May Update

Jun. 8th, 2017 01:29 pm
clhollandwriter: (Default)
Even less done in May than April, it feels. I did work on the novella until mid month, but stalled when I hit the contest deadline and there wasn't a sense of urgency any more. I've worked on a couple of poems since, but not much else. I've worked on a couple of beading projects and read some books, but no writing. Work is busy and eating a lot of my bandwidth at the moment. Not much of an update, but that's it.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
It's amazing how much a bad night's sleep can throw off my day. There was a massive thunderstorm on Friday night, that woke me up twice in the early hours. It meant I was sleep deprived when I got up on Saturday (having been woken twice more by my partner getting ready for work, and a hungry cat). I left my ability to sleep in somewhere in my twenties, the best I can manage is coffee and internet before I get up these days, so I spent most of yesterday stumbling around in a grumpy haze. In the end I spent the whole day reading, punctuated by occasionally getting up to poke the washing machine or the dishes. Probably a good thing in the end. It forced me to take a day to relax, which I don't do often.

Today was more productive. Lots of cleaning, lots of research, lots of admin. I'm applying for a promotion at work so spent some time on the application. I'm also pondering opening an online hobby business, selling handmade jewellery. Still not convinced it will be worth the work and costs though, and it's not like I'm spending enough time writing already.

There are two things left on my To Do list for the weekend: book train tickets, and play computer games. This might be an either/or thing given it's now the evening. It's a bank holiday tomorrow, though, so I can bump things if I have to.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
I don't feel like I've done much over April. My novella is nowhere near as far along as it should be and I may be too far behind to catch up ( it needs to be finished in two weeks). But when I looked at my calendar I realised I'd written 50% of the days last month so I'm counting it as a win.

It's tough to get back in the habit of writing regularly, especially when working hours aren't regular. It's impossible to set up a routine if I can't guarantee I'll have writing time before work, after work, or at lunch time, or if I'll have to cook  and/or do housework in the evenings. Since my hours vary week to week, I'm just starting to get into a routine when it all changes. Younger me didn't mind so much; today me is fed up with one more thing to keep track of. I feel like I'm wasting mental energy having to remember what time I need to leave the house this week, if I need to take breakfast, do I need to put laundry on before I leave or will there be time to do it when I get home, will I have time to cook and if not do we have soup in, what time should I get to bed.

I'm honestly thinking of writing timings down in my Bullet Journal to save me the bother of remembering. It certainly works for to do lists.

Since it's a bank holiday I'm using today to catch up on writing and blogging, and trying out an experiment in making writing at home like writing at a coffee shop. Although it will be a cat cafe, obviously. More on that later.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
It's that time of year again, when everybody posts up what they've been up to for the last twelve months.

I haven't been keeping track of words, but here's the basics:
Submissions: 20 (4 still pending)
Sales: 1

So it's not been a great year, since last year I had 68 submissions and 7 sales. However, at least part of this is because of the way Real Life has shaken out. At the beginning of the year I was going through the final stages of training in my new job, so I took March off writing to just read. Then in April we decided to start looking for a house. The looking, and the buying, and the moving, pretty much swallowed the next four months. Then I moved internally at work (same job, different department), which meant a whole readjustment to being back on the phones and shifts. Things didn't really settle down again until September.

I don't really have an excuse for why I've been so rubbish from September onwards, other than that by this point I was just tired. I didn't even particularly enjoy Swanwick Writers' Summer School this time around, between the terrible food and lack of mental energy to deal two hundred other people. Not having much in the way of real holiday all year didn't help (most of it was spent packing, or moving house).

Things I have written this year:
Stories: 3.5 new (one needs typing up and the end finalising), 2 completely rewritten
Poems: 7 (5 new, 2 complete rewrites)
Miscellaneous: a few bits of random non-fiction (not all of it finished) and blog posts. I've also purged my files and deleted a lot of old work, or dragged it back into the light to be reworked.

It's better than nothing, and I wouldn't say the year's been a complete waste as I've made up for a lack of writing by doing a lot more reading and rediscovering video games - so far I've restarted Dungeon Keeper 2, Final Fantasy 7, and Dragon Age: Inquisition.

We're getting on for evening here. I probably won't get much more done in the way of writing this year, although there are a couple of submissions I'd like to get out the door. I'm making plans for next year's writing, including looking at ways of keeping better organised. Next year (tomorrow!) I have some writing samples to finish up, and I want to get that .5 of a story finished off. I'm also working my way through the rewrites mentioned above, and also thinking of giving either Reunion or Stigma a poke to see if there's anything salvageable. It's been a long time since I worked on either of those.

Onwards.
clhollandwriter: (marchin)
So apparently I haven't posted since January. This has been due to a minor-but-scary health problem that hit in February, finishing my training period at work, and deciding to take March off of writng to just read all the things. Then at the beginning of this month some more major-league adulting started. I'm vague-booking, I know, but I don't really feel like blogging any of it. At the moment I'm seriously out of spoons.

I haven't been completely resting on my laurels though. I have a short piece in the current SF Signal Mind Meld: SF/F TV Character Deaths That Had Us Shaking Our Heads.

I'm trying to get back into writing, but honestly a second month of reading looks great from here.

Back again

Sep. 27th, 2015 09:09 pm
clhollandwriter: (marchin)
Apparently it's been more than a month since I last posted. It doesn't seem like it, time has gone so fast since I came back from Swanwick.

I've done very little on the writing front. It doesn't feel like I've had time. I bought some books on new genres I'd like to look into, started thinking about a new project, but that's about it. I've just had a week off work and not written a single thing, although I have read a bit. Part of the reason is a lack of time. We've started an epic decluttering of the flat, something which is going to take a while since we're both hoarders with different space-consuming hobbies, and although we both like fantasy and science fiction we don't read the same authors. The declutter includes going through all the bed linen and towels, and replacing anything that's worn out. It's going to take a while, but we're fed up with making do.

I'm also looking at online courses again, in an effort to give myself something to do other than binge-watching Netflix in the evenings. There are a lot I'm interested in to sift through, and I'll do a round-up of writing ones I find for anyone else who's interested. Courseswill also give me something to focus on while the SO takes over the console to begin an epic playthough of Fallout 3 in preparation for Fallout 4 coming out in November. I'm going to be sick of that game before it's even released...
clhollandwriter: (marchin)
No post last week, because I haven't made a plan for months with five Tuesdays and by the time I realised it was one it was late. So I took the week off instead and played Minecraft.

My story "Your Past Life Interferes with My Very Important Studies" went up at Flash Fiction Online last week, along with an interview with me.

Last weekend I took myself off for a writing session in a local tearoom. It's not something I do very often these days, although I used to. The place was practically empty when I arrived, but then got so busy they were turning people away. Luckily I'd gone there for lunch as well, so I didn't feel too bad about writing there. Next time I might go earlier or later to miss the lunch rush. I got most of a first draft done so at least being crowded didn't put me off!

The programme for Swanwick Writers' Summer School went up last week. As I do every year, I'm currently trying to decide on the courses to take and changing my mind every time I look. The only course I've decided for definite is the one on forensics for writers. I don't write crime fiction but it sounds interesting anyway. It's an interest left over from when I was a teenager and wanted to be a forensic scientist, although a change of school and a terrible chemistry teacher made me lose interest in that career. For the specialist course I can't decide on whether to do novel writing or poetry. Maybe if I take enough courses on writing novels I'll figure out how they work!

What I'll probably do is decide on the day. I usually do!
clhollandwriter: (marchin)
Not much to update, at the moment. This weekend I missed the Liberty Hall flash challenge because it's my week to work late and I knew I wouldnt want to do the crits. Late week I give myself permission to get nothing done. I've got some ideas on what to do with the previous week's story, too, although it involves a complete rewrite and includes switching it from present day to a futuristic setting. This will obviously impact it in unexpected ways so I'm looking forward to the challenge.

It's nice that LH is still ticking along, although I have to say I miss the days when it was bustling with activity. To be fair, a lot of the drop-off seems to be people moving on to the next stage of their careers - Aliette de Bodard and TL Morganfield are both writers I originally met there, and I know Mary Robinette Kowal was a member before my time. But there doesn't seem to have been an influx of new members to make up the losses, so it's very quiet. While I don't need another lively forum to keep track of, the flash challenge definitely benefits from a larger number of participants.

A couple of weeks ago I started a story over at another site, for a contest, but didn't get it finished. I've got a title and a very basic idea, but didn't have enough to get a complete story done by the deadline. So that's on the pile with all the other stories I don't quite know what to do with. Part of the plan is, over the next few weeks, to get all of these half-stories together and printed out so I can start working on them again - some of them are years old now and need either finishing or trunking.

None of that will get done this this week. Late week wrecks my brain, so I'll probably spend my evenings playing Minecraft instead.

Still Here

Mar. 8th, 2015 09:19 am
clhollandwriter: (poppy)
Not only am I becoming increaingly terrible at blogging, I'm pretty bad at remembering to update here whenever I post on my website blog. So, as per the last post over at Conversations with Dragons, my POD print collection of the same name is currently available at Lulu. It's not yet available on Amazon, as that would involve a new cover and tweaks to the front matter, but it's on the to-do list. For my own purposes I prefer Lulu, but that's mainly because I don't have to sell a kidney in order to afford a proof copy.

In other news, "This is the Way the World Begins" has been podcast over at Meduspod, with fantastic narration by Rock Manor. I really like podcasts, because they allow me to hear my story as a reader, as if someone else had written it, and it's great to listen to someone else's interpretation of the characters.

I'm currently working on some changes to my writing schedule. Not that I have much of a schedule at the moment, But I'm on variable hours at work, so I need to factor in that some weeks I'm just too tired to do much of anything. Those weeks are probably going to be given over to playing computer games and reading, to avoid burnout. I'm also starting to pay attention to deadlines again, since they add some sctructure. All of this is adding on to the goal-planning habits I started working on at Swanwick, which fell by the wayside a bit over the summer due to family stuff. I guess I just need more conscious organisation now than I used to.
clhollandwriter: (poppy)
I meant to post an end of year update ages ago, except there didn't seem to be anything worth updating beyond "2014 sucked". This seems to have been the case for a lot of people. In fact I haven't seen a lot of people at all saying they had a good year. Here's hoping 2015 is better for all of us.

There's actually not a lot to update. I've got two stories sold last year due to come out this year. One is a podcast of "This is the Way the World Begins" at Meduspod. The other is the website release of "The Silver Spoon" in The Colored Lens Winter 2015 edition. That's already available as an ebook, but I think will be available on the site at a later date. No idea on when either of these stories will appear, but will mention it when they do.

So far this year I've written two flash stories which very much want to be longer, and another that I'm now sure I can do much with. My plan is to move away from flash and work on longer stories, but that's been the plan for a while now. I also started a novella in November, but the plan to finish that in December was scuppered by two weeks of flu right before Christmas. It's still on the to-do list, but will now have to fit in with all the other things on the list that are time-dependent. These include either the Month of Blogging Challenge or Poem a Day, in April. I also need to finish my series of POD blog post, since I'm very much aware I've left those off in the middle.

Unfortunately there's been a lot of life getting in the way over the last few months, not least of which was a change of role and working hours at the day job. I know there are those who think that writing should be Most Important of All or you're just a hobbyist. I personally think a lot of those people are operating from the position of privilege of either already being established, or have someone who can financially support them while they write. The rest of us have to eat and pay rent, and don't have the luxury of treating the day job as anything less that the source of our livelihood. That's a whole other blog post though.

The other thing I did recently was change some of my ebook covers. A World in Clockwork and Dark Ghosts and Flamingos are mostly the same, although I played around with the positioning of the text. I haven't been happy with the covers of The Reflection of Memory or A Primary Function for a while though, so here are the new ones.

The Reflection of Memory 2Primary Function dark

And that's it for now.

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