Shoot for the Moon Challenge 2015 – March Roundup

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This is my monthly report of how I’m getting on in relation to the very ambitious goals I set with the moonhelp of Mhairi Simpson, outstanding taskmaster friend and writing confidante on New Year’s Eve. So now we’re a quarter of the way through the year – when did THAT happen? – how am I doing?
• I’ve now completed editing Running Out of Space, which is now being read by my Writing Group and some hardy volunteers (many, many thanks – you know who you are…). So have turned my attention to Dying for Space. As we’ve just started the Easter holidays and I’ve been grannying, I haven’t really had the chance to turn my full attention to the manuscript. I’m a bit behind where I wanted to be, but I’m hoping that once I get down to it, the manuscript will pose less problems than Running Out of Space – at least there won’t be any errant Americanisms to chase down and eradicate!
Challenge – to have all three books of The Sunblinded Trilogy ready for self publication by August. It’s going to be tight, but I think it’s still doable. I have a fallback position if Breathing Space proves to be too much of a task to knock into shape within the timeframe as I have NO intention of releasing anything that is not the best I can possibly make it.
• I’ve written 10 reviews this month for my blog, which means that my target of writing 100 reviews this year is still on track – although I was slightly hampered as I read a string of books I didn’t like enough to complete. It doesn’t happen to me very often, but I found it rather annoying – and disappointing. But it is an inevitable consequence of reading more books from authors I haven’t previously encountered
Challenge – to write and publish 100 book reviews on my blog during 2015. So far, so good – but I’m very aware that at this stage plenty could happen to derail this particular target.
• I’m still sending submissions to agents for Mantivore Dreams and Netted and took part in the amazing PITMAD event on Twitter, which was so much fun and a great experience. However, I’ve been careful in selecting agents who I really believe would be a good match for my genre and my personality – it seems pointless to carpetbomb every agent who is looking to expand their lists, regardless of whether I think we’d work well together. And if that sounds like an excuse… well, I’m still on the case.
Challenge – to continue submitting Mantivore Dreams and Netted until I get representation. Still ongoing.
• I now need to roll up my sleeves and get cracking on my course notes and lesson plans for next term. I have now taken on another part-time teaching post which will, hopefully, continue for another several years until the youngster has attained his GCSE’s.
Challenge – to get the course notes and lesson plans written this month for the summer term.

Things are ticking over. While editing is no longer the loathed task it used to be, I still far prefer writing than word-combing my manuscripts. I know I need to shake the sense that I’m only ‘properly’ working when I’m writing the first draft – it clearly isn’t the case, but it still somehow feels like it.

I wrote just over 7,700 words in book reviews and blogs this month, my Northbrook and teaching commitments took just over 4,000 words, which makes my monthly writing total around 11,800 words and my yearly total so far to just over 69,000.

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2 responses »

  1. Great job on all your goals for 2015 so far! I know you’ve mentioned Mantivore Dreams and Netted here in the past… or, at least I think you have. What are those stories about, and what genre are they? Somewhere in the speculative fiction realm, I’m guessing?

  2. Thank you! MANTIVORE DREAMS is the first in a YA science fiction trilogy about a girl growing up in a dysfunctional family in a poor village – a Cinderella figure if you will, but she also has an invisible alien friend who helps her. Until she discovers that he isn’t imaginary after all…

    And NETTED is a post-apocalyptic novel set in Maine about a family rescued after living in the wilderness for 4 years. The complicating factor is that they are all Netted, so have a neural amplifer fitted to broadcast thoughts and emotions to keep lawbreakers and cannibals out. However this particular family are neurally very powerful, which causes all sorts of problems…

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