We are now in the middle of what should be high summer, but for the indifferent, damp weather. So how am I getting on with the writing targets I set myself back at the beginning of the year with my writing buddy Mhairi Simpson?
• I am now busy in mid-edit of Dying For Space, but I’m grannying right now and I find it extremely hard to become the edit-goddess while in granny-mode…
Challenge – To have first two books of The Sunblinded Trilogy published by Fantasycon. Yep – if you’ve been paying attention, you will notice that this target has changed.
• I wrote 8 reviews during July and read 9 books. I think my target is hanging in the balance at the moment, but when all is said and done, it isn’t one of the vital ones.
Challenge – To review a minimum of 100 books during 2015.
• Submitting my two novels Mantivore Dreams and Netted to agents has taken the back seat while I’ve been firefighting other, urgent deadlines recently. Hopefully this month I can get this one back on track.
Challenge – To seek and procure representation for at least one of my novels. Still ongoing.
• I have now completed all my teaching commitments for this academic year. The one day Summer Surgery at Northbrook College was really enjoyable and sufficiently successful such that I’m aiming to repeat it next year, all being well.
Challenge – To make this term’s Creative Writing courses more interactive. Yes, I succeeded in this target and hope to continue when writing next term’s course later this month.
• I completed Chapter 23 of the joint science fiction adventure Chaos in New Cluster I am writing with my buddy Michael Griffiths. So when he finally ties up the last dangling plotpoints, we’ll have completed the first draft.
Challenge – To complete the first draft of Chaos in New Cluster before the end of the year.
I’ve decided not to faff about whether The Sunblinded Trilogy is ready or not, but just get my head down and get on with it. I’m about a third of the way into the second major edit of Dying for Space. While I’m on a break from my teaching commitments, I’ve just completed reading 70 short stories and helped to compile a longlist of 20, then a shortlist of 10 for the West Sussex Writers’ National Short Story Competition. Although it is enjoyable to read the variety of stories submitted, it takes quite a chunk of time to read and mark them all. My time on the West Sussex Writers’ committee is coming to an end as I am stepping down in September. It has been a blast, but after 6 years and with recently taking on another teaching appointment, I don’t feel I could continue to give it my best effort.
I wrote just under 10,000 words reviewing books this month and 5,500 words towards Chaos in New Cluster. Writing my one day course and completing the necessary admin took just under 6,000 words, which took my July wordcount to just over 21,000 words.