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Archive for the ‘To do lists’ Category

…and now I beg you to help me make sense of my life…

Haha. That’s what it feels like at the moment…chaos!

No, not really, but it’s a bit of a bumpy ride.

I was looking back on My Plans for 2018 post to see if I could get some perspective.

On the PhD front. I have finished the first draft of the PhD novel and it’s currently being read by writer friends before it goes to my supervisor. This certainly helps me sleep better. (TICK)

The data analysis is okay…sort of…we transferred the data in IBM SPSS, in layman’s terms, a program for social science related data. All was going well, but then something went wrong with a couple of questions. I’m still waiting on the person helping me to see what the problem is. This means the my presentation for the end of the month at the PCA in Indianapolis is not written yet. This has caused me to freak out a tad. I mean I still have all the data and I have Survey Monkey and I have looked at bits of it and to tell the truth I have started the presentation. Yet, I look at the date! Yikes and go into meltdown to freakout mode.

At the present time the Exegesis can go play with itself. I’ll think about it when I get back. My supervisor says I have plenty of time. (NO TICK)

The other thing is that I’ve taken on tutoring in two subjects at uni. This is positive excitement and stress. At first it was taking up the whole present mind thing. I’m a bit calmer about it now. I even did one better than I was expecting, I wrote and delivered a lecture on The Protean Career and I’ve written one more that I’m giving when I get back from the US. They were a lot of work. I’m talking days of work, but I am not sure but I think I feel good about the experience. (NO COMMENT)

My physical issues are better. My left foot went ow but now it has calmed down. I’ve had some treatment on my neck and back and I’m functional. I’m working on the diet. (OKAY)

On the Dragon Wine series side of things. I lost my editor. I mean I know where she is and all that…she just went back to full time work. Her timelines were so far out that you wouldn’t seen the last two books until early next year and that wasn’t acceptable. However, I have found another brilliant editor and things are back on track. Now, I have editor deadlines. I have to get Skyfire ready for the editor by the end of April! I’m about a third of the way through. Moonfall will follow after that. I think I must be craycray! I finished drafting Moonfall in January. (RIPPER TICK!)

Craft

I have started some new pieces for a quilt. I’m working on hand quilting the Japanese kimono pattern quilt. These last few weeks though I haven’t had the energy. (BLAH)

Reading and general stuff

Because I am tutoring in a literature studies course, I had a mad impulse to read the books so I have read

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence (Loved it)

Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan (The first part was difficult for me. Lots of triggers. But an amazing fantasy story and retelling of Snow White and Rose Red and a little sad)

Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (The voice was annoying but I could see the beauty of this story).

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (traumatised but an amazing book)

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood (so beautifully rendered)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Phillip K Dick (so different to the movie. Different stories but as always -thought provoking)

Currently nearing the end of American Psyco Brett Ellis (an amazing book but the violence is ‘look away’ extreme)

On Audible I listened to Downbelow Station by CJ Cherryh. This took me a long time to get into. I also found it tense and hard but by the end I was a bit gobsmacked. A complex and emotionally draining and thrilling (I’ll admit) ride. I think the issues with refugees in the story is really topical in the world right now. The situation for them in this book was horrible. If you became a refugee in Cherryh’s world then you had nothing. I can’t begin to tell you how that affected me.

I’m currently listening to Uprooted by Naomi Novik and I can’t stop listening. I find it gripping. You know I looked at some reviews on Goodreads and wow, some people really get a thrill out of pulling people down and rubbishing their work. I mean the really rip them apart one star reviewers who have their own following and they all get together and feed off each other like frenzied fish. (ROCKING THE READING THING)

I saw this happen to another book I listed as read. I don’t think I’ve seen it that extreme before this. Maybe I’m just naive.

And other than the above, I’ve done zilch on the Indie publishing front other than sending a newsletter, apply for a Bookbub once a month for Argenterra (and get rejected) and try to get Beneath the Floating City into print. I keep finding little typos. It’s so annoying really. I’ve been meaning to lower the price of Argenterra and I probably will for a short time. (MINUS TICK)

And this morning I have finally booked some accommodation in Indianapolis. My trip to Chicago is a bit up in the air for after the conference so I’m looking at doing something local. (HALF TICK)

 

 

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Finding focus

So after being a time fritterer (see earlier post), I’ve got into a rhythm. I  have been writing for days and I don’t feel guilty anymore about not being focussed. I go back to work on Monday, but I can do so without being ashamed.

I finished a revision of two novels. One being 35,000 words and the other 57,000 words. Compared to one of my fat fantasies, they are small, but still a lot of work.

As you see from yesterday’s post, I’m back onto another MS, Emerald Fire, which I haven’t opened in two years and only partly drafted. When drafting that I wanted to make sure I could do something, that is, complete the plot. Then I realised it was missing something, the people interaction so I put it away with the intention of going back to it. As Ruby Heart hasn’t found a home and it’s the second part of that, there wasn’t much hurry.

I’ve decided this is to be my writing year, but I note in the schedule that besides the day job I have two overseas trips planned. It’s starting to get crowded. At least the Aurealis Award judging is done. Then again I realise I did say I would do the accounts for Conflux and present at the writers day. But both of those are relatively small things. Mmm actually I realise I committed to doing something else. Sigh. Crazy in the head.

I also sat down and wrote up my to do stuff on my white board. I have set myself the task of writing at least two more novels in the current series. Cough. Oh dear. I’ve left one off. Make that three! That’s a 35,000, 56,000 and a 80,000 word novel. I also have a wishlist in there of at least commencing either a Scottish historical or Regency Romance, but there is no hurry on those as they are dream projects that I would like to tackle, rather than what I think I must tackle. I also have a couple of MSs to revise in my pipeline, but they are on a as needs basis. And if by any chance I do all those, I have some other projects in the pipeline and bugger Into the Dark Glass is to be revised/rewritten and I completely forgot about that. MMMM.

So really, I’m not really looking around for something to do. I find the white board helps me focus on what I need to do. Then again I have ignored the thing on many occasion. Last year I knew I was going to be terribly busy so I bought a scheduler to put on the wall to map out everything (like a white board but with days). I was so busy I didn’t even open it and now it is rubbish because it was for 2013.

Anyhow, I’m taking the day off today and going visiting. I’ll be back in the grind tomorrow, or this evening if I have any oompf left. As I live with a writer, he perfectly understands if I am attached to my laptop. I love it.

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