Friday Check-in – Week 8: Walter White Sighting

[Writing this post a little early on a Friday (like 2 AM early) because I’m heading out of internet access for the next day and a half or so.]

This week, I was sent a copy of The Albion Reviewa national undergraduate lit journal that I submitted a short story to in October of 2014. I got my acceptance in April, 2015, and the arrival of my copy revealed that I my story, “Unapologetic,” actually won their short fiction contest. Look around, look around, how lucky we are to be alive right now…But really, I’m pleased, especially because the short story in question is in the contemporary genre, which I hardly ever write in. At the time I submitted it, thought I’d be satisfied if it got in anywhere. Now? I may cruise for reprint venues… So yeah, that’s up on my Fiction page, though it’s not currently available online.IMG_20160224_094242

Marooning myself at a coffee shop last week was so good for my productivity, I did it again this Wednesday. I drank a vat of tea for $3, laughed about it containing Stevia so soon after I binge-watched Breaking Bad, then thrilled and rejoiced in the little coincidences of life when this guy sat down next to me, looking just similar enough to Walter White to make it all worthwhile.

Green Star Reads for this week:

Finished REBEL MECHANICS, by Shanna Swendson. I feel like I’d have liked this more if it were developed more, deepened, if it took more time to weave together the world…As it is, I liked the potential of some elements, and my ship sailed, so like, that was good. But…?

I’m still figuring out my feelings on FEED, by M. T. Anderson. Understand, cover summary mentioned “fighting the feed,” and I went in thinking UGLIES, etc. Came out more reminded of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (except it’s really, really not like TFioS)… I… It was really interesting, and I was riveted, and I think this one is going to take me a long time to fully process.

Another one I tore through was WHAT’S LEFT OF ME, by Kat Zhang. So long overdue. I’ve had an ARC of the sequel for ages, I met Zhang at Ch1Con last year, and I think I wanted to like it so bad that I was scared of it for a while… I’m happy to say that I loved it. I’m excited to read the sequel, and hopefully get deeper into the characters, and the different personas, and the world of the novel at large.

I’m chipping away at REVISION & SELF-EDITING: TECHNIQUES FOR TRANSFORMING YOUR FIRST DRAFT INTO A FINISHED NOVEL, by James Scott Bell, a few pages at a time.

I still have a tower of library books from last week, but I’m dropping them all for the moment because A GATHERING OF SHADOWS came out this week, by Victoria Schwab (one of my all-time favorite authors). Everyone should buy it, right now. To tide me over, I’m reading one of Victoria Schwab’s first books, THE NEAR WITCH, which came in the mail a few days ago, exactly as I’d planned. Find an epic coat, read a Schwab book, any Schwab book–but also go buy AGoS.

  • Soundtrack of the Week: Badass villain playlist continues to suit my needs. I also just listened to “Monsters” by Mree for several hours tonight.
  • Go-to method of procrastination: League. Office. Ansatsu Kyoushitsu. Coaxing my zombie phone back to life because I somehow have to make it until contract runs out this November.

Sticker Check-in

Week 8

CURRENT KEY

  1. Red – 1/2 hr revision (WEEK TOTAL:  3 hr)
  2. Blue – draft 500 new words (WEEK TOTAL: 11,500 words)
  3. Green – read 100 pages (WEEK TOTAL: 800 pages)
  4. Gold – 1/2 hr studying Japanese (WEEK TOTAL:  4 hrs)
  5. Silver – blog post (WEEK TOTAL: 1)
  6. NOT PICTURED – I’m tracking exercise and adult-like responsibilities in a separate baby-sized calendar also courtesy of Easter Seals.(WEEK TOTAL FOR EXERCISE: 1 time).
  7. TOTAL STICKERS: 47

Points of Note:

  • Still overlapping red and blue stars for overlapped revision and drafting new words.
  • The drafting stickers on the 20th and 21st are from rewriting a short story I worked on back in school, which was runner-up in my district for the Scholastic young writer’s awards thing, but I knew was never quite right. This new draft looks so different, coming at the concept from a completely different angle, but I have a lot more hope for the result.
  • Tracking total stars per week was a good idea, I think, because I just realized I have two more total stars than last week, even though I got less done during this weeks Productivity Jail. Again, that’s from the new short story draft I poured out, but it’s nice to see.

One of those last drafting stars was for the senior profile I had to write for my college’s English Department newsletter. As I was jotting things down–about working on my campus lit mag, about spending time in Greece and Chicago, about finishing novel drafts, getting minor success for a few short stories, and being eligible for a freaking Campbell award–it occurred to me that a lot has happened during my college career. It’s been a good four years. And since the internet (specifically the writing community) has been a big part of those four years, I owe you guys a thank you.

So, thanks for reading, and thanks for being awesome, Internet.

Allison

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