Shoot for the Moon Challenge – April Roundup

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At the end of last year, I and Mhairi Simpson decided to aim for insanely ambitious targets, using the theory that in an effort to achieve them, we would get more done than if we had been more sensible in our goal-setting. It does make more sense as a strategy at 3 am after having downed several mugs of strong Assam – really… So how are things working out?

  • I am giving myself a rest from editing both Running Out of Space and Dying for Space as I’d got to a point where I couldn’t see the story for the words… Challenge – have both Running Out of Space and Dying for Space completed, including edits, by the end of April – In Progress.
  • I wrote 12 reviews in April and am now posting something on my blog every day – including my reviews. Challenge – to write and publish 100 book reviews in 2014 on my blog. For the 4th month in a row, this target is on track…
  •  My Summer Term Creative Writing courses started this week, so I am still working on the related admin. In April, I ran a Therapeutic Life Writing 1 day course with a colleague, who is also a trained counsellor – it was an amazing roller-coaster experience, and we have had some very positive feedback so now want to make it a regular occurrence for those who attended. Challenge – to run our 1 Day Therapeutic Life Writing course. Lyn and I have been working on this for over a year and were excited about its power to help people in a difficult place emotionally. I am very proud that we successfully started this project – and I couldn’t wish for a better partner. Achieved and ongoing.
  • West Sussex Writers ran a national Short Story competition with a 3,000 word limit – no, I didn’t submit (more on that later…). As a member of the committee, I was part of the reading team tasked with compiling the long list, so during April ended up reading fifty-something short stories and marking them. It has taken up a lot of time, as obviously, it isn’t something to be rushed. Our team have now completed the first read-through, and will shortly be working on the long list. Challenge – to read and mark entries for the West Sussex Writers’ National Short Story Competition. In Progress.
  • I am team-writing a book with author Michael D. Griffiths moon– we started a crazy thread when we both were members of SFReader.com and found that we thoroughly enjoyed the fact that when we write together, we produce something completely different from our normal output. This was a book we started a couple of years ago – since then Life has intruded and we haven’t managed to complete it as fast as we would have liked. But Chaos in New Cluster is now approaching the final climax and I am working on Chapter 21. Hope to have it back to Mike within the next couple of weeks. Challenge – to finish the first draft of Chaos in New Cluster during 2014. In Progress.
  • I undertook to submit all my short fiction and poetry to magazines or competitions and this month I’ve failed AGAIN. Miserably… I MUST knuckle down and put in the hours it takes to comb through and find suitable markets, then edit/adjust my work accordingly. AND SEND IT OUT! Challenge – to submit all my short fiction and poetry to magazines or competitions. Failed AGAIN!!

During April, I wrote a paltry 15,000 words, most of which were book reviews, taking my yearly total to a mere 88,500 words. Have to say, I’ve been trudging towards the computer these last couple of weeks as the admin tasks have stacked up. So instead of being all sensible about clearing the decks, etc – after writing this, my instinct is just to plunge into Breathing Space as the buzz of writing will probably mean I’ll power through the admin that at present seems like a dreary slog.

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