Yes, I know, it's been several weeks since I wandered in here. Last time, I was thinking of doing summaries of my five novel drafts, to help me pick one for my focus. Still thinking of it, but next round I have to actually do this and get feedback from some people.
I've spent many hours playing my trucking games, streaming online as I drive my Scania around Russia, ICBM missile in tow, chatting with viewers. And some time spent on reading, wandering my hood, and visiting with family and friends.
But, I also went to an inspiring presentation on world building, and took part in some interesting Facebook discussions on editing and self-publishing. The presentation discussed not only the physical attributes of a world, but the culture, politics, beliefs and taboos, economy, etc. And how you can use this all to focus on and explore a particular moral issue. In addition, he talked about honing your craft, and how to explore other's short stories when the time is limited. More on that below. As for the FB discussion, in the end I decided to just walk away from it. These were authors that were dismissive of any need to learn rules of grammar, plotting, etc. Claiming you couldn't learn to be a writer, some people just were that way, writing courses were a waste of money. They were happy with what they were writing, as were their fans, and didn't think they really had to work at improving their level - any constructive criticism would come from online reviews. Which is fine, just not my thing. part of the good news/bad news of the self-publishing world, I guess.
- Write better
- I keep sliding behind with the list of blogs I'm following. I need to cull it a bit.
- Some great world building tips at the presentation I mentioned. Also, it was suggested to listen to short story podcasts to get used to what a good one sounds like. So, I'm currently listening to PodCastle, ClarkesWorld, Short Story (via BBC), Escape Pod, Lightspeed, Nightmare Magazine, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Seems like a lot, but they don't all post that often. Pretty good stories so far.
- For the last three years our local writer's group, Ottawa Independent Writers, has put on a writer's festival, Prose in the Park. It's grown every year, and has attracted donations and grants, but it's not happening this year. The team has basically burnt out. So, I will need to find other ways to network and sell.
- I shared a table at a library used book used, and sold a copy of each book. Many good conversations, but it was hard to compete with all the discounted used books. The organizers were happy and will work to do more writerly events. And I've sold a few more copies locally. Always have copies with you!!
- Read -NYT is cancelled, but Guardian Weekly remains. Read American Gods (Neil Gaiman), Artemis (Andy Weir), and The Marrow Thieves (Cherie Dimaline).
- Health - still using and loving my FitBit. And I finally got 'sleep insights' working. Nothing profound, but they are interesting. Sleep remains an area I really need to work on.
- Social - visited my girlfriend (she's here now), visits to my kid's places to hug grandkids, and of course, there's my local.
- Fun - Netflix and Amazon Prime shows. Scandal (always intriguing), Mozart in the Jungle (entertaining, but a soft ending), and more Santa Clarita Diet (wickedly funny, but definitely not for the squeamish.
- Chores - Finally got my high-speed internet fixed. Houseplants seem to have made it through another winter, in spite of me.