A Midwinter Update

Time for an update. Woot! Okay, not that kind of woot. Just a general let’s get this done woot.

jae scribblesSHADE – I finished my most recent round of editing on my novel. It was a major change again, like the one I did over the summer, but I think it’s stronger for it. My Pitch Wars mentor Marieke said she’d take another quick look at it (I’m guessing just the parts that have changed). Hopefully I’ve made much improvement. I know there’s more to be made, but I need a break and so I’ve been letting it get cold. I’m pleased with its progress thus far, however, and there are a few scenes I’m particularly proud of. I’ll probably take parts of it to writers group and bother a few of you peeps for feedback soon. But like I said, break needed.

QUERY – This is what I should be working on right now, but I’m still in recovery mode from Pitch Wars I think. But this is next on the docket. I’ve got a decent-ish one now, but Marieke gave it a once over and now I need to fix it up again—which I’m fine with. I’d rather have a query that kills than a query that chills.

CONTESTS – Unfortunately I heard back on my Gotham Writers contest and it was a no win. *shrug* I still have the Writer’s Digest coming up which I entered my short story Trick or Tree into. I should know about that at the end of February or so. I’ve got Cupid’s Literary Connection running next week, at least the “bouncer” round of it. If I get a “you’re in!” then I move on to the agent round. I’ll be sure to update you on that progress.

There’s a few other short story ones I’m looking into, but first the query. If you’re interested in trying to write short stories, I recommend reading a lot of them from either Ray Bradbury, Ernest Hemingway, or Anton Chekhov. A lot of Anton’s are available online for free. I wasn’t sure about being able to write short stories (I’m long-winded) but after reading a few dozen of these I started to get a feel for how the story flows when it’s short. Plus these are all great writers and they’ll help make your own writing better for being exposed to them.

BOOKS – Right now I’m reading Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. It’s a lot of great stuff on getting your plot and characters to as he calls it, a breakout level. Some of it is similar to Story by Robert McKee, but obviously more novel-focused. I had wanted to read On Writing by Stephen King next, but my bro let me borrow The Wiseman’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, and I’m probably going to look into that next. It’s thick—real thick. But hey, can’t be any longer than Atlas Shrugged, right? Right?

squier guitar kitGUITAR – I did get my replacement guitar, for those who remember my previous post. It’s been a lot of fun. Too much really. I go back and forth between softer songs and hard rock. I’m getting close to nailing the timing on Thunderstruck and Johnny B. Goode. Apparently most of the Top Gun theme is ridiculously easy. I’ve also been messing with Danger Zone (another easier-than-I-thought piece).  I usually get home from Kung Fu around 9ish and play until 10 (don’t want to tick off the neighbors). I really hadn’t been playing guitar that often before the electric. It’s interesting what a little change will do for your habits.


And that pretty much takes care of life in a nutshell. I’m excited for another Studio Ghibli movie coming out next month, and of course the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness and Iron Man 3.

What about you? Making lots of progress in writing and otherwise? Any contests you’re waiting to hear back on? And you’re looking into entering? What movies are you most excited for?

Oh, and I should also mention one more thing. Kid History finally came out with another full episode. *grin* I’ve posted it below. Enjoy!

12 thoughts on “A Midwinter Update

    • Seems to be right now, at least in terms of my writing career. I think it’s good to bask in the sunlight while it’s around. There may be more storms in the future, but always good to appreciate life’s good weather in its moment.

  1. First of all, LOVE that you play the guitar. You should play whilst singing Kareoke. Now THAT’S entertainment. Donald Maass is fantastic. I have a friend who attends his conferences regularly and shares his genius. Lastly, you must read On Writing when you can. Just like Yoplait, it is SOOOO good. :0)

    • I own a copy of On Writing, so I definitely will. Maybe tonight I’ll just focus on reading. I really want to get some work done on my query though. Maybe I can switch off, taking breaks. We’ll see. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. I’m getting lots accomplished in 2013 so far. I decided to make a list of daily tasks to keep myself focused. So far so good, but I leave for Florida next week so life will be disrupted and that always gets me off track. You’re doing a fine job, Jae. Glad you’re keeping track.

      • I lived there for 30 years before moving here in 2010. My daughter and lots of friends are still there, so I go back every chance I can, especially this time of year. No Disney World for me. Done, did, and done.

        • Haha! I’m the type that could live in Disney World. But if we’re being honest, I’d want to live in Disney Sea. If I’m ever rolling in the dough, I want to go stay 3 nights in the Disney Sea hotel that overlooks the bay. (This is in Tokyo). It’s super pricey, but I still want to do it. Someday. I’ve been to Disney Sea 3 times, believe it or not—although I used to live in Japan, so 2 of them were at that time.

          But that’s cool you’re going to visit family. Besides, a change of scenery is often inspiring for us writers. Enjoy! You should blog about anything interesting that happens while you’re there. 🙂

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