May Writing Projects

Last month I decided to revise ALL THE THINGS. Well, not all of them. Just 15 short stories and pieces of flash fiction.

Except that I miscounted.

It was actually 17.

But, hey, good news! All 17 items were revised. Yay! All of the flash fictions stories are totally done. Of the four short stories I revised, three will need another pass, but the worst of them is over.

I, too, am shocked at my own productivity.

This month there will be…more revising. But only one story. I’m going to revise Come to the Rocks. I think it’s sat long enough. Time to see what I’ve got and if it’s as magical as I remember it. I’m going to guess no on that. They never are.

I’m also going to start outlining season 2 of Murderville. Right now I’m giving it a tentative green light as The Last Joke has been getting some positive feedback. I’m really hoping to hit the $25 goal before the end of it. So far the audience growth has been slow, but those reading seem to be enjoying themselves and that’s enough of encouragement for my ego.

Speaking of Murderville: The Last Joke, the next episode, “Puzzle Piece Pawn”,  goes live May 9th. Don’t miss out on the fun! Become a patron, catch up on the first four episodes, and tell your friends!

April Writing Projects

Since the only writing projects I really needed to do last month was finishing the first drafts of Come to the Rocks and “August 8, 2015” (it turned out to be a short story!), I ended up with the last two weeks of March free. I ended up spending that time doing a little spruce up on the sidebar of the blog, making a few minor tweaks to The Storytime Jukebox (it is what it is, man), revising a short story called “Notorious” that will hopefully end up in the Jukebox, and writing ten flash fiction stories for a potential project that may or may not happen.

I’m annoying like that.

April will be the month of revision! I’ll revise “Grandma’s Funeral”, “A Girl’s Best Friend”, “Suicide Paris Green”, and “August 8, 2015”. I’ll also try to revise/polish “Notorious”, which will end up in the Jukebox, if all goes well.

And then there’s the matter of revising all of that the flash fiction for the potential project.

Yes, I’m going to try to revise fifteen stories all told next month. I don’t think I’m going to even come close to that, but if I can get a good chunk of them done, then I’m sitting pretty.

In a metaphorical sense, of course.

The next episode of Murderville: The Last Joke goes live on the 11th. $1 lets you read; $2 lets you read AND you get bonus content, like the special little ditty that will be dropping for the $2 patrons this month. Don’t miss out! Read the teasers for episodes one, two, and three, and then haul a little booty over to Patreon so you can read the whole thing!

February Writing Projects

roseIt’s a short month, so naturally I’m going to try to accomplish several things.

Though I managed to write a poem a day last month, I need to finish the revision of (Vampires) Made in America. I probably would have finished it last month, but I was in Chicago for Cubs Con the weekend of my birthday. Oh, I still worked that weekend, but just not as much as I would have if I was home. Another factor is that I’m adding chapters, so writing the new content is taking a little bit longer.

I’m also going to write the first drafts of two new short stories for the next short story collection, “Grandma’s Funeral” and “A Girl’s Best Friend”. I’m anticipating these to be somewhat difficult because it’ll be such a gear shift and the ideas have been sitting around for a while so I’m worried they’ve lost their freshness. I’m sure I’ll be able to get some kind of a first draft for each of them, but I’m anticipating an extra effort for some unfortunate shit. Thank goodness I like rewriting/revising so much.

I’m also going to be formatting Murderville: The Last Joke into a novella eBook, which will be available to my patrons at the end of the year. I will also be giving my $2 patrons their first freebie this month. So, if you want to get it on that, check out the Murderville page.

Also, the next episode comes out next week. Check out the preview of the first episode and then find out how to read the rest.

January Writing Projects

Snowflower2016 has been put to bed (finally and thankfully) and 2017 has begun. I have a general schedule of what I want/need to get done this year in terms of writing. As of right now, I have a lot of free months, but that is just an illusion. Those blank spaces will fill up quickly as I get this ball rolling.

And of course, this ball starts its rolling in January.

My plan this month is to revise (Vampires) Made in America. This is part of my ultimate 2017 goal of getting this novel to the point of ultimate doneness. I’ve got three of these Outskirts novels just sitting there like lumps. Maybe if I do one, then the other two will follow. It’s a thought.

I’m also going to write a poem a day. I know it’s not National Poetry Month and I know that I ended up a big loser in the poetry contest I entered (I guess my Honors English teacher was right about capitalizing that last line after all), but I still have it in my head that poetry is something I can and should do, even if just for myself. Ideally, I’d like to put it to good use (by that I mean publish it in some form), but I feel that just to play with words in that medium will be largely beneficial overall.

As a side project this month, I’m finishing up a script outline that I started in December. Again, it’s an exercise in a different medium, outlining and writing scripts, but the ideas translate well to novels/novellas. So I count it as time well spent even if the movie would never be made and the script itself never even shopped.

And, of course, Murderville: The Last Joke starts next week, so don’t forget to get in on that.

I think this will be a good way for me to kick off 2017.

December Writing Projects

Milwaukee Christmas treeShit kinda got wacky last month, I will not deny. Cubs World Series parade, the election, the world on fire, NaNoWriMo. Just unforeseen craziness. And so outside of NaNo, my writing really didn’t get a whole lot of attention. I was going to try write, revise, and submit a short-short to a contest, but that didn’t happen. I got it started and it ended up being abandoned in the chaos. The essays I’ve been writing for practice met the same fate. Only NaNo and a rough revision on my Patreon serial idea happened.

And now it’s December and the holiday season is upon us and if this isn’t my well-documented least favorite time of year. I automatically call a mulligan every December because it takes so much of my energy to find and maintain any little dribble of holiday spirit.

But I still got shit to do.

The Patreon serial project is going to be my main focus this month. I’m getting a beta read on it right now, I’ll do another revision on it, and then go from there. The goal is to have this little thing going starting in January.

Which means I will also be pimping this thing. If this sort of self-promotion annoys you, let me remind you that I don’t work one of my jobs for like a month because of Christmas/New Year’s. I don’t work, I don’t get paid. Any little bit of coin I can scrape together helps to ease that pain.

Speaking of, you may or may not (probably not) have noticed an update to the Storytime Jukebox. You can now read the short stories on the blog. You drop in your coins like usual (via PayPal) and I’ll send you a password to use on the story link. Nifty, yes? Sure. The novellas are still only available on Googledocs, though. Or you can buy the short story collections they’re in. That’s good, too.

Though Patreon will definitely be my main gig this month, if I have any spare brain power, it’s going to be spent organizing my plan for next year.

Because I’m going to need some kind of plan for 2017.

July Writing Projects

FireworksSo, the novel fell apart spectacularly, but I can strip it for parts. And I did finish the 99 novella. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. It may end up being one of those personal writing projects, something I needed to do just for me. And that’s cool. I do not mind those sorts of projects because they free up brain space. June wasn’t a total waste.

This month I’ll revise Open Christmas Eve. And by revise I mean make it longer because it is really short for a script. All part of me feeling less like a fraud about my contest entry that will probably not win anything.

Speaking of contests, the short story I entered into a contest earlier this year did not win, so I’m going to put that loser to the side and do something else with it later. But still, buy my stuff and tell me I’m pretty because my ego hurts.

And speaking of short stories, that’s going to be my main objective this month. I have an idea for a new short story collection, so I’ll be writing and revising with the aim of starting that. I’ve also go another idea for a different short story project that I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull off, but hey, I gotta try. That will be mostly revising short stories that I’ve never been able to find a home for.

July looks to have a whole lot going on.

Who needs summer vacation?

April Writing Projects

Yellow flowersRemember last month when I said that I was forcing myself to revise two short stories that needed a lot of work and I didn’t like them and it was going to take me forever and everything was terrible?

Yeah, that was all nothing but an empty whine because I ended up getting them both done in about two weeks. I didn’t anticipate that, but it happened, and I’m happier for it.

And since I got them done so quickly, I just moved right on to the next big revision, The Haunting of the Woodlow Boys, which I’ll continue working on this month. I’ve got over half of it done already, but it’s the last third or so that really needs a lot of work and rewriting. I’m going to take my time with it. It’s the last story in the still-untitled ghost story collection that needs major revisions. Once it gets done, that whole thing should come together pretty quickly.

In side project news, if you follow me on Twitter (you probably shouldn’t because I’m terrible) or read the tweets that come up on the blog, then you know I’ve been referencing five outlines. First I talked about finishing them; now I’m talking about writing synopsis and fifteen pages. It’s possible you might be wondering what the hell I’m talking about.

(It’s also possible that you don’t give a shit, and that’s also valid.)

I’m going to try my hand at the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition again. Nine years after winning 10th place in the genre category and a few failures in other categories since then, I’ve decided to try my hand at the script category. I’ve only written a script once before for Script Frenzy (which they don’t do anymore), so I’m looking at this as a personal challenge that’s going to cost me a $25 entry fee.

So what’s the deal with the five outlines? I took five ideas that I had and outlined them. Now I’m writing the first fifteen pages and synopsis (the requirement for the entry) of each one to see which one I think is the strongest entry. Then I’ll take the one I think is strongest, polish it all up, and submit it. Is it a lot of extra work to do it this way? Yeah, probably, but it gives me some practice. Am I cheating by only doing the first fifteen pages? Yeah, probably, but I will finish whatever one I submit for sure. It just won’t be done by the deadline, which is in May. I only have one more outline that needs fifteen pages and a synopsis written, so I’ve got plenty of time to get this done. I find script writing to go very quickly for me.

Which means I’m probably doing it wrong.

March Writing Projects

green flowerBeware the Ides of March! Or in my case, the whole month because this one is going to suck for me.

What possible writely punishment could I be putting myself through? I’m revising two short stories I don’t like.

I really liked the ideas of “What You Don’t See” and “Short Hallway”. However, the first draft executions of both were awful slogs that did little to capture what was in my head. Not a problem, as I tend to be hard on myself during first drafts and I feel like revising is something I’m better at.

I reread both stories last month after I finished revising Voice, thinking I’d make notes on them and get a jump start on their revisions.

Instead, I made a few notes and then put them both aside to sit for the last week of February because I had no desire to even attempt to start to revise either one of them. The first drafts are as a bad as I remember and they’re going to take a lot of work to revise and it’s going to be such a slog because I don’t like the stories. Any time I decide that I don’t like a story, it means that all future work on that story is going to be painful. I’ll be stomping my foot like a little child being forced to do something against my will, procrastinating even though I know it would be better to just get it over with. I can’t help it. On the outside I’m 36, but my Rainbow Brite shoelaces should tip you off that on the inside, I’m 5.

Why don’t I just give up on the stories if I don’t like them? Two reasons. One, I’m loathe to give up on ANY story no matter what the circumstance. Two, when I finally do quit on a story it’s because I’ve tried everything and the story just doesn’t work. I’ve completed and submitted and/or published several stories that I hated from first draft to last, but they worked. Even if I hate them, I have to honor that.

I think with the required effort, these two stories will work.

It’s just a matter of summoning up the necessary energy in order to put in the required effort to make them work.

I don’t wanna.

February Writing Projects

roseLast month I finished the first drafts of “Short Hallway” and “What You Don’t See”, which were both a real slog for some reason. I also wrote, revised, polished, and submitted a short story called “Don’t Feed the Animals” to a contest. It was one of those rare stories that came out pretty much done in the first draft. It just needed some minor tweaks. Pretty handy since I needed to have it ready to go in only a few weeks.

I think I was going to try to write and enter two stories because at the time I had two ideas, but when it came time to focus, I only had “Don’t Feed the Animals” in my head. I can’t for the life of me remember what the other idea was. Oh well. It was either a moment of brilliance lost forever or it was an idea better forgotten. I’ll never know.

This month I’m going to go back to revising Voice. I’ve done the structural changes and I’ve made all of the notes. In theory, this shouldn’t be much of a challenge to fix, but I haven’t been able to bank on anything lately. It’s been a tough go mentally as of late for me (but that’s another post).

If I somehow get done with Voice, then I’ll move on to revising something else that’s going into the ghost anthology because there’s a lot of revising needed to be done for that.

I’m going to be doing so much revising this year.

So much.

December Writing Projects and Other Tidbits

SnowflowerIt’s December! And December means that I don’t do as much writing work because I’m too busy wading through all of the holiday cheer to get much done. And yes, that was sarcasm because this has long been my least favorite time of year and I think I lost what precious little Christmas spirit I might have had back on November 1st when I inhaled about a pound of artificial snow during a floorset.

Anyway. Writing projects.

I’m going to continue working on The Haunting of the Woodlow Boys novella. Just writing 500 words a day, taking it very easy. I’m also going to start revising Voice, again taking it very easy. I have almost nothing made for Grinchmas so that’s where most of my energy is going to be directed. Making little bits of progress on writing projects is better than making none or stressing myself because I’m struggling to write and make Grinchmas. I can go full blast again in January.

Tidbits and News:

The distribution of The Ivy Russell Novellas paperback has hit a snag because that book is jinxed and/or I am terrible at my job. So for the foreseeable future, it will only be available on Lulu. Sorry for any inconvenience, but there shouldn’t be much because Lulu is just as good as the more popular marketplaces.

Speaking of other not so popular places, I’m doing a couple of holiday deals through Smashwords (which is compatible for most all eBook platforms) for my two 2015 eBook releases, The Ivy Russell Novellas and People Are Terrible.

Use the coupon code CW86C to get 15% off of The Ivy Russell Novellas.

Use the coupon code DS99F to get 15% off of People Are Terrible.

These coupons are only valid at Smashwords and the deals end on Christmas, so don’t miss out!