babarnett: (kermit needs coffee)
Seriously, how is this weekend almost over already?

Because life has gotten progressively more insane this month, I'm going let my productivity reports fall by the wayside, at least in their current format.  When I didn't have job craziness* to worry about, the productivity posts helped keep me on track, but for now, I think I'll be just fine without reporting in on a regular basis.  And I'm sure none of you care so deeply about my exercise routine and music practice habits that you'll miss hearing about them.  I'll still post about things I'm reading, though likely not on such a "here's how many chapters I read this week" detail level.  And to live up to the blog title, I will of course keep posting about that wacky writing thing.

Reading: Finished The Dramatist's Toolkit, and I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in playwriting.  Actually, it's got some useful things to offer for short story and novel writers as well, particularly when it comes to approaching character, scenes and dialogue (not too surprisingly, it was on a list of books to reference for TNEO last year when we were focusing on dialogue).  One of the things I like most about the book is that it's very straightforward and practical, and it helped me reach a place where I feel like I can finally tackle some of those play ideas I've been kicking around.  Now the question is which idea to run with first.

Next up on the reading list: my shiny new copy of Writers of the Future XXIV, courtesy of the kindly [personal profile] j_cheney 

Writing:  At last, I finally finished revising the first scene of chapter 5.  That only took forever.  I would have gotten more work on the second scene done too if I hadn't been an idiot and forgotten to bring the pages that need revising on the train with me Thursday.

*I should specificy that while there is much job craziness, it's good job craziness. When I'm this stressed out yet still like what I'm doing, it's a very good sign.


Jun. 6th, 2009 12:20 pm
babarnett: (muppets)
Crazy busy week. But despite the craziness, I just have to say that my new employment gig is awesome.

Now I need to spend this weekend doing all the little things I put off during the week in order to get the not-so-little things done. I had been considering auditioning for a play for the first time in forever this weekend, but I don't know what the hell I was thinking given how much else I've got going on. So instead of working on a monologue, I used last night to recover from the big shift in my schedule with the relaxing combo of pizza, a bottle of wine, some Mythbusters viewing, and an earlier-than-usual trip to bed. Slept in this morning, and now I'm ready to roll...after the productivity report, of course:

Up to chapter 11 in The Dramatist's Toolkit, which I'm finding to be a good read. I've finally got some achievable-seeming play ideas percolating in my brain now, which means the book is the mental kick-start I was hoping it'd be. And while the timing was by no means planned, it's rather a fun bit of symmetry that I'm reading it during my first week working for a theater company.

Except for Monday, exercise pretty much fell by the wayside this week. Something had to give amid the crazy.

Except for Friday, I managed to stay on top of the practicing. Go me.

I didn't get a lot of writing done this week (I'm still slogging through the first scene of chapter 5), but I at least did a little bit every day on the train ride home from work.

In other writerly happenings, last Sunday Michael Swanwick came to speak to my writing group, which was awesome. We even ended up on his blog, Flogging Babel. If you care, I'm in the back row, first person on the left.
babarnett: (kermit needs coffee)
It's been a weird week.  And I start my new job on Monday, so next week will likely be even weirder.

Finished Bitterwood earlier this week. For my continued reading adventures, I'm taking a short break from fiction with The Dramatist's Toolkit: The Craft of the Working Playwright by Jeffrey Sweet.  I've been toying with the idea of writing a play for a while now, but despite lots of involvement with the theatrical world, I feel totally ill-prepared to write one. I was hoping to find a playwriting course I could take this summer, but no such luck.  Most of what I found was for teens.  The only local one for adults was an online course, but I'd really prefer something in person. So in lieu of a class, I thought I'd tackle this book and see if it helps jump start my inner-playwright.

I've been saddled with an annoying cough since last week, so I've been taking it easy on the exercise front.  A little bit of yoga, but not much else.  And today's exercise will be helping my aunt move stuff.

Coughed my way through choir rehearsal Wednesday night.  Singing has been aggravating the cough in general, which frustrates me to no end.  It doesn't hamper the piano playing, though, so I've at least been keeping up with that without a problem.

I've been productivity-challenged in the writing department this week. A little bit of slogging through My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel, but that's it.  I'm hoping to achieve something resembling real progress this afternoon and tomorrow.
babarnett: (doctor who chair)
Been feeling rather blah this whole week, and not even lovely weather and backyard chipmunk sightings seem able to cure it. It looks like I'm going to have to write off any hope of productivity and hand this round to the slug.  I've kept up with the exercise and the piano practicing, but I haven't done any reading all week, and writing-wise I've only managed a sentence or two.  I can't even use the excuse that I've been overly busy.  I've just found it hard to get my brain to focus, let alone produce something useful.  Doesn't help that I haven't been able to sleep for crap lately.

Also not helping is the fact that May seems to be turning into a month-long reject-a-thon.  Since the beginning of the month, I haven't made it more than 3 days without another rejection arriving in my inbox. I even had an oh-so-lovely streak of 5 days in a row going on there.  Hard to stay motivated in the face of that much morale bruising.

As for that sentence or two I've managed to write this week: I don't know why it's taken me so long to realize this, but one of the things I've finally learned about myself as a writer is that I really suck at starting new scenes.  I'll spend forever agonizing over those first few sentences. Sure, I could skip the opening and continue with the rest of the scene, but that, I have learned, only delays the head-meets-desk process.  Eventually, I'm going to have to write that opening, and since it's going to be just as painful later as it is now, I might as well be done with it.
babarnett: (muppets)
Through chapters 15-18 in Bitterwood.  Also finished the audio book of The Road, which didn't end as bleakly as I thought it would.  I give it a thumbs up overall.

It's looking like I'm going to slack today, but I'll make up for it tomorrow.  Otherwise, I've been keeping to the routine.

Keeping on top of my piano lessons and practicing.  Monday was the last regular rehearsal of the season for the chorus I sing with.  We have a dress rehearsal tonight and a concert Sunday, and then it's only church choir and some solo stuff on my plate through June.  I'm kind of dreading tonight's rehearsal.  We've done the concert once already and have had two regular rehearsals since then to brush up on the music, but I have the feeling that we're still going to go through everything in its entirety and then some instead of just doing what's necessary to adjust to a different space and acoustics.  I wish we had spent more time on Carmina Burana (particularly the diction--I tend to pick that stuff up pretty easily, but I'm hearing a lot of mush around me), but the other pieces on the program (especially our chamber choir pieces) have been beaten to death, and then backed over with a truck for good measure.  Rehearsing is important, but there comes a point of diminishing returns.

I've been hit or miss with the writing this week.  Some days I've been super productive girl.  Other days, like today, a little tinkering is about all I seem capable of accomplishing. On the plus side, I finished rewriting chapter 4 of My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel.  On the downside, that's only because I'm splitting what was originally one long chapter into two smaller ones.  Either way, I'm about 11,400 into the rewrite.
babarnett: (doctor who k9)
...and beats it until it's worm goo.

The week isn't over yet, but tomorrow's going to be a weird day schedule-wise and I keep thinking it's Friday anyway, so here goes.  Any typos or incoherent sentences can be blamed on wine.

Only got through one chapter of Bitterwood this week, though I'll probably get through another one tomorrow.  And only one disc left to listen to in The Road.  Just gotta say: being eaten by cannibals? Very high on my "ways I don't want to die" list.

I slacked on Monday, but it was at least in the interest of getting more writing done.  And I've been on the ball since then, so all is well.

Slacked today, but the rest of the week I've been a productive singing and piano playing crazy lady.

As of yesterday, the zombie story revision is done, and it's 1,300 words shorter, so woot! Now back to My Big Epic Fantasy Novel.

Submission Land
Really bored with the rejections now. A little bit of good news would be nice for a change.
babarnett: (ash boomstick)
Got through chapters 11 and 12 in Bitterwood this week.  I've also been listening to more of The Road in the car, and that--well, "enjoying" doesn't seem like the right word for this kind of book.  But I'm hooked.

Except for yesterday, I kept on top of the routine.  But I think slacking yesterday was probably a good thing.  My left leg was sore and stiff from overdoing it earlier in the week, and taking a day off seems to have helped.

Slightly crazy week.  On top of church choir and piano lessons, the chorus I'm in has our first of two Carmina Burana concerts tonight.  So in addition to the regular Monday night rehearsal, we had the dress rehearsal last night.  There's a large contingent of clueless people in this group who have serious problems with that whole filing on and off the risers thing, so coordinating that always takes ten times longer than it should and makes me want to smack my head against hard surfaces.

Submission Land
More rejections, more stories back out the door. I have two stories I'd like to try at Sword & Sorceress, and I thought the markets they're currently at would have bounced them back by now, but amazingly, no.  Knowing my luck, they'll both reject the stories the day after the Sword & Sorceress submission window closes.

I was tinkering with novel revisions last weekend, but the zombie story kept calling to me, so I finally answered and began my next round of revisions on that. I'm rather excited as I think it's going to be a much tighter story now, and I think some of the changes I've made are helping me better develop what's going on with the protagonist.  I also realized that I had an entire scene that could go away, so the story's already about 1,000 words shorter.
babarnett: (doctor who chair)
I came down with a cold last weekend, so between that and some major trouble sleeping and lots of beyond-the-ordinary-routine things to attend to this week, I didn't do so well with the productivity.   I wasn't a total slug either, though, so that's gotta count for something.

Reading: Didn't get a lot of reading done. I'm partway through chapter 11 in Bitterwood, and I started listening to the audio book of The Road.  Nothing like cheery post-apocalyptic fiction to make the traffic seem not so bad.

Exercise: This is where I achieved productivity fail.  Only managed one day this week.

Music: I made it to all of my rehearsals and whatnot, but as for practicing, I fell off the wagon yesterday, and it's not looking like I'll get to it today either.

Writing: Still slogging through chapter 4 of My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel.  Slow going, but I am now one sentence away from finishing my rewrite of the first scene, which puts me about 1,600 words into the chapter. I reworked the scene so that it involved fewer characters and rewrote it from a different POV than it had originally been in, which meant cannibalizing bits from the original version, writing some new material, and incorporating dialogue from a scene that originally took place later in the chapter.
babarnett: (angel wesley crazy fu)
This week has been strong with the bat-shit crazy side of the Force, making that whole productivity thing a challenge. Some of the things keeping me busy were good things (Easter with the in-laws, seeing a production of Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo, a reception where my dad got a firefighter-of-the-year award from the local VFW).  But other things...well, I think my brain exploded a few times.

Now onto what I actually managed to accomplish amid the crazy:

Reading: I'm partway through chapter 10 in Bitterwood.  As for Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, I gave up. I reached my library renewal limit on it and was just going to copy the remaining discs onto my computer last night, but then I realized that I still had 12 discs left. It's an entertaining book, but it's not that entertaining. So I took that long-winded puppy back to the library today and checked out the audio version of Cormac McCarthy's The Road.  Only six discs total.  Ah, blessed brevity.

Exercise: Fell off the wagon Tuesday and Wednesday thanks to the crazy, but stuck to it the rest of the week.

The usual rehearsal schedule, but fitting in practice time on the piano proved tough. I was all stressed out at my Wednesday lesson as a result, which didn't help.

Writing Business: Bored with the rejections-a-plenty/several-months-long-dry-spell-when-it-comes-to-sales combo now. I'm feeling particularly disheartened with one story. It's a flash story I wrote a while back, and while not brilliant, I think it's a good little piece. When I first wrote it, a fellow writerly type thought very highly of it and said, "If Strange Horizons doesn't take this, I don't know what they'll take."  Well, they didn't take it, and neither have the 27 other markets I've sent it to. I've never had a story get shot down that many times, and it's depressing, especially since it came close at a few places, which gives me confidence that the story doesn't suck. Unfortunately, I'm almost out of decent markets for it.

I spent much of last weekend figuring out what I needed to move, add, axe, and rewrite in chapter 4 of My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel, which was fun and exciting and I couldn't wait to start writing.  Then, Sunday night, I sat down to write, and nothing. I spent an insane amount of time rewriting the opening sentence. I didn't get back to the chapter again until Wednesday, when I finally managed to push past that block. But because I had so little time for writing this week, I'm only about 500 words into the chapter. Blah.

On that note, it's onto the weekend for me.  I'm going to get in some more work on the novel tonight.  Tomorrow AsYouKnowBob and I will be driving down to Washington DC--the chorus we're in is singing at the National Gallery, and afterward we'll be making a Maryland pit stop to have dinner with some of my friends from college. Sunday will be singing at church in the morning, writing group in the afternoon. And if I'm not too exhausted, I might squeeze in some more writing before Monday rears its ugly head.
babarnett: (ash boomstick)
The week is not quite over as I still need to get in my exercise and piano practicing for today, but that won't be a problem, because the zombie story? DONE!

Reading: Up to chapter 8 in Bitterwood, and up to chapter 35 in Jonathan Strange & Mr NorrellJS&MN has gotten much more interesting, so I'm glad I was able to go the audio book route with it as I doubt I would have made it this far otherwise. The beginning was entertaining, but between the slow pacing, the footnotes, the oh-so-Victorianesque style, and the fact that it's about a gazillion thousand pages long, I think it would have been too much to take for my slow-reading self.

Exercise & Music:
More of the same.

Writing: As I said before, DONE! The not-so-crappy second draft of the zombie story, tentatively titled "The Holy Spear," has clocked in at 8,600 words--still damn long, but at least shorter than the 9,100 words it started out with.  I'm much happier with the story than I thought I was going to be while slogging through the first draft, and hopefully it's a different enough take on the post-apocalyptic zombie oeuvre to make the effort worthwhile.  So now onto the wonderful world of crits in the hopes of producing an even-less-crappy third draft.  In the meantime, back to the novel revisions.
babarnett: (doctor who k9) shiny new iMac! The downside is that I didn't get much done today other than playing with the shiny new iMac, but that's ok, because shiny new iMac!

I did get things done the rest of the week, though, so here's the productivity report:

Reading: Chapters 4 and 5 in Bitterwood, and I believe I'm up to chapter 30 in listening to Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (my god is JS&MN a long damn book)

Exercise: I've been entirely too obsessed with Wii Fit this week.  Especially the rhythmic boxing. But i should start alternating with some non-Wii exercise sessions.

Music: The usual round of rehearsals, lessons, and practicing.

Writing: I've gotten about 1,100 words into the zombie story revision. Not as much as I would have liked, but good progress given the whole one day I managed to work on it. 

Writing Business: Lots of stories have been coming and going out the door this week. Somebody buy something already, damn it!
babarnett: (doctor who k9)
Since I have no idea what I'm going to be able to get done tomorrow--chorus concert at a school in the early afternoon, theater tickets in the evening--I'm gonna go ahead and post my weekly productivity report now.

Reading: Two more chapters in Bitterwood, up to chapter 23 in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and a story at that I highly recommend for fans of the play Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead: "We Haven't Got There Yet" by Harry Turtledove. I'm a little bit in love with this brief bit from the story: "Hamlet goes missing--as he must, for his place in the remaining action lies in Elsinore. Is he any freer than Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, or only better written?"

Exercise: We recently got Wii Fit, so I've been spending a good 20-30 minutes a day getting acquainted with that. No substitute for the more substantial yoga and pilates sessions I've done in the past, but definitely more of a workout than I would have thought.

Music: The usual--chorus rehearsals, piano lesson, practicing.

Writing: As I posted on Wednesday, the first draft of the zombie story is done! So that's about 1,200 new words written on that this week, and tonight I started revisions on chapter 3 of My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel.  Chapter 3's pretty short and doesn't need any major revisions, so I decided to tackle that before de-crapifying the zombie story.

Writing Business: Queries out on a couple of stragglers, one of which came back with a reply that the story got far but "looks like it's going to be rejected" and they'll be sending along comments soon. So I guess I'll wait until I get the actual commenty rejection before doing anything else with that story. On a happier note, at least, today I got notice that my quarter 1 Writers of the Future submission got an honorable mention. Considering I almost didn't send that one there, that's better than expected.
babarnett: (puppet angel)
The slug put up a hell of a fight this week--which I now realize is sort of funny since that means the slug is working very hard at trying to get me to do nothing. But except for the exercise department, I actually achieved a fair amount of productivity this week:

Reading: I finished Prime Codex on Monday. The last story was "Radical Acceptance" by David W. Goldman, which made me smile. Space otters make me happy. There were a few stories in Prime Codex that didn't work for me, on the whole, it's a good collection that I'd recommend.

For my next book, I started James Maxey's Bitterwood (got through the prologue and chapter 1 this past week).  And in the audio book department, I'm up to chapter 18 in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I also thought I'd mention that I also read short stories in various places online, but I'm so scattershot about those that I decided I won't keep track of them on here unless one blows away me so much that I must share its awesomeness with all the world.

Exercise: I haven't done yoga or pilates in what feels like forever, and I only got on the elliptical strider two days this week. Beyond that, it was just pseudo-exercise in the form of Wii Sports and the 15-minute walk to and from the concert I was at for work last night.

Music: I had to miss chorus rehearsal Monday night to attend a grant award reception for work, but otherwise I was good about keeping up with practicing this week. I didn't get any in yesterday beccause of the concert I was working, but I'm making up for it today.

Writing Business: Two more stories came home, disappointed that their brilliance had not been recognized. One was a simultaneous sub, so he'll just continue waiting at the place that hasn't rejected him yet. The other one is waiting for the next market it wants to visit to re-open in April. And I think I may have to shoot out some queries on one or two stories to see if they're coming for dinner or staying over at their friend's house for a bit longer.

Writing: A little over 1,600 words on the zombie story this week, and I'm still not frickin' done. Close, though--I'm about halfway through the penultimate scene. Hopefully I'll be able to trim this one significantly during revisions, because right now it's at 8,200 words and counting.

I've got some more practicing to get in today since I'm doing a solo at church tomorrow morning. And I have to figure out what I feel like doing tomorrow afternoon to determine what I do after practicing today. I could go to my writer's group tomorrow, which means I have a 9,400 word story to critique. Or I could go the Mozart Requiem Sing-In the chorus I'm in is holding tomorrow, which means I don't have to crit that story and can get some more writing done instead. Decisions, decisions...
babarnett: (doctor who chair)
It's been tough getting back to something resembling my normal routine this week. Monday was almost nothing but work and rehearsal, neither of which put me in a happy place. And I had been hoping to get a lot done today, but no such luck. I got a later start than I wanted today (I've been having a tough time getting my butt moving in the mornings this week), and my afternoon was mostly eaten away by sitting at the DMV to renew my driver license. And then it was off to Philly for dinner and an opera--Wozzeck, which is one of my favorites. (The production wasn't perfect, but good overall. And bloody.) So the only thing I managed to get done today was a bit of work stuff, a few little errands, and some reading.

On that note, I present to you the weekly productivity report:

Reading: I read two more stories in Prime Codex, leaving only one more to go. Of the two I read today, I enjoyed "Rainmakers" by Ruth Nestvold--engaging writing and engaging characters, and it felt very real to me how we got enough closure to give the story a satisfactory ending, but without everything being tied up with a neat bow.

I also started Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell this week, which I would so far describe as the love child of Charles Dickens and Harry Potter. Getting an audio book to listen to in the car was a good idea. It makes my drive to work far more tolerable. And I think Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was a good choice as it's interesting, but also the sort of book I would have had a harder time getting through if I was reading instead of listening as it's rather long, and the narrative moves very slowly--not a good combination if a slow reader like me wants to finish something in a reasonable amount of time.

Exercise: Getting back into the exercise routine has been tough. I managed 20 minutes on the elliptical strider two days this week. And when I couldn't get in real exercise, I played lots of Wii sports--especially boxing, which has got to be burning some calories because I'm totally wiped afterwards.

Music: Except for today, music is about the one thing with which I've managed to maintain normality this week with the usual chorus rehearsals, piano lesson, and practicing schedule.

Writing: About 200 words on Sunday, and about 500 on Wednesday. I'm rubbish.
babarnett: (muppets)
I've actually managed to ease back into productivity mode these last few days better than I would have thought.

Reading: Read two more stories in Prime Codex. "Tides" by Tobias Buckell was sad but lovely, with some truly wonderful world-building. "Urban Renewal" by Tom Pendergrass was a fun little tale in which the little old lady who lived in a shoe meets modern bureaucracy. Only three more stories in the book to go.

And so that I can feel productive while driving to and from work on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I've decided to give audio books a try. I browsed through the selection at the library today and picked up Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

Exercise: Wii Sports counts, right? My right arm and shoulder sure tell me it should after all the tennis and baseball. And the boxing certainly feels like good cardio, though it took until today to finally get an opponent who put up a fight. I knocked out the five before him in the first round. This one at least lasted until the second.

Music: Lots of piano and singing.

Writing Business: Another nice but frustratingly close one from Cemetery Dance: "Nicely written throughout, and good emotion. This one came very close for me--please try us again with something new when we reopen to submissions in 2010."  I will crack this market, damn it. Also a nice one from Shimmer for a different story: "I think it's very well written and I love the evocative details of the piece, but..."  Ah, the ever popular "but" of death.

Writing: I haven't been able to do any writing since last Wednesday, so it was tough getting back into the groove today. But I managed a little bit more on the zombie story, so here's hoping I can pick up steam and find that awesomely productive zone I was in before real life reared its head last week.
babarnett: (Default)
I was going to post my next writerly productivity report last weekend, but due to my father-in-law's death Friday morning, that and many other things didn't happen. But now is when life slowly slouches back toward normality, so here goes:

Reading: I only got through two more stories in Prime Codex. One was "Black Boxes" by fellow Odfellow [ profile] matthewsrotundo  , which I enjoyed. I particularly liked the touches of Poe and Orwell that snuck in there, though the ending felt a touch too quick to me--the protagonist came to his decision regarding his black box without me really getting to be as fully in on the reasoning and significance of that decision as I wanted to be. But still a good tale overall.

Exercise: Got in some pilates and some time on the elliptical strider.

Music: Another week of rehearsals and practicing, plus a concert Sunday afternoon amid all of the funeral-planning hecticness.

Writing Business: Two more rejections, two more stories back out the door. Dear 2009: I'd really like a sale now, please.

Writing: 1,600 more words on the zombie story last week, putting the total words so far just past the 5,000 mark. The end is in sight, though, so I think the first draft will come in under 10K. Man, it's been a while since a short story has taken me this darn long to write. On a positive note, last Wednesday was the best writing day I've had in some time. I plopped myself down in a coffee shop after my piano lesson--just me, my AlphaSmart, and my lunch, with no internet for distraction--and cranked out 1,000 of those 1,600 words .
babarnett: (last unicorn)
The slug reared its ugly head again a few times this week, particularly toward the end of the week. So I didn't get as much writing done as I should have, but some level of productivity was still achieved.

Reading: Read three more stories in Prime Codex: "Sister of the Hedge" by Jim C. Hines (this is one of those stories that I'm going to have to read again in the future to decide what I really think of it, but the fascinating intersection of Sleeping Beauty and Christianity kept me hooked), "Rampion" by Mary Robinette Kowel (short but sweet), and "Salt of Judas" by my Odyssey classmate [ profile] ericjamesstone (the premise of a magical deal with a devil-like character gave the story a slightly familiar feel, but it was well written and enjoyable, which isn't surprising since I've yet to meet a story of Eric's that I didn't like)

Exercise: My knee's feeling a lot better, so I spent this week gradually easing back to my normal exercise level. Well, except for Thursday, when I slacked.  Stupid slug.

Music Stuff: The usual week full of rehearsals, piano lesson, and lots of practicing, particularly for a recital-type program I'm performing in tomorrow.

Writing: Close to a 1,000 more words on the zombie story this week. Not as much as I would have liked, which is my fault since I didn't spend as much time writing as I could have, but when I did write, I was at least cranking out more words than I had previously been doing. I have the feeling this story may end up being one of my longer ones.  It's definitely going to live up to the "crappy first draft" moniker.  But for me, fixing what's already down is the easier part of the process, so that's ok.

Writing Business: I spent far too much time prognostojectioning this week, particularly when I saw a bunch of response times reported for a horror market I'd love to crack. Here's hoping I haven't heard anything yet because the story's being seriously considered and not because things were lost in the Great Postal Submission Abyss.
babarnett: (shaun of the dead)
The Productivity Report since Wednesday:

Read two more stories in Prime Codex. "The Disenchantment of Kivron Ox-master" by Elaine Isaak was quite a fun one.

Exercise: Still taking it easy on my knee, which is now a lovely shade of yellow tinged with pink and purple.  I've done a little bit of Pilates and a little bit on the elliptical strider, but not much else--unless Wii Sports counts.

Music: I think I've made up for taking it easy with the exercise by putting in more time on music.  Piano lesson and choir rehearsal Wednesday night, followed by lots of time practicing piano and working on solo pieces for two upcoming performances.

Writing Business: Stories have been running in and out the door, making such a fuss that it feels like there have been more of them flitting about than there really are.  Two stories have come since Tuesday night, and they both went right back out the door.  Meanwhile, one of their siblings finally made up his mind about which slush pile he wanted to visit, and another story who had been moping around waiting for an appropriate market to open finally got to grab his stuff and head out the door.

On another writing business note, today I was pleased to find out that Flash Fiction Online has now been approved as a SFWA-qualifying market--not only because it's a great market, but because that means I now have a SFWA-qualifying credit to my name!

Writing: About 1,000 more words done on the zombie story. There unfortunately wasn't much time for writing the past few days, so most of that wordage was from earlier today. This story keeps surprising me, which has been fun.  I didn't have much of a clue where I was going with it when I started, but I certainly didn't expect to have a half-zombified character sitting in the middle of post-apocalyptic Philadelphia singing an aria from Parsifal.

Speaking of music working its way into my writing...

Despite being a musician, for the longest time I found it difficult to write about music--I just didn't know how to put my experience of it into the right words.  But when writing the first draft of my novel, it seemed appropraite to have one of my characters playing a lute in his first scene, and I realized that I finally did have the right words.  Maybe those words had been there all along and I had only just learned how to tap into them.  Whatever the case, it definitely opened up something in my brain, because music has been creeping into my writing more and more since then.  My writing stable now has a story about a lyre player in a city where the arts have been outlawed (recently got a hold notice from ASIM for that one, so fingers crossed), a soldier who keeps his soul in a violin (that'll be getting a major rewrite in the near future), an immortal woman cursed to feed on the songs/spirits of other women (only recently started making the submission rounds), and now a poor opera-loving chap who's been bitten by a zombie.
babarnett: (ash boomstick)
Slowly but surely, the productivity groove is being re-established. I feel like I have a much better grip on the new job now, and today I got my first grant proposal for them out the door, so yay. Another week or two, and life may start feeling normal again.

I had a fun weekend that went by way too quickly: wine tastings Saturday afternoon, a fun dinner with [ profile] shvetufae and our significant other-types Saturday evening, and an afternoon of wackiness with my writing group in Philly on Sunday. And on either side of all that, there was productivity.  So on that note, here's the productivity report since Friday:

Reading: I've read and enjoyed the first three stories in Prime Codex: "To the East, a Bright Star" by James Maxey, "Ticktock Girl" by Cat Rambo, and "The Man With Great Despair Behind His Eyes" by Ken Scholes.

Exercise: Got in 20 minutes on the elliptical strider on Friday, but had to take yesterday and today off due to injury. Coming home from my writing group meeting on Sunday, I slipped in the train station and banged my left knee on the floor. There's a big honking bruise there now, but otherwise it's ok--luckily, I hit just below the kneecap.  I think I can safely resume exercising tomorrow.

Music: Lots of piano playing and singing. We were short altos for the second week in a row in my church choir, so I got to be a switch hitter, which has led to everyone dubbing me a sopralto.

Writing-Related Stuff: I had to crit two stories for Sunday's writing group meeting, and I was quite relieved to be free of critique dread for the first time in a long time.  Woo hoo! In the submissions department, two stories have come home.  One went right back out the door, but the other one is torn about whose slush pile it wants to visit next.  I'll give it a few days, but any longer than that and it's gonna have to start paying rent if it wants to stay on my hard drive.

Writing: A little over 500 words (maybe more) on the zombie story.  Not phenomenal progress, but I think I'm finally getting a better sense of what this story wants to be, which might help me get through the rest of the first draft faster now that I won't be groping my way around in the dark anymore.
babarnett: (shaun of the dead)
Two weeks ago, I had all the time in the world. Now with the new job and a bunch of other stuff that's landed on my plate, I find myself suddenly submerged in the world of twenty gazillion things to do at once.  Quite an adjustment.  My brain threatened to explode a couple times yesterday and today, but thankfully, the bomb squad got in there and defused it before it was too late.  Basically, I started to feel a little overwhelmed by the new job yesterday (ah, grant deadlines, how little I have missed you).  But I gave myself a "you can do this" pep talk and reminded myself that it's going to feel crazier the first week when I'm still familiarizing myself with the organization's programs. That helped, and all is well.  Busy, but well.

On that note, the productivity report for the past few days:

Reading: Finished Musicophilia and enjoyed it very much.  It doesn't come to any grand conclusions about music and the brain, but the stories and various conditions described are extremely fascinating, especially to a music nerd like me.  I think if I read something like this in or before college, I suspect I would have pursued music therapy instead of a performance degree.

This morning I plowed through a book on boards for performing arts organizations that my boss wanted me to read.  Useful info for my line of work, though not an overly exciting read.  Tomorrow I'm hoping to start Prime Codex, which has been sitting on my shelf for far too long.  I will make a dent in this huge pile of unread books this year. Oh, yes.

Exercise: Pilates on Monday, slacked on Tuesday due to craziness, 20 minutes on the elliptical strider today

Music: Had chorus rehearsals Monday and tonight, and got in some piano practice on Tuesday

Writing: The writing fell by the wayside last week, but I finally got back to it today.  I only wrote for about an hour (maybe a little more), but I got in about 500 words on the zombie story. That's actually pretty darn good compared to most of my writing days these past few weeks.


babarnett: (Default)

December 2013



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