Wednesday, August 9, 2017

My Summer in Short Stories

This summer has been all about short stories. That's a real change of pace for me.

I've been pushing myself to put out a novel a year since 2015, when my first novel debuted. The up-side of that has been building my catalogue. I have three novels and a collection of short stories out in my Menopausal Superheroes series now. I've built a bit of a following for the series and am working towards a real career in writing. I'm proud of myself for that.


On the down-side though, I was getting cranky. A book a year is a difficult pace to keep up alongside my family and my teaching work. I was feeling burnt out, and losing my feeling of joy in the work.

So, I decided to slow down. In 2017, I decided, I would not write book 4 of my series, but would give myself a little room to play around in other areas, to take up opportunities I'd been offered and write some new things.

I'm so glad I did! There's a freedom in writing something new that is revitalizing. While I value the opportunities my Menopausal Superheroes have brought me, there are other stories I also long to tell. I can start to feel a little stifled, even if the person putting limits on me is me (by having to work within the universe I created).

So here's what's been going on in my writing life

June: 

  • Finished edits on Friend or Foe short story collection
  • Launched Friend or Foe!
  • Finished edits on Face the Change
  • Revised a short story: Gifts of the Mag-Eyes
  • Began a new short story: untitled, but dealing with witchcraft and a damaged tree
  • Began a new short story: untitled, but dealing with vengeance and evil plants
  • Taught part of a summer course: Writing the Speculative Short Story 
  • Began a novella that might become part of a book bundle with some writer-friends, working title Thursday's Children.
  • Read and reviewed 3 books.
  • Monthly word count: 25,822 new words written: 21,174 revised
July: 
  • Completed, revised, edited "Flygirl's Second Chance" which will come out in August in an anthology called Love Unlimited. It's a wedding story for Jessica and Walter :-)
  • Completed an essay, "Patience, Young Grasshopper", which I'm hoping will be selected for upcoming Insecure Writer's Support Group anthology on Writing for Profit
  • Participated in the Summer Lovin' panel at my local public library with four other area writers
  • Launched Face the Change!
  • Participated in Con-Gregate as a panelist, with a book launch party, a signing, and two readings
  • Wrote a flash fiction story for a prompt contest called Eloise Branches Out. I love prompt writing for the playful no-pressure feeling. 
  • Wrote a short story (working title: Ash to Ashes) for my critique group's upcoming anthology
  • Began a short story for my Shadow Hill series, "The H.O.A."
  • Taught the rest of that summer course: Writing the Speculative Short Story
  • Read and Reviewed 7 books
  • Monthly word count: 44,061 new words written: 30,933 revised
August Plans/In Progress
  • Hoping to finish my novella (first draft)
  • Hoping to plan a local launch party for Face the Change.
  • Will revise Ash to Ashes after receiving critique from my group
  • Hoping to finish H.O.A.
  • Hoping to update my submission tracker and submit all my unpublished work before school starts again
  • Already read 1 of at least 3 books I'll finish this month (one of them is Moby Dick, which is why I think I'll only read 3). 
As summer comes to a close, I'm nearly always overwhelmed with feelings of regret about all the things I didn't get done, so this post is for myself as much as anything: a list of what I accomplished for the days when I'm feeling like I let summer slip by without accomplishing anything. Look at all that stuff! Go me!

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