Friday Check-in: Week 12 – Easter!

IMG_20160323_074744In this episode of “marooning myself at a coffee shop to get work done,” I’m afraid my productivity was a bit lacking. In the midst of my work, I was alerted to a positive review of my story in UP AND COMING: STORIES FROM THE 2016 CAMPBELL-ELIGIBLE WRITERS. After that I kind of devolved into pleased giggling and the distraction of looking through short story drafts for anything near-ready to send out. Based on this reaction, I shudder to think of the results when I eventually discover a bad review. You still have about one more week to download my horror-fantasy tooth fairy short story, “Decay” (originally published at Crossed Genres) along with over 230 works by 120 other authors–over 1.1 million free words of fiction.

Other than that, not much of note. There are a few new livetweeted episodes of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries under my livetweet sessions tab. On to books!

Green Star Reads for this week:

I finished THE FALLOUT,  by S.A. Bodeen, (sequel to THE COMPOUND) and I’m sorry to say that I was very un-thrilled. If I had not possessed the first book for so long, I probably would not have read to the end. As usual, an off-the-wall crack ship briefly made things more entertaining, especially as evidence seemingly appeared in the text… Then that ship was thoroughly sunk by the downright weird developments that followed. I enjoy the odd story of horrific weirdness, but this one just didn’t do it for me.

IMG_20160322_062233I worked my way through SOULLESS, by Gail Carriger, mainly out of curiosity after really enjoying the manga adaptation at my library. It was an interesting way to read–I knew when all the romantic scenes were coming! It was like a behind the scenes look!–and to be honest I think I enjoyed it more than I might have if I started with the novel version? All in all, it was a fun story, really enjoyable, and I found the world-building interesting. If I stumble across the sequels, I might give those a read, too.

I also found a cryptic index card wedged into the pages. At least, I can tell myself it’s cryptic, and therefore make my life more interesting.

I got through a bit more of REVISION AND SELF-EDITING, by James Scott Bell, and am just starting PAPER VALENTINE, by Brenna Yovanoff. FIENDISH is also on the agenda, because I could always use a little more horror in my life.

  • Soundtrack of the Week: Listened to a lot of Kishi Bashi. Soothed a headache with film scores from Miyazaki movies and Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki. Today, fell back into my villain playlist.
  • Go-to method of procrastination: Bringing Friend to tears with the end of Madoka Magica (still deliberating whether to put up on my Livetweets page). A headache that cut short one day. 😦 Looking for jobs, which is more something I’ve been procrastinating than a method of procrastination, but… I still don’t have a way to track that on-calendar.

Sticker Check-in

2016-03-25 19.24.23

CURRENT KEY

  1. Silver – 1/2 hr revision(WEEK TOTAL:  2 & 1/2 hr)
  2. Blue – draft 500 new words (WEEK TOTAL: 8,000 words)
  3. Green – read 100 pages(WEEK TOTAL: 800 pages)
  4. Gold – 1/2 hr studying Japanese (WEEK TOTAL:  3 hrs)
  5. Red – 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: 36

Points of Note:

  • I keep forgetting my key and putting red stickers down for revision time. Covered them with silver, but ugh, what a waste of stickers.
  • Speaking of stickers, this week I wound up with the exact same number as last time. Huh.
  • Finished drafting a revision of a short story today… It is one of my weirdest and most horrific, I think. I swear, I don’t always write creepy things. It’s just…they seem to be turning out better than my less-creepy stories. Hm.
  • Did not quite meet last week’s goal of working more on #FairyPrisonBook than on short fic. Which is to say, I forgot about that goal. Let’s just roll it over to this week, shall we?

Thanks for reading, and Happy Easter!

Allison

IMG_20160323_074933
My Coffeeshop Friend. Very unproductive. Uses her lack of hands as an excuse.
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Friday Check-in: Week 11 – New Season, New Haircut

Easing back into full productivity this mode, despite all the lures of Spring Break. Starting fresh with a new haircut of questionable quality (because I never know what I want, let alone how to ask for it in the language of hairdressers and fashionable people). One thing is certain: this haircut is shorter, and its ruffles change with a will of their own, free from any prompting by me.

Happy Spring, or something.

A few other miscellaneous things:

Last week I mentioned Lil Bro’s efforts to get me into (and better at) videogames. In keeping with that, he made me play through Undertale under his tutelage, which was both a delight and a struggle on my part. If you ever wanted to watch 17 Youtube videos’ worth of my face and voice, the full playlist is available under my livetweet sessions tab.

Also, you still have a few more weeks(?) to download UP AND COMING: STORIES FROM THE 2016 CAMPBELL-ELIGIBLE WRITERS, including my horror-fantasy tooth fairy short story, “Decay” (originally published and free to read at Crossed Genres) along with over 230 works by 120 other authors–over 1.1 million words of fiction, all for free.

Green Star Reads for this week:

This week I finished the ZOMBIES VS. UNICORNS anthology, spearheaded (omg unicorn pun) by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier, contributed to by two full teams of amazing authors. I came out the other side firmly Team Zombie, but not through any failing on Team Unicorn’s part. I just have a thing for stories of dead things, I guess, and even my childhood obsession with horses (and my own unicorn series rattling around in my baby-writer closet) could not overcome that.

I also read IF I EVER GET OUT OF HERE, by Eric Gansworth. I’d seen it recommended by many as an example of good Native American rep, and I really enjoyed it. I especially liked how the latter half built up this feeling of being 100% done with several different kinds of bull–a weary, wary kind of tension that gave me hints that something was coming. There was a certain point past which I was like, “No, yeah, I just have to finish the book now.”

I’m also about 15 pages into FALLOUT,  by S.A. Bodeen, AKA the sequel to THE COMPOUND, which I read years and years ago after getting it from a Scholastic book order, and then promptly forgot about until I saw this one in the library. I generally feel pretty good at remembering stories, character, plot, but pretty much all that stuck of Book 1 in this case was the threat of cannibalism and vague, narrow aspects of the ending. So getting back up to speed here will be an adventure.

  • Soundtrack of the Week: The Tricot radio station on Spotify (maybe someday I will learn enough Japanese to actually understand the lyrics) and more recently the Feel Good Indie Rock playlist, because why not?
  • Go-to method of procrastination: Dexter, League, running outdoors. And watching a friend experience the trauma of Madoka Magica for the first time (an ongoing process which may or may not wind up on my Livetweets page. Still deliberating).

Sticker Check-in

2016-03-18 18.54.30

CURRENT KEY

  1. Silver – 1/2 hr revision(WEEK TOTAL:  1/2 hr)
  2. Blue – draft 500 new words (WEEK TOTAL: 7,000 words)
  3. Green – read 100 pages(WEEK TOTAL: 800 pages)
  4. Gold – 1/2 hr studying Japanese (WEEK TOTAL:  6 hrs)
  5. Red – 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: 3 times).
  7. TOTAL STICKERS: 36

Points of Note:

  • Ran outside twice with Big Sis. Really loving the idea of Spring.
  • Most of this week’s drafting stars were from a new short story, inspired partly by my new Team Zombie identity. Even if the Zombie trend is dead, well… I figure it’s bound to come back, right?
  • I do feel bad that I’ve been letting myself get distracted with short fic to the point that I haven’t been working on #FairyPrisonBook as much. So the goal for this week is, revise / draft more of that.

That’s it for this week. My other goal is to get out more often and have more interesting things to blog about, but like. It’s Iowa. So we’ll just see.

Thanks for reading,

Allison

Friday Check-in: Week 10 – Spring Breaks my Willpower

So, this week was a disgrace, and the excuse I’m going with is: Spring Break.

I may not be on campus this semester, I may only have one online class in the works, but it’s still Spring Break…and more specifically, it was Lil Bro’s Spring Break. He brought home Virtue’s Last Reward, the sequel to 999, and as part of an ongoing effort to get me into (and better at) videogames, he urged me to get through it over the week. Thirty hours later, I am finally, finally done, unless there’s some other surprise post-credit conditional ending I don’t know about because I’m pretty sure I ended the game three times in addition to the nine legitimate endings and a bunch of game overs and “To Be Continued”s.

*deep breath*

If you’ve ever read a Choose Your Own Adventure book, especially the way I used to as a kid (trying to reach every possible ending a la many, many sad little bookmark papers), you’ve basically felt this experience already.

It also finally got warm enough to walk and run outside, which I did twice and very much enjoyed. Despite geese. A few bugs. Some puddles. And–on one run–four thinly-spaced zombie chases a la Zombies Run.

And, last excuse, I also livetweeted my first time watching both Clueless and Heathers, available under my livetweet sessions tab. It was a swell time.

Green Star Reads for this week:

Basically, I just finished TRUTHWITCH, by Susan Dennard. I kept reading 90% for the ships. And not the main ship (though like, that was fine too) but two crack ships involving the same antagonist. I will probably read any sequels just to see if one ever comes to fruition (if not both).

  • Soundtrack of the Week: Every soundtrack loop in Virtue’s Last Reward. My Zombies Run playlist. Flashes of Hamilton.
  • Go-to method of procrastination: Virtue’s Last Reward, livetweeting movies, the great outdoors, and I also started Dexter, which I’m enjoying if only because it’s dancing around some of the same questions of conscience that come up in #FairyPrisonBook.

Sticker Check-in

Week 10

CURRENT KEY

  1. Silver – 1/2 hr revision(WEEK TOTAL:  1/2 hr)
  2. Blue – draft 500 new words (WEEK TOTAL: 2,000 words)
  3. Green – read 100 pages(WEEK TOTAL: 300 pages)
  4. Gold – 1/2 hr studying Japanese (WEEK TOTAL:  5 hrs)
  5. Red – 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: 3 times).
  7. TOTAL STICKERS: 19

Points of Note:

  • The two outdoor runs were for longer than usual morning workout group goes. From 45 – 1:15 minutes or so. Some yard work also added to the time I was outside doing things instead of inside doing sticker-things.
  • I feel like I should keep these points of interest going, but like, this was not a real interesting week.
  • Total stars for this week were a disgrace, and I will do better next time.

Also, quick reminder, all this month you can still download  UP AND COMING: STORIES FROM THE 2016 CAMPBELL-ELIGIBLE WRITERS, including my horrific tooth fairy short story, “Decay” (originally published and free to read at Crossed Genres) along with over 230 works by 120 other authors–over 1.1 million words of fiction, all for free.

If you’ve read “Decay” and want to hear more about the process behind it, you can also read the New Author Spotlight interview I did with Crossed Genres back when “Decay” was first published–since, judging from Twitter, a few more people have read the story lately, and seemed to like it! Very exciting for me, thank you so much to everyone who’s said a kind word that I can file away for dark days in the future.

Thanks for reading, as always,

Allison

Friday Check-in: Week 9 – Up and Coming 2016

Two things dominate this week. First, my horror-fantasy short story “Decay” has been included in UP AND COMING: STORIES FROM THE 2016 CAMPBELL-ELIGIBLE WRITERS, along with 120 other authors–that’s over 230 works, and 1.1 million words of fiction, available free through March 31, I believe. [Past that date, you can still read “Decay” at Crossed Genres, where it originally appeared.]

As detailed in this post, I kind of snuck in as a technicality, a nobody, but the anthology is full of people more awesome than I am, all of them new professionals in the SFF field. The works included were all originally published in 2014-16. A few people I can specifically recommend: Alyssa Wong (recently nominated for a Nebula and a Bram Stoker award! ), Sunil PatelSarah Gailey, and J.Y. Yang. All lovely individuals, and these are just the people know from Twitter or recommendations. I know I’m probably forgetting someone crucial, and unfamiliar with many necessities. Can’t wait to dig into the anthology myself and get to know even more new fantasy and scifi authors.

Green Star Reads for this week:

AGOS1
AGOS demands the best coat in your possession.

Second big thing of the week: A GATHERING OF SHADOWS came out, and I turned the last page moments before hearing the news that it debuted at #15 on the NYT Bestseller List. I couldn’t be happier for Victoria Schwab, one of my all-time favorite authors, despite all the other emotions brought on by the ending to AGOS. It was wonderful! I just really need the next one. This book definitely earned its place on my favorites shelf, as pictured. I’m putting THE NEAR WITCH on a backburner until I get through my large stack of library books, but I’m looking forward to it. Continuing with the witchy theme, I’m about 130 pages into TRUTHWITCH, by Susan Dennard. I’ll confess, I’m not as completely riveted as I wanted to be–maybe a side effect of reading it right after AGOS–but daaang that dance scene. I have a lot of hope left at the moment, and I’m excited to see more about the different kinds of witches.

AGOS
Lila belonged near a pirate chest.

I also finished THE X-FILES: GROUND ZERO, by Kevin J. Anderson, a novelization of a certain show pertaining to my last name. It was pretty true to the show. Unfortunately, the show also could be kind of male-gazey with mediocre writing at certain points. I enjoyed myself. I also livetweeted reading it, and posted it on Storify, which you can get to through my Livetweet Sessions tab. If you want to read about nuclear ghosts without actually reading about nuclear ghosts, maybe check that out.

  • Soundtrack of the Week: The ADSOM playlist I still have saved on Spotify.
  • Go-to method of procrastination: I just hit the last season of The Office, which means I get my life back as soon as I finish. I think. Fingers crossed.

Sticker Check-in

Week 920160304_205636

CURRENT KEY

  1. Red – 1/2 hr revision (WEEK TOTAL:  6 hr)
  2. Blue – draft 500 new words (WEEK TOTAL: 10,000 words)
  3. Green – read 100 pages (WEEK TOTAL: 800 pages)
  4. Gold – 1/2 hr studying Japanese (WEEK TOTAL:  8 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: 57

Points of Note:

  • Note that the key will change for March. Everything’s the same except Revision is now Silver, and Blog Posts are now Red (in an ongoing effort to even out my sticker usage).
  • I forgot to mention last week, the writing book I’m reading mentioned trying ten-minute warm ups–just writing without stopping–to get your creative juices flowing for bigger projects. I’ve enjoyed this exercise, mainly because I figured out ten minutes of nonstop writing is usually equal to about 500 words (and therefore a Drafting sticker).
  • Total stars for the week went up again. Those last few days of February were great. March has faltered, but I’m going to fix that, especially now that I’ve gotten some feedback I was waiting on from a few CPs.

In summary, download 1.1 million words of free fiction, buy AGOS (which is not free, but is excellent), and I will see you guys next week.

Thanks for reading,

Allison