It was about ten years ago when I started to realise how much more allergic to cats I was becoming. I had good days but they were the exception rather than the rule: I felt like I was swimming through congestion most of the time. Whole days and weeks would pass without a clear sense of having accomplished anything*.
Honestly, February felt a bit like that again.
I am in a much better place than I was when we still had cats roaming over our bed, or even last winter when I had the cold that never went away, but I have still felt rather loose and weak all month, even as I have been exercising more efficiently than ever.
So, as we go through this monthly things post (which only really covers a couple of weeks anyway), I expect a lot of “no work” remarks, because I feel like I consumed time rather than produced meaningful writing.
Three Things for February
I made this a short goal list because the post came so late in February. What of even those goals did I manage?
- Song fourth draft — prep for crit group feedback session. Completed. The feedback I got was very helpful and enthusiastic, and honestly that might be the thing that helps me most: I have been struggling to find my enthusiasm about anything, even Song. Hanging out with crit group folks brought it back.
- short stories — two things:
- finish draft of next BSQ story
- plan story for submission this quarter
Neither of these saw any work.
- workshop application — write draft of cover letter. Didn’t do this, but did clean up a sample chapter.
Score 1.5/3 — that’s actually better than I expected.
… which was another hallmark of the Bad Cat Fuzz Time — I was always surprised when I looked at what I had got done. It was never “all of it”, but at least it was more than I had imagined.
Three Things for 2019
February was not productive, so obviously my 2019 goals won’t have moved on much. Let’s take an unflinching look.
- query A Turquoise Song — a goal in three sequential parts:
- prepare a fourth draft — incorporate feedback, make it good. Target is to have this done by the middle of the year. I have collected more feedback which will help here, but I don’t have a revision plan yet.
- prepare query letter — obviously the initial targets are the agents I talked to at the conference in 2017, but I also want to prepare for querying other agents.
- query — get the book out there.
- short stories — I am finding my relationship to short stories becoming much less contentious, even fruitful!
- several stories to write for Boundary Shock Quarterly — the first one is begun, but I Need to finish it.
- write and submit four stories to other markets. So that’s one a quarter, and I will mark it as such.
- engage with the writing community — this is a nebulous label for a group of related goals that don’t warrant a top level item to themselves.
- workshop application — I’m going to apply for an intensive workshop. More on that once it’s in hand, which it isn’t yet.
- podcast — one of the things that came out of the inconclusive work on producing Livia as an audiobook was a desire to launch a podcast of some kind. This would be audio-only initially, although I am still searching for a good format.
- cons & confs — I need to be getting out there more. I just do.
Minor incremental progress only. Looking for better things in March.
Three Things for March
Time to get the train back on the rails.
- short stories — finish the BSQ story that is due in a few weeks. Hard deadline.
- Song fourth draft — revision plan is needed. Build that.
- workshop application — cover letter or sample chapters.
Trying to to keep things a bit punchier this month.
Now to punch harder.
[*] I was accomplishing things, really, but it was reactive rather than effective and I really had no clear awareness of how much I was getting done.