Once More Unto The (Writing) Breach- April 2017

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What I’ve Accomplished This Month

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So… yeah. I was kind of single-minded this month ;P I wrote 50,022 words, and not much else. Which I’m completely fine with. Those of you who are waiting (im)patiently for a new chapter of Double the Baggins, Twice the Took are probably not as okay with it as I am, but I’m going to try to make it up to you this month! Starting tomorrow! Really!

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What’s Coming Up in May

  • Doubt The Stars- Evaluate feedback from beta-readers and edit accordingly. Send samples to editors and pick one.

The first comments are starting to come in from my beta-readers and I’m really pleased! So far the feedback has been mostly positive, and the criticisms (when viewed through the eyes of trusted peers) are nothing that I feel I can’t handle. It’s such a relief, because honestly? I’m channeling my inner Rapunzel right now.

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  • Good Intentions- Finish first draft

Despite the 50k, I’m still not done. Not even close. Honestly, I’m hoping this will only be 80k, but I’ve set my WordKeeperAlpha goal at 100k, just in case… because there is still a whole lot of story left to write… But it’s so good! Seriously, I’m enjoying the hell out of writing this! It’s going to be such a fun thing to post too, I can’t wait to see everyone’s reactions! 😀

Honestly, I’m putting that writing goal there, but I’m not really sure it’s going to happen. I’m going to do everything in my power to make the chapter postings happen (starting tomorrow, I SWEAR TO MAHAL…), but as far as writing goes, finishing “Good Intentions” is taking priority this month. It has to. Or, honestly? My whole plan for the year is going to fall to pieces. So there you go!

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

Fog’s Cute Animal of the Month

This month’s surprisingly cute animal:

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The poor, nearly extinct axolotl. Well, extinct in the wild. In ten years (from ’98 to ’08) they went from 6,000 per sq km to 100. Now, you can hardly find any. But they are thriving in captivity, so at least we have that 🙂

Look at it! Look at it’s happy little face! How can you not love that face???

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“Oh, stop it you!” *axolotl blush*

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I do not know how to get my hands on one of these sculptures, but if someone finds out, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING LET ME KNOW!!!

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Also, because puns:

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*runs away cackling*

 

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!

 

 

The Quarterly Writing Round Up!- Q3, 2016

Reminder:  At the beginning of the year, I made some yearly goals and some quarterly goals, which I promised to reevaluate and re-prioritize every three months. It’s been six months now, and it’s time to look back at Quarter Three 2016! 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: Finish Changing History rewrites DONE! (Q1), Finish first draft of Changing History: Entwives DONE! (Q3), Write the Worth Living For short that I’ve been planning for ages, DONE! (Q3) Edit and begin posting Clarity DONE! (Q2), Finish the first draft of all three parts of Wonderland Reclaimed.

Reward Project: If I finish Wonderland Reclaimed, I can write my Avengers: Age of Ultron fic for NaNoWriMo in November.

I finished up two more of my goals for the year, bringing my total up to four out of five! The last goal regarding Wonderland Reclaimed I’m no longer worried about completing, and I’ve already moved my Age of Ultron fic, Good Intentions, to my tentative 2017 plan. So things are going very well this year!

Here’s the month by month breakdown!

Quarter Three, 2016- Review

July: Camp NaNoWriMo #2! Finishing WriMo including Calenhiril’s Search, Paradise Found (Worth Living For short), and Wonderland Reclaimed: Down The Rabbit Hole, 50k words cumulative. Possibly finish posting Clarity, but NaNo is the priority.

  • This was a HUGE month for me, and I’m proud to say I accomplished all of my goals, plus some! I picked up Double the Baggins, Twice the Took this month, along with my writing and I managed to post a couple of extra Calenhiril’s Search chapters. I really need to learn how to pace myself, because…

August: Finish posting Clarity (if not finished in July), Focus on the editing and posting of Calenhiril’s Search (at least one chapter posted a week, more as I finish them).

  • …this month was a disaster. I didn’t have to worry about Clarity at least, because I had finished that in July, but I lost all the momentum I had built up for NaNo and only posted one (two if you count Sept. 1st) chapters of Calenhiril’s Search. I did almost nothing else. I also managed to burn myself out for Wonderland Reclaimed. I don’t know when I’ll be able to look at that story again. I’m hoping early 2017, but not holding my breath.

September: Continue posting at least one chapter of Calenhiril’s Search a week, complete first edit of Paradise Found, add at least another 25k to Wonderland Reclaimed.

  • I feel better about this month, even though one of my goals was a complete non-starter. I had given up on Wonderland Reclaimed by this point, so I didn’t even try, but letting that go seemed to have the effect of freeing up my brain to post for Calenhiril’s Search, doubling my projected chapter count. I completed the edit of Paradise Found and posted the story too, which was a nice boost to the ego 🙂

Quarter Four, 2016- Goals

Quarter Four is a short quarter, since I usually try not to set any specific goals for December to allow my brain to rest and try to cope with the depressing reality of the holiday season. For all that, here are my goals for Q4!

October: Finish Calenhiril’s Search, post one chapter of DBTT and write 5,000 new words, finish outlining my new NaNoWriMo project, The Stars Are Fire.

November: National Novel Writing Month! This year, my goal is not just to write 50,000 words, but to COMPLETELY finish the first draft of my novel.

December: My only goal this month is to post my requisite chapter of DBTT and to finalize my plans for 2017. I will likely try to pull out Wonderland Reclaimed again and see if anything has jostled loose, but I’m not setting any goals in that regard.

And that’s it! I feel pretty confident in what I have here, we’ll see how I feel once December rolls around. Until next time!

 

Once More Unto The (Writing) Breach- September 2016

Okay, this month wasn’t nearly as bad as last month. Plus, I’m starting a new project, so…

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What I’ve Accomplished This Month

 

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See? Much better 🙂 I even managed to write some new words! Not on the project I was meant to be writing for, but hey, new words!

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This went surprisingly well this month. So well in fact that I’ve moved up my completion date to… the end of this week. Oh god, I literally have only THREE CHAPTERS LEFT… There will be a dedicated blog post when I’m done, I have too many feels.

Three years after I finished posting Worth Living For, I finally have the Bora Bora sequel up! Hopefully it won’t take three years for me to write the full-length Age of Ultron sequel. I’m shooting for sometime in late 2017 😉

Once Changing History is finished (oh god…), this will be the next sprawling epic that receives my attention. Weekly posting probably won’t start until after the first of the year, and until then, I’ll be dedicating most of my new words to this fic. Not in November though. November is for my brand new project 🙂

This is the story, all about how… wait, that’s not gonna work, let’s start again ;P

So, about two weeks ago, I was actually getting kind of depressed about NaNo. Wonderland Reclaimed held absolutely no appeal for me (you know that old saying about beating a dead horse? Yeah…) and I had resigned myself to the fact that I would be writing words on my DBTT fanfic for the month. It wasn’t ideal, but it made the most sense, productivity-wise.

Then I went to writing group. And was promptly (and rightly) shamed out of it.

I’ve been working on almost nothing but fanfiction all year. And that’s not to say that fanfiction is unworthy of my time. When I write a fanfiction, it is because I have a story to tell that I cannot imagine telling any other way. And I believe that those stories are important. They touch the lives of those that read them, and that is always a worthwhile pursuit.

All that to say, it’s still not going to pay the bills. Ever. I’ve been working so hard on my fanfiction this year because I want to finally be able to take a step back and breathe, to evaluate my time so that my fanfiction projects and my original work can exist in harmony together, side-by-side, neither one gaining complete control over my time. But getting to that point is turning out to be exhausting. My brain needs a break.

So, with the help of my group (I love you guys), I’ve decided to write a brand new novel for November. It’s a genderswapped, Hamlet in Space retelling, and I could not be more excited about it!

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Special thanks go to Adan Ramie (who was instrumental in my shaming, mostly because she is probably SO SICK of hearing me talk about fanfiction ;P) and Cat Mealer (who was so excited about this idea I thought she might have an aneurysm, thanks for not dying at writing group, Cat! ;P).

What’s Coming Up in October

I’ve already mentioned that Calenhiril’s Search, the fourth and FINAL installment of Changing History will be completed sometime this week. I’m also planning to post my requisite one chapter of DBTT around the 15th. The rest of the month will be spent finishing my outline for The Stars Are Fire and writing new words on DBTT (I’m going to set an arbitrary goal of 5,000, because I like round numbers, but I don’t want to die ;P).

There will be a couple of extra blog posts this month too. It’s time for a Quarterly Round-Up (I almost forgot about this!) and as I said, Changing History will receive it’s own blog post in the next week or so.

I’m feeling really good about this month! Also, take a look at this bird!

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It’s called a potoo, and they may look like Muppet characters, but I assure you, they are very real!

Until next time! 😀

 

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Once More Unto The (Writing) Breach- August 2016

Just a warning: I was useless last month. I mean, really. I don’t know what happened to all my grand plans, but they are nowhere to be found right now. I’m finally feeling back to normal and ready to tackle my life again, but being off-kilter for a whole month really set me back.

Alright, let’s take a look at the damage and see what we can salvage.

What I’ve Accomplished This Month

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Ugh. I didn’t even want to post this. It looks so bare…

I know the chart only shows one chapter, but I posted the second one on September 1st, so I’m counting it 🙂 I’m not too far behind on this yet (though I’m further behind than I thought I would be) and if I post at least one chapter every week (excluding November) I should still be in a position to finish by the end of the year. I’m optimistic about my chances here, and I’ve been able to work through a lull in productivity in the past week, so hopefully this will continue on schedule.

I’ve lowered my expectations for this story to one chapter a month, just until I can get Calenhiril’s Search finished. But I got them out of Rivendell! \o/ I’ve also decided to make this story my NaNo project this year, so that I can dive right into posting in earnest in the new year 🙂

  • Wonderland Reclaimed- 3,894 words written

Here’s where my failure really shines. I had a goal of writing 10,000 words this month and I just could not push myself to it. I’m having a really hard time with this story so, as much as I wanted to be done with the first draft by the end of the year, I just don’t see it happening. I’m letting that goal go. I’m not letting go of the story, but I’m not going to punish myself for not finishing it by the end of 2016. Instead, I’m going to do my best to write at least 8,000 words a month on it until it is finished (obviously November and December will be exceptions). It’s going to throw off my plans for 2017 a little bit, but that’s flexible, I have plenty of time to figure it out.

 

What’s Coming Up in September

I’m still going to try to post at least one chapter of Calenhiril’s Search a week, and one chapter of DBTT around the 15th of the month. I have a goal of 8,000 new words for Wonderland Reclaimed, which should be doable if I really work at it. And I’m going to be editing the short story sequel fanfic to Worth Living For that I wrote in July! That’s something I’m really excited about and I can’t wait to get started!

I’m also preparing for additional duties concerning NaNoWriMo in November. This year, a friend and I have been announced as the Municipal Liaisons of a brand new region! We’re both very excited to get started, but it’s a lot of work and will take an awful lot of dedication and time to get set up. I think I’m going to be extra grateful for my month off come December 😉

Wow, this post was especially sparse this month, here have a gif of a slow loris eating a banana:

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I need about twenty of these creatures in my life… Okay, until next time!

 

 

 

 

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Once More Unto The (Writing) Breach- July 2016

Last night, at writing group, I was so tired that I actually could not imagine writing this blog post. I felt like I hadn’t slept in two weeks (mostly because I basically hadn’t slept in two weeks) and I had no more words to word. I couldn’t even Pinterest. That’s how tired I was.

Well, I’m still tired, but here I am. And now, I’m going to explain why I felt that way 🙂

What I’ve Accomplished This Month

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This was the big one. 50,000 words, over three different stories, in 29 days. July has 31 days, you say? Well, thinking I was going to have plans this past weekend, I pushed through and finished on day 29 instead.

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First draft of Calenhiril’s Search is completely finished. All it’s going to need is some editing and filling out as I go along. I have written the actual end of a story I have been writing for 15 years… I’m feeling… well. That’s a blog post for another time.

I wrote the fanfic short story sequel to Worth Living For. It went really well, a lot better than I thought it would. I’m very excited to start editing it, but I haven’t decided if I want to try to do that in the last two weeks of this month, or wait until September. If I get my mojo back, I will try for August, but I’m not holding my breath.

Wonderland Reclaimed. It’s a mess. It’s going to need so much tweaking and fixing and nitpicking. But Part One- Down The Rabbit Hole – is complete. Again. And I used the rest of my words (nearly 11,000!) to work on Part Three until I could work no more! I’m still a little stuck on how I want the plot of Part Three (tentatively titled Through The Looking Glass) to go. There are so many things that need to happen, most of them in the background of the two main characters’ arcs and I’m still not entirely sure how to work it all in. I’m going to let it rest for the next two weeks or so until I get my bearings back.

  • Clarity 9 chapters posted (COMPLETE!)

It’s finished! And it went really well! I got so much positive feedback and so many people that are excited for the sequel! I’m still planning to write the Age of Ultron sequel, but unfortunately it might not happen in November like I planned. I may decide to write 50,000 words on Double The Baggins, Twice The Took instead (see below). And of course this is all completely dependent on whether or not I finish Wonderland Reclaimed before November. If not, I’ll be working on that instead. Again. I’m going to be sick of this story before I even get out of the first draft.

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Once I finished Clarity, I was feeling pretty good about myself. So I posted a couple chapters of Calenhiril’s Search, just as a nice surprise for readers. I pretty much ripped their hearts out, but that’s neither here nor there ;P Right now, I’m thinking I will have this story completely finished by the end of the year, which is going to be weird. I won’t even know what to do with myself. Wow.

Yes, I fell into this trap again. I just really want to get them out of Rivendell, is that so wrong? And on that note, all my characters seem to get trapped in this Rivendell vortex. Why is that exactly? Elrond?

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Right, well, clearly he’s not talking. But anyway, now that Clarity is done, I feel like I can take another crack at this story. I’ll probably only post a chapter a week, because I do want to focus on finishing Calenhiril’s Search, but I hope to have this finished by this time next year at least.

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Yeah. This is why I have no more words left to word.

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What’s Coming Up in August

Well, the first two weeks are going to be R&R time. I’m going on vacation, so I’m prepping for that and then I’ll be gone, spending time with fogishandsome, riding steam engines, climbing around Pueblo settlements, floating in hot air balloons, that kind of thing 🙂

When I get back is when real work will start up again. I’m still desperately trying to finish Wonderland Reclaimed before November. Preferably before October, so I have time to prep a project for November. Which means I have a month and a half to write roughly 40,000 words that I have not plotted yet. I know what needs to happen, but I have no idea how to get there. And one of my main characters has changed race no less than three times, it would be very helpful if she would just PICK A LOOK ALREADY! *ahem* Anyway, I’m going to try to write at least another 10,000 words in the two weeks that are left to me in August.

Along with that, I will still be posting at least one chapter of Calenhiril’s Search a week (sans vacation week), along with trying to post one chapter of DBTT as well. I’m rapidly running out of written chapters for DBTT, hence the possibility of writing another 50,000 words on that story in November, rather than the Age of Ultron fic I had planned.

It’s only August and I’m already looking forward to December. I’m so tired, I think I’m going to just go sleep for another couple of days.

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The Quarterly Writing Round Up!- Q2, 2016

A reminder:  At the beginning of the year, I made some yearly goals and some quarterly goals, which I promised to reevaluate and re-prioritize every three months. It’s been six months now, and it’s time to look back at Quarter Two 2016! 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: Finish Changing History rewrites DONE! (Q1), Finish first draft of Changing History: Entwives, Write the Worth Living For short that I’ve been planning for ages, Edit and begin posting Clarity DONE! (Q2), Finish the first draft of all three parts of Wonderland Reclaimed.

Reward Project: If I finish Wonderland Reclaimed, I can write my Avengers: Age of Ultron fic for NaNoWriMo in November.

So out of five goals, I’ve finished two. Not quite half, but pretty close, considering I’ve been working on Calenhiril’s Search as well.

And here’s the month by month!

Quarter Two, 2016- Review

April: Camp NaNoWriMo #1! Edit Clarity (A Loki Fanfiction).

  • I did this! 80,000 words edited in thirty days! It was awesome! I’m super excited! 😀

May: Continue to post at least one chapter of Calenhiril’s Search and DBTT a week. Finish the first draft of Wonderland Reclaimed, or add 50,000 new words (whichever comes first).

  • I posted three chapters of Calenhiril’s Search. Respectable, but not quite what I was hoping for.
  • I only posted one chapter of Double The Baggins, Twice The Took, and this was the month that I decided to put this particular fic aside for the time being, until I could dedicate the time and attention it deserves.
  • No new words were written in May. Actually, I may have, kinda, forgot I had even made this goal. Whoops! ;P Hopefully July will make up for this!

June: Prep month for Camp NaNoWriMo #2! Depending on how May goes, either prep for editing Wonderland Reclaimed, or prep for a finishing WriMo (50K words on Wonderland/Calenhiril’s Search/DBTT). Begin posting schedule for Clarity (M/W/F).

  • I… prepped as much as I could? Okay, I didn’t really prep for Camp. I’m doing a Finishing WriMo so it’s not quite as critical, but I probably should have done more on this front. Hopefully it won’t be too detrimental. Also, I changed up one of the stories I decided to finish, instead of DBTT I’m working on my Worth Living For short (one of my year-end goals, so yay!).
  • I started posting Clarity! \o/ I only missed one day early in June, but I’m still well on my way to being finished with Clarity by the end of the month of… wow, I’ll probably be done by the end of July if I keep up the way I have! 🙂
  • I also got back into the swing of posting Calenhiril’s Search and made up for the missed chapter in May by posting five chapters in June 🙂

In review, I think I accomplished a decent amount this quarter. Granted, no new words were written (I feel like such a dumbass for forgetting that goal, tbh), but I got a lot of other things finished and several more things are in the process of being finished. One of my goals for 2017 is to limit myself to two sprawling epics in a year, one fanfic and one original work. I’m well on my way to making that happen, I think 🙂

With that in mind, here’s what I have planned for the next three months:

Quarter Three, 2016- Goals

July: Camp NaNoWriMo #2! Finishing WriMo including Calenhiril’s Search, Paradise Found (Worth Living For short), and Wonderland Reclaimed: Down The Rabbit Hole, 50k words cumulative. Possibly finish posting Clarity, but NaNo is the priority.

August: Finish posting Clarity (if not finished in July), I don’t plan to add any new words this month, instead focusing on the editing and posting of Calenhiril’s Search (at least one chapter posted a week, more as I finish them).

September: Continue posting at least one chapter of Calenhiril’s Search a week, complete first edit of Paradise Found, add at least another 25k to Wonderland Reclaimed.

So, with any luck, by next quarter, I will have finished two more of my yearly goals and be well on my way to completing another, which will put me on track for the year! I’m really looking forward to this quarter, I think my goals are definitely doable, if nothing untoward happens (which, let’s be honest, is always a possibility).

Until next time!

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