Saturday, 13 August 2016

Writer Fitness: Ingressing

Before Pokemon Go came along, I was looking for a way to help motivate myself to go for longer walks. Old injuries mean I don't do running, or biking, and that means extended low impact exercise is important. Being borderline Type II Diabetes, AND getting over the effects of a prolonged period of stress and being bullied meant exercise was important, so I asked my Facebook friends for suggestions... and one of the things that came back was "Try Ingress".

So I did - and I loved it.

Since November 28 last year, I have walked just over 950 kilometres, lost weight and seen a reduction in health problems such as back ache, duration and severity of the flu, and blood pressure. All good.

I'd like to see I've met a ton of new friends, but I haven't really done that. I've met people on-line who play, but I haven't been able to make get-togethers, so I haven't gotten to know them yet, but that's okay. Not making gatherings, doesn't mean I can't play, and that's also a plus.

So, in addition to the Pokemon Go thing, I do the Ingress thing, and I thought I'd write a short post each week on something Ingress, whether it's a new badge, a new mission, a bit of how-to based on stuff I wish I'd known, or whatever.

This week, I just thought I'd hang it out there and say 'hi' to anyone else who plays - and just see if there's anything anyone wants to know in specific, before I go into generalities.

So, Hi there. Saturdays will be the talk-about-Ingress day on this blog - for as long as I can manage it.

And now... it's time to move.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Finding My Feet (A New Kind of Challenge)

So, back in June, I got to thinking about this whole writing-as-a-possible-career thing…

I decided I’d need to step up my game if I was to be a successful indie writer, so I looked at what I had achieved, and what I hadn’t, and knew I needed to revamp my publishing schedule. Since regular releases are important, I decided I wouldn’t do a mass release of everything I’d finished, but work to do a fortnightly release during the semester while I was studying. I also discovered I was supposed to upload a copy of each published work to the National Library of Australia in order remain in line with the Copyright Act of 1968. That was a lot of work.

To this end, I prioritised my release schedule set-up over my writing, and my legal obligations. I spent the second week of my university break uploading ninety per cent of my C.M. Simpson Publishing titles to the National Library of Australia, and then started on preparing a fortnightly release schedule for my short stories. By the end of the third week, I had all bar one of my short stories uploaded, and I was out of time—school holidays had hit, meaning I had a small person at home and in need of attention, and my study materials were due to arrive on the Monday of the week following. Playtime was most definitely over, and it was time to try and work on meshing my writing schedule with my study schedule, with minimal publishing until the end of exams in November.

And, four weeks into the semester, it’s time to re-assess, once more.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

I’m Not That Kind of Writer (or Challenge Fail… Again)

Once university resumed in late January, 2016, I soon discovered I wasn’t going to be able to put the work in to achieve the grades I wanted AND complete these challenges, so I chose to bow to the necessities of life—and to give myself room to work towards my OTHER dream. So, I can’t do it all. Well, who knew… and now I do, too.

By the end of January, I had achieved the following Story-A-Week Challenge and Holiday Extension Challenge goals for January:

  • Week 1: ShortStory630—Rendezvous at Raptor’s Rest: now scheduled for release January 13, 2017.
  • Week 2: ShortStory508—Lord of the Vortex: All I had this week was the title, and the story came from there. It ended up being 4,045 words long.
  • Week 3: ShortStory483—Headlines from the Starman (was: The Royal Starman in the Moon): added around 1,100 words for a total of 3,669 words.
  • Chapbook5C—Rocky Rides the Space Range (Otherworld Adventures #4: was meant to be completed in Week 2 of December 2015, but was finalised in Week 3 of January. This chapter book ended up being around 13,000 words.
  • Chapbook14J—Legacy of Hearts (Wheelchair Adventures #3: was meant to be completed in Week 1 of January 2016, but was finalised in Week 3, and ended up being around 7,700 words long.

And then university started and my writing just… stopped, although I did manage to get the last few chapter books published.

By the June break I was thinking ”I have to be better than this!” so I set about trying to work out a more sustainable approach, and this is what I came up with:

  • First, I would start by scrapping the challenges until I had a schedule going.
  • Next, I would set up a regular publishing schedule of everything I had completed – that was pretty much the short stories.
  • And then I would write during the semester (hopefully) and do another pre-publishing round at the end of the year so I could focus on writing, again.

In the middle of this, I learned I was supposed to be uploading a copy of anything I published to the National Library of Australia, so I focussed on that for a week, before getting the publishing schedule back on track. With titles releasing bi-monthly through to the end of October, all I can say is that it’s getting there.

Now, to get the writing moving, again.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Writer Fitness: Last Week's Pokemon

I have to admit, I don't like going for walks, but I DO like the effects, and now I have an added incentive. Apologies in advance for all of you who don't like pokemon, but my kids do, and I'm finding it a great way to encourage myself to get out of the house and walk AND to spend time with my kids who love catching these little guys just as much as I do. Once a week, I'll post the poke-catch results for the week... and list the ones that got away. I'll also try to remember to post something about the location, if I go anywhere outside my neighbourhood. So, enough chit-chat from me. Here they are:

On Saturday I caught:

a weedle.... and a rattata that wanted to sit on my knee.

On Sunday, I caught:

a rattata that tried to impede my progress.

On Monday, I had better luck, and I caught:

a pidgeotto at the playground, a pidgy on my hat, and a pidgy the wasn't going to let me pass...

... and then there were the three rattatas who appeared in quick succession... and were caught the same way,

followed by a zubat and a psyduck who met me on the way home... so I obliged by carrying them the rest of the way.

As for the one's that got away, well, I'll catch them some other time.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Progress Report: January 17 – August 6, 2016

Well, I have definitely let the blogging thing slide, this year. I’ve had a bit of trouble balancing it with everything else. This report will be different to normal – especially as it’s mid-week and not on a Sunday. Where have I been, you ask?

Let me see, I tried to get my publishing schedule on track, but, after a promising start, it fell to pieces when the university semester began. I tried to fix this over the mid-semester break, by setting up a regular bi-monthly release for the second half of the year… and so far, I have succeeded.

In the meantime, here’s a quick overview of where I’m at:

Works released from January 1 to August 6, 2016:

  • Short Stories: 4

Released: February 5, 2016                                                                   Released: July 2, 2016

Released: July 15, 2016                                                                  Released: July 29, 2016
  • Collections: 2

Released: January 3, 2016                                                                Released: May 6, 2016

  • Chapter Books: 5

Released: January 15, 2016                                                                  Released: February 19, 2016 

Released: May 10, 2016                                                                 Released: June 21, 2016

 Released: June 24, 2016

  • Short Stories ready for Pre-Order on Smashwords: 9

To Release: August 12, 2016                                                       To Release: August 26, 2016

 To Release: September 9, 2016                                              To Release: September 23, 2016

To Release: October 7, 2016                                                       To Release: October 21, 2016

To Release: October 30, 2016

Short Stories Completed: 5
Poems Completed: 69
Flash Fiction Completed: 38
Covers Created between January 1 and August 6, 2016: around 14.

In addition to this, I learned I had an obligation under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 to upload each published work to the National Library of Australia. I uploaded over 90 titles and have just under a dozen to go. This takes time.

I also scrapped my Story-A-Week Challenge and Holiday-Extension Challenge, as I just wasn’t getting to them, and had to continually prioritise something else over them. I started a new challenge, instead, and I’ll talk more about that later.

So, that's where I'm at. Tomorrow, I'll post some pokemon, just for a change of pace.