Hey Friends, it’s time to get caught up. I may not have been present here, but there’s been lots happening.
I finished the first draft of Winter Warrior, the fantasy novel I started to gain admission into Viable Paradise. Revisions are under way and should keep me busy at least through the end of 2019.
I wrote a science fiction novella, the first of a series. I had been thinking about this one a long time and had a blast writing it. It needs a revision pass and then I have to plan the rest of the series.
I wrote a fantasy novella, also the first of a series. It was totally on impulse. I came up with an idea, one of those, “I’ve always wanted to write about….” So I did. And it was a blast. I’m looking forward to finishing up the series. I’m waiting on feedback from my writer’s group but after I get that, I’ll figure out where to go with this.
I did write a few short stories and a few flash. The short stories are coming slower now that I’m focused on the longer projects. My ideas and writing seem to naturally gravitate toward the longer lengths, so there may be fewer short stories while I work on these. At least three of the short stories I’ve written in the past two years are novellas if not novels waiting for their turn in the spotlight. It’ll be so much fun when I get there.
I’ve experienced a shift in my writing focus. It’s not just the longer stories. It’s the concept of writing new, and what to revise. If I were to try and revise every short story I’ve ever written, it would literally take me ten years. Maybe longer. Some of these aren’t great. They’ve taught me a lot about writing and were massive fun to write. Some stories weren’t meant to share with the world. Part of this realization came after I attended a local writing workshop and met with a writer/editor who gave me some good advice. At the time, I was overwhelmed by all the revisions and how to deal with them. She suggested I go through my list of stories (over a hundred, I kid you not) and label them “love” or “no love” and only work on the ones I love. This makes so much sense. Out of the hundred plus, I chose thirty to expand into something longer, and about fifteen short stories to revise. I’m looking forward to writing those out.
Life Outside of Writing
After my layoff in 2017, I focused on writing but floundered regarding career. I was so flexible, I had too many ideas. I finally decided to go back to college for a certificate in Paralegal Studies. I have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and fifteen years of experience working in the law department of a corporation, so I decided legal work was my strongest and most interesting option. It’s been about a year, I’ve completed nine classes in the program with a perfect grade point average. I have three more classes including an internship in the fall, then I’ll be done with school and ready to reenter the workforce.
I have enjoyed the time with my children. One is now a teenager and the other a tween. I joke and tell everyone, “I blinked!” but in truth, I didn’t miss their growing up. I’ve been involved in their school and sports and social lives. That layoff came at a good time and our relationships are stronger for it. It’s making me more choosy about where I’d like to work. I want to stay in their lives instead of disappearing into a job/commute time thief.
The layoff helped me get my health back under control. I had some back issues that took a little while to resolve. I manage it with daily stretching and an awareness of how much time I spend sitting vs. moving. I’m running again and enjoying it. I’ve been casually weight lifting since last summer. I’m feeling stronger and healthier. It’s spring here, and my bike has made me so happy.
This is the last summer I’ll be unemployed, so I’m planning to do all the things with the kids. My daughter and I are learning to crochet. I’m learning basketball so I can play with my son. They’re going to be sick of me by August. I’m taking one summer college class. I’m working on the Winter Warrior revision, and drafting a novella series (yes, the whole thing this time!).
I hope life has been good to you, that you’ve had to some good stories to read or write, and that you’re on a path that promises an interesting journey.
P.S. My next post will be about what I’ve been reading lately, and no, I won’t link you to my college textbooks. 🙂