So it’s (just after) that time again when I take a quick look at this past month’s goals and see where they currently stand! Hooray! Or wait… that other emotion: Ugh.

I was hoping to really get some progress underway for some of these goals this month, and on some of them I *have*, whereas others have fallen terribly, terribly flat as usual. But that’s why I check this monthly, because some months are great, and some…well…erm…not so much. :)

ANNUAL GOALS:

[ ~ ] Finish the rough draft of the “Hope City” novel (which is my current novel project) *Actually, this has been making some progress! I finished the re-read and determined the main issues that were arising with the direction it was going, and am now knee-deep in a revision summary draft to help sculpt the next phase. It’s going in some good and interesting directions that weren’t really addressed in the first run-through. I’m hoping with a little focus I can get the rough summary draft finished by or around the end of this month, maybe I can actually dig my dirty little hands back into the prose first draft and get some serious scheduled work done on it. Clockwork Muse: you’re going to be getting some serious wear-and-tear once I get this guide draft finished!

[ ~ ] Summary draft/Begin a prose draft of new novel project *The oerboek is still hanging around, but has willingly taken a backburner to Hope City. Still not my first choice of a “new” novel project, though admittedly I’ve been having some fun playing around with it. “Capernica Lost” is still my preferred project to meet this requirement, but everything really rests on Hope City’s first-draft completion.

[ 7/ 60 ] Make 60 submissions attempts (submit 60 times) *I’ll admit, I’m starting to get a little nervous about hitting this one over the course of the next nine months. On the one hand, it’s been slow going because I’ve been having to write a lot of new stories in order to get something submitable: most of my backlog is pretty crummy and needs either major surgery to make it worth submitting, or just can’t be saved. So fresh stuff is good! BUT it also slows me down significantly. However, whatever work I get done this year in prep for this goal means hopefully I’ll have a much bigger bank of stories to submit for next year, which might make this goal easier to reach. BUT! I’m not caving yet! I’ve currently got 4 stories doing the rounds, and have a very rough draft of a new one that might be able to go out in the next month or so, PLUS a month’s goal to finish this one story I’ve been batting around for a while. Once those two are done, then I’ll have six out circulating, which will be a smidge better. Ugh. I’m such a slow writer. Geez! 

MONTHLY GOALS:

[  2 / 12 ] Finish “The Thief Dilemma” with 1 chapter posted per month (July-June 2012). *I’m calling this one ALMOST reached, because I’ve got the rough draft (plus several possible “optional” inserts) written up and cooling before a final edit and hopefully will be posting later this week or early next week. It’s been a challenging chapter which has completely worn me out writing it, so I want to make sure I can look at it as objectively as possible before posting it up and having to stick with what I’ve done. It’s also 9k in length, which is about 50% longer than usual, so perhaps I’ll make this chapter a Double Feature and add in another 3k to make it a proper two chapter chunk. :0)

[   4 / 12 ] Read 1 “old” book (pre-2009) in genre (ex: Rendezvous with Rama) *Success at last! I’ve finally caught up to my working goal of reading one “old” genre book per month. This last month, I read both Hyperthought by M.M. Buckner and blew through the hilariously fun Legacy (A Tale of Two Clocks) by James H. Schmitz. Trigger makes me happy. And laugh. 

[   0 / 12 ] Read 1 “new” book (post-2009) in genre (ex: Zoo City*I am still failing at this. Horribly. I’m about mid-way through The Bookman by Lavie Tidhar, and about 10-20%  in to The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi–both of which are really good, but for some reason I’ve had a hard time focusing this month. I blame stress. But regardless, major FAIL. I did read Issue #1 of Jungle Jim Magazine, though, and it was delightfully fun!

DAILY GOALS:

 30/ 30 ] Write 500 words /OR/ write from 8AM-10AM M-F *Hit this easily every day, and made some good if somewhat strained progress. That two-hour benchmark is really challenging for me. I’ve trained myself very comfortably on that 500 word limit, which is almost exactly 30 minutes for me, and just about any time beyond that scope I start getting completely distracted. I think for now, I’m going to have to start compensating in two ways. 1) I need to shift the time a bit, and maybe push it to 8AM-9:30AM or even (if I’m awake enough) 7:30AM-9:30AM. I like having time between finishing my writing and logging-in to work, and I’ll typically quit the writing session early to give myself transition time.<–Unacceptable. 2) I need to juggle multiple projects, preferably a mix of editing and new-words projects, so that when I get drained from putting new words on the page, I can switch into editing-mode. This I just need to work on putting into practice. 

[   0 /30 ] Read 1 short story per day *I may have read a short story or two by accident this month, but most of my lit appetite has been focused on longer works, so I’m not even going to pretend like I tried to do this. Ultra-fail! :0(

At least there’s a *little* more green this month than in the past, so hey! That’s progress, right? Definitely need to get back to reading profusely–I can feel it impacting my writing in a not-so-good way–and turning the TV off more often than not. I’m going to work on this, but I’m also going to try to keep my sanity a bit–the last few weeks have been uber-stressful, and I need to find a good, happy life balance.

Over the next few weeks I may be posting up old Apex blogs I put together on the writing process and on the submission process, and there may be one or two other THREE QUESTION posts from The Zombie Feed Anthology folks. I’ve really loved doing the Three Questions interviews with people–it not only helps me to get to know my fellow contributors a little better, it also helps me to do a little something to promote projects I’ve participated in. It’s a win-win! :) Anyway, just about done with that series, but may have a few more coming up in the next few weeks. We’ll see!

Other than that? I’m just going to keep on keepin’ on! :)

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