Ahh April, you whirlwind you. It started with Creative Ink Fest, and devolved into a tangle of emergency child care, edits, and compressed work weeks. I needed a breather between it all, so Hello TV, my old pal, I haven’t seen you in a while. Here’s what I’ve been watching:
The Expanse: A master class in tension and stakes. Bonus <3 for the diverse cast and imagined future. Some actor’s I’ve only seen in supporting roles finally get some some meaty roles to chew on here and that makes me happy.
The Night Manager: A beautifully made miniseries, based on the John le Carré novel. It’s your prototypical spy story (so nothing new there), but you get Tom Hiddleston heart eyes and Olivia Colman’s performance is outstanding.
And Then There Were None: WOW. GORE. We had to read the Agatha Christie book in high school and nowhere in my imagination did it ever go like this. The miniseries was shot like a psychological horror: tense, ugly, disquieting. But well done. Also… is Charles Dance in every period show ever? That man works hard.
Into the Badlands: It’s a bloody, post-apocalyptic, martial arts extravaganza, and there were 3 crazy fight scenes in the pilot alone. Plot and worldbuilding are sacrificed in the name of style and getting the requisite fight scenes into each episode, but I don’t mind. It’s weirdly mesmerizing, stylish, and low-key silly. (Watch the ladies in sky high heels, and see how their shoes miraculously change into flats during fight scenes). I’m totally crushing on both Sunny and Vale. Also, cute Asian baby. NOTHING BAD better happen to that baby or I’m going to start flipping tables. *No spoilers people! I haven’t caught up on Season 2 yet.
- The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley
- Death and Night by Roshani Chokski
Writing Status: Revising
SO first news! I sold a poem. If you’re thinking “Huh? Since when do you write poetry, Theresa?” Yeah… same here. A silly tweet bothered me so much that I had to say something, but I couldn’t quite manage to turn it into an essay. Instead it came out as a scattering of fragmented thoughts. I’m still not convinced it’s poetry, but someone else thought it was, so I’m as pleased as a kitten with a full belly. More info on that when I can share it.
In writing, I hit the 30 k word mark on the first draft of the YA SF novel. This is about the point (just around he middle of the story) that I usually run out of gas while drafting. It felt like a good time to switch back to edits on my YA high fantasy, but before diving in, I decided to take some time to brush up on my writing craft.
It’s actually nice to have alternating projects to work on. I didn’t think I would like it, but as long as they’re in differing states of completion, it seems to work. Edits are a break from the drafting exhaustion and the thrill of a new book helps stop the obsession / stressing out over the other.
- Never Let Me Go by Kazu Ishiguru
- Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman
- Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza (YA)
- The Magic Words by Cheryl B. Klein (Non-Fic)
- Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
- Writing Irresistible Kidlit by Mary Kole (Non-Fic)
Writing Days: 9
Total Word Count: 9307
Current Status: Editing
How about let’s turn this upside down? Thoughts first. Stats later.
The reading list feels like a cheat this month. It looks okay at a glance, but there’s a novella, a graphic novel, two YA novels and a MG one. Word wise, it wasn’t high volume reading month and it came in mad dashes rather than slow and steady. On the other hand, a lack of time forced changes to my usual reading diet, but variety is a healthy thing. My goal is to add a little non-fiction to my reading list from time to time, but I write manuals for a living, so any non-fiction has to be very well written to keep my interest. Do you have recommendations?
On the writing side, things are chugging away though the ‘cold of doom’ hit me at the end of the month and slowed me down a crawl. I’m on track to have this first draft done by the end May, but while that writing pace is great, this novel is making its own peculiar way into the world. The last one came out a chunk at a time, fully formed, but not in order. The one before was a skeleton that needed multiple passes to add meat to its bones. This time, it feels like I’m figuring out the world and the characters on the page, and I suspect I’ll have to trim down the exposition instead of adding it. Maybe it’s because this one is science fiction instead of fantasy? I guess, some things about writing will always be mysteries. The muse always seems to have its own agenda.
Writing Days: 17
Word Count: 20817
- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
- Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
- Fables Vol 1 – Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel)
- Ash by Malinda Lo
- The Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
OH lastly! Creative Ink Fest is happening March 31 – April 4. This is my local writing con and I’ll be on several panels. See you there?
- How to Swim Through a Sea of Rejections – Friday 1pm
- Author etiquette in a world of social media – Friday 3pm (Moderator)
- Writing Workshops – Friday 6pm
- Real World Politics in Fiction – Saturday 7pm (Moderator)
If there are any topics you think are important to address about social media, or politics, let me know even if you won’t be attending. I’m making up a nice juicy list of items to discuss.