Life Updates: Writing Workshops, My Latest Reads, and Footfall

Hello all! I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. *Looks shamefully at feet* So, I’m sorry about that. March and February, unfortunately, are the busiest months of the year at my day job, which means I’m off my normal routine and don’t have much free time in my schedule. However, excuses are boring! How about I update you all on how life’s been going and what I have coming up next? Cool? Cool.

Writing Workshops

One new thing I’ve started to look into is writing workshops. I think in the past I was hesitant to pursue anything like a workshop because I thought I had to get better first, which is ironic because workshops are meant to help you get better. However, recently it’s been clearer and clearer to me that I can’t keep improving on my own and I need instruction and relationships with other writers. I also have really enjoyed beta reading and reviewing other people’s works, and would like to do more of that and improve the feedback I give. So, I registered for a Clarion 1-day workshop this past February and I am so glad I did! It was fabulous. The instructor was great and I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion with my fellow work-shoppers. In fact, taking the 1-day workshop inspired me to apply for the 6-week intensive Clarion West workshop. I haven’t heard on whether I was accepted or not, but regardless of outcome I’m excited to have a new avenue for learning about writing available to me and will definitely continue my workshop journey.

If you’re interested in looking into workshops, here are a few resources I’ve been looking into:

Books!

Unfortunately, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump recently. I think there are a few reasons for this. I’ve been watching more TV than normal (I blame you, The Good Place and Brooklyn 99), which has taken up my evening time, and I’ve also not been as focused on finding books to review as I was this past fall. I did just finish Dungeons and Dragons Art and Arkana, a beautiful non-fiction book about the history of Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve also been slowly chipping away at N.K. Jemisin’s collection of short stories, How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?, but I haven’t been as focused with my reading and am lacking motivation.

Orbit, Hachette Book Group

What I plan to do is site down with my reading list and plot out the next books on my list, that way I’ll have less of an excuse to not read and something to look forward to. That’s the plan, anyway.

Footfall

I’ve been making steady progress on Footfall revisions over the last couple of months. I finished my worldbuilding bible, which was a really great exercise for me in filling in my world. I also finished pulling together a phonemic inventory for the conlang I’m basing most of the place names on. Due to time constraints, I’m not going to fully develop the conlang, but having the phonemic inventory means my place names will feel a little more organic. I’ve also started reviewing a hard copy of the story, so I can look at big picture issues and consistency problems. I highly recommend anyone working on a novel review at least one print copy. There’s something about looking at a hard copy that changes your book, makes it feel less personal and it’s easier to be critical of without feeling overly self-critical. Currently, I’m just shy of halfway through my book, and I hope to finish by mid-April at the latest.

My conlangs phonemic inventory… it may not be a good conlang, but it’s mine 🙂
Proof that I’m making progress! I like to print my hard copies through a professional service, like FedEx, and get nice thick paper so all my highlighting and pen marks don’t bleed through.

I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the end of winter/beginning of spring. What books are you reading right now? How are your stories going? Let me know in the comments!

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