At the end of last year, Mhairi Simpson and I decided to really go for it in 2014 and give ourselves a stupidly ambitious set of goals that we would inevitably miss – but in doing so would still be far ahead of where we’d be if we’d played safer… Have to say, there are times when explaining it to other people, I realise the pair of us might have been a bit more stoked on Very Strong Tea (we’re both addicts) than we were aware of.
• I seem to have been stuck in Editland forever… I’m now working through Dying for Space, the second book in the Sunblinded trilogy. I spent a week going through Running Out of Space, the first book, and will return to it again. I find it easier to edit if I focus on a particular issue – like checking that all commas and full stops are in the right place in dialogue scenes, for instance. I have to be sharp when editing, and this month I’ve been spending a lot of time painting a garden fence that seems to morph into the Great Wall of China as soon as I pick up the brush. It’s taking a looong time – a bit like the editing. I’m hoping to have Running Out of Space as error-free as I can make it by the end of April. Dying for Space may take a bit longer.
Challenge – Have both Running Out of Space and Dying for Space edited, ready for publication by the end of April. In progress.
• I set myself a random challenge – to write and publish a 100 book reviews during 2014, confident that this is one I would miss by a mile. Yet I am bang on target – still! I wrote 12 reviews this month. I still think that this is one that will slip as the year progresses – during March I took an extra Creative Writing class and in the period between the afternoon and evening sessions, I’ve been relaxing and reading, instead of slogging through the rush hour traffic home and back again.
Challenge – Write and publish 100 book reviews this year. I’m on target with my reading and writing – but slightly behind with my publishing schedule.
• Next term’s course notes and lesson plans are completed and photocopied. Just as well – both classes are full… I just have to update my Scheme of Work, which is one of the chores for the Easter break.
• I’ve now got an Excel spreadsheet set up to keep track of my short fiction and poetry submissions, and have made a start, albeit paltry – 3 stories and 1 poem are Out There. Promise to do better during April!
Challenge – submit all my unpublished short stories and poems. In progress.
During March, I wrote 24,500 words. Most of this word count went towards writing my course notes and lesson plans and the rest was my blog, bringing my current yearly total to 74,300 words.