Forging ahead

So, what am I up to right now?

Well, fortunately its the quiet period at work. The year’s graduates have graduated, the new cohort are yet to arrive, and all I have to worry about is getting all the course materials in from the academics in time for the start of term. This, unsurprisingly, leaves me with a wee bit of free time at work, seeing as how academics are hardly the most prompt and diligent of creatures during the holiday months.

Which is good, because it leaves me time for getting on with things like this (blogging, I mean. Come on, keep up). My job is a sedentary one – I sit at a desk, with occasional bursts of exercise such as standing and walking around the office – so I have a lot of time at my computer, and if I have no paid work to do, I have a lot of time at my computer to do whatever I want to do. Therefore, the blog should be kept up to date, and those additional pages and other content should be forthcoming in the next few days and weeks.

But that isn’t what you are interested in, is it? No, you want stories, and that is the far more important area of work. After all, I ain’t got much to blog about if I ain’t done my writing (I’m trying out ‘ain’t’. Not sure it suits me).

The main goal for the remainder of 2012 is simple: write at least 1,000 words a day. A modest task, a paltry one by the standards of professional writers, but one that frankly will stretch me some days, especially when the new term starts at the end of September. But its a target I need to have and really need to hit – writing every day has to become a habit, because otherwise this is all for naught.

It doesn’t matter what I write – a blog post, a story scene, a plan for a future story, some flavour text for the Warhammer campaign I and some friends are gearing up for, or even writing up some world-building research for a future project – as long as I get the words down on the page once a day.

September’s work will be primarily two stories:

  • The first is a young adult story entitled Daughters of the Air, and it’s a steampunk retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale The Little Mermaid. I originally came up with this idea for an anthology that called for steampunk reimaginings of classic fair tales, and I am actually very pleased with how well the bones of the story suit a steampunk aesthetic. I’ve been trying to get started on this one for a while now, and I am very glad to get going with it. It’s the first time I’ve tried writing something for a YA audience (I will be submitting it for Pugalicious Press’ Real Girls Don’t Rust anthology). So far, the difference between my usual writing style and this is odd; I’m not changing how I write, yet I am. I think it mostly has to do with word choice; where I might have gone with a slightly ambiguous sentence, I’m keeping things clear. I’m hoping to get this done as a first draft by the end of the week, and then using the Bank Holiday on the 27th as a day for editing and tidying up.
  • The second story I’ll be working on this month is for Sky Warrior Books’ Gears and Levers 2 anthology. I have a few stories in mind for this one, and I haven’t yet nailed down which one I think would suit it best. Still, plenty of days in the month to decide.

After that, there are all sorts of deadlines upcoming. I’d like to submit something for Penny Dread Tales: Vol. 3, since it was Vol. 2 that gave me my first publishing credit. I’d also like to work up something special for Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and for a few other long-running magazines.

I also have a hankering to get back to Rudolphus Atkins, a character at the centre of a series of novellas I started writing in 2011 but put aside in favour of more immediate concerns. I recently reread what I’d written, and I really fancy getting back to it. His is a story set in my War of Nations world, an steampunk’d alt-history 1840s, and I can’t wait to return to fleshing it out. Hopefully there will be some news on that next year.

So, that ought to keep you (and me!) going for a while. Peace out, and good luck with whatever projects you have going on!