Writing Prompts and All That

I’m working on a book of writing prompts that will combine a writing journal, prompts, and illustrations to color. My idea is to have a workbook that has a reasonable amount of prompts and enough ruled pages so that there is space to write out the exercises. It won’t be a giant book of a zillion prompts, and partly that’s because I want the journal to be saddle-stitched so it’s easier to use, and that limits the size the book can be. Sometimes perfect-bound books (think of a regular paperback novel with a spine) won’t open flat and they’re difficult to write in.

The art will be line illustrations for coloring. Sometimes the writing process isn’t always linear, and having something on the page that you can play with could be enough to jump-start your creativity, or it could just be fun. I’m aiming to get the first book out this summer, with the theme of “beach edition,” and I hope to make the project into a series, which I’m calling Writer’s Catalyst.

It’s June

This year has been disappearing fast, and I wish I could say that the piles of work in my inbox were disappearing just as quickly, but everything I’m working on seems to be moving in slow motion. I have made progress on some of my writing projects, but I’ve stalled out on a couple of things.

Behind the scenes at Corrugated Sky, we’re putting together our fourth anthology, which should be available in the fall. It’s the first one that we’ve opened to outside submissions, so we’ll be finalizing the selections this week and sending out emails to authors. I’m working on my own entry, which involves fireflies and fairies.

What’s more fun is that we’re going to be doing the Shore Leave event in Baltimore this year, and we’ll have at least eight titles on display at our table. If you’re in the area, come on by and say hello. I’ll post more information about the event as it gets near (the date is in the events box on the right of the page).

Zombies!

My latest story has been published in Corrugated Sky‘s anthology Cold as Death, a collection of four not-too-gruesome zombie stories. We got the editing and formatting of the book done and had our printed copies in hand just in time for RavenCon 14, where we had a vendor table. Our exhibits are starting to look pretty impressive: we had seven titles for sale, which included three anthologies and four novels.

The stories in Cold as Death have a wide range of locations: mine takes place on the asteroid Thisbe, where the zombies work as miners. The other stories are situated in Cape Cod, Casablanca, and Los Angeles. None of the stories is a gore-fest and all of them are suitable for adults and young adults. We’re also moving our books to Ingram, which means they’ll be available for purchase from more vendors, as well as showing up in bookstores nationwide.

And now that the zombies have been dispensed with (!), we’re busy working on our fourth anthology. The theme for this upcoming volume is urban magic, and it’s the first anthology that we’ve opened for submissions. In the next few weeks we’ll be reading through our submissions and getting the accepted ones ready for the editing process, as well as putting the finishing touches on our own entries.

December Musings

Yeah, so in November I started pretty strong with the kick-off for NaNo, but by mid-month I was falling behind and stressing too much. I’ve done NaNo four times, so I know what it takes, but this year I’m so involved in paying projects (in addition to a full-time job) that my NaNo work-in-progress just had to go on the back burner. On the plus side, I have about 24,000 words of a novel that I think I can finish outlining to have a decent story.

The other plus was unexpected: once I made the decision to put my novel aside, it was as though a weight was lifted off my shoulders because I gave myself permission to not do something. That had repercussions for my contract work, too, and I felt like the massive writer’s block that I’ve had for months dissolved. Since the end of November I’ve had a couple of days to organize my workload and set specific task goals that are doable.

I also cut back my step-count exercise goal (10,000 steps a day) because I was almost never reaching it. At some point this led to a failure mentality and eventually I fell off the exercise bandwagon. By readjusting my goals to something just a little beyond reach — 7,000 steps a day — I’ve made it easier to tell myself that I can do it if I just take a few more steps. Last week I made my step goals six out of seven days, and that’s a new first for me. Don’t laugh, but much of my “workout” is going up and down the stairs or jogging in place. I live in a pedestrian-unfriendly area and sometimes just getting ready to go out turns out to be a way to avoid doing anything, so for now this is a start.

At Corrugated Sky we’re working on getting our third anthology ready for its release in February 2019. This one is called Cold as Death and will be four stories about zombies.