Shoot for the Moon Challenge 2015 – November Roundup


This was certainly an odd month… On one hand, I went down with a really nasty head cold like a sack of spanners. Try as I might I could NOT shake off the damn thing, which continued on and on moonthroughout the whole month. It pervaded my whole existence, turning my lessons – which I normally love – into a dreary trudge as I struggled with a blocked nose, temperatures and persistent sore throat. BUT on the other hand, while feeling so grim the only refuge was to get lost in writing. So I did…

• As I mentioned last month, my plans to get Running Out of Space fully formatted and self published in time for Fantasycon landed in a heap when I encountered a corrupted file and as this was my first time, I hadn’t realised it until after 3 twenty-hour days in a row trying to get it right… After returning from Fantasycon and while struggling with my cold, I wasn’t up to facing the fiddly job of formatting – yet again. So decided to put this project on the back-burner until the New Year. December is always crazy-busy with more than half the family birthdays occurring throughout the month and then there’s the small disruption of Christmas. I am not going to put myself through the madness of the run-up to Fantasycon again if I can avoid it.
Challenge – To have Running Out of Space – Sunblinded: 1 published by the end of the year. I’ve failed at this major target, but I’ve learnt so much in the process that while I won’t deny it felt like a huge defeat at the time – it isn’t the end of the world. Better by far to delay the project to ensure the book is something I’ll be proud to share with the rest of the world, than to fling it out on Amazon with major formatting issues, regarding the italicisation – which was my biggest bugbear. I’ve also decided to bring out the whole trilogy together in 2016, with, hopefully, Bloodless, the first book in the follow-up space opera crime series ready to go  at the start of 2017.

• Due to the cold and the fact the only time I felt remotely human was when sitting at the computer lost in my own world, I spent the month writing. The result was I managed to complete the first draft of Miranda’s Tempest. This is a huge deal for me. This book has been boring holes in my skull for most of the year after I screeched to a halt with it in February and hadn’t had a chance to go back to the start, work out where I went wrong and put it right. Even so, the last chapter took 4 goes before I was happy with it – and I’m still unsure whether I’ve completely pulled it off… But I do know I’m very proud of the book and think it is the best thing I’ve written so far, once I’ve completely tidied it up, of course.
I also managed a major rewrite of a space opera romp I wrote years ago and stuffed in the back of a virtual drawer. Dusting it off, I realised it wasn’t as dire as I’d recalled – in fact once I addressed my tendency to repeat all the major events three times in three different ways – the narrative and characters work very well. It was also the last time I wrote anything in third person pov and I’m also pleasantly surprised how successful it was.
Challenge – to complete Miranda’s Tempest by the end of the year. Yep. Ticked that box:). Also dusted off and edited/rewrote Unearthly Things Above, which way back when, was on DAW’s ‘seriously considered’ heap for a while after I submitted it to their slush pile. No wonder they passed on it, given how overwritten it was!

• I read 11 books and wrote 8 reviews during November, which brings my annual total to date of 100 written reviews.
Challenge – To review a minimum of 100 books during 2015. Nailed that one…

With a chunk of my teaching commitment on hold – I could not possibly risk giving the boy I tutor my monster cold – I only wrote 3,400 words on admin, my blog took just over 7,000 words. But my wordcount for writing my own work was just over 91,800 words. Yes… my jaw dropped too. I have to say that while I was certainly on a roll, it didn’t feel unduly difficult. Hopefully I won’t get that ill again for a while – but at least it wasn’t a complete bust. That now brings my yearly total to date to just over 314,000 words.

9 responses »

  1. Congrats on finishing Miranda’s Tempest! And I’m glad you’re looking at Running Out of Space’s publishing process is as positive a light as you can. Every project we take on is a learning experience. And like you said, it’s better to put out a good-quality product a little later than planned, rather than go through the opposite scenario.

    • Thank you for your kind encouragement, Sara:). I’m trying to adopt that as the attitude as I go through the process, because otherwise it just turns into slow-motion misery. And I have poured too much positive energy and care too much to want to reduce this baby of mine to that state!

  2. Congrats on nailing your goals and… I’d consider the first one achieved too, since you kind of had it ready, it’s just the external issues that stopped you.
    It’s like having a goal of flying to Australia by the end of the year, having everything booked, flights, hotels, passport and visa checked, bags packed… and then getting stuck on the airport, because of bad weather conditions or other volcanos eruptions. Not your fault really.
    So congratulations on this one too! 🙂

  3. Bless you, Joanna:). Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I was feeling rather despairing at first – but then I realised that personalising every setback would turn the whole process into a gritted trudge, rather than an empowering process to publish my own work. Of course there are going to be problems and obstacles – if it was as simple as all that, every book that ended up on Amazon would be error-free and perfectly formatted… So I’m determined to take a deep breath, regather and start again on the formatting in the New Year, when everything calms down again.

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