~~ "She has so many aliases, you'd think she was a spy!" ~~

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Adventures now and then

Have I mentioned Ken’s off on another adventure? Yes, he is! Three weeks on the bike, going all over the place. (If you want to follow his movements, he’s got a tracker on the bike; e-mail me privately for the link.)

He left Tuesday afternoon and hit Arkansas today, where he’s visiting his 96-year-old grandmother and his aunt. Tomorrow he heads up to Missouri, out of which he’ll be running a rally over the weekend. Then it’s off to Boston to touch base with a customer. By Tuesday he’ll be in upstate NY, where he’ll be helping my mom out for a week. (Best. Husband. EVER.) After that, he’ll shoot across to Utah, run another rally, then come home.

Of course, July is already filling up, trip-wise. We’ll be down in San Diego for a couple of days to attend CP Prize, because as Kingdom Chronicler I kinda hafta be there.  ;-)  But the really fun trip will come after that…

I’m taking a weekend-long OWN workshop on Mystery Structure (since I wasn’t able to take the week-long Mystery workshop in May), so we’re making a working vacation out of it! We’ll ride up, hopefully visiting my sister on the way, and visit friends in Portland as well. Ken’s arranging to do some training/work at the customer site there, and also plans to do his IBR talk at a couple of BMW dealers. And, of course, Powells. Which we’ll have to do early, so I can ship the books home, because it’s doubtful we’d be able to squeeze them all into the bike bags!

Then we have to get back to southern California, because we have tickets to Queensryche’s Cabaret show! Whoo!

As the end of June nears, I’ll plot out my work calendar for July, taking all that into account. I won’t be able to be as productive in July…but then again, I know I’ll be coming out of the workshop with a few new novel proposals and stories!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Energized and aggressive

Another week—and I’m energized and excited to hit the ground running!

I’m setting myself some aggressive goals for June, and trying a new way of keeping myself on track. When I was working on the latest CES assignment, which was a novella, I knew the deadline was a little tight because of various travel I had planned in June. Plus the client requested to see each 5000-word section as I finished it. So I set up a calendar, blocked out the days I wouldn’t get much, if any, writing done, and figured out how much I had to write on each of the other days to get the job done. I also noted what the total word count would be when I hit each day’s goal.

For some reason, this visual worked exceptionally well. Sure, I had to modify it when things changed, but that was easy enough, and kept me focused.

So I’ve done the same thing for June, noting all the projects I want to work on—and how many days I’m giving myself to work on each one. Saying “I’ll do X this week” is less effective for me than seeing “X on MTW, Y on ThF, and Z on SSu” blocked out on a calendar. Dunno why, but there you have it. Just the way my brain seems to work.

My overall goals for June—which, as I said, are aggressive—are…
  • get an overdue story to the editor (who kindly allowed me a few grace days)
  • get everything done for Out of the Frying Pan and back to Teresa
  • do the edits/rewrites for Waking the Witch and get them to the editor who requested them
  • write Chapter 3 of Seasoned With Danger and submit it to the first wave of publishers
  • do a brief polish through What Beck’ning Ghost (because I wrote it 20 years ago [holy crap!] and I want to make sure nothing’s extremely dated in it), write a fresh proposal, and submit it to the first wave of publishers
  • write a story for the Mountain Magic anthology
  • write a story fort the Crossed Genres anthology
  • write a story for Alison’s Bondage anthology
  • write (or at least start) a story for Kristina’s Dream Lovers anthology
  • pitch rose beads article to Renaissance Magazine (if time)
  • prep “In Her Hands” for Kindle, etc. (if time)

Novels take precedence over short stories, although I’ve blocked out days for each story, in between novel work. I figure that’ll also give my brain time to recharge between each type of project.

So that’ll be two new novel proposals in the mail, along with the two already in progress, and four new stories.

I’m not sure if I’m ready to publicly talk about my bigger goal for the year… For now I’ll just say that it’s also aggressive, and novel-focused. It’s been too easy for me to use story deadlines as an excuse to put of working on this novel or that one. But that’s not where I need to focus to make my career goals.

I’ve got the big picture more firmly in mind now, and I’m breaking it down into smaller and smaller steps so that I can achieve it.

Now, back to that short story!

(Oh, and I'm so chuffed: the CES client loved the novella! Yay!)