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Archive for the ‘goals and planning’ Category

April wound up being fairly successful despite the personal chaos, which can only be described as “internal crisis.” There’s nothing going on outside. The world is good as far as that goes. So I decided to just ignore it and signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’d had a thought out of the blue about how I could resolve a plot-and-motivation problem in Darien’s story and wanted to implement that.

I figured it ought to be good for 50k, but when I got going, I discovered further complications (of the not-good-for-the-story sort 🙂 ) and issues arising from inadequate character development, which in turn revealed big gaps in my worldbuilding. The characters were doing things but they didn’t have attitudes about the world around them, and their interrelationships were exactly like relationships in 2015 America. I had written the earlier draft on the assumption that I could go back and fill in the details later, but clearly that wasn’t working. So I lowered my word count to 30,000, which turned out to be a comfortable pace.

So my plan for May, complicated as it is: keep writing at a comfortable pace 😀

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Better late than never? Here’s my Merry-Go-Round blog post for January 🙂

I’ve been struggling all month to write this post, not because the post itself is so difficult but because the goals I wanted to write about refused to stay put. I knew I was going to need to be flexible what with the first grandbaby arriving in February and the usual family obligations and impromptu weekends in the mountains, but the lists I came up with were more than flexible. It didn’t seem to matter what order I put things in, or whether I changed one project for another. They were all equally arbitrary and equally impossible to believe in.

The truth is, writing isn’t my only priority right now. I’m still recovering from losing my father and now worrying about my mother, I’m about to be a grandmother for the first time, I’m making progress in my painting, and it’s all contributing to huge changes inside, changes I’m only beginning to recognize. It’s like sitting on a volcano waiting for it to erupt.

I don’t know what’s going to happen when it does. Maybe nothing. Maybe just renewed energy to the things I’ve always loved. Or maybe I’m getting ready to head in an exciting new direction. But until I figure it out, I need to just keep on keeping on, while being aware that I might need to change directions.

So for the first part of the year, I’ll be working on background research for the steampunk series I started last November, mostly studying US history, especially the history of slavery. I’ll also be finishing the genie novella and possibly working on the next pass of Crows. Target date for the genie story is before grandbaby. I don’t expect to get anything done while we’re visiting; when we come back, I’ll pick up Crows.

Today’s post was inspired by the topic “New Beginnings” in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour–an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out their thoughts on crossing genre lines, check out the group site at the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. You can find links to all of the posts on the tour there. Read and enjoy!

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2014 was kind of an up and down year, but all in all significantly better than the last couple of years. I was fighting depression off and on–still am, for that matter–and because depression lies, I had trouble remembering all the good parts even though I enjoyed them as they happened. I’m thinking maybe it would help if I did a review like this more often, just to remind myself how blessed and lucky I am.

Some of the highlights:

Neil treated me to a blowout 60th birthday, with tickets to the Celtics and the Bruins on the same day 😀

Middle kid and his fiancee got married at Disney World in September. Lovely time was had by all. They’re expecting our first grandchild now. That will be a distraction for sure.

Lots of travel — big trips to Wisconsin/Michigan to visit youngest, Florida to help middlest get married, Montana to visit my family, as well as shorter trips like a weekend on Block Island for bicycling, a three-day canoe trip on the Connecticut River, and three days at Tanglewood for hiking and music.

Golf league, concerts, art classes, learning to canoe, getting back on a bike for the first time in many years.

Writing: edited Overamped one more time, cutting 20K words, and sent it to the Amazon contest, where it did not do well. Wrote the second draft of Crows, preliminary draft of Lace, and the start of a steampunk work that is at least a trilogy and possibly a series, plus a few short stories and poems.

Looking forward to an even better 2015.

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Trying to decide whether to participate in Story-a-Day this year:

http://colealicem.com/2014/05/01/to-sad-or-not-to-sad/

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Gotta get Crows done before the end of the year. Progress updates at House at the End of the Road.

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I’ve spent at least a couple of hours a day most days since Christmas trying to work out a plan and a strategy for 2013.

It hasn’t gone much of anywhere.

I had a mental picture of what I wanted to accomplish and worked out a detailed plan. It didn’t last out the first week.

I put together another plan. That one never even got started.

But I’ve been making progress anyway. Getting things done. (At least I was until I got sidetracked by planning a late winter vacation escape…but a person’s got to have her priorities 😀 ).

So I’ve decided that for now, for at least the first part of the year, that’s my only goal. Get things done. I’m still recovering from the grief over my father’s death, still coming out of a long dry spell, still tender inside. I need to give myself time and space.

So: I’m going to try to get things done. I’m starting with short story submissions. I would like to start new writing as well, but while the urge is there, the direction is not. But that’s all right. It will come.

Today’s post was inspired by the “projects” prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour! Up next: D Jordan Redhawk.

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I won’t list all the trauma and drama again. When I went back through my notes, there was even more of it than I thought there was.

The rest of the year wasn’t too bad. I completed 11 of 12 Merry-Go-Round posts and the A to Z Blog Challenge in April. Wrote a sestina and several other poems for an April poetry challenge. Wrote a chapter for a collective novel we wrote for a friend’s birthday.

Progress on the bad fairies, the genie story, Whatever’s in the River (including part of next book in the series), two new short stories, and a new novel. Probably around 75K words total, which is better than I thought.

Set up a website for Alice M. Cole, my horror-and-sexy-stuff persona. I’ll continue the literary and women’s stuff under my own name. Not sure what to do about romance yet; probably Alice, since several of the horror/dark stuff publishers also publish romance and erotica.

Failed at March Madness, Labor of Love, Story A Day, Camp NaNo, regular NaNoWriMo, Nightmare Fuel, and the haiku challenge.

I had a good year with hiking and golf, and resumed yoga last week. The diet kind of fell apart, but I managed to hold it together well enough to not gain weight, though I didn’t succeed in losing any more.

All in all, it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it was on the writing front, especially considering the drama and trauma.

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