Good morning, team. The calendar tells me that it is currently July. I don’t want to call the calendar a liar, but my high today is 77 degrees, and it’s currently quite grey and dingy outside my shop window. Not exactly a typical summer day in Kansas. (Yesterday it was humid as hell and in the 90s, so really, it’s being unpredictable — just like Kansas is wont to do.)
As a person, having checking-in mechanisms is very important to both my mental health and my sense of progress. Why not use the blog to talk about what I did and the game plan? So, if you’re interested, here’s how June went in terms of writing.
June was exciting! I had my first purchased-and-published short story come out in Issue 022 of Luna Station Quarterly. You can read about in a post I wrote earlier this month. Even better, you can read “Her Data Like Fingerprints” on the Luna Station Quarterly website right now! Here’s a chunk of it, for proper enticement purposes:
Only about a third of the overhead lights actually came on as the machine lumbered out of its sleep mode, just enough to highlight the towers and a single chair sitting parallel to the main unit. The fifteen gleaming towers were each taller and broader than she stood. Those had been different when her father built them, condensed to fill just three-quarters of the garage. They had been set up on the other side of the wall from where they did all the software testing. Her mother had always complained about the draft from the hole her father had drilled to allow cables to pass through the wall.
The main unit of the arX sat at the forefront of those towers, much smaller and cylindrical. The cameras that tessellated its surface were hidden behind hard lenses, each gleaming in the dim light. On the chair sat a tablet, the single peripheral designed for communication.
You could also look at this picture of my boyfriend being just really excited when the book arrived.
I also had a short story post to our local writer’s group blog, The Confabulator Cafe: The Queen’s Skin. Our prompt last month was to pull a title from a word cloud — but the words had to be next to each other. Here, have this excerpt:
Nicoletta looked out the window to the planet below, at the churning swirls of cloud obscuring the landmasses she knew to be there. Two years ago the storms had been frequent, but now they were unending, the planet below deluged. Her chief advisor assured her time and again that her people below had been working around the planet’s unforgiving weather for centuries. A tug at her ankle brought the queen’s attention back to her servant. “Have you been below?”
The girl didn’t look up from her work of winding and fastening the ribbon of the queen’s sandals. “I was remade below. We all are.”
Nicoletta scowled. She had no recollection of being remade below.
So, you should consider reading that now.
The Actual Progress, June 2015
Well… It didn’t exactly go great. I keep track of my daily writing (and project word counts) in a very official spreadsheet, with statistics and everything. And this is how June went:
My real goal in all of this has been to treat my writing as habitually as I treat my food log — to make writing daily as common as logging daily has become. It took me a long time to get to that point with food, so I feel like this is generally okay progress. Not great, but nothing happens overnight.
That said, I need to try to get up to the 1,000 words a day on a more regular basis. I know that’s an arbitrary thing, but I spent most of the month of June in one scene, in one setting, and the story has started to sour for me because of it. Like, I’m so sick of these two characters sitting on a ship — especially because we’re at the setup portion of the adventure. They haven’t even started the adventure yet! It’s a motivation killer to look at your story and feel like it’s going nowhere, and only writing 200 – 500 words a day definitely feels like going nowhere for me.
Plans for July 2015
I’ll have another short story posting to The Confabulator Cafe in July. Two months in a row?! Madness! You can see the whole schedule on our website, with ten different stories in the line-up.
I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo with a bunch of people in my writer’s group this month. I’ve lowered my “official” word count goal in the spreadsheet to 1,000 words per day. I don’t expect to hit that every day — for one thing, my weekends in July are pretty packed. But if I can average out and make decent headway in the four projects I’ve set out to finish? I’ll consider that a pretty good start.