August by the numbers

Summer is over.

Record heat. Earthquakes. Hurricanes.  It’s been an eventful few months in New York City.  Despite the excitement, here’s what I managed to accomplish in August, by the numbers:

1 trip (to visit family in Seattle and do research for my next novel)

2 critiques (a short story for one writing group and a novel for another)

3 attempts to overcome an unusual bout with writer’s block (3rd time’s the charm!)

4 new lectures prepared for the class I’m teaching this fall (ANTH 241: Aztec, Maya, and Olmec).  Since the semester consists of close to 30 lectures, I’ve got a loooong way to go on this one 😦

5 chapters written to bring the first rough draft of ABSENT to it’s conclusion


6 books devoured (Deathless by Kat Valente, Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, Taking the Fifth by J.A. Jance, Fool Moon by Jim Butcher, Hammered by Kevin Hearne, and Grave Peril by Jim Butcher).

Looking ahead to September, I’ve got some fun travel lined up and lots of teaching to dive back into.  I hope to get a few new short stories going, and after a wee break to let my brain percolate, I intend to dive back into ABSENT and do some major revisions and rewriting.  BLOOD RED SUN is still out to agents (querying is turning up an encouraging number of partial requests and plenty of waiting) and I’d love to get a little outlining done on my next novel.

What big check boxes did you hit in August?  What got left undone?  And what does September hold for you?

June gone too soon

Another month, another monthly run-down.

1. I’m happy to say that June saw me bring the thunder on my rough draft of ABSENT.  I hammered out nearly 25,000 words this month.  Most of those words were of the craptastic variety, but as Chuck Wendig has rightly said: the draft is for writing the words, the revision is for making the words not suck.  I’m almost done with the novel, but finishing it will have to wait until I return from the field in mid-July.  As will the aforementioned ‘making it not suck’.

2. I started a new short story this month–a steampunk/horror mashup set during the Second Seminole War that focuses on skull collectors and the nefarious uses they put to their macabre prizes.  It’s threatening, though, to turn into a novel on me.

3. I’ve got 5 other shorts, plus BLOOD RED SUN, out to markets and agents.  Lots of waiting on that front.  World-building and outlining on my urban fantasy novel has stalled; set aside in favor of trying to finish ABSENT.  I hope to return to that in July.

4.I did a bundle o’beta reading this month: one novel for my crit partner, Eric, which I finished, and another that I’m halfway through.  In addition, I did three short story crits this month.  All told, I read and critted well over 180,000 words in June.

5. Even with all that beta reading to do, I managed to squeeze in a fair amount of pleasure reading, making my way through Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (a re-read), The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie, Hexed by Kevin Hearne, The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

6.  School’s out, so no day job to weigh me down.  Ah, lazy, lovely summer.

7. In the travel department, I journeyed to Miami to visit a friend and am off tomorrow to Honduras to work on my archaeological field project.

So, June was busy, as every month seems to be, but it will pale in comparison to what’s coming down the pike in July.  I’ve got the aforementioned archaeological expedition for the first half of the month, then a trip up to Boston to attend Readercon, and then the hubby and I are moving into the apartment we’ve just bought.  So, deep breath….here we go!

How was your month?