The Quarterly Writing Round Up!- Q1, 2017

Reminder:  For the second year in a row (go me!) I have made a set of yearly goals I would like to accomplish, and I’m breaking them down by quarter for you guys, so you can see where I am. And also so can see where I am, because sometimes I forget? And I get distracted? So I need this reminder every few months, it’s hella important to me. I appreciate your time and attention as I reorient myself in my life 🙂

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Here’s a recap of my goals for the year, in case you don’t want to go back and read the original post:

Overall goals for the year: Edit and (Finished, Q1) Publish “The Stars Are Fire” (now titled “Doubt The Stars”); Write, Edit, and Post “Good Intentions”; Finish Writing “Double The Baggins, Twice The Took”; Finish Writing “Wonderland Reclaimed”; Write first draft of Tempest in Space novel (tentatively titled “Such Stuff As Dreams”)

Okay, so I finished, like half of a goal this quarter. But, hey! Progress! And I did make some progress toward most of the others too, so it wasn’t a total waste 🙂

Here’s my WordKeeper Alpha graph for the year so far!

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As you can see, I’ve spent the majority of my time and energy on the self-edit of my novel from November, “Doubt The Stars”, which I’m feeling pretty good about. DBTT is also coming along nicely, so that’s two of my goals I’ve made significant progress on. I wish I’d spent more time on my “Good Intentions” outline, but I am only human, after all.

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Here’s the month by month breakdown!

Quarter One, 2017- Review

JanuaryFirst month of NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?” months, focusing on revising and editing. TSAF- make character sketches, flesh out settings, build up the system of planets, research the tech, and figure out my themes. Dictate my brainstorming for “Good Intentions”. Post four chapters of DBTT.

  • Um… Some of this happened. The posting of the chapters happened! The dictating experiment was a giant pile of fail.

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Apparently, I can’t words through my face, only through my fingers. I did a lot of wording with my fingers this month, so that was good. It was also the month that I admitted to myself that writing of the words was more important than the posting of the words and lowered my chapter goal from four to two. I also wasted a lot of time on a little story that no one cared about and I will probably never finish, but it was fun while it lasted 🙂

FebruarySecond month of NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?”. Self-edit TSAF. Continue to dictate brainstorming for “Good Intentions”. Post four chapters of DBTT (possibly start dictating new words?).

  • Ugh. The self-edit. The self-edit that I thought was going to take a month and instead took over my life for the better part of two months.

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I still managed to write the words I needed and post the chapters I needed, so that was good, but I went through a pretty terrible episode in which I was almost convinced I was never going to be finished with this book. I got out of it, but it was tough.

MarchGive TSAF to a select number of readers for feedback. Translate my dictation brainstorming to a workable outline for “Good Intentions”. Post four chapters of DBTT and write 25,000 new words (possibly through dictation).

  • So, since I obviously wasn’t finished with edits by March, the giving to readers thing didn’t happen. I did manage to finish the edits, so I’m only a month behind where I wanted to be. The outline of “Good Intentions” happened in the most basic sense, and if you add it up, I actually wrote more than the 25,000 words I had planned to write in March. I just stretched it out over a three month period, which I am completely fine with!

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I wish that I was able to post chapters faster, but I’m trying not to beat myself up over it. I just need to focus and readjust my goals for the rest of the year. Yeah, things are… fine. They’re fine. o.O

Quarter Two, 2017- Goals

So, my plan for the year has (of course) been derailed already and we’re only three months in. But that’s okay! Trying to stay positive! I can do this!

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So, Quarter Two goals! Here we go:

April: Give “Doubt The Stars” to beta-readers. Write 50,000 words on “Good Intentions” for Camp NaNoWriMo. Post two chapters of “Double the Baggins, Twice the Took”.

May: Read the feedback from beta-readers, revise “Doubt The Stars”, send to editors for sample edits and decide on professional editor. Finish the first draft of “Good Intentions”, let rest for the rest of the month. Post two chapters of DBTT, write 10,000 new words.

June: Send “Doubt The Stars” to professional editor, begin search for cover designer, start working on back matter, dedications, acknowledgements, and links to include. “Good Intentions” pre-edit prep. Post two chapters of DBTT, write 10,000 new words.

Wow. That’s a lot of stuff. But actually, it all seems… very doable. Is that crazy? I feel like that’s crazy.

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Thanks, John Green 🙂 Alright, you guys, I’m gonna try to do better with keeping up with the blog from now on, so stay tuned! See ya!

 

 

Once More Unto The (Writing) Breach- March 2017

March has come and gone, and April is well underway! Let’s take a moment to reflect…

What I’ve Accomplished This Month

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…woah. Okay, let’s break that down a little bit:

I got SO MUCH DONE on this story!

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It’s been going so well, I’m very, very pleased! And yes, you read that right, I am working on the sequel already. I’ve actually been working on the sequel in bits and pieces for some time. It’s gone through several iterations, so I’m not even sure if this one will stick, but I had a great idea for a scene, so I had to write it down 🙂

  • “Doubt The Stars” Revision- Self-edit finished!

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HA! Suck it, negativity! I did not let you defeat me this time! The self-edit is done, and now it is in the capable hands of my beta-readers…

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Yeah, I’m sure it’s fine. I’ll be fine. O.O

  • Good Intentions outline- 2,129 words written

Okay, I didn’t finish the outline, but I DID get a lot of things written down and worked out, so I feel pretty confident that I can proceed from here. Speaking of that, let’s talk about:

What’s Coming Up in April

  • Camp NaNoWriMo- Good Intentions (Age of Ultron fic) first draft

That’s right folks, it’s that time of year again!

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I’ve set my Camp NaNo goal at 50,000 words this month, but my stretch goal is 80,000 words, roughly the length of the last Avengers fic I wrote, “Clarity“. I would love to have this first draft finished by the end of April, but I’m being realistic because (I’ll be honest here) I’m exhausted. Like, really really tired.

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So if I get my 50k, I’ll feel good about myself. What does that say about me, that 50,000 words feels like a break…?

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  • Post two chapters of DBTT

I’m not even going to make a writing goal for this fic in April. Because I’m crazy (see above), but I’m not that crazy. If the writing for “Good Intentions” is going well, who knows what might happen, but I’m not gonna commit myself. However, my posting schedule shouldn’t be affected (like it has been in months past), since I have several chapters in reserve that just need tweaking.

Hopefully. Barring unforeseen disaster. *crosses fingers*

And now, the real reason you all read this blog:

Fog’s Cute Animal of the Month

You might recognize this picture that got passed around the internet several years ago:

 

 

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However, that is not, in fact, a baby giraffe (seriously, giraffes are huge, yo, even as babies…), that is actually a dik-dik!

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The dik-dik is a tiny species of antelope (they barely grow over a foot tall!), that gets its name from the whistling call it makes when they’re upset or alarmed.

Here’s a clip (their noses extend when they whistle and it is THE CUTEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN!!!):

And look, more pictures!

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This is a problem I need to have…

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This picture is just begging for a meme, but I’m coming up blank…

There you go, your dose of cute (and reminder not to believe everything you see on the internet ;P). See you next time!

A Hobbit’s Walking Tale- March 2017

A Hobbit’s Walking Tale by fogisbeautiful

  • Miles Walked This Month (February 27th-March 31st):  58.6 miles
  • Total Miles Walked:  868.8 miles
  • Milestones Reached: Leave the Path, Elven Prison

“Why did you and your folk three times try to attack my people at their merrymaking?” asked the king.

“We did not attack them,” answered Thorin; “we came to beg, because we were starving.”

“Where are your friends now, and what are they doing?”

“I don’t know, but I expect starving in the forest.”

“What were you doing in the forest?”

“Looking for food and drink, because we were starving.”

“But what brought you into the forest at all?” asked the king angrily.

At that Thorin shut his mouth and would not say another word.

~The Hobbit, Chapter 8: Flies and Spiders

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Go ahead… Tell me you were starving… ONE MORE GODDAMN TIME…

I’m sorry, but this scene just cracks me up every time I read it, I can’t even ;P

So, I didn’t get a lot of walking done, but at least we’re imprisoned now, so YAY! Now we just have to escape and convince Laketown to take us in. We can do this, right? Yeah, we can totally do this 🙂

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Have You Hugged A Book Today?- March 2017

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I’m finally ahead on my reading challenge! 😀 That’s probably because I had twenty hours of driving I didn’t expect this month, but yay! I’m not failing at something!

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Anyway, I read a lot of pretty great books, let’s get started!

Here’s the link to my star rating breakdown if anyone needs a refresher. It’s also up in the header.

  • Books I’m Currently Reading:
    1. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne- This is one I’ve read before, but I thought it would be good to review considering I’m right in the middle of editing my novel. I haven’t made a lot of progress on it, because I’ve been so busy, but I’m hoping to get some more in the next month.
    2. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell- This book is super adorable and really touching so far. I’m excited to see what happens next!
    3. His Majesty’s Dragon(Temeraire, #1) by Naomi Novik- I just started this one, but it is already SO CUTE, I am dying inside! I honestly did not expect a book about dragons during the Napoleonic wars to have me squealing like a small child, but seriously, my heart can’t take much more of this…
  • Books I’ve Finished:
    1. Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, #2) by Jim Butcher- Four Stars
    2. The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo- Five Stars
    3. Miles, Mutants and Microbes (Vorkosigan Omnibus, #5) by Lois McMaster Bujold- Five Stars
    4. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett- Five Stars
    5. Daredevil: The Devil, Inside and Out, Vol. 1 by Ed Brubaker- Five Stars
    6. Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3) by Jim Butcher- Five Stars
    7. Young Avengers, Vol 1: Style > Substance by Kieron Gillen- Four Stars
    8. Young Avengers, Vol 2: Alternative Culture by Kieron Gillen- Five Stars
    9. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1) by Deborah Harkness- Five Stars

Fog’s Book of the Month

The Girl Who Drank the MoonThe Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can’t believe I haven’t already written a review of this book. It was so beautifully done, full of childish wonder and adorable creatures, while at the same time showing just how terrible the world can truly be. I loved the underlying themes of curiosity and the power of knowledge, encouraging you to question the world around you, not in a negative way, but just to understand how things work and why things are the way they are rather than accepting them blindly. I also loved how there were several moments in which the heroes of the story, the characters we are meant to look up to and trust, made mistakes in the name of maintaining the peace and order of their lives. Facing the truth is hard, but necessary, and making the choice to sweep things under the rug or pretend that they aren’t happening isn’t helping anyone. It will always come back around.
On the surface, the book is just a great read, full of humor and fantastical whimsy with plenty of surprising twists and turns. At no point was I ever bored or thinking about moving on to something else. I highly recommend this one.

View all my reviews

No Destructive Creativity Corner this month, I’ve been too busy with editing and family emergencies and generally feeling like a failure 🙂 We’ll try again next month! See you guys in April!

Once More Unto The (Writing) Breach- February 2017

Alright, I know I’m running behind this month, but my grandmother was in the hospital and that kind of stuff tends to sneak up on you. Try to forgive me? Let’s take a look at what I did in February!

What I’ve Accomplished This Month

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This went surprisingly well! I was afraid that I was losing momentum on this story (horror of horrors!!!), but I think I’ve found my mojo again and I’m feeling really good about the things that are coming out of it. And my readers seem much happier with the results of my slightly slower posting, so that’s a great bonus!

  • The Stars Are Fire (now titled “Doubt Thou The Stars”) Revision- 21 scenes edited (first pass)

So, this didn’t go as well as I wanted it too. At all. I was really hoping to be completely finished with editing this book by the end of the month… Then, I was just really hoping to finish the first pass of the manuscript by the end of the month… Then, I was just hoping I would still want to look at these damn words by the end of the month. I did my best, but it was pretty pathetic. I’m still going, and I will not be defeated!

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Oh, and I had to make a title change. Because a pretty famous author has recently released a book with the title “The Stars Are Fire” and I just don’t feel like trying to compete with that, you know? So I’ve changed to “Doubt Thou The Stars”, which is basically the same line of the same poem, just shifted over a couple of words ;P I like it, hopefully I can keep it this time 🙂

  • Good Intentions outline- 1,174 words

Hey look, I started this! I haven’t done much, but I have thoughts and ideas. I just have to somehow get them to come together into a coherent whole. This is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, but I have high hopes! I’ve been looking forward to starting this for quite some time, I’m very excited!

What’s Coming Up in March

  • Finish Doubt Thou The Stars Revision

I am going to finish this month! I’m gonna do it! I am! Whatever otherworldly power that is trying to keep this from happening, clearly doesn’t understand who they’re dealing with here.

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That’s right, Rick Roll’d sucker! Take that!

  • Post two chapters of DBTT, Write 10,000 new words

You know that old saying: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! 😀 I think I might have finally found a monthly writing goal I can live with without feeling like I’m dying (or like I’m going to kill someone else ;P), and I see no reason to tempt fate. Well, any more than I already am.  I’m hoping I will only have to keep up the slow posting for a couple more months, maybe starting back to weekly in May. No promises though, I still have a lot of work to do before I can think about that.

  • Finish the outline for Good Intentions

I want this to be ready for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. That’s right, folks, it’s that time of year again! 😀 I’m gonna have to make some time to watch some movies which might feature heavily in the story. It’s gonna be fun! I’m really excited! 😀

And now, the real reason you all read this blog:

Fog’s Cute Animal of the Month

Behold!

Okay, so they aren’t actually tiny underwater hippos. They’re called flamboyant cuttlefish, or Metasepia pfefferi (don’t ask me to pronounce it. I’m not sure anyone can…)

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They are pretty, poisonous, and super weird! I need, like, twenty 🙂

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This month’s animal provided by my friend Sonja Little via Facebook! Thanks, Sonja! 😀

A Hobbit’s Walking Tale- February 2017

A Hobbit’s Walking Tale by fogisbeautiful

  • Miles Walked This Month (January 25th-February 26th):  64.5 miles
  • Total Miles Walked:  810.2 miles
  • Milestones Reached: The Enchanted River

“This was their state when one day they found their path blocked by a running water. It flowed fast and strong but not very wide right across the way, and it was black, or looked it in the gloom. (…) There had been a bridge of wood across, but it had rotted and fallen leaving only the broken posts near the bank.”

~The Hobbit, Chapter 8: Flies and Spiders

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I swore that I would not spend one more god forsaken month on that same Mirkwood path, and by god, I made it! I didn’t think I was going to, but I did! Take that! I mean, I’m still technically in Mirkwood, but at least I’m making progress! I’ll be kidnapped by Thranduil shortly (and I never thought I would type something like that with a hopeful attitude…) and then I’ll finally escape this awful place.

Onward! And don’t mind the hart…

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…I’m sure it wouldn’t make for very good eating anyway. ;P

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Have You Hugged A Book Today?- February 2017

A Brief Note: I wrote this post a week ago and then forgot to post it. I’m posting it as-is and backdating it, mostly because I’m in the midst of editing and don’t feel like rewriting the whole thing. I’ll try to do better next month, promise! ;D

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I read three books and I’m STILL two books behind! Argh! I need to read more comics, just so I can feel like I accomplished something…

Here’s the link to my star rating breakdown if anyone needs a refresher. It’s also up in the header 🙂

  • Books I’m Currently Reading:
    1. Miles, Mutants, and Microbes (Vorkosigan Omnibus #5) by Lois McMaster Bujold– I know it seems weird that I’m reading #5 after #6, but in the continuity of the series, it actually makes more sense. Also, I’m loving the Quaddies and I feel very strongly for them. They are all my precious children and I greatly desire their freedom from the evil Corporation…
    2. Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, #2) by Jim Butcher– Holy crap, this is leaps and bounds better than Storm Front! Not just the story, but the narration and production is infinitely better. I’m very excited and looking forward to the end 🙂
  • Books I’ve Finished:
    1. Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1), by Jim Butcher- Three Stars
    2. Miles in Love (Vorkosigan Omnibus #6), by Lois McMaster Bujold- Five Stars

Fog’s Book of the Month
A Monster CallsA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh this book… It was moving, and heartfelt, and most importantly it was just so REAL. I know it sounds strange to say that about a book with Monster in the title, but it really was all about speaking the truth. Even when it’s hard, even when you don’t want to face it, even if it isn’t what you think it is. It was beautiful and heartbreaking and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

Addendum (from one of my early notes during reading): “It’s not often that I’m sold on a book as early as the Author’s Note, but Mr. Ness, you had me at ‘So go. Run with it. Make trouble.’

View all my reviews

The Destructive Creativity Corner (Instagram, @fogisbeautiful)

I haven’t done much with my “F*nish Th*s B**k” this past month, but I do have one post I can share.

That’s all! See you guys in March!