Works in progress: this week, this past month (#SFWApro)

regal plushFirst off, let us pause to admire his highness, King Plushie.

Done? Okay then, let’s talk about my goals for May. Once again, I accomplished around 75 percent. The writing related ones included replotting Southern Discomfort; writing 12,000 words of the next draft (I got well beyond that); submitting four short stories to new markets; finishing and submitting Schloss and the Switchblade; revising an older story, The Glory That Was; and confirming Questionable Minds is still in consideration at Angry Robot Books (it is, in the sense they haven’t looked at it yet).

Personal goals included a Mother’s Day Skype with Mum (I know, who else would I be calling?), supergluing a broken mug (one of my get-it-done goals), and taking Trixie out walking alone at least once a week (she has much more energy than Plushie, so she wants longer, faster walkies).

My week’s work went well too, though it was bogged down by lack of sleep at times (various reasons). I’m up to around 25,000 words on Southern Discomfort; finished making changes to Impossible Takes a Little Longer; and got some more of the indexing done for Now and Then in Time.

My outline for this draft of Southern Discomfort held up well, to the point I was up to 25,000 words by Thursday (it went so well I focused much more on that than I’d planned). The plot holds together and so do the character arcs: Maria’s motivation is stronger and the supporting characters have much more life. But today I realized the last two chapters I’ve written have Maria sliding back to her “observer” role rather than being driven by her very good reason. I began rewriting the last 5,000 words with that in mind and amped up her emotional tension at the start of the section. That changed things enough, though, that I need to rewrite all of her subsequent scenes, and I just couldn’t seem to fix them. No worries, I’ll look again on Monday when I’m fresh — if this is the worst blip I run into, I’ll be lucky.

There was also a great moment at this week’s writing group: my friend Maggie Presley Rogers read a hysterically funny story, “Tuna for Bast,” and M. David Blake, who’s the editor of Straeon magazine as well as a group member (and a writer, the author of “Absinthe Fish”), said if she wants to send it to him for the next issue, it’s sold. That’s pretty cool (and well deserved, the story was great).

On another cheerful note, Plushie is off crate rest this week. We’re still gating off the stairs (really bad for his back) and also gating off one of the living room chairs he likes jumping on and off of (ditto—plus he then likes climbing onto a side table and that has no good ending). Otherwise, he’s free to roam, and tussle with Trixie and just be his doggy self. Easier on everyone (fingers crossed that it’ll be a while until next back incident).

On a less cheerful note, I’ve been bombarded by spam comments from one particular source, though apparently the variation in phrasing and email address (all different but trust me, it’s the same source) is enough to get through the filter. So I have to delete by hand. A minor annoyance.

To get back to cheerful, here’s Trixie with her I’m Sooo Lonely expression distracting me from work. But needless to say I forgive her.

trixie eyes


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Filed under Impossible Takes a Little Longer, Now and Then We Time Travel, Short Stories, Story Problems, The Dog Ate My Homework, Writing

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