Monday, April 5, 2010

End of the Quarter


Wow, it's April already. A quarter of the year has passed. I have to say that I'm fairly pleased with how the year has started. I made a list of long term goals that I wanted to accomplish this year. So far, I've been able to cross off three of them as accomplished.

The latest accomplishment is finishing up Blood Diamond and submitting it to The Wild Rose Press for their Jewels of the Night series. I got it in by March 31, which means if chosen, my story will go in a drawing to kick off the series. I recently received an email update regarding my submission. They are going through the entries as quickly as possible so that they can announce the winner of the drawing on June 15. Hopefully I'll know something sooner, but worst case scenario, I'll find out by then.

I'm feeling good and hoping for the best. My CPs all liked the story and had few changes to suggest. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but I've moved forward in a bid to keep myself from going crazy thinking about it. I'm back into Out of the Shadows, the first book in a five book series. It's an urban fantasy set in fictional Cedar Creek, TX. I spent most of yesterday working on it, finishing up chapter 15. According to my word meter on the left, I've cracked the 60% mark on word count. I've got 5 chapters left until I finish the first draft.

The concept has changed considerably since I began, so the revisions will be major but I'm excited about it. I had to go back and read a few passages to keep continuity and I really liked what I read. Of course there are things I need to add. That's just the way I write, but there's emotion there that I could still feel even after setting it aside for over 6 months. I'm excited about that.

I've also gotten sucked into another story idea. There's a call for novellas centered around the reunion of the Class of 1985. I graduated in 1989, close enough that the concept called to me. I've got the basics on my characters and I've decided that I'm going to experiment over the next two weeks. I'm going to work on my novel during the week and my novella on the weekends. I'll give it two weeks. My novel is the main focus since I want it ready to pitch at National convention in July. If I find it's sliding, I'll put up the novella until I get the novel finished. If it works, it may be the working model I use to continue the novellas, but also complete full-length novels. Wish me luck.

Oh, I did something different for the novella too. I made a playlist yesterday. I found the top 100 pop songs of 1985 and made a playlist with about half of them. I'm going to try it and if I like it, I may include choosing a playlist part of my plotting process. It was kind of fun.

So, as I go into the second quarter of the year, my goals are to finish and polish Out of the Shadows and plot and finish this new novella. That seems like quite a bit so here's hoping my second quarter is as productive as the first.

Have you been able to cross off any of your long term goals? Have you re-evaluated your goals lately? How do you feel about what you've accomplished so far?

6 comments:

Clark Stone said...

This reminds me of several things that I need to do this week. One is to re-evaluate my goals I wrote for this year - forgot about them.

The other is to build a playlist to work by. I have a couple of them but need to sit down and pick out specific songs to work by. I also need a new playlist so that I can rotate between them.

As for my accomplishments this year, the one I do remember is the current novel I am working on and I am past half way on it. I have never gotten this far before. This has spurred me onward to finish this book. Now, it is not 'if I will finish this novel' but 'I shall finish this book.'

Dennis Clarkston
AKA Clark Stone

Rachel Lynne said...

Crossed off the major goal on my list: Finish a book and submit! Thanks in large part to you, THANK YOU!!!
My next major goal is to lose weight and I'm getting on track for that. At the same time I am going to finish my set aside for five months now full length novel, Magic and the Marquis. I too want it ready to pitch at nationals. I have company here all week so trying to stay on the diet will be tough enough, no sense also trying to write but I'll be setting up weekly goals next week. I'm about 65k in and it is completely plotted so I'm not worried.

Riley Quinn said...

Good for you, Dennis. I agree that reaching a certain point in your novel just inspires you to keep going. Good luck!

Rachel, we're so alike, it's scary. I'm trying to work on my weight problem too. Shall we buddy up again? LOL

Debra St. John said...

Congrats on crossing off several goals from your list! Good luck with your Jewels of the Night story.

I'm lagging sadly behind on my goal of pushing onward with my WIP. It's coming, but very, very slowly.

Denise said...

Hi Riley! Good post and reminded me to take a look back at the quarter. I committed to complete 3 short stories and begin shopping them around - I've submitted 1 already. I committed to completing 1 novel/novella and begin shopping it around - I've got Collector's Item in final edits. So, for 1st quarter, I think I'm on track. But this quarter, I've got to get my 2nd short story started and begin looking for markets for the Collector's Item. Thanks for the reminder to check in! Good luck with Blood Diamond, I've got my fingers crossed for my fellow Lady In Waiting!

lisekimhorton said...

Riley you have certainly got a great start to the year under your belt and it sounds as though your enthusiasm hasn't begun to wane! I was very excited about 2010 because 2009 seemed long, dark and on some days, plainly wretched. Goals fell by the wayside and I began to think I'd never get anywhere at all. But on December 31, under a challenge from my Mom, I finished my first complete novel, an urban fantasy. From then until March 30 I edited and polished. My goal was to submit by 3/31, and at the very end of the day, with a nice query letter (if I do say so myself), I submitted to Ace/Roc - the Penguin fantasy imprints. So I have to say the 1st quarter's been a success, and my plans for the 2nd - a new MS to get started on, and some shorter stories for the plethora of opportunities I've seen mentioned. A request for a full? That'd be the icing on the cake, so fingers crossed for me! To everyone plugging away - if I can do it, anyone can (says the Queen of Procrastination).

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