June Review


This month’s writing has been massively disrupted by the World Cup, something I failed to factor into my planning Still, it only happens once every 4 years, and has been thrilling to watch (even if painful in parts ).

The big changes for this month have been removing two items off my writing list – the short story subs target and the novel review target. I’m not actively working towards either of these, and I finally realised that it’s because neither of these actively fit with my overall goal this year of reworking existing novel MS to get them up to publishable standard. It’s best that they go, rather than continue to nag at me with their lack of progress.

I’m adding Flylady onto the ‘personal’ stuff, because it’s given me such a great structure for organising my housework so it stays under control without overtaking my life … *my* version of Flylady, that is, rather than the ‘official’ version. It feels so good to be taking back control of that area of my life, and having a reasonably clean, tidy and well-organised household has lifted a *lot* of stress off my back.

On the down side, this month has been difficult on a personal level – going through the demanding DISCO process for Rumpus’ autism AND getting hit by some terrible shock news about my m-i-l, who has been hospitalised with late-stage breast cancer has made this month heavy weather. I’m hanging onto all the positive things that have happened, and finding it easier to do so, because my life is *working* in so many other areas.

3 ) Use HTRYN to revise ANNETH and prepare for submission by the end of AUGUST – this is underway, and (as with HTTS) I’m on a massively steep but hugely exciting learning curve. The great thing about the course is that I’ve rediscovered my enthusiasm for the novel, and I feel as though I’ve winkled out the big problems that were stopping this from being the story I wanted to tell. On the down side, halfway through the time I’ve allocated for the project, I’m *way* less than half-way through. Still, I’d rather do a *great* job at a slower pace than rush it through and face the prospect of another round of rejections and a further rework because I skimped just to meet a (self-imposed) deadline.
4 ) Edit SERPENT OF COLCHIS and submit to TNC for crit by the end of June – deferred, but I’ll put it through for crit as-is, and incorporate the feedback into a single big revision, hopefully starting in December – I got 2 *great* crits on this, one from someone familiar with the source material, and one from someone who was not – so both sides of the spectrum covered, and I’ve picked up some hugely valuable pointers on what does and does not work. When I come to fix it, this information will help keep me on the straight and narrow
7 ) Complete and post 1 crit per quarter for TNC – just about scraped in for this quarter
8 ) Complete and post 3 crits per month for Silver Griffin/Manic Medley – done – it’s suddenly got busy in both circles, and I’m playing catchup

9 ) Submit 1 (new) short story to a paying market every month – I’ve deleted this – not just because I haven’t been making any progress on it, but also because it doesn’t “fit” this year, in terms of my overall goal of pulling existing novel MS up to scratch. I’ll revisit it next year, with the idea in the back of my mind that I’ll block out May/June for SAD & related edits/submissions. We’ll see.
10 ) Post to my blog at least once every week – done

11) Read at least 12 books and post a review to my blog for each book read – I’m simply not getting the space to read & write up reviews, so I’m eliminating this, again, because of lack of fit with the overall goal for the year

Textile Arts
a ) Maintain and develop relationships with the galleries, and identify/approach/gain 2 new market openings – nothing on new markets, but current galleries are happy with the pieces I have with them, and I’m selling (which is nice)
c ) Do two craft fairs – one summer and one Christmas – I have in mind that I want to do another craft fair in September, and then the school christmas fair in December, so I’ve been building up stock for this alongside the regular work re-supplying the craft galleries and the commission pieces. Sadly, it means the bigger art pieces are rather falling by the wayside … I’m planning of shifting my focus back to this once we hit the summer holidays
d ) Update website, keep it and the blog up-to-date – website updated in June … blog posting is happening on a regular basis

i ) Keep working on reducing my BMI – sensible eating plus 4 exercise sessions per week to hit a BMI of 22 by the end of the year – I am so on track with this that I have ordered a bikini for this year’s beach holiday. That’ll be the first time in 10 years. It’s all good, and the side effect is that I *feel* great.
iii ) Grow as much of our own fruit and veg as humanly possible – that makes for a pretty busy planting season March – May life continues to be busy in the garden … and the hard work is paying off – it looks great, and we are enjoying *lots* of fresh fruit and salad just now

iv) Continue working through the list of ‘finishing off’ jobs for the house – this is winter work, when the garden isn’t so demanding on my time
v ) Flylady – I’m still working on making these routines a part of my life … focussing on getting the daily/weekly routine stuff done is making a huge difference, and the plus side is that I’m starting to make progress in the ‘zone’ work as well.

It’s been a funny old month … all the “extras” and textile work have been eating into my writing time, but despite this I feel pretty laid back. Or rather, I’ve been alternating between feeling pretty laid back, and panicking because I have a horrible feeling that I can’t combine successfully both the textile work AND writing professionally. But at this stage in my apprenticeship in the latter, it’s not a call I can really make.


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