March Update

A second month of 2016 has left and opened up a new path. So much has changed, yet so little has.

February was a month of color for me. The beauty of rainbowed wildflower gardens, the kaleidoscope of sensory music, the vibrancy of nostalgia. The full spectrum of light seemed to illuminate or color everything I did or thought about, and I can’t say that it’s over yet.

I spent most of early February trying to brainstorm how I was going to salvage my story Cursed. I used up the first week waffling back and forth on the issue of mid-grade versus YA. When I finally decided to let the story write itself… well, let’s say that it has risen to the occasion! I’m enjoying the story, and I’m able to take time out to work on it at a pace that works better for me than the singular rush my first draft experienced during NaNo14. I’ve set a goal of finishing the rewrite and the first round of edits by May 1, when I’ll release it to beta readers.

Another project in the works is a short story I wrote in late January. I presented it to my writing club, got very encouraging feedback, sent it through the mill of editing, and have decided it’s ready to be sent out to literary magazines. This will be my first time submitting anything for publication (as a kid, my published poems were submitted by my mom, and of course publishers handle children considerably different than they handle hobbyists and pros). I’m looking forward to carefully storing my rejection letters (and if the rejections come by email, I will print them off)! Somehow it might make what I’m doing feel more real, grounded in possibility and action.

Consequently, I managed to write just shy of 73k words in February, a little over 2,500 a day and one of my best non-NaNo months ever. I doubled the amount of time I spent editing in January, from 729 minutes to 1,467 minutes (about 24 ½ hours), but did not end up coming even close to January’s amount of time reading, spending only 1,237 minutes against January’s 1,811. Even factoring in February’s missing two days, it was a considerable jump down.

On Good Friday, I will be attending the 2016 Florida Writer’s Workshop, which will have agents present. While I don’t expect to have a draft to share with them at the conference, I do hope to learn a lot about the publishing industry and process and maybe make some good connections (this last might be a bit doubtful, considering I’m so shy!). It’s going to be a pretty small workshop (100 people maximum—I think that’s small, anyway), so I hope not to get too lost in the shuffle.

I’ve also submitted one of my poems to the county fair, which will be going on in another two weeks. I’m not expecting much out of it, but it’s nice to have somewhere to send my stuff in.

My goals for this month are to continue matching or exceeding my 15 minutes a day of reading and editing, my daily 2,000 words, and to stay on my calculated track for Cursed. If I could squeeze another short story in there somewhere, that would be great, too, but it depends on whether any of the sparks of my ideas catch fire.

I hope everyone else is staying dedicated and inspired!


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