Hey, everyone! It’s been a minute. Hope everyone is staying safe and adjusting to our new normal.
I tell myself I’m going to do these updates quarterly, and then…life. I think my last one was more than a year ago.
Fall is usually a season I associate with…allergies. How deeply unfortunate, eh? I’m not a spring allergy person. Nope, it’s always been the fall. I’m not sure if my allergy shots are doing their job, if the HEPA filters we installed last year are making a huge difference, or if it’s being in a mask all the time that’s doing it, but I’ve barely sneezed this year. (Knock on wood because I am not trying to jinx myself here!)
The other thing I associate with fall is National Novel Writing Month. Woot! We all love NaNo, right?
July wrapped up the 10th year of Rough Trade, which is really exciting; Keira’s done such a wonderful thing for writers with this long-running overlay of NaNo. The challenge environment helps keep the momentum going in what is a really difficult writing challenge. Sometimes, writing in a vacuum on a long-haul project can be really rough, so the challenge environment can be motivating for some people. (such as me!)
This upcoming RT will be the 11th RT/NaNo. It will be my 9th RT; I’d done NaNo before, but I can’t remember how often. It was more hit or miss for me before RT because I didn’t like my local NaNo chapter, and doing the slog by myself was rough.
It’s barely more than a week before NaNo/RT officially starts. Stressful and fun and our favorite time of the year. I haven’t skipped doing NaNo on Rough Trade since 2013, and this year is no different. My current plan is to do a new 9-1-1 time travel story, but, honestly, season 5 canon is pissing me off, so I need to avoid it and de-saltify or I won’t be able to get into the vibe of my NaNo project.
I’m shooting for around 100k. I’ve tried to scale back the scope of my RT projects in recent years so I have a better chance of finishing them during the challenge period, however, time travel lends itself to words (ripples!), and this idea isn’t a short one. If I’m going to throw my character back in time, I’m going to to fix shit, so expect lots of that.
I picked the 100k goal with a mind to being realistic with myself. It’s going to be a tough month, but if I can get into the story, I think it will be a lot of fun. My story is called Fearless, and you can read about it over on Rough Trade. The theme for this Rough Trade is time travel, so if that’s your jam, keep an eye on the site all month!
It’s hard to believe this January was the first 9-1-1 story that I posted because it feels like 9-1-1 has been consuming my brain for a lot longer than 2021! I thought my QB series would get me over my big need to write in this fandom. And yet… no.
This past year has been a lot more productive creatively than the prior year, despite having a major surgery in May and several other major health challenges along the way. Don’t even get me started on the two weeks+ of eye patches and eye procedures that made things a living hell for a while. That said, my eyes are so much better now, so I can’t really complain about the misery. (Actually, yes I can. Ocular bruises are miserable regardless of the good outcome. And adhesive-related blisters on the eyelids are not any kind of fun.) From a writing perspective, my eye health is obviously super important, so taking the time and expense for this was a good call for me. I think it will honestly help my RT experience this November that my eyes will be in better shape.
I’ve been pleased both with the amount I’ve written this year as well as how much I’ve been able to finish. My main goals writing wise for the year were to finish my Quantum Bang (done), finish and post Alio Modo (done), and finish and post Sentry (also done). I also slipped in some other stuff that wasn’t even on my list! I’m feeling all accomplished and shit over here, which is a really nice change from last year.
Most of my writing time will be focused on RT, which is covered above. I also have some smaller works I’m poking at between now and November, and I’ll probably post anything small that I finish during the month. Additionally, I always try to identify a pivot work in another fandom in the event I need to move to a completely different project, so that’s lined up as well. (I actually have lined up one for Teen Wolf and one for NCIS to give my moody self options.)
From an editing perspective, I’m working on wrapping up the Every Moment series. I just posted the first story in that series, These Are the Days. There are a total of four stories in the series, which is exactly how I posted it on Rough Trade, though the end of the fourth story wasn’t posted during the challenge. Seriously, I identified them on Rough Trade as episodes/short stories. Though I didn’t have the episode titles on RT.
I’ve had a lot of emails and a few comments from people asking where the rest of the story is. I’m honestly baffled since I haven’t changed the structure of the series at all, I’ve just titled the individual parts, done editing, and finished the writing on the fourth story. I also mention the three upcoming stories on the series page.
I expressed once that I was often hesitant to post a finished part of a series if I wasn’t ready to post the whole thing because of this very thing. So, I wasn’t surprised by the number of emails about how the story feels “terribly incomplete.” (Huff!) But it’s still vexing. Especially when there are some that are bordering on attempts at extortion. (“I don’t feel comfortable recommending your story to anyone if it’s not complete.” Yeah, okay, snowflake. Only someone who doesn’t know me thinks that tossing out a recommendation as a lure is going to get me to do anything.)
The thing is, one of the advantages of doing a short story or novella series is that it overall takes less time to get out than trying to do a single larger work. It also helps me feel accomplished in the process because I’m getting something finished. I love crossing things off a to-do list.
However, if I’m going to hold on to a multi-part series and finish the whole thing and then post all parts… What exactly is the point of structuring it as a series?
Anyway, I try to make sure each piece is a complete story in its own right, but if you find reading part of a series before the whole series is done to be stressful, then don’t read it. Good fucking god. This isn’t rocket science. Unloading dissatisfaction on me just slows down you getting more of the series because I’m annoyed at your poor life choices, and then I’m ranting about your poor life choices rather than continuing to edit. Show some restraint and wait if you just can’t deal with not knowing what’s coming next. Okay? Okay.
To the rest of you: thank you for your support and encouragement. I always love hearing from you. And, yes, Christopher is life, love, and everything. Unicorn goals.
One major thing that is upcoming is moving to a new host before my hosting package renews. The host move will also allow me to reinstall a security certificate on my site. Security certificates are hugely expensive on my current host, so that’s why that had to go last year. Going from http to https doesn’t break links, but doing the reverse does, so there were lots of glitches last year, but there shouldn’t be any this time.
I’ll send an announcement about a half day or day ahead of time, and there will likely be a few hours of downtime while the migration occurs and the DNS reconciles.
After the site move, I’ll be putting the So Far series (my 2021 QB) up on my site. I’m not planning on any major posting until after the site migration.
Keira and I will be launching at least one and maybe two lower-key challenges, probably in early December. By lower-key, I mean less intense than Rough Trade or the Quantum Bang. Lower word counts and no rough draft/naked writing! Also, longer writing periods than Rough Trade. It should be fun. Keep an eye out on the Just Write Discord server for information. We’ll be running the challenges from the Writing & Junk site, so if you’re not subscribed to site notification, you might want to sign up (notifications will also go out on Discord, but getting notifications from W&J can’t hurt).
We’ll also be launching a new bingo soon. We usually launch bingo in August or September, but this year has been a hot mess in so many ways, so if you’re interested in whatever bingo is coming, join the server! Other members of our Discord server announce other challenges on the server as well, so if you join, you’ll be apprised of other events, challenges, and bangs, many of which are run by our members (who I consider to be the absolute best of the best 🙂 ).
We haven’t done a write-in in a hot minute, so one of those is likely coming in November to help with the mid-NaNo ennui.
Author signups for the Quantum Bang end on October 31st! There’s no penalty for dropping out before art claims. In fact, you don’t have to drop at all; if you don’t submit, you’re dropped. The only pressure is the pressure you put on yourself (or that you solicit someone else to put on you. No judgement if you need someone to Dom you through a challenge 😉 !). If you think you might want to participate, drop by and sign up for 2022!
That’s it for me until winter (assuming I manage to get something done on time). I hope you have a wonderful fall (or spring for those of you south of the equator). Get outside before it gets too cold/hot. Remember: reading is life.
(Wow, that got wordy. That’s what I get for not communicating for over a year!)