Starting this blog is part of a healthy writing habit I’m cultivating. By recounting my week’s activities, I’ll give myself a way to chart my progress, update any of you who might be interested, and keep myself accountable! I’ll cover my general writing, my novel, what I’m reading, any mystery-related news, and what else I’m working on.
Why Legwork Wednesday? Because like the great detectives, you’ve got to do a lot of legwork to solve the puzzle and reach your goal.
General writing: I’m working on a couple of short stories for the Alice Munro Short Story Competition (deadline: April 1st, 2017, up to 2500 words) and the Ontario Book Publishers Organization’s 2nd annual What’s Your Story? Short Prose and Poetry Competition for Emerging Writers (deadline: May 1st, 2017, 1300 to 1500 words). I’m working on moving from “that’s a cool idea!” to a story with an actual plot, always a challenge when working with such a small word count. I like the challenge of short stories, as well as the framework of competition deadlines. I’m also super excited to go to my first meeting of Sisters in Crime this week!
The novel: Last month I started outlining the first novel in a proposed murder mystery series. I’m spending a lot of time researching, and thinking about the main characters and setting, telling myself stories in my head about them so I can get a real feel for who they are. I have a good sense of my amateur sleuth main character, and I know who gets murdered and where. I’m still fuzzy on the why and how!
Reading: I’m reading Jennifer McMahon’s The Night Sister. I really enjoyed her previous work, The Winter People, and this one is following suit beautifully. A creepy, atmospheric page-turner. Leaning toward the gothic, The Night Sister is about three generations of women tied to to Vermont’s Tower Motel, disappearances and murders that may be related to unseen monsters, and a lingering question: in a motel where there are 28 rooms, what does the message “29 rooms” mean?
Work: I work both in-house for a children’s publisher and as a freelance editor, doing anything from structural, line, and copyedits to critiquing, proofreading, and copywriting for publishing houses, businesses, and independent clients for a range of fiction and non-fiction genres. In-house, March 31st is a major deadline day, and we’re all working hard toward that goal, with a ton of books and ancillary materials in the final stages of approvals and printing. Freelance, I’m finishing a structural edit of a military science-fiction novel and have begun an action-adventure proofread that will take me through the next couple of weeks.
Health: I have an anxiety disorder that I keep somewhat under control with meditation, careful preparation and planning, and when absolutely necessary clonazepam (it leave me feeling horrible, though, so I use it extremely sparingly). I’ve gained some weight over the past year due to stress and just not taking great care of myself. So I’m instituting a new gym routine, working out three mornings a week before work and a weekend day. My initial goal is to lose 15 pounds by the end of June (a pound a week) while cultivating a healthy attitude about the benefits of exercise (i.e. not bloody hating every second I spend at the gym). I also haven’t been meditating enough lately, so I’m setting myself a seven-day goal of having a twenty-minute meditation session once every day for seven days. I use the Headspace app, and it is a great way to practice mindfulness.
That’s it for this Wednesday! Thanks for reading 🙂 Have you read The Night Sister? Do you have other book recommendations, or are you also working on a novel or setting up a workout routine? Let me know in the comments!