Saturday, 20 August 2016

Progress Report: Week Ending August 20, 2016

Long week, short on writing, but lots of catching up. This whole sick child thing, followed by being sick thing… waaay overrated. I also added the walking back in; it fit where it should, up until I got sick, but I had to fit my catch-up study in where I would normally put my writing, so… results as follows:


New words produced: 0
Old words revised: 0
Outlines and Notes: 0
Works completed: 0
Works revised: 0
Covers created: 0
Works published: 0
Works submitted: 0
Competitions Entered: 0
Bloggery: 715
University Prep and Assignments: 6,993

Story-A-Week Catch-Up Challenge Update

Nil Progress

Publishing Tasks

Created 3 blog posts for this blog;
Created 0 blog post for the C.M. Simpson Publishing blog;
Created 0 blog post for the C.M. Simpson Art and Photography blog;

New Arrivals

Nil this week.

Ingress Report - Week Ending August 20, 2016

Sorry, no pictures, today, folks.

I haven't been well, so I'll make it brief.

Two missions completed: one at the National Museum of Australia, and one at the National Botanic Gardens... and then I caught the flu. The next mission will be a lovely jaunt up Black Mountain, and I'm still tossing up whether I'll make it a walk or a drive.

No new badges to report, but I should have some news on that front, soon. I have four platinum, heading for black at a rapid rate of knots, two golds, seven silver, four bronze, and the usual two that may never get off the starting mark. It's not spectacular, but sometimes I have to let Ingress take a back seat.

Other stuff: I think I'll just let events guide what goes on in the Ingress space. If I level a badge, I might talk about that, or - if I remember to take photos - I'll post about the missions, once they're done. If they're a picture series, I'll post up the completed set, because there are some really creative mission creators out there, and it's nice to show their work.

Next week: if I have no badge news, I'll list up some of the things I wish I'd known about when I first started playing.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The Story-A-Week and Holiday Extension Challenge Fails Wrap-Up

Last December, I undertook two challenges: The Story-A-Week and Holiday Extension Challenges.

The criteria for these Challenges were as follows:

The Story-A-Week Challenge: Write and submit one short story (of between 1,500 and 12,000 words), each week for the next twelve months (the 55 weeks from December 13, 2015 through December 31, 2016). (55 short stories)

The Holiday Extension Challenge: During the summer break, and the mid-semester break next year, write one Carlie Simonsen chapter book each week, and have it uploaded for pre-ordering within six weeks from completion. The periods for this challenge were as follows:
Summer Holidays (7 weeks from December 13, 2015 through February 15, 2016); the Mid-Semester Holidays (7 weeks from May 28, 2016 through July 16, 2016); and the End-of-Year Holidays (6 weeks from November 20, 2016 through December 31, 2016). (20 chapter books)

An Untimely End and Results

In February, when university kicked in, again, I realised I couldn’t complete the challenges until I worked out how to balance the study load with family, writing and publishing commitments, so I made a choice to study and revisited things in June. At the time of their premature ending, the results of the challenges were as follows:

The Story-A-Week Challenge

Week 1: ShortStory61—Seppelitus: reached 13,500 words and wasn’t suitable for submission to more than one market. It was submitted, rejected and published with a release date of October 30, 2016.
Week 2: ShortStory473—The Severine Sidestep: reached 5,300 words and was submitted to a major competition and several professional markets until being slated for a release date of December 2, 2016.
Week 3: ShortStory630—Rendezvous at Raptor’s Rest: reached 11,239 words, and was scheduled for release on January 13, 2017.
Week 4: ShortStory508—Lord of the Vortex: reached 4,045 words, and was submitted to several professional markets until being published with a release date of September 23, 2016.
Week 5: ShortStory483—Headlines from the Starman (was The Royal Starman in the Moon): reached 3,669 words, and was submitted to several professional markets until being published with a release date of August 12, 2016.

The Holiday Extension Challenge

Week 1: Nil—see Week 5;
Week 2: Chapbook14I—Legacy of Hope (Wheelchair Adventures #2): was completed on time, and released on April 15, 2016;
Week 3: Nil—see Week 5;
Week 4: Nil—see Week 6;
Week 5: The book scheduled for this week was not completed until Week X, but I used the time to start to catch up on two of the chapter books I had missed earlier in the challenge. The first of these was Chapbook5C—Rocky Rides the Space Range (Otherworld Adventures #4): which was meant to be completed in Week 1, but was not completed until this week of the challenge. It was released on February 19, 2016. It was followed by Chapbook14J—Legacy of Hearts (Wheelchair Adventures #3): which was meant to be completed in Week 3, but was not completed until Week 6 of the challenge, and was released on May 20, 2016.
Week 6: Chapbook5D—Rocky Touches Down (Otherworld Adventures #5): was not started until Week 6 of the challenge, and was completed in Week 7. It was released on March 18, 2016.


Only 5 out of 55 short stories completed, and 4 out of 20 projected chapter books were completed. It was not the most inspiring of efforts, I have to admit, but I did learn that I had limits, and that there were choices I had to make. Seeing as I still wanted to successfully complete my university studies, my writing had to give that a bit of time. Come June, and I wanted to try to get things back on track, to work this business at a more professional level, and that’s what I’m trying to do, now.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Writer Fitness: Pokewalking August 9-15, 2016

So this is, hopefully, going to be a regular feature for Tuesday. Why Tuesday? Because from Tuesday through Friday, my focus is on Ingress, but on Saturdays and Sundays, my kids like to go pokehunting, so we do that together. And, yes, sometimes I'll go solo, but not often. I'll include those occasions, too. In the meantime...

On Monday evening, I caught:

a drattini who wanted to know why I was still studying, a spearow who was adamant I give up the books for the day, and a rattata that said I needed to step away from the keyboard... or else. They were followed by...

 a psyduck and a rattata.

On Tuesday morning's walk, I caught:

one exeggcute lurking under a tree, a confrontational rattata, a very determined pidgey, and...

 ... a magikarp who couldn't quite jump high enough to escape, another rattata determined to bar my way, and a spearow, who thought I might be good for bread crumbs... boy was  it in for a surprise!

The ones that got away Tuesday morning were:

This staryu who bowed quite politely, then leapt out of the ball and vanished in a puff of smoke, followed later by this pinsir, who lucked out when the game jammed and wouldn't load the next pokeball before crashing - next time, I tell you, next time.

On Tuesday Afternoon, I caught...

one krabby, one zubat, three pidgeys...

one spearow, one weedle

and, oh Lord...

And then there's the one that got away...

Monday, 15 August 2016

A New Method… and a New Challenge

In order to try and cope with my study load, and my desire to manage my writing, I instigated a new challenge. I would prioritise my study and writing, and I’d try to write a story a week. I thought the Story-A-Week challenge might be achievable, but then I went one step further.

You guys are familiar with this,right? The whole ‘if one story’s a good idea, why not try two? Well, I thought that it shouldn’t be too much trouble to write a new story each week AND complete an old one, so I named my new challenge the Story-A-Week Catch-Up Challenge. I’ll post a bit later in the week as to how that’s really going.

And the new method?

Well, it’s to just write a thousand a words at a time on any one project, unless the words are really flowing well. That way, I can meet the writing commitment needed for each of my pen names to have something to add to a regular publishing schedule. When I’m writing, this method works really well, and I often get over the quota with ease.

The trouble is still finding the time to write fiction, when I have study commitments to meet, and family to care for.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Progress Report: Week Ending August 13

Well, it’s started – change, and don’t we all just love change. I’m switching between writing essays and writing fiction. Very soon, I will start putting the publishing tasks back into the schedule, but not until I’ve managed to balance this new addition. Adding the walking really threw things, so we’re going slow.
Changes. Right. I made a few of those. The first one is to add my pokewalking and ingressing to my blog. It’s kinda fun, but it’s also really important for writers to maintain their fitness. After all, who wants their favourite author to keel over from a stroke, or a heart attack, or some diabetes-related issue that could have been avoided if we hadn’t chained them to their desk? Not me, that’s for sure, and, if I’m gonna advise it, maybe I should listen to myself for a change.
So, since I tend to pokewalk on weekends, and sometimes Monday, Tuesday will have pictures of the pokemon that were caught during the week, and, since I go ingressing fairly heavily before my tutorials in the middle of the week, and Fridays, if my assignments are on track, I was thinking of making Saturday my ingress report. Sundays will remain the day for progress reports.
I think that, with Sundays, Tuesdays and Saturdays on track, I’ll try and work out what to do for the rest of the week. I may go back to the terribleminds flash fiction challenges on Fridays, and maybe add in a day for writer’s thoughts, and a day for wildlife pictures, but I’ll work on making the pokewalking, ingressing and progress reports regular first. Anything else will be a bonus.
Next change. Not sure yet. Let’s just get these ones sorted first, okay?


  • New words produced: 21,423
  • Old words revised: approx. 2,000
  • Outlines and Notes: 0
  • Works completed: 0
  • Works revised: 0
  • Covers created: 0
  • Works published: 0
  • Works submitted: 0
  • Competitions Entered: 0
  • Bloggery: 2,161
  • University Prep and Assignments: 6,886

Publishing Tasks

New Arrivals

The following pieces arrived last week and were completed:

  • The Medusa’s Starman, 8753 words, science fiction/dark fantasy blend short story;
  • Memory’s Return, 6,364 words, urban policing noir fantasy; and
  • Bid the Moon Goodbye; 4,486 words, science fiction.

 The following older pieces of writing were picked up and finished:

  • The Magicians and the Silk Road, 4,760 words, fantasy short story