lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
original short fiction = 3 (just a title, really)
Green Ring = 2942
Falling From Ground = 4457
Total new words in February = 7402

Falling From Ground = 79

Falling From Ground = 2620

Okay, so March was a fustercluck of a month. I knew that. April was supposed to be the month I went back to the A-Z mystery short story that's been languishing, but instead it got bogged down in this expletive-deleted novel, which I swear I just need to finish one conversation to get to the end of the chapter (actually a 4-chapter-length conglomeration, but this would definitely be the end of *a* chapter), and I just cannot get it to go. If I'm more than 500 words from the break I'd be surprised, but no, the alpha reader's getting another stops-in-mid-scene chunk. Argh.

(February kind of rocked, though.)

In other goals, I did get a new email account set up in February, and by mid-March had tested it enough to be satisfied in paying for a year. It's not perfect, but it does the things that are deal-breakers for me, and the things it doesn't do I mostly don't mind working around. Final clean-out of the old email accounts is in progress.

With that done, I haven't gotten back to querying, but I have at least been sending out some short stories:

February: 1 submission sent

March: 3 subs sent

April: 5 subs sent

I currently have four stories out there in slush land. My game plan is to send out two for every one rejection; eventually that should lead to everything being out there, though it gets trickier with the things that have been making the rounds for a while.

For May: Words, dammit. Keep stories out. At least glance at agents lists and query.
lizvogel: Run and find out, with cute kitten. (Run and Find Out)
I didn't mean to spend the whole day in bed. I was only going to spend a couple hours sitting in bed writing. But then this kitten came and used my foot as a pillow -- and stayed that way for about six hours.

Who's going to argue with that?

So I stayed in bed all day, and wrote 1052 words, and made my kitten very happy. And LittleGirl as well, who jumped up and curled up beside me a couple of times.

And me, too. ;-)
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
original short stories = 62
Green Ring = 2720
Falling From Ground = 2901

Total new words in September = 5683

Oh, nice! I really wasn't sure what I was going to have to show for this month. Turns out there was more nice, steady plodding than I'd realized.

Green Ring and FFG are definitely good counterpoints to have going in tandem, allowing me to switch moods when I need to.

Queries sent = 3 (plus two researched & crossed off)

Not bad! I am, if not getting back on the wagon, at least trotting along in its wheel-ruts, thanks to a little light butt-kicking from assorted quarters.

Short stories submitted = 2

For the trifecta!

Goals: More of the same. Get the other stories that are ready for it out there somewhere. Keep on with the writing.

For querying, I would really like to get through the entire list of possibles (AAR trawl + misc. bookmarks) by the end of this year. That will require a rather higher rate than I've yet done, but with that goal in mind, it seems like it should be feasible. Even if it will then leave me with a quandary for the new year. But that's next year's trouble.


Edited because the post that gets posted in October isn't October's word count as this originally said, it's September's. I knew there was something about this one that was bugging me; I'm just embarrassed it took me until nearly November to figure out what.

lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Didn't realize I'd skipped this last month, but then, June had other things going on. So, another double header!


Green Ring = 201

Short stories submitted = 2


original short fiction = 435
Falling From Ground = 2522
Total new words in July = 2957

Short stories submitted = 3

A decent show at getting back on the horse, I think. Also, FFG has now topped the 10K line again, which is nice. Hopefully it's with words that'll stay this time.

For August, I don't want to get too hard-core yet for fear that upping the pressure will shut down the flow, but a soft target of 3000 words should be feasible. And I really should get back to querying.

March Word Count

Friday, April 10th, 2015 04:28 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Getting a meaningful total for March is complicated. The first thing I did that month was scrap Chapter 2 of Falling From Ground in its entirety, which put me down -4567 words right from the get-go. Despite some fairly Herculean outputs here and there, that would give me a net total of 1361 words -- which seems a poor reward for a hard decision that really did need to be made and that will make the book sooo much better.

So instead, I'm going to reset to zero after that point, and just look at new production.

Green Ring: 1382
Falling From Ground: 1013
The Kitten Case: 3533

Total new words in March: 5928

That sounds better than it was; a graphical representation of my output would look like an inverted Bell curve. And The Kitten Case is definitely anomalous data: I attempted a NaNo-style ass-kicking and produced a for-me impressive 3500 words in seven days (six, really, there was a day off in there), but I'm not sure I'm happy with any of it. It may end up going the way of FFG's second chapter, and for much the same reason: For all that I'm a fan of wordcount as a metric, pushing for wordcount when the story's not there just leaves a mess to be cleaned up before the real writing can be done.

Still, it's good to know I can push out that kind of wordcount if I set my mind to it. And while I'm sick, to boot. In fact, all of March's stats get the "while I'm sick" bonus, because while the ugly-cousin flu moved in right at the beginning of April, I wasn't exactly feeling spry and healthy for any of the month leading up to it.

Querying: Queried 2 agents, researched and decided against 4. Mostly from the AAR database trawl.

Submitted 1 story.

There are no goals for April, other than to get my taxes done and to shake this rotten flu.

Around the Block

Thursday, March 26th, 2015 02:25 pm
lizvogel: Run and find out, with cute kitten. (Run and Find Out)
I haven't been able to write a word for... I don't know how long. Too long. Even the easy thing (Green Ring) won't move forward. (I suspect Green Ring may be at about the 1/3 point, because it's that kind of stuck. But nothing else wants to move, either.) It seems to be a focus issue; I can sit and stare at the screen, but the work just slithers out from under my attention like a wet bar of soap.

The only thing that I've gotten words on at all lately (usually when I'm trying to sleep and am pinned under a cat and can't reach a pen anyway) is something that's about fifth down the to-write list, and I've got more than enough on the front burners already. But it was the only words I've gotten lately, so yesterday I went ahead and started The Kitten Case.

It's fighting me, too, in patchy and absurd ways. (Really? Afternoon or morning? You're going to hang up for half an hour over that?) I had to skip past the opening scene to when developments start happening, and will have to go back and fill in character-establishing later -- perhaps much later. But words did happen, and I even like some of them.

I'm not as happy as I would normally be about producing really quite a decent chunk of words, because I'm afraid this too is going to go thus far and stop dead on me. I'm trying to cash in on some of the NaNo-productivity from a few years ago; I'm working on the "work" laptop, and trying to treat it as work: get up, sit down at desk, produce. Wash rinse repeat. And cobbling together something like the NaNo progress chart that I liked so much. We'll see if it works.

'Cause something has to.
Green Ring: 565
A Cold Day In Spells: 1410
Falling From Ground: 1
old-mission stories: 2428
Haley mission story: 1

Total new words in February: 4405

Well over quota (3000 words), though I could wish it wasn't so dependent on the old-mission stories. They're feeling more and more like fanfic for my own stuff, and fanfic doesn't count for quota purposes. (Also, that number includes the two four-digits bursts, and while those are great, the purpose of the quota is to encourage steady work, which I definitely did not do.)

Still, it's words, which is good.

The one word of beta-editing on FFG doesn't really qualify as "some of it had better be on the Mars novel", but I have been poking at it a bit, and I've at least devised a revision strategy that feels promising. Now I just need to apportion some time and concentration to put it to work.

Having said elsewhere that I wasn't going to manage the AAR database trawl, I promptly went and did it after all. It was discouraging at first to see how many names I recognized (and had therefore already tried), but there turned out to be a decent list of new prospects. And I did query 1 agent, albeit not one from that list.

Submitted 2 stories. Doing fairly well at keeping things out there. I've got two that are "resting" right now, one of which I'm running out of places to send; I may just hang onto it until the market I should have sent it to last year opens up again in a few months.

So, all told, quotas met, goals reasonably approximated. Not bad for a month when real life is so determinedly kicking me.

For March: I'm gonna say 3500 words, because I need to start getting the numbers back up but real life isn't going to let up any time soon. Get the Mars novel moving again, at least to the point of figuring out what Chapter 2 should look like and getting some new words done on it. Start researching/querying the agents from the AAR list. Keep putting stories out there until some editor comes to their senses and buys 'em.

December Word Count

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015 04:23 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Quotas went right out the window during the kitten crisis, and that's okay. So this is here just for the record, and not for anything more than that.

Green Ring = 657
Haley mission story* = 700
Total new words in December = 1357

Queries sent: 2

Which is not bad at all for a week, which was about how much month there was before matters feline pushed everything else aside.

January's goal is to get back in the saddle again, which so far is coming along acceptably. I've written, not huge amounts, but several times. And I've sent out a story. Soft targets for the month are 5000 3000 words, and at least one query.

* Last worked on... a year and a half ago? Apparently.


Friday, January 2nd, 2015 04:51 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Managed a little over 400 words last night, which is pretty good for my first day back. \o/

Writing got dropped along with everything else non-essential during the kitten crisis, and that along with my natural procrastinatory tendencies made it hard to pick back up again. An earlier attempt yesterday, on the same story I'd done so well on the morning before the kitten disappeared, netted all of one word (and that one that I'm probably going to change). But because I really wanted to start the new year off a little better than that, I gave it another go before bed, this time on The Green Ring. The hundred-word rule stood me in good stead; the first seventy or so were like pulling teeth, but then the pump finally primed and I managed a decent chunk with relatively little difficulty.

I still feel like I've got the writing brain only about half booted up, but that mostly just needs plugging away at it. (And the bit where I discovered I'd written two mutually-contradictory ways for young Teb to join up with the mail carriage was done some time ago, so I can't blame that on this. ;-)  )
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Adrian Blissfield = 204
Falling From Ground = 802
Green Ring = 4398
Total new words in November = 5404

...about a third of which was in the last three days, which is not the way it's supposed to work. But it's still words, so, win.

And what, you might ask, is Adrian Blissfield? Well, I came up with a new series idea on the DC trip. It's a short-story series, which if it goes well will make a nice concurrent project alongside the novels. AB is a spy, in the flashier James-Bond mold; the series focuses on his long-suffering support team, who do most of the actual work. ;-)

Queries: Sent 1, crossed off two agents as not being good fits, sent 1, crossed off 1, sent 1. (Total: 3 sent, 3 crossed off.) Not exactly on the 7th-day schedule (more like the 6th, the 24th, the 29th, and, um, today (which I'm giving a one-day grace period, because it came down to getting either the words or the queries by deadline, and the words have to come first)), but they got done, so there.

All quotas met.

For December, more of the same: 5000 words, query (or two cross-offs) every 7 days.

lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
I wrote 1105 words this morning! Yes, if I'm not entirely consumed with tearing the house apart, I can still do this. Good to know.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
old-mission stories = 1296
Falling From Ground = 466
The Green Ring = 2689
Total new words in October = 4451

Okay, now I feel really bad that I didn't make myself write on the 31st. I wasn't that tired, but it had been one of those days where you'd wish you hadn't gotten out of bed, except even bed wasn't working out right. (I'd had such good plans....)

Oh well.

Shortfall is entirely due to not sitting down and doing it regularly; output was generally quite high on the days I did write. There just weren't very many of those. Which I can't blame on the trip, since that only ate four days; I can blame a little bit of it on the surprise house repair which has been leaving me tired, sore, and cranky for much of the month. But still, I could have made a little more time for writing. And had better do so, going forward.

Query stats: Queried three, crossed off three. Quota met.

For November: 5000 words; query one/cross off two every seven days. And get the bloody house put back together so I can concentrate.

September Word Count

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 08:24 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Falling From Ground = 3783
The Green Ring = 2318
Total new words in September = 6101

Well, whattaya know? That's quota, and then some! After what I figured out about chapter 2 of Falling From Ground, I was prepared to let myself off, and maybe go to a half-quota, 2500 or 3000 words, for the next month or two. But thanks to Green Ring, I don't have to.

Yay to that!

Querying... didn't happen. Oops.

For next month:

What the hell, 5000 words. Let's see if the magic continues.

I need to get back on the querying wagon. Being casual with myself isn't working. Given how fast September slipped away from me, I'm not sure anything calendar-based is a good idea, but I'm going to try the every-seven-days thing again (query one or cross off two).

I also need to get back to sending out short stories; I have things that were waiting on various markets re-opening, but now they're just waiting on me. (Well, and waiting on critique, but, well.) A quick glance at the subs log tells me I've got at least three stories sitting around here; let's get at least two of them out this month.

the new thing

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 07:27 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
I'd meant to start Falling From Ground and Financial Wizardry at the same time, and work on them more-or-less simultaneously. FFG is expected to be grim enough that I'll need a breather periodically, whereas FinWiz should be relatively light -- and I've found that if I write unrelentingly light for too long, I start craving angst big-time. So they'd balance each other well. Unfortunately, FinWiz needs research, and I'm having trouble finding the sources I need; it's gotten semi-involuntarily back-burnered.

Meanwhile, FFG is turning out to be hard. Not just the usual difficulty of plots-are-hard; every sentence is a battle, even when I know exactly what needs to happen. Which is doubly frustrating, because it's my fourth novel, and this was supposed to be the one where I knew what I was doing! Granted I had high expectations, but the reality is being a real struggle. It doesn't help that I'm finding myself justifying and shoring up every choice the main character makes, countering every imaginable objection in advance. (I have theories as to why that is, most of which I hope are wrong.) The alpha reader assures me that the end results are actually good, but the process has been a misery. And a slow misery at that, as it's seeming to take two or three days of percolating to get even a few hundred teeth-pulling words at a time.

It's probably just as well that FinWiz is back-burnered, since it's a mystery plot and that's something I'm still learning how to do; I don't need my respite from the hard thing to be another hard thing. But those multiple days of percolating on FFG are days I'm not writing, and that many days of not writing is bad for me. (Especially when even the writing days feel brick-wall-ish.) I need something else to work on during the lag times, but even the short prompt-fic I was playing with is sticking; the main character is developing a nicely snarky personality and I quite like the tiger, but I've no idea where it's going.


A few days ago, I woke up with an idea for a new novel in my head. Unlike with Highway of Mirrors, I immediately lost all the proper names and a fair amount of the premise upon waking, but there was enough left to go on. It's a bog-standard fantasy setting, though I may mess with that as it goes along, with a young man on what turns into a small-q quest and an accreting collection of not-entirely-helpful animal companions. Nothing revolutionary, but it has the potential to be fun. Working title is The Green Ring.

And, so far at least, it's easy. I gave myself permission to play with it and see what happened, and I'm a couple thousand words in already. (Which is a lot, for me.) I had to figure out a name for the main character, but once I got that, other things fell into place as fast as I could type them. Faster. And when I've had to stop and work out how something happens, the answer's come in minutes, not days.

It's strange, but neat, to be working on a novel right after coming up with the idea; usually they have to queue for years.

The real test, though, was whether I could shift back to Falling From Ground once the percolating was done, or if this was just an avoidance technique. Well, I'm happy to say that after a few days of Green Ring, the solution to the next FFG-obstacle popped into my brain yesterday, and I got a few hundred more words done there. Still every bit as teeth-pulling as before, but words nonetheless. I don't want to write the whole novel at that pace, but I can if I have to.

And in the meantime, young Teb is about to receive the first check on his simple little task, and a couple of complications that he doesn't even know are complications yet....




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