#amreading challenge community goals Novel 1 Novel 2 Novel 3


I was MIA this past month due to a slew of events: family visiting, new projects at work, and, simply, the continuing Writer’s Block. I didn’t complete Writo de Mayo again; I probably quit earlier this year than last year due to the unforeseen busy weeks in May.

However, this past week I have been trying to get myself back into writing again with some exercises from The Pocket Muse. It’s a good change of pace from reading all the reference/self-help books I’d read in the past month; after awhile, my mind turns to mush if I read too much of similar material. I need to get back to reading fiction again.

This next week, I anticipate finally printing out the first drafts of Novels 2 & 3, Dark Prayer’s Song and Time Abroad. I’ve also revisited my plot for Novel 1, Writing the Past, and realize that probably part of the reason why I’ve avoided revising the novel is because I’m still a little iffy over the restructured plot.

Slowly, but surely, things will get done.

goals inspiration Novel 1 Work in Progress

Goals Written from January

I was thumbing through some notes from one of my notepads last night and came across a list of goals I had written from early last month. To my relief, I found a couple of goals that made me change my mind about how I had been feeling about self-publishing:

– Self-publish short story collection by May 2009
– Publish Novel 1 via agent

Ah, so that was what I had originally intended, at least, early last month. So, that puts me a bit more at ease, although now that I realize I had wanted to find an agent, I’m going to need to move a little faster and efficiently on revising the manuscript. Deadline for the revision: June. I don’t know why I have been telling others that I will publish my novel by summertime; I probably got that mixed up with my short story collection.

I had to shake things up for myself today since I noticed that I had been stuck in a routine for the past month and a half; because of this change in routine, I got a few good sparks and have jotted down a few new notes in my to-go notebook. When I came back home from my brief outing, I was able to start some rewriting on Novel 1; hooray!

I’ve also been blogging like crazy, especially on my food blog, Cinnamon Juice. It’s getting a little more buzz these days, thanks to a couple blog rolls and Twitter. It’s good to see that people are interested in my thoughts about food and related topics.

Hoping for another productive day tomorrow.

editing Novel 1 Scribd

Moving Forward on Novels & More

Happy Valentine’s Day; what are your plans for the day?

This past week has been another busy one, but I’m happy to say that I’m still making strides in my writing. Just this morning, I reached 10,000 words on Novel 4, which is pretty good for writing this outside of NaNoWriMo. I also finished shuffling my plot in the original manuscript for Novel 1 and completed some character worksheets. The next step is to write character sketches/background stories for the main characters; then, it’s time to rewrite.

It seems that I continue to receive more hits on Scribd for my short story, “Riches to Rags,” which is very great publicity. Stay tuned for more updates over the course of the next few days.

#amwriting Novel 1 question short works Work in Progress

New Story Post; Characters & Settings and Tangibility

It’s safe to say that I can breathe again after a less-than-fruitful week. For the past two weeks, I haven’t had much time to devote to my writing; in general, I haven’t had much time to myself due to festivities for Chinese New Year and my birthday over the past two weekends. Don’t get me wrong: I love celebrations, I love time with family and friends, but like any other person, I also love time spent alone.

I feel like I can’t fully function/be alert with tasks/work when I do not have at least one full day to myself to do whatever I want to do. Even though on certain days of the week I still have time before and after work to myself, it’s never enough for me to have those pockets of time. I need a full day.

So, because of the lack of time lately, my updates to my website and my short works had been suffering; only today was I able to get around to adding another short story to my website (called “Riches to Rags” under Other Works); it’s slightly longer than my other work, and the POV is from a man instead. As always, please feel free to leave feedback/reviews on my comments post.

I’ve been working hard on developing more about my characters from Writing the Past, but I’m having trouble with a couple of elements; in general, I feel like this is a weak point in my writing at this stage. The question goes–

When writing non-Science Fiction/Fantasy, is it important/mandatory to have real location names (i.e., names of real cities like New York, San Francisco, Fairfax, etc.)? Also, is it necessary to directly address characters’ ethnicities/cultural backgrounds?

The reason why I struggle with these aspects of writing is because I do not want to box my characters into the stereotypes or “familiar” things akin to familiar locations, cultures, etc. It may be a controversial matter, but I don’t want to feel like I am limited to only writing about Asians, Asian-Americans, etc. and their plight of living in certain conditions/cultural conflicts/etc. What exactly is accepted/not accepted though? What makes a storyline tangible, easy-to-relate?

Any insight is appreciated.

#amreading contest inspiration Novel 1 Work in Progress

Finding Inspiration From Others & Delays

Recently, my bus rides have been consumed with reading Blind Your Ponies, by Stanley G. West. It is a thick monster of a book, and at times it’s hard to follow the plot since West writes from multiple points-of-view, but nonetheless, I have enjoyed the story so far. It’s been captivating my attention on the bus rides to and from work that I don’t even have the time to think about using my iPod these days.

Reading the book, however, has made me also realize a lot of things about my own writing. The prose in West’s book is smart and rather lyrical; I continue to wonder if my writing will reach that point someday. Yesterday, I went back to the public library to do more research in the writing magazines; I found myself feeling more humbled by the articles I read on how to improve my drafts and my general sense of writing.

The past week or so has been dry for me, writing-wise. Things began to slip a little bit last Wednesday, but I’ve still managed to keep up the momentum for my daily Novel 1 check-in. I should really start referring to that book with its working title, so I can feel more sense of completion. Since the deadline for ABNA is already less than a week away, I’m disappointed to say that I will not have my manuscript ready for submission. Well, it was worth the try to aim high so soon; I will still continue to aim for self-publishing the book by this summer.

Well, my Muse will come back yet.