September is always a tough month for professors. After the long, lazy sprawl of summer (which invariably ends with an abruptness that I never seem to see coming), the onset of the fall semester is both exciting and traumatic. This year I’m teaching a new course (on the Aztecs, Maya, and Olmec) and the prep work is all but burying me alive. So, as far as writing goes, September has been a lean month. Here’s what I’ve managed to get done:
1. I wrote only about 9,000 new words – most of it on the second draft of my archaeological time-travel novel ABSENT, but also a bit on a steampunk short about 17th century skull collectors.
2. I sent out one new query for BLOOD RED SUN and am still waiting to hear on the partial request I got over the summer.
3. My short story ARK IN A SEA OF STARS won Honorable Mention at Writers of the Future.
4. I completed zero critiques – a first for me in awhile.
5. I read a lot of books. My Nook is making the 1 1/2 hour (each way) subway commute to work a literary paradise. This month I read 6 books, including: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs, Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs, In Shade and Shadow by Barb & JC Hendee, all these things i’ve done by Gabrielle Zevin, An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire, and Summer Knight by Jim Butcher.
6. While I may not have accrued a very high word count this month, I have done a lot of thinking (that good old subway commute is not wasted time, my friends) which resulted in some good forward progress on the Urban Fantasy novel I’m working on outlining. I’m still debating the wisdom of trying to begin drafting this for NaNoWriMo (or attempting NaNo at all, given my teaching schedule this year), but the outline is getting to the point where I think it might be doable.
7. I took 2 trips this month. First I traveled to Charlottesville, NC for a wedding and then to Charleston, SC for a weekend on Seabrook Island (from where I am currently writing this post). The latter really surprised me with its awesomeness and proved a great spot for writing. I’m already mentally plotting a return here for a writing retreat sometime.
I’ve still got a major completed-lecture-deficit going forward into October, so it’s not like I’m expecting to have tons of free time, but I am hoping that with the first crazy push of the semester over I’ll be able to establish a better rhythm for writing next month. This month, that is.
What did you get done in September? Do share, please!