07.04.15

Mid-Year Check-In

Posted in Status Report at 10:17 pm by Amber

I honestly can’t remember the last time I did a mid-year check-in to report on the books I’ve read and it feels like this would be as good a time as any to start these again. After all, it’s mid-year, right?

I still love to keep track of my books in LibraryThing but I’ve also joined Goodreads. This year I signed up for a 52-book reading challenge. According to the Goodreads statistics I’ve achieved 31% of my goal and I’m 10 books behind where I should be. My reading habits have changed. I used to read almost every day and now I can only grab 10 or 15 minutes a few times a week during lunch. It’s a luxury when I can read for a few hours in the evening or on the weekend.

Below is the list of books read so far in 2015 in no particular order:

  1. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  2. Wisconsin Vamp by Scott Burtness
  3. Lock In by John Scalzi
  4. The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly
  5. Station Eleven: A Novel by Emily St. John Mandel
  6. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
  7. Hellfire & Damnation III by Connie Corcoran Wilson
  8. Assertiveness for Earth Angels: How to be Loving Instead of “Too Nice” by Doreen Virtue
  9. Gwendolen: A Novel by Diana Souhami
  10. White Heat 25 by Marco Pierre White
  11. The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg
  12. Balm: A Novel by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
  13. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
  14. The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer
  15. Deep Fried and Pickled by Paisley Ray
  16. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Are you participating in any reading challenges or looking to beat the number of books you read last year? I read 62 books in 2011 and haven’t been able to get close since then. The 52 is a stretch for me but I’m certain I can do it. I have a longish commute to work and started listening to audio books to make the trip seem not so long.

01.31.12

January 2012

Posted in Status Report, Writing at 10:00 am by Amber

These statistics are all for short stories, poems, or contest entries. Book reviews are not included.

  1. Sales in January: 0
  2. Rejections in January: 0
  3. Submissions sent out in January: 0
  4. Total stories/poems/contests pending responses: 1

Almost a year ago, I sent a first line submission to 50 to 1 which either got lost somewhere in email or I missed the rejection. They’re pretty fast so I’m going to mark it off my pending responses. It’s a new year so I’ll start with a clean slate.

I’m thinking the way to go is the monthly Write 1 Sub 1 to encourage more submissions this year.

09.01.11

August 2011

Posted in Status Report, Writing at 12:28 am by Amber

These statistics are all for short stories, poems, or contest entries. Book reviews are not included.

  1. Sales in August: 0
  2. Rejections in August: 0
  3. Submissions sent out in August: 0
  4. Total stories/poems/contests pending responses: 1

Next month I’ll take that pending response off… it’s for something I submitted over a year ago. A slush reader replied it was still under consideration a few months ago – I haven’t heard anything since then and when I went to the site today nothing new has been published for a few months.

08.17.11

July 2011

Posted in Status Report, Writing at 10:24 pm by Amber

Goodness! I just realized I never posted my stats for July. They won’t be a surprise to anyone but I know if I wanted a few more weeks to post then I’d feel weird.

These statistics are all for short stories, poems, or contest entries. Book reviews are not included.

  1. Sales in July: 0
  2. Rejections in July: 0
  3. Submissions sent out in July: 0
  4. Total stories/poems/contests pending responses: 1

I signed up to do a story a week challenge and that’s not been going well. I’m sorely behind in my ROW80 goal to write another 10k words on my unfinished fantasy manuscript. On the plus side, I’m feeling up my writing notebook with snippets of ideas. The short stories are part of the next ROW80 goals for me.

07.01.11

June 2011

Posted in Status Report, Writing at 1:00 am by Amber

These statistics are all for short stories, poems, or contest entries. Book reviews are not included.

  1. Sales in June: 0
  2. Rejections in June: 0
  3. Submissions sent out in June: 0
  4. Total stories/poems/contests pending responses: 1

This month I took a conservative approach to my submissions. I wrote some new flash fiction in May. Instead of sending them out right away I sent them off to my Savvy Authors Flash Fiction group and off to another critique group. Normally I would’ve declared them “done” and sent them off since I’d already had feedback from people in May’s short story workshop. But I know they aren’t 100% ready and I’m utilizing my additional resources to get them just right.

I’ve been doing some editing and writing on an unfinished fantasy novel. It’s good to keep busy while I’m waiting for feedback or I’d be obsessively refreshing my inbox.

How was your month?

06.06.11

May 2011

Posted in Event, Status Report at 7:34 am by Amber

These statistics are all for short stories, poems, or contest entries. Book reviews and interviews are not included.

  1. Sales in May: 0
  2. Rejections in May: 0
  3. Submissions sent out in May: 0
  4. Total stories/poems/contests pending responses: 1

May was a writing challenge month. At NaNoLJers we did Writo de Mayo, Joely Sue Burkhart’s MayNoWriMo, and Savvy Authors had a May Writing Boot Camp. My goal was to write 100 or more words each weekday to get back into the writing habit. I didn’t succeed. But it’s June and I’m still finding writing time so that’s good.

I also took a Savvy Authors workshop on Writing and Placing Short Stories for Anthologies with Lisa Kessler which ends today. I received feedback on one short story and submitted two more for critique. It was neat seeing how the story arc or characterization tightened up in my classmate

05.09.11

April 2011

Posted in Event, Status Report, Writing at 5:00 am by Amber

These statistics are all for short stories, poems, or contest entries. Book reviews are not included.

  1. Sales in April: 0
  2. Rejections in April: 0
  3. Submissions sent out in April: 0
  4. Total stories/poems/contests pending responses: 1

In April I took a workshop on plotting with Tina Gerow.  She gave some examples of different techniques and we tried one or two of them for ourselves.  The brainstorm forum gave me some good ideas on additional obstacles for my main character while I’m writing this month.

It’s May so that means it’s time for Writo de Mayo and MayNoWriMo – the month where you pick a writing challenge of your own.  This year my goal is to write at least 100 words Monday – Friday.  It’s not going great so far but I am getting some new words down.  I also signed up for May Boot Camp at SavvyAuthors.  My team is an awesome group of people.

04.01.11

March 2011

Posted in Status Report, Writing at 8:01 am by Amber

Happy April Fool’s Day!  It was a holiday my family never celebrated which is surprising.  Aren’t older brothers supposed to be full of hijinks and pranks?  Maybe they were too well behaved or I didn’t take pranks well. 

These statistics are all for short stories, poems, or contest entries. Book reviews are not included.

  1. Sales in March: 0
  2. Rejections in March: 0
  3. Submissions sent out in March: 0
  4. Total stories/poems/contests pending responses: 1

March was not a good month for writing anything new.  I took a workshop on how to use my characters’ personalities to drive the plot forward.  It made me rethink the point of view used in Three Girls, a Corgi, and a Dead Body.  I’m thinking I should switch it from the widowed sister to the single sister.  It’s something that’s going to take a while to figure out.

I also took a deconstruction workshop on The Fifth Element in March.  One topic covered was Chekhov’s Gun which I now realize is one of my favorite things to look for in books and movies.

One of my LiveJournal communities decided to do critiques this year and I submitted a short story.  The feedback was extremely helpful in giving me an idea of what could be done to improve it.  April should bring some more writing and editing on it.

What plans do you have for April?

03.06.11

February 2011

Posted in Status Report, Writing at 9:57 pm by Amber

These statistics are all for short stories, poems, or contest entries. Book reviews are not included.

  1. Sales in February: 0
  2. Rejections in February: 1
  3. Submissions sent out in February: 2
  4. Total stories/poems/contests pending responses: 1

February brought me a Flash Fiction workshop taught by the knowledgeable Jim Harrington.  I’m so thankful I’ve only experienced generosity and helpfulness from other writers.

02.01.11

January 2011

Posted in Status Report, Writing at 9:15 am by Amber

These statistics are all for short stories, poems, or contest entries. Book reviews are not included.

  1. Sales in January: 0
  2. Rejections in January: 0
  3. Submissions sent out in January: 0
  4. Total stories/poems/contests pending responses: 0

It was a slow month due to my editing workshop.  I re-read my first draft of Three Girls, a Corgi and a Dead Body, began integrating parts of the second draft and began rewriting it into a new version.  This is going to take work but I’m not afraid of it.

In February I’ll be taking a second workshop on flash fiction writing.  Before then I’ll take a look at some older material and see if I can edit it into better shape before sending it out.

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