babarnett: (Default)
Tomorrow I head off to the The Never-Ending Odyssey (aka TNEO), a week-long workshop for alumni of the six-week Odyssey Writing Workshop, so my current LJ scarcity will likely become even scarcer. But before I head out, an actual post!

Gearing up for TNEO over the last several weeks got me wondering: just how much have I really grown as a writer since attending Odyssey in 2007?

Writing workshops are most definitely not for everyone, but for some of us, they can be an amazing, inspiring, eye-opening experience. And contrary to what some would suggest, not all writing workshops result in cookie-cutter stories written to some kind of formula. I’m sure there are some that do, but my Odyssey classmates and I went into the program as very different writers, and we all came out of the program remaining very different writers.

Had I not attended Odyssey and just continued writing and seeking feedback on my work, I’m sure I would have still improved and grown as a writer over time. But I think Odyssey pushed me in the right direction harder and faster than I would have been able to do on my own. The question, though: how do you quantify that?

Writing success can be subjective and dependent on factors other than talent or the strength of a story. (Sure, you wrote a fantastic story about radioactive bunnies, but Magazine A just published a story about radioactive bunnies.) And of course, sales and artistic merit don’t always go hand in hand. (Repeat to self: I will not rant about sparkly vampires.) But because I’m someone who writes with the hope of achieving publication success, sales are probably the best measure I have to go with. That, and I'm one of those sick people who actually enjoys crunching numbers.

Crunching and analysis under the cut... )

I doubt my data will be all that interesting to anyone other than myself, but if you have your own stories of workshop experiences or realizations about your growth as a writer, please feel free to share in the comments.
babarnett: (mulder google)
It occurs to me that I may be entirely too obsessive.  It's a good trait to have when your day job involves a constant stream of deadlines for grant proposals and reports and people wanting to know when you're going to hear back on the proposal you only just sent five seconds ago.  But as a writer tossing short stories out into Submission Land…[Poll #1653193]
babarnett: (torchwood ianto monday)
1. I'm pretty meticulous about keeping track of my submissions, so it came as a bit of surprise when I went to record a rejection on my handy dandy spreadsheet only to discover that I had already submitted the story to that magazine once before. Doh!  Don't know how I managed to miss that before sending it the second time.

2. Oh, writerly anxiety dreams, you can go away now.  I had one in which one of my upcoming publications had gone live and readers were unanimously agreed in their comments that the story was horrible.  Luckily, my brain made up for that dream by also giving me one involving a bunny and a cute baby pig playing together.  It was adorable.

3. Second scene of the chapter 1 rewrite? Done!

4. I never want to rewrite this chapter ever again. Ever.

5. Wii Sports Resort.  Swordplay.  You get to take on hordes.  My arms ache now, but it was totally worth it.
babarnett: (dr. horrible ahhhh)
1. Gaaaaaah!  That sums up recent weeks for me and explains my scattered internet presence as of late.

2. As a dreadfully slow reader, I cower when faced with a book large enough to bludgeon someone to death with.  So when I recently saw a book review on Amazon that began by expressing disappointment at the sheer size of the novel, I thought I had found a kindred spirit--until it turned out that their disappointment stemmed from 400 pages being far too short for their tastes.

3. I forget what got me thinking about this the other day, but it's fascinating how sometimes, because of cliches and expectations, the change of one minor detail in what is otherwise the same exact story can garner totally different reactions.  One story of mine originally included a drug-induced dream sequence with a talking cat.  After two rejections bemoaned it as being yet another talking cat story, I changed the cat to a pug.  I believe I quite literally did a find-and-replace of "cat" for "pug" in the document.  Next rejection? "The talking pug was great."

4. Story passed up the editorial food chain at Realms of Fantasy.  *squees while crossing fingers*

5.  *Looks at pile of critiques that need to be done* Gaaaaah!
babarnett: (torchwood ianto monday)
I'm not even going to try to catch up on all the flist action from last several days.  So if you experienced awesomeness or some other kind of -ness worth noting and I missed it, fill me in.  As for me, it's been:

Week before last = Strong with the suck
Last week = Strong with the suck
Weekend = Busy but pleasant and over too damn quick
Today = Strong with suck

I'm noticing a pattern.  Luckily, Wii Boxing proved a good antidote to today.  Yay for healthily channeled aggression!

The Writerly Update
All the aforementioned suck has meant little writing time and little progress.  Blah.

Submission Land
On the less sucky side, I scored my first-ever pass up to GVG at F&SF:  "One of my readers liked this story a lot, but I'm afraid I didn't connect with it."  Same story got me a "your story was close" from Clarkesworld and probably only my third ever personal rejection from Strange Horizons, so I have faith in the little bugger.  Sell, damn you!  Sell!
babarnett: (farscape aeryn genius)
So, last week?  It sucked a lot.  No writing time over the weekend?  Also sucked.  And rain and wind strong enough to knock over a big-ass pine tree and street light in the neighborhood when you're trying to move large pieces of furniture?  Yeah, that sucks too.

The Writerly Update
Close to 600 words into what is now chapter 12.  More revision wordage would have been nice, but considering the aforementioned suck, I’m amazed I got that much.

The Readerly Update
I’ve been reading On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman, which has some really fascinating (and sometimes disturbing) stuff in it.  I put it on my “to read” list after [ profile] j_cheney had posted about it some time back.  It sounded like it’d be a good resource for a short story I’ve been planning to rewrite, and it’s delivering on that front.  What I didn’t realize was how useful it’d be for my novel rewrite as well.

Submission Land
I don’t think I’ve ever had this many submissions out at the 100-day+ mark all at one time before.  Luckily, working on the novel rewrite instead of a short stories at present has me obsessing over this less than I normally would.

Random Literary/Theatrical Musings
I saw a production of Romeo & Juliet Thursday night.  It’s been a while since I’ve read it or seen it performed, and the production made me realize why, unlike a lot of other Shakespeare, I don’t love this play.  Two things in particular: 1) The supporting characters are far more interesting than the protagonists.  I spend most of the play wanting to slap them.  2) After Romeo and Juliet have bit it and brought their angsty histrionics to an end, we have this moment where the friar stands there in the tomb telling the other characters everything we just saw happen.  "As You Know, Audience..."
babarnett: (mulder google)
So, this is supposed to be a writing journal or something.  I should probably return you all to your regularly scheduled programming.

Novel Land
Sloooooow progress on the novel last week.  I squeezed in what time I could, but it just wasn't enough to finish the current chapter despite being so close to the end of it.  Hopefully I can get some extra non-train ride writing time in tonight and this weekend, because I'm having fun with this story right now.  It's awesome how much things have improved after giving one secondary character a personality transplant.  Too bad I still need to kill him.

Workshop Land
So, Odfellows on the flist: who else is doing TNEO this summer?  The good news is that I'm going this year.  The bad news is that it's only because we have to take two-week furloughs at work.

Submission Land
And I've reached the 25-day mark with a submission at F&SF.  What are the odds of two stories in a row getting lost in the mail?  Because that would suck.
babarnett: (torchwood ianto monday)
Normally, I hate snow unless I'm on skis.  And since I haven't been skiing in years, that means I haven't liked snow in years.

Yet I have to give a small amount of thanks to this past weekend's Snowpocalypse.  I didn't enjoy the shoveling and the resulting achy back, and I'll be cranky until this stuff melts, but because I was snowed out of the weekend's scheduled activities, a beautiful thing occurred: I sat there with my computer on my lap for several hours and put in some quality writing time.  Saturday I finished a requested short story rewrite and shipped it off.   Sunday I got in some work on the novel, and as a result:

31200 / 118000

Chapter 8 is almost done and will be much shorter than its original bloated self. I haven't had that much writing time on my hands in a while, and it was great.

On the Submission Land front, you know what's getting really frustrating?  Having fantasy stories rejected by some markets for being too traditional while others reject them for not being traditional enough.  Too little sword in my sorcery here, too much sword in my sorcery there.  Do I really drive down the middle of the road that consistently with my fantasy?  Because that's depressing.
babarnett: (kermit needs coffee)
The past week and a half or so I've been drowning in the Sea of Far Too Much to Do.  I am in need of this on a t-shirt:

Despite the recent burst of insanity in my life, none of which would make for an interesting blog post (unless grant proposals, church newsletters, reluctant improv game participants, and karaoke are all more exciting than I think they are), I managed to revise "Mortis Persona" and send it off into Submission Land.  The countdown to rejection #1 begins...

In the meantime, I've managed to crawl out of the Sea of Far Too Much to Do and onto the shores of the Isle of Still Busy But At Least I Can Sleep Now--until the next wave of crazy pulls me back out to sea, that is.  I'm not going to even try to catch up my flist.  Instead, now that I've popped in long enough to say I'm still alive (and because the caffeine is wearing off), I'm going to take a nap.
babarnett: (muppets)
After a nice and relaxing week down the shore, I'm back home and emerging from my vacation-induced LJ hiatus.  I'm not even going to try to catch up with flist posts, so my apologies if I've missed anything terribly exciting.

Reading Update
Finished Writers of the Future XXIV. Now that I've read the whole thing, my favorite stories from my last reading update still remain among my favorites and are now joined by "Cruciger" by Erin Cashier ([ profile] therinth ).  There were a few pieces that left me disappointed by the ending or with a general feeling of "meh" toward the story as a whole, but overall, I enjoyed far more of the stories than not, so that made the book worth the read.

Submission Land
Seeing "I am sure another editor will snap this up" in rejections should be encouraging, but for me it has become the Mark of Doom.  Or at least the Mark of Don't Hold Your Breath Because You Will Not Be Selling This Any Time Soon.  One story of mine is currently sitting in its eighteenth slush pile two years after receiving a comment like that while another is in its seventeenth slush pile three and a half years later.  And I never did find an agent way back when despite that lovely handwritten note on one rejection that included a similar Mark of Doom (though that may be a good thing in retrospect given the massive overhaul that novel is getting).  So now that I've recently received not one but two Marks of Doom on a flash story, it's time to come up with a really long list of potential markets for it, 'cause it's gonna be a while. 

This is why I've come to prefer "I hope this one finds a good home soon."  As well-meaning as it is, whenever an editor is "sure" or "certain" of my story's good luck, my instinct now is to crawl into a corner and cry.

Other Writerly Updates
I've added "To Worship Death" (from issue 4 of Fictitious Force) to my stories available for purchase at AnthologyBuilder.

The other day I got the proofs for my story in Shimmer's Clockwork Jungle Book issue, which now looks like it should be coming out in early September.  Looking forward to seeing my little lemur on a dirigible in print!

One of my favorite parts of my yearly shore trip is the Stone Harbor Craft Fair.  This year, I found this little guy (from Cutesy but not Cutesy), whom I have dubbed Unifish:

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: (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: (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: (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: (last unicorn)
Didn't have time to post the productivity report last night.  The spousal unit and I went to see a friend in a production of 42nd Street.  Man, is there ever a special place in hell reserved for people in the audience who sing along with the show.  I paid to hear the actors on stage, lady, not your caterwauling.

Onto yesterday's productivity report, in which the slug gains some more points:

Reading: Finished the third section of Musicophilia

Exercising: 25 minutes on the strider

Music Stuff: Didn't happen again, and I have no good excuse not to have snuck in some piano yesterday. Point to the slug.

Writing Business: Another story came home, hanging its head and sniffling before finally admitting, "Mom, the teacher gave me a form letter again." I patted the little guy on the head, gave him a pep talk ("Don't forget all those encouraging notes you've gotten, dear"), and sent him back out the door.  Sure, he's not as gifted as some of his siblings, but he works hard, and he's still got something to offer.

Writing: This is where I achieved epic fail yesterday.  One word.  Maybe two.  The slug triumphed. Stupid slug.

On a better note, if all goes well, I may soon have to alter the daily productivity schedule to include gainful employment. Not definite yet, but as of this morning, it's looking pretty good.
babarnett: (shaun of the dead)
I was feeling a lot better today, though definitely not a 100%, which made the temptation to give into slugdom tempting. So I wasn't hugely productive, but I slogged forward, and slogging forward is better than sitting there on my ass playing mahjong all day.

Reading: Yet more of Musicophilia. I've got one chapter left in the third section, which has been dealing with music and movement--lots of stories about how music can help people with things like Tourette's and Parkinson's. I should be able to finish the fourth and final section of the book by the end of next week.

Exercising: An easy 15 minutes of pilates since I still wasn't feeling all that hot

Music Stuff: No practicing today, but that was anticipated, so no points to the slug. We had tickets to go see a play called My Name Is Asher Lev (adapted from the novel by Chaim Potok) tonight, so it was dinner in Philly followed by the play in place of practice time.

Writing Business: I had a story sitting in the bullpen, eagerly waiting for the next market on the list to re-open to subs, but then someone pointed the way to a new anthology: Escape Clause. So I sent that eager little story trotting out onto the field, pitching arm ready.

Writing: Got a little bit of work in on the zombie short story


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December 2013



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