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Back in the swing of things

It feels good to be writing again. I'm about 10 days, and exactly 8000 words, into book 2. Not bad. Also, I think I am writing a cleaner first draft than book 1. The whole process feels easier this time around.


Steering the Craft

I have had Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin for a while, but had only done the first two exercises or so. The other day, I fetched it out again and had another look-see. It's a fantastic book for anyone interested in writing fiction. I think it would be particularly useful for those who are worried about how to find their own "voice".


BookBub

I heard about BookBub from writers discussing book promotion. I signed up yesterday as a reader, not a writer. BookBub is an opt-in email list containing links to ebook that are free or on sale. When you sign up you select which genres you are interested in. Also, the list is curated, which means only quality books appear in the email (i.e. nothing with bad covers, bad formatting, or too many bad reviews). If you read ebooks you may be interested in signing up.







Current progress on Symmetry Breaking:

In revision


Current progress on Reality Shifting:





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Easter is for writing and games. Yay!

Finally, the busy period at work has finished! Woo! I intend to blog more regularly from now on (or at least until the next busy period ...)

Anyway, a few updates:


Book 2 underway

As if revising book 1 of my fantasy trilogy wasn't enough, today I started writing book 2. It makes sense; honest! I have a long commute by bus to work. I can't use that time for revisions (too tricky) but I can use it for writing, so why not?

I'm hoping that I'll improve my craft while writing book 2, and then I'll be able to use those improved writing skills to make book 1 better.

Book 2 is tentatively titled Reality Shifting.


SpecFicNZ's write-up of Christchurch Words on the Wind

SpecFicNZ has published a write-up of the NZ Book Month event I read at the other week. Go check it out to see me pulling a funny mid-word face!


A word of warning about cheap ebooks

Last week, Imagine That! Studios released this blog post about a dodgy-looking website that may or may not be phishing personal details (they certainly aren't selling ebooks legally, which is a problem in it's own). As a special warning to you, my story The Wrong Camera is published by Imagine That! Studios, so please make sure to buy my or anyone else's work from reputable retailers. Remember: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.


TableTop Day is Saturday 30th March

You know what you should be doing this Saturday? Playing board games! Saturday is TableTop Day, organised by my favourite YouTube channel, Geek & Sundry. I will absolutely be doing this.



Have a lovely Easter, everyone!








Current progress on Symmetry Breaking:

In revision


Current progress on Reality Shifting:




Comments

Some housekeeping

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted a proper update. I have been exceptionally busy lately (selling a house, outlining a novel while revising another, and doing day job work on the evenings and weekends because we are so busy). I have several announcements today:


Words on the Wind

SpecFicNZ's Christchurch NZ Book Month event, 'Words on the Wind', is on tomorrow at Upper Riccarton Library at 1.30 pm. I'll be reading, so come along if you are in town and want to sample some of my writing.


New website!

I have a new website! Yay! It is at CatLangford.com. My existing Blogger blog now mirrors over to the new website, so you can read my posts in either location – it's the same content. The tabs at the top of the Blogger version of the blog now go to pages on the main website.


Want to read the first chapter of my book?

Do you want to read the first chapter of Symmetry Breaking, the book I am currently revising? Since the first chapter is in fairly good condition (although it may yet change a little bit before publication) I have added it to my new mailing list. To read the chapter, go to any page on my new website, sign up to my opt-in mailing list (purple box in the sidebar), and you will receive a copy of Chapter 1 sent direct to your inbox as a thank you.


Fishpond, no longer recommended

For a while I have used Fishpond.co.nz affiliate links in my book reviews on this blog. However, the quality of Fishpond's service has steadily decreased over the last year and I am no longer comfortable recommending their store. After a recent bad experience my husband had with them (as in, the complaint is lodged with the Commerce Commission) I no longer shop there. I have removed all the affiliate links from this blog. (I hope. Let me know if you spot one, and I'll take it down.)


Google+

I've started using Google+ regularly, after having an inactive account for several years. They've added a lot of new functions, such as Communities, that make G+ appealing to use . I have been posting links to articles about writing on my G+ timeline, so if you are on G+ and you are interested in writing specifically, perhaps you'd like to add me to your circles?







Current progress on Symmetry Breaking:


In revision

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My first public reading!

I have been invited to read at a NZ Book Month event, "Words on the Wind"! I will be reading from The Wrong Camera, and I may give an exclusive sneak preview of my current project if time allows.

If you're in Christchurch, come along to "Words on the Wind" and listen to some awesome speculative fiction authors (+ me :) ) read from their works. The event is on Sunday, 17 March at Upper Riccarton Library (full details below).







Current progress on Symmetry Breaking:


In revision

Comments

Writing update, and the joys of the morning commute

I've been working so hard on my writing lately that I have very little else to talk about. My poor husband must be so sick of me right now: "Writing this, writing that, blah blah blah." Apparently I even mumble about my characters at 2 am when I'm 98.7% asleep.

On the plus side, I've been kicking arse with my writing resolutions. My first three writing projects for the year were going to be three novelettes between books 1 and 2 of my current trilogy. I wrote novelette 1 early in January. Novelette 2 became a novella, and yet I've still nearly finished the first draft, days ahead of schedule. When I tried to plan novelette 3, I discovered that it actually wanted to be a part of book 2, which is fine by me. I've moved the brainstorming notes over to my book 2 project file accordingly.

I'll tell you what: the "bus ride + iPad + iPad keyboard + Index Card app that synchs to Scrivener at home" workflow is frikken amazing. Depending on how busy my first leg of the morning commute is (i.e. whether I have a seat) I can write somewhere between 250 and 600 words by the time I get to work. My daily word goal is only 700 words. That means I usually finish my writing for the day in my lunch break. Then on the bus home, I can either work on revisions of book 1 (if I have a replacement or new scene to work on) or I can brainstorm and outline my next project. Brilliant.

Do you use public transport to go to work or school? Are you able to make productive use of the time, or do you find the people and/or movement too distracting?

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Brief writing update

Mid-January is always a good time to reflect on how well you are adhering to your New Year's resolutions. If you've fallen off the horse already, you're going to have to put in a lot of work to get back on and stay there.

So far, I'm doing a good job of following the writing resolutions I decided on the other week. I have drafted the first 'novelette' on my list (it was an 8,000-word short story in the end, not a novelette). I am close to finishing the outline for the next novelette, and I should start writing it tonight or tomorrow. This one will be longer than the first. It may even be a novella.

So far I am ahead of schedule, because I wasn't expecting to start novella 2 until the 24th. It's not just because the first novelette came in short: I took a 5-day break from writing to listen to A Memory of Light and to read Lindsay Buroker's new Emperor's Edge novella, Beneath the Surface. So all in all, I'm pleased with my progress so far, and I hope I can keep it up.

Did you make New Year's resolutions? How are they going so far?


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On 2012, and why I'm glad it is over

I stuck my foot in my mouth last night, as I always do when hanging out with my husband's friends. Whenever I do, it reflects badly on him. When midnight ticked over, I said with some relish, 'Sayonara, 2012!' And then someone turned to me and said, 'Yes, it must have been awful for you, getting married and all.' I tried to recover the situation by pointing out how stressful planning a wedding is, plus there were bathroom renovations, etc. etc. 

Now it is morning and I have slept on it, I still stand by my relief that 2012 is over. Yes, some of the best things that have happened to me occurred in 2012. And no, nothing truly awful happened. (There were layoffs at work, but I still have my job.) But my lasting impression of 2012 is tiredness. The year ran me ragged.

Why was 2012 so hard? Because almost all of the facets of my life transitioned into a new phase. New marriage. New house. New decade of life. Finally moving from talking about wanting to be a writer, to actually doing it. These things are all awesome, but because they all happened at once, I haven't had a chance to fully enjoy them. And that is why I am so happy 2012 is over: because I've been looking forward to 2013, when I'll finally be able to enjoy the new life I created for myself in 2012.

What is your lasting impression of 2012?


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