Loop” will be finished, and I’ll head immediately into a short story for MegaMorphics. It doesn’t have a title yet, but it’ll follow the victim of a bio-terror attack and the rather unique difficulties he faces in recovery. That particular story won’t be available immediately, but I hope to have it floating around online by fall.

My word count goal for this week is 14,000 words. Fundraising goal for this week: $250. If you have a few dollars you can spare for a worthy cause, I would certainly appreciate it! Just go to my writer’s profile here: http://www.clarionwriteathon.com/members/profile.php?writerid=599479.

You can either make a straight-up dollar donation, or you can pledge a certain amount tied to my word-count. If going for the latter, one-tenth of a cent per word (or $.001) will work out to $50 if I hit my goal. $.0005 will work out to $25, and $.0002 will work out to $10. Every little bit helps, and I’m happy to accept anything you’re willing to give!

Now, on to making sure that goal is fulfilled. How about you fine folk? What will you be working on this week?

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2015 in Writing

 

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January 2013 Goals: How Did I Do?

At the beginning of this month, I set a pretty ambitious set of goals for myself. I had planned to write or rewrite five short stories — two stories for friends to try out a commission scheme I had dreamed up, and a rewrite of three ‘fluff’ short stories that I felt I could do better with. That roughly equated to about 22,000 words or so, give or take a few.

There were a number of obstacles staring me down that I had acknowledged but thought would be easy to overcome. Further Confusion 2013 would be taking up a considerable chunk of time, but I vowed that I could find time somewhere during the convention to write. We would also have company staying in the Burrow before and after the con, but I didn’t think it would impact my ability to bang out a thousand words every day. We were also returning to work from the holidays, and who knows what would lie in store for us there?

Well, it turns out that confidence is great, but following through with action is much more difficult. Further Confusion took more than a week out of my writing time — even though I took my laptop with me to the convention every day, there really wasn’t much writing to be done. Not when there were so many people to see and so many things to do! I also thoroughly enjoyed the company we had the honor of hosting, and retreating to a quiet part of the Burrow to do something as anti-social as writing was much harder than I thought.

I returned to a very busy work environment that took a lot of my attention, and dear Ryan took ill for about a week after the con. It took us another week to settle down into our routine, and by then — well, January was almost over.

Out of the five short stories I had planned to have finished by the end of the month, I’ve only completed one. The rewrite of “The Big Game — Chapter 1” is put to bed, and I’m still working on Rask’s short story, “The Tough Fit”. It’s nowhere near completed, though. I hope to have it sewn up in a week’s time.

So I can only count this month as an unqualified failure, writing-wise. And what did I learn from that failure? Well, I learned that being ambitious is good, but being realistic is better. I definitely should have given myself an easier workload leading into Further Confusion, and abandoned all plans to get anything significant done. If I found a spot to work on a story? Great, but it would have been optional instead of ‘mandatory’. I’ll try to be more aware of such things in the future, and plan more accordingly.

Also, it might be nice to find alternatives to the laptop for writing — something a bit more portable and convenient. I do have an iPad, but without a keyboard or 3G connection, so I’m not sure how workable that is. A notebook is probably my best bet, but I’d need to get into the habit of writing longhand. My hand cramps just thinking about it at this point!

In a couple of days, I’ll submit my plan for February. But in the meantime, I have to apologize to the folks who were expecting stories out of me a lot sooner! I’m still learning as I go, and I have to ask for the indulgence of your patience a bit longer.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Self-Reflection, Writing

 

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