February Round-Up: Stories, Sketches, and Sales

I have no idea where the month of February went! It felt like just yesterday I was looking for good strawberries to dip in chocolate for Valentine’s Day. There’s an element of “Blersuary” what with the pandemic ongoing, I’m sure.

But that doesn’t mean nothing happened in February! I finished three books (Nerve, From Baby Brain to Writer Brain, and Story Engineering), and started five others (naturally). I solved my Power Broker reading problem–due to being a ten-pound softcover that can’t be held in one hand–by getting the audiobook version, which means I’ve actually been making some progress on it!

I sold one story, though still waiting on the contract, so can’t (as yet) announce where or when it’ll be coming out. But I can say it’s a pro-market! So I’m thrilled to pieces. I also finally finished the rough draft of “A Splendid Journey,” but it’s about half-again longer than the max word count I was aiming for, and given the specificity of the anthology call I was writing it for, I’m not sure it’ll have legs at any other markets. (One of the pitfalls of writing to anthology calls.) But I do like it a lot, so we’ll have to see what I do with it, if anything.

I’m also just on the verge of wrapping up my Novel Writing Essentials course, once I get a few more critiques submitted. It’s been a great class, chockfull of great people, and some really great writing. Looking forward to starting Write Your Novel mid-March! I’ve gotten significantly farther into my book’s second draft than I ever had managed to do before via this course, and I’m hoping to maintain the momentum.

I also started sketching a bit this month! I’m pretty rusty, so some of them are a touch embarrassing, but overall I’m just thrilled to be drawing regularly again. The only thing that’ll help me get better is doing it more often!

And of course, no post regarding February would be complete without a shot of said Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries from Valentine’s Day!

Turned out pretty nicely, all things considered!

So how was your February? Did the get-up-and-go energy of January carry through for you, or did it start to flag a bit?

5 thoughts on “February Round-Up: Stories, Sketches, and Sales”

  1. Congratulations on your sale and those sketches! February just whizzed by, I thought, but I did manage to get some writing exercises done and I even got to finish reading the last book in a series I started last, gulp, August.

    1. Hey, that’s pretty good turn-around for a series! I’m impressed. I tend to dawdle on series books. It’s a terrible habit, because then I have to skim the previous books to remember what happened! XD

      But congrats on the exercises! Even just a little bit helps keep those skills sharp, I find. I’d love to come up with a list of exercises to reach for when I just need a little practice. What exercises do you like best?

      1. I’m the same with series books, especially this one I just finished (N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy). It was too heavy for me, so I’d finished the first two books in August, but ended up reading the last book over 6 months. Phew.

        My writing’s outrageously rusty. I like to claim that college killed my writing style, but it’s been years since college; I really should stop using that alibi, haha! Writing prompts have been most helpful for me. I found a handful of good ones on Pinterest. My worldbuilding project counts as an exercise too, I think, considering how it helps keep my imagination in top form.

      2. Oh man—world building is one of those things I both love and avoid (to my own detriment)! Good on you for tackling it right off the bat. The last couple novel drafts I wrote, the #1 issue I ran into (among plenty of learn-as-you-go errors!) was not having done enough world building up-front. It’ll help in the long run!

        I’m working on getting comfortable with the process again. I used to LOVE coming up with the worlds I’d write stories in, but I think as life got busier, I started getting overwhelmed by it. Multiple drafts into my current WIP, the world is finally coming together, but it would have been a lot nicer if I’d known at least SOME basics of the place before diving into story mode. Lesson learned! ^_^

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