Writing Update: Logo and Short-Stories Goals

Last week, I reached two goals: raising enough funds to commission a logo for Word Nerd Scribbles, and revising/submitting the third of this year’s short-stories.

Logo Goal

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‘Commission a Logo Design’ goal 193% complete

I mentioned in a previous post about how my Ko-Fi goal was to raise $30 in contributions to commission a logo design. The accompanying image, with its whopping 193% completion statistic, may make it seem like I had a torrent of donations come flooding in after putting out the call, but such was not the case.

 

Here’s what happened. In truth, I was recently seized by a fit of reorganizing my home, a particular madness often manifested as a side-effect of writing difficulties, which resulted in my cleaning out my bookshelves (and rearranging them. They look really cute now). At a library sale some years ago, I picked up a textbook workbook for A Biography of the English Language (nerd) for the price of a handful of change and simply never cracked it open. It went into my to-go pile.

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A Workbook to Accompany A Biography of the English Language by C.M. Millward and Mary Hayes

With the box full of books I cleared from my shelves, I could have started up an online bookstore, but I wanted the books gone with no unnecessary clutter in my (small) apartment. Through a Money Pantry article, I discovered Book Scouter, which searches something like twenty vendors for any interested in buying your book, listing from highest to lowest bid. Turned out ValorBooks wanted this workbook for $40! I also sold a bunch to Powell’s Books and I put the proceeds combined toward the logo goal.

So we’re getting a logo! I’ve decided on which artist at Fiverr.com I want to hire, so now I just have to work out a logo concept.

Short-Stories Goal

For the fall equinox, I had a spooky day out with my closest friends for Halloween shopping, but I also submitted the last of my three short-stories to Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores for their final quarter reading period. Nothing compares to the high of finally completing a piece, but marking this goal off my 2018 to-do list comes pretty close.

 

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‘Write and Submit 3 Short-Stories’ goal 100% complete

This one I wrote toward the beginning of the year while feeling emotionally down and I hated it very much, thank you. (Regular writing sometimes involves plucking out something that absolutely sucks, but doing the work anyway. Oftentimes it washes out in the revision process, with a lot of elbow grease and anguish.) It then went through two more drafts and rotted within the folders of my computer for most of the year before I sat down the other night and reworked it one more time into something I actually like.

It’s a weird story, which isn’t a surprise, considering the fiction I post on the blog, and it seemed like Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores might be its only possible match. Here’s aiming for another letter, rejection or acceptance.


To keep up with future book reviews and read free original short fiction, hit that follow button, subscribe through email, or throw a like on the Word Nerd Scribbles Facebook page.

2018 Writing Update: Word Nerd Scribbles Shenanigans

At the beginning of the year, I posted about my writing goals for 2018. As we’re over halfway through the year now, I’m thinking it may be time for an update. 

At the beginning of the year, I posted about my writing goals for 2018 and haven’t made a peep about them since. As we’re over halfway through the year now, I’m thinking it may be time for an update.

Addressing Old Goals

Word Count

In the previously mentioned post, I indicated I wrote 120k words last year. I’ve made that my target word count goal for this year (even though I said I wouldn’t, fickle me), but I haven’t been tracking my word count this year at all. Between seventeen Hopeful Wanderer short-stories, twenty-six Getting to Know You articles for my job, two (three?) fanfictions, four original short-stories, and novel progress, I have no idea how much I’ve written. I figure I’ll tally it all up at the end of the year. Le shrug.

Unfinished Manuscripts

I also said I would finish three manuscripts from last year. I have completed…

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… one (1) of those. But listen, it was pretty impressive that I finished that one at all and I felt like a writing god when I did. For Reasons, I decided to permanently remove one of those manuscripts from my writing list. The third is in progress at this very moment

Secret Projects

I didn’t say this before, but I copied over one of last year’s goals to write and submit three short-stories to this year.

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Though I haven’t submitted that third short-story anywhere yet, I have written it, so this should be completed soon. Now I’m feeling like I want to get that revision done, just so I can check this goal off. So close!

Beyond those three, I did revise and submit a short-story piece from last year. Plus that manuscript I finished in Goal #1 lands somewhere between a short-story and a novelette in length, so words are happening!

On to New Goals

The Hopeful Wanderer

What started out as a throwaway project to maintain online presence has become something that’s gaining an audience. I post micro fiction about The Hopeful Wanderer every Thursday (unless I’m late) and putting more heart into each piece than I originally intended has me liking the series very much myself. I have a secret project idea for this series, about which I will release information later. Subscribing to my Patreon will get you in on details about the project sooner and let you influence the direction it takes.

Patreon

I don’t have a Patreon yet, but I’m planning to start one soon! I want to meet some audience goals before I feel justified in starting one up, but as I mentioned above, I already intend to let supporters influence my Hopeful Wanderer project. Beyond that, it will feature early access to any fiction I post online, as well as to longer works (probably). I will also do coloring pages for my supporters.

Audience goals involve bumping up my subscribers numbers on the blog and the Facebook page just a little more, so if you want to help make this happen, please subscribe with the Follow button to the right on a computer or below this article on a phone/tablet, and/or throw a like on the Word Nerd Scribbles Facebook page (you don’t have to choose just one; you can do both and I’ll still count them. *wink wink*).

Ko-Fi

I’m totally already on Ko-Fi, which lets you ‘buy me a coffee’ for $3, so anytime you feel like throwing support my way in an un-committed fashion, you’ve got this option. I’m using the Ko-Fi to fund a goal for the blog!

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I want to commission an official logo for Word Nerd Scribbles, which I will then use to boost the Facebook page posts, which should bring in more audience, ultimately culminating in justification for that Patreon. As far as online content and projects go, completing this goal ignites a chain reaction of events that will push Word Nerd Scribbles forward.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Jenette Baker and ‘Gleepwurp the Eyebiter’ for your early support!

Ultimate Goal

This year, next year, and every year, I aim for the goal of entertaining you, my readers. Thanks so much for hanging around and reading what I write. It’s great to have you here!

Want to talk about your favorite thing about Word Nerd Scribbles so far? Got suggestions for goals that have helped you as a content creator? Let me know in the comments!


To keep up with future updates, writing advice, book reviews and to read free original short fiction, hit that follow button, subscribe through email, or throw a like on the Word Nerd Scribbles Facebook page.

2018 Writing Goals Update

I don’t like setting the same goals or learning the same lessons.

Here it is, the second day of the new year, and I’m just now getting a goals post up. New Year’s resolutions about becoming a better person? Please. I’m definitely out to become a better writer, with the hope that the two will somehow equal out in the end. Here’s something of a 2017 recap to segway us into the 2018 future of your lovely scribbling word nerd.

In 2016, I began making a true effort at writing more. Well, writing at all, really. Funny how much getting to college graduation takes from you. At the end of the year, I tallied up my word count to find that I’d written roughly 75,000 words in total. Not too shabby. Like, three quarters of a slim novel’s worth of words. So I made this year’s goal to beat that word count. In an earlier post, I noted that I blew that goal out of the water 9 months in advance of my deadline. So since then, I’ve been keeping track of how much I wrote this year.

2017 Word Count

So… I didn’t get much farther beyond that goal, but 120k is nothing to sneeze at. The first 100k was 4/5ths of a novel. That extra 20k is made up of thirty (30) character descriptions and seven (7) individual short-stories, one of which received publication in Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers, Vol. 2–which I’ve written about extensively at this point–and another of which will be featured as an honorable mention in the 86th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition Collection. (Don’t believe me? Go look for the title “Connections” with my name next to it. I’m super proud.) Two were for birthday presents, two are incomplete, and one was a total disaster and will never see the light of day. I don’t regret writing it, because experience points, but wow did it suck.

I can’t say at the moment that I’m too keen to try to beat 120k+ words for this new year. The point of the goal was to get myself writing, because in this craft, any amount of writing equals higher quality and greater skill. Just by setting and meeting that one goal, I expanded my knowledge and understanding of crafting fiction.

Okay, I probably could beat that word count in 2018 if I applied myself. But I don’t like setting the same goals or learning the same lessons. It’s those two incomplete short-stories, as well as the mostly but not quite finished novel, that keep snagging at the fine silk cloth of my accomplishments. I even have another half-done novel from 2016 that’s still awaiting my attention. Clearly there’s a trend here.

So the new goal is this: finish three manuscripts begun in 2017.

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Road Kill Update: Release Date

An update on the Roadkill anthology publication

I talked in a previous post about how my short-story submission was accepted to be published later this year in Volume 2 of the Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers anthology. Last night, as I was falling asleep, dreaming big dreams about the trip to the San Japan convention today, I got an email from E. R. Bills with two things:

The cover image for Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers Vol. 2

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Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers Vol. 2, edited by E. R. Bills and Bret McCormick

(P.S. I love it.)

The release date: October 21 

There’ll be a launch party at Fleur Fine Books in Port Neches on Oct. 21, featuring the editors E. R. Bills and Bret McCormick as well as many of the as-of-yet unannounced contributors to the anthology. Since Port Neches is over 600 miles from the Texas Panhandle, I likely won’t be attending myself. Still, if you can make it, you should.

Flier for the Road Kill launch event at Fleur Fine Books in Port Neches, TX

(P.S. The picture with the ground cracks refers to my story “Thirsty Ground.”)

If you miss this one or if it’s too far away, there’s a second confirmed signing event at Book People on Oct. 29 in Austin, TX.

Flier for the Road Kill signing event at Book People in Austin, TX

I still won’t make it to this one either. But if you want to see me — and pick up a copy of Road Kill featuring my short-story “Thirsty Ground” — there may be an event in Amarillo soon. To be announced.

I’ll also update when I have more information on where to purchase the book after its release.

Writing Update: I’m Getting Published

Here’s a thing to add to my future autobiography: last weekend I was on a trip with some friends in Tulsa and early on Sunday morning, after a night of precious little sleep, I drowsily checked my phone. There I found an email from one of the editors of Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers, which is an anthology of regional horror. I’d sent a submission to them a couple months before after hearing about Road Kill from Madison and Mattie because I’d just written a regional horror story myself.

The email was this:

We like your story, but it needs work. Please call.

I wasn’t sleeping anymore after that.

I waited until we came back from Tulsa and until I got home from work on Monday to call. Which is to say, I freaked out about it for two days straight. But I didn’t have a chance to call any sooner. On the phone, E. R. Bills told me that we needed to do some revisions, but that they were going to include my story in the anthology.

I’m getting published.

In many interviews, I’ve read about famous writers getting asked some variation of the question, “What did you do when you heard the news?” Their answers always involve celebrating, usually with a fancy dinner or with drinks or whatever. They have to, because success in this difficult craft deserves reward. For my part, after the call ended, I paced back and forth across my apartment a couple of times, then I called my parents, who took me out to eat at Furr’s. Such an innocuous restaurant choice as that is also going straight into my autobiography.

Here’s a funny for you. Mr. Bills asked me to send an author bio to include with my story. Even though I doubt they’ll accept it, I sent this to them today:

In those ‘describe me in one word’ social media posts, Summer Baker always gets the word weird. She grew up in Texas panhandle country just outside of Amarillo and, as an adult, still lives there with her ancient toothless dog because the city won’t let them leave. It’s gained sentience and no one can escape. Send help.

While she and the Wonder Dog cower in her apartment, Summer spends her final days writing fantasy and horror, playing videogames, reading, and playing tabletop RPGs with her friends.

Let me tell you, though, this whole thing is hard to process. I’ve gotten so used to no that I’m not sure how to react to yes. I did spend all of this morning tweaking the revisions they sent to me, so it feels like I’m back to doing the work I always do. Just with more people involved. I keep plugging along and in the time since I first submitted ‘Thirsty Ground,’ I’ve trashed one story and completed another. After this post, I’ll move on to drafting the next one. Business as usual.

Still. Kind of screaming inside.

P.S. I’ll update with more details on Road Kill Vol. 2’s release date and where you can snag a copy in a future post. With or without my story’s inclusion, I have a feeling it’s going to be a deliciously thrilling read.

Fourth 2017 Writing Goal Complete

In which I blather about reaching writing goals surprisingly early.

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Wait, another one? Didn’t we just do one of these like two weeks ago?

Yeah. I got through this 25,000 word chunk with a lot of help from some writing I did on this story last year. I had no idea that roughly 15,000-ish words comprised just five chapters. By the time I added them in (because I’d finally reached them in the plot), I was at 99,000 words. That’s what that random spike is in the chart. It was just a matter of writing that last 1,000 to already be done for this month.

Of course, that’s not the way of writing. I’ve got to keep up the momentum so the narrative doesn’t go stale in my mind. But with the sudden complete jump to the next arc, I find myself flailing a bit. I know what’s going to happen next, but not quite how it will. I didn’t have time to think about it, to spool out the events and dialogue and gunfights in my imagination. It’s taken me three days of thought to just now start working it out. I’m still turning possibilities over even as I write this.

I’ve somehow gotten it in my head that I’m about halfway done at chapter 45. That had me feeling a little defeated, imagining another 100,000 words before I can take a break from this story. It’s been a fun adventure but also a harrowing struggle, being my first true efforts at overcoming writer’s block again and again and again. Fortunately, I’ve come to the realization that I just have this one arc and some small chapters to tie in a few subplots before I’ll be writing the final climactic arc.

It will be nice to put this down for a while and spend time on some short stories. I’ve written two while working on this larger piece, but it stresses me out when I take time away from one to do the other. Soon, maybe after one more progress update (sooner, if I didn’t have to wander around the block just to get down the street when I write first drafts), I’ll set this aside for a couple months. Stephen King said in On Writing that when you come back to your draft, “you’ll find reading your book over after a six-week layoff to be a strange, often exhilarating experience.” I’m ready for that break. But more than that, I’m looking forward to coming back and beginning to revise.

I’m close enough to see the end. Now I have only to reach out and touch the finish line.

Ultimate 2017 Word Count Goal Complete

In which I talk about setting goals and destroying them.

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A lot of words

 

New high score.

Last year, I wrote roughly 75,000 words total. So at the beginning of this year, I set that number as my goal to beat. I have to admit, while my intention had been to reach this sooner than April, a part of me didn’t expect to make it at all. So high five to me! This is the most I’ve ever written in just three-ish months. It’s also the most I’ve written within the span of one year.

Target destroyed, my dudes. Here’s to seeing how much I’ll have written by the end.

This progress tracker is from mywriteclub.com, which is a neat and simple tool for keeping up with your writing progress. It doesn’t just track your words, but also scenes, chapters, pages, lines, etc. If you, like me, get a high from watching that progress bar go up, check it out. And if you, like me, would care to have a writing buddy/cheerleader, look me up here.