We’re just over halfway through 2015 – and for once I’m skipping the head-shaking amazement at the speed at which we got here, just take it as read! In the meantime, how am I doing? Well, I’m hanging my hopes on the saying that it’s not over until it’s over – and hoping that it’ll be over in time for Fantasycon. I may be shooting for the Moon, but at present I’m barely clearing the roof of my humble abode.
• I have at last completed my major edit of Running Out of Space and am about to hand it over to my long-suffering husband and a couple more beta readers. I haven’t looked at the other two manuscripts, yet. Challenge – To have The Sunblinded Trilogy ready to publish by the end of August. Right now this target is looking risible – but I’m going to keep plugging away and hope that it somehow falls into place. July will be a keynote month for me and by the end of it, I should know whether I’ll be able to come close to this ambition.
• So far this year I have read 57 books and written 50 reviews, making me bang on target – so long I don’t get so overwhelmed by a ton of work that all my timescales end up in a heap on the floor. Can’t image WHAT could possibly cause such an occurrence during the next couple of months… Challenge – To review a minimum of 100 books during 2015. Given what else is going on this year, the chances of missing this challenge is high.
• Submissions of my two novels Mantivore Dreams and Netted to agents has rather lost momentum while I’m waiting to see if the agents who requested full m/s are interested. I’m hoping to address this lapse during July/August while my teaching commitments are not so pressing. Challenge – To seek and procure representation for at least one of my novels. Still ongoing.
• I have now had an opportunity to discuss the summer term with the participating students, who overwhelmingly enjoyed the opportunity to present their favourite writing to the class. I’m delighted this has been so successful and intend to run a similar format next summer. My final teaching course this year is a one day Summer Surgery at Northbrook College on Friday 24th July. I’m really looking forward to the day, which will round off a successful year at Northbrook. I’m very grateful to my lovely, loyal students for making the whole experience so much fun. Challenge – To make this term’s Creative Writing courses more interactive. Yes, I succeeded in this Challenge. I aim to continue along this trajectory when planning and writing the course notes for the new academic year, starting on 22nd September.
• I owe my long-suffering writing partner Michael Griffiths a chapter for our joint science fiction adventure Chaos in New Cluster. And now I’ve completed the major rewrite of Running Out of Space, I shall FINALLY be turning my attention to this project before plunging into the manuscript of Dying for Space. Challenge – To complete the first draft of Chaos in New Cluster before the end of the
Realistically, having The Sunblinded Trilogy ready for Fantasycon is a fairly remote possibility, given that I have no intention of cutting any corners just to reach the deadline. But Running Out of Space will definitely be good to go – I’m really pleased with the major overhaul I’ve given this manuscript. As for Dying for Space and Breathing Space – watch this space!
I wrote 7 reviews for my blog this month with a wordcount of just over 6,000 words and failed to finish reading another 3 books – a consequence of attempting more novels by authors unknown to me. I wrote just over 15,700 words this month on my teaching courses in the form of admin, lesson plans and evaluations and just over 1,500 words on a poem and a couple of articles, bringing my June wordcount to just over 23,500 words.