Search This Blog

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Current state of matters: work and writing

My paying work: I quit my full-time job and went freelance in Spring 2019. I've been seriously struggling to make ends meet but finally seem to have enough teaching and proofreading work to continue on as a freelancer. Most recently, I had a job teaching English and Math to junior high school students who will be studying abroad in Australia. I had a two-night stay at a hotel in Shinjuku for the job, and the work was enjoyable. I also have accepted a position as a voice actor for a travel guide start-up. I am still interested in minor acting roles and possibly DJing out again, but neither of those have panned out very well. Only one job each this year, and the DJing one didn't pay.

As for my writing, I've recently joined a group on the Writers of the Future forum, the Wulf Pack and joined Moon's Super Secret Bonus Challenge!, which is Wulf Moon's encouraging group of writers who are all aiming at winning the Writers of the Future contest while also producing enough quality work to submit to other paying markets as well. The leader of the group is a WotF winner and has published work elsewhere. He's full of wisdom and practical advice. The main challenge is to write two fresh stories every quarter and submit one to Writers of the Future and the other to the paying market (aiming at 5-10 cents a word). I'm also taking on the flash fiction challenge: write 1000-word stories in response to weekly prompts, then take some of them and cut them down to 500 words then 250 words, in order to find the most valuable treasure within. It should help me increase my efficiency and skills, and hopefully get even closer to producing pro level work.

I also just joined Deep Magic as a first reader. It should be interesting to read through the opening pages of their submissions and see if I can manage to spot any gems.

Regarding Writers of the Future, I submitted to every quarter in 2019. Q1, Q2, and Q3 were all rejections, but at least I was submitting. The result of Q4 is pending. I didn't submit in 2018 as I was trying to handle a massive issue in my life which required lots of time and was mentally and emotionally draining. Thankfully, that has since been solved as best it could be, and I am back to getting more writing time into my life. Now to prepare my submission for Q1 of 2020.

I marked myself down as participating in NaNoWriMo, which is from November 1st to November 30th. As I'm a NaNo rebel this year, I won't be doing novel work. I've been writing lots of flash fiction and short stories, making use of prompts provided by Wulf Moon, so I decided to focus on that. My plan is to produce and edit 50K of short stories, flash fiction, and a novelette, then submit one story to Writers of the Future by the end of December, and the rest submitted elsewhere from January. This will depend on what further motivation and assignments are given by the Wulf Pack as well.

Anyway, happy writing everyone. Hope you're well. I'll post an update again soon.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Been a while

Finally starting to get back to writing. Had big drama in life but managing to move forward now, which means getting a handle on what I care about. The wonderful Joni Labaqui at Writers of the Future tried to motivate me into submitting for their contest deadlines earlier this year (June and September), but I didn't get my head back in the game at that point. This November I'll be participating in NaNoWriMo to finish up a few projects from before (a novelette and three short stories - my profile here) then I'll submit the novelette to WotF by the end of December. Good luck to everyone else writing this November, and here's to keeping up motivation in the face of all our troubles.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Thoughtful sci-fi short story by Carrie Vaughn on chess and telepaths

I recommend giving Carrie Vaughn's "That Game We Played During the War".

It was a softly beautiful story. A thoughtful piece about playing chess with a telepath. The protagonist enters the land of her people's former enemies to go play chess with the captain she was once a prisoner of. The former enemies are telepathic, whereas she and her people are not. Makes for interesting interactions, which lead us through a gradual treatment of struggling to get over the darkness of war, and related elements connected to that. While the language in itself was not beautiful per se, the language was very clean and precise and helped the story itself, and the interactions between the characters, shine brilliantly.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Review of Machine by Jennifer Pelland

Here is my review as posted on Goodreads of Machine by Jennifer Pelland:

5/5 stars
bookshelves: sci-fi, relationships, robot-love, androids, psychological, favorites

Read from March 02 to 09, 2016

This is a highly recommended psychological ride with plenty of intelligent commentary on the world. It is an intense character study of a protagonist who must struggle through the raging political battleground of the body after choosing to put her mind inside an android body until a cure is found for her original body's rare disease, rather than waiting it out in stasis inside.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Specific Stories Being Put to the Test in March

I have been prodding and poking myself to focus on my short fiction for the past few months so as to get ready for March deadlines. Most mornings, I have gotten in 30-90 minutes of writing, so success! I've gotten in plenty at several other hours of the day, too (I swear, I'm becoming better and better at the art of sneaking in creative work that matters wherever and whenever - a must, even if a constant struggle - that's just how the game goes).

For submission this month, I have three stories finished but in need of a few more drafts before I'm satisfied. Also wanting a few additional readers who can provide diverse feedback (if anyone is interested, please let me know).

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Getting your spiral on for deeper drafting

I present my latest adventure in the crafting of fiction. I call it "PacMan with grumpy facial hair", or more simply, "getting my spiral on". Worked sort of like the folders/collections/keywords of Scrivener. Obviously, Scrivener is preferred for full novels, but for chapters and short work, the spiral was effective.

Friday, December 4, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015 Success & December WotF Deadline

Now that NaNoWriMo is over and done with, time to return to the blog with a post regarding two matters: first a couple paragraphs reflecting on progress during November on the supernatural noir novel, Hum in the Highways, followed by a few paragraphs on plans for December, such as another short story for Writers of the Future by Dec. 31st.

First of all, progress during November was basically a success. I passed 50K and the novel is in relatively good shape, currently sitting at 52,412 words, with plenty more scene placeholders and transitions to fill in. I tried to fill in every section of the novel in equal proportion, and I found that a very motivating and useful approach for myself. The ending changed a great deal, for the better, and I will probably be cutting and refitting the current structure after finishing the complete draft (the goal for that is the end of January, due to other priorities in December).