WIP: July writing schedule

Dear Internet,

It’s mid late Sunday afternoon and we’re still up at Throbbing Cabin. TheHusband and I are teaching ourselves how to relax and he’s doing a fine job of it at the moment if his snoring is any indication by cleaning the gutters and other yard work.

Me, on the other hand? I‘m actually working but it’s the kind of work I love to do so it is actually fun, not work. Following him around the perimeter of the cabin with the shop vac on my shoulder so he can suck up all of the last years worth of leaves from the gutters.  And isn’t this what the whole adventure was to be about in the first place? 

Fuck. I was tricked into doing yard work.

Moving on. I am not allowing myself feel guilty for not getting much writing work done my first official week into this new venture. Domesticity had to be done and so it was and now that I have a sort of rhythm going to my day and making heavy use of my calendar, I’m sort of figuring out what direction I’m going in.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. When I’m not being tricked into doing yard work, that is.

Today’s writing task was to sort through all of my scraps stored on Google Drive and Dropbox, consolidate them and remove the duplicates, then import non-journal based things into a Scrivener project I manage for such works I titled Story Ideas. Story Ideas is my launching pad for all of my fiction writing as any idea, line, scrap of something lands up here and organized into one of seven main sections, Book Ideas, Story Ideas, Stories in Progress, OuttakesResearch, Scrivener Projects (projects with their own Scrivener project file), and Completed.

Most of this is pretty self-explanatory except perhaps for Outtakes which is chunks of writing I’ve removed for whatever reason and did not want to trash and Research, which is links to things I want to dig into more but not sure what for just yet.

This task turned into the rabbit hole of all holes as I have folders inside of folders in various places across Dropbox and Google Drive. I’ve now made a ToDo item to dig more to figure out what each piece is (journal entry? prose? short story? something else entirely?) and sort it out later. Everything that could easily sorted today got moved into Scrivener to keep it all in one location.

Right now the stats are

  • 46 story ideas (various states)
  • 16 book ideas (mainly first few chapters, synopsis, and related material)
  • 8 short stories in progress (most are near completion)
  • 8 notes in Research
  • 4 completed short stories
  • 2 existing Scrivener projects

This does not include all the notes I’ve made in paper journals or index cards not yet transferred, notes made in SimpleMind for an Icelandic saga cycle I’m working on, or what other treasures are still lurking on my drives.

(If this all sounds impressive, it is and isn’t. I had no idea the sheer amount of prolificness BUT  a lot of it is dreck. I’ve got NaNoWriMo projects dating back to 2001 (and novels started as far back as 1999) that are very clear indicators of what I was into at the time, which isn’t the same as I am into now. 95% of this will probably never see the light of day as it’s pretty bad, thank fuck.)

The big thing I need is accountability, because this current organization in its natural chaotic state is a hot mess.

At the beginning of the month I’ll put up my writing plan and at the end, summarize what I did. I’m not going to do word counts (yet) because I have no idea how to apply it realistically. From June 28th – July 5th, on the blog alone, I cranked out 9, 724 words over 13 blog posts. That’s not including work I’ve done on note taking, story editing, and anything else since I don’t have those numbers. So word counts are out (for now).

Additionally, TheHusband wants to see some kind of timeline of my work progress so he knows when he needs me to crack the whip or for me to calm the fuck down. All very civilized in our household.

Behold! Projects for July:

  • Launch lisarabey.com finally
  • Plow through current library loans and ARCs from NetGalley and get reviews written
  • Collate notes on the Edwardian mystery, continue with research, and get most of the structure sorted
  • Start fleshing out 45th parallel story
  • Finish or shelve in-progress short stories and submit completed ones
  • Get Vol 1 of secret Kindle project completed and online
  • Continue note carding ideas / quotes / etc for future projects

Is this a lot? It feels like a lot but at the same time it feels like I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I feel what needs to be done.

When I check in 25 days, we’ll see how it went!

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2003

Brevis in longo

Dear Internet,

Apparently, I’m pretty prolific. In addition to upping my writing here, I’ve also been writing every day in DayOne, which I mentioned here, and also actually working on my fiction. There is one thing to be said for a humanities scholar: We know how to crank out verbiage like no one’s business. Between the three, and this is including the re-writes of public blog entires and the fiction, I’m cranking out about 5,000 words a day. And that is being conservative. Now how much of that is “good” writing? Hard to say, really. My writing in the public sphere tends to be tighter since I obsess over the editing, the writing on the private journal has better readability (because I an writing more freely and more about the minutia of my life), while the fiction writing is still uneven in a deckled edged way. Some of what I produce for the fiction side is dreck and other times, it’s pure gold.

(Also, I decided to style myself as a modern day Samuel Pepys, at least in my head.)

I think one of the reasons why this is becoming a lot easier is that I have finally figured out a system that works for me to keep all of this organized which was so problematic for me for years. I know, it’s crazy considering that I organize shit for a living, but I couldn’t organize my writing to really work for me until now. Finding the Day One app was probably the tipping point, and also being a heavy user of Evernote and Scrivener also helped.

Here’s the status of my current projects, and which will find it’s way to Readers. The main landing page for my writing will also have all posts about this topic on the page, and if a project has their own landing page, those too will have posts updated on their landing page. Thus, if you’re hot into Edwardian good times but not Viking gore, you can skip directly to the landing page for the Edwardian projet instead of slogging through all the posts about Vikings and everything else.

Books

Project Name: Cabinet Particulier
Status: Research
Details of the project on its own page, so I won’t repost them here. I started collecting the research in July and currently haven’t moved forward yet other than doing the readings. Ideally, I see this as a pretty big project (read book series) so I want to get it off to a good start and I have a vague idea of how the first book will go, I want to dig deeper into her world before I begin writing.

Project name: Unnamed Medieval project
Status: Idea formation and preliminary research
Details: At this point I know it’s going to concern a woman, possibly in Scotland, sometime before 1066. Possibly containing Vikings.

Short Fiction

Title: PETITIONS OF THE GODS
Status: 80% finished
Summary: From my notes: Anonymous protagonist gives background on the invitation, a brief history of the Althing, and beginning of the world creation.Our protagonist is losing power and she knows this. The struggle with her, and with others like her, is how to remain relevant in a world when less number of people are believing in them. What would you do to stay relevant?

The beginning and ending are strong, but I’m floundering in the middle. It’s already at 2500 words with some heavy revision in the last week, so much so that the outtakes have their own folder in Scrivener. TheHusband read one of the first drafts and liked a lot of the clever uses for explanation of things but I can’t unstick the sticky at the moment. While I think this is at 80%, I would not be surprised if I end up ripping it entirely apart and restructuring all of it.

Title: AD LIBITUM
Status: 80% finished
Summary: What happens inside the Sistine chapel when no one is looking? Answer: Sex, drugs, and disco.

Idea sparked a “what if” when reading an article tonight about Russia’s Golden Ring and the author wrote eloquently about the medieval cathedrals and churches they were visiting. The line, “Jesus jumped off the cross, stretched, and went to light a cigarette.”, which sparked the idea of what in the hell happens in a cathedral at night when no one is around? Within minutes, I found this gorgeous virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel and the story started writing itself.

———————————-

So far, I have nearly a dozen people signed up for Readers, which is awesome. I haven’t decided if I should close the request at this point or keep it open. I had planned on start pushing some of my older stuff through the list to get those cleaned up and publishable, but after reading through many of them decided not to. They are that wretched or I am not into the genre as much anymore or the story just doesn’t appeal to me. So they will stay buried in the digital trunk.

I’m so motivated to be creating again but I keep thinking what do I want to do with the stuff that I create? I definitely want it to be read by the world, but how to go about that is tap dancing in the back of my brain. Having been a bookseller for many years, I work now as a librarian, and then throw in all the writers, literary agents, artists, booksellers, and other people in the publishing world I either know personally or stalk online, I feel pretty grounded on the back end o the industry. I just want to make sure that I do the right thing by my work.

I was pretty thrilled to discover Duotrope yesterday in my quest to sort out submission organization for at least the short pieces because my librarian-fu was actually failing me looking for a comprehensive source for magazines, literary zines, and other such publications to submit my work to. At the very least, I know this is the path I want to take with my shorter fiction. I’m also thinking of some kind of crowdsourcing shenanigans might also be in place too. This is going to be amazing.

TTFN,
Lisa