Legwork Wednesday is a weekly writing/reading/general life update. By recounting my week’s activities, I can chart my progress, update any of you who might be interested, and keep myself accountable. You’ve got to do a lot of legwork to solve the puzzle and reach your goal.
General writing: I finished a short story draft for the Alice Munro Short Story Competition. I’d been having some trouble with it because I could see where it started and why, but not how it ended. I spent some time thinking about GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. That really helped me think about what was going on. I knew my character’s goal, but I hadn’t worked out the motivation or conflict. Thinking about those brought the other main character to life and fundamentally changed the thrust of the story, turning it from something sort of meditative to something sort of weird. The weird is okay with me! I’m planning to edit, get some feedback, and polish over the next couple of days, and maybe even send it in early for that April 1st deadline.
After that, I have my eye on submitting to 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). That’s not a lot of words to tell a story in. I have a character with a mysterious past in mind for this one.
I went to my first Sisters in Crime meeting last week. Really cool to see how many people are writing mysteries in Toronto, and we were graced with the wonderful Maureen Jennings as a guest speaker. She’s one of the founders of the Toronto chapter. She talked about revisiting Murdoch in a new novel and how to approach a character who is hers but who has taken on such a life of his own on TV. She shared some of her draft with us and also some of her points of inspiration for her WWI-era setting.
The novel: No movement this week. Focusing on the short stuff and some freelance work while I let my plot percolate in the back of my mind.
Reading: I’m reading Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. This is Saunders’s first novel, after becoming a household name for his incisive short stories. It’s masterful in the way it plays with form, blending fiction and non-fiction into a strange and wonderful narrative.
Work: In-house, we’re still barrelling toward our big March 31st deadline day. I’ve got a slight breather today but I can see mountains of copyediting coming my way very shortly. In freelance, I continue my action-adventure proofread, planning to finish that off in the next couple of days, then starting an interesting research project for a publishing house.
Health: You may have read earlier in the week about the lump I found. After seeing the doctor and getting tested, we determined that the lump is benign. Its existence to that point did not help my anxiety disorder. Finding out that I’m fine has been a huge burden lifted, though. I’ve made it to the gym twice a week for the past couple of weeks. Upping that to three times a week this week. I’m down a pound from last week, which is my goal. I’ve been hit and miss with meditation, not making enough time to sit and do it properly. It’s only twenty minutes out of a day. I can find twenty minutes.
That’s it for this Wednesday! Thanks for reading 🙂 Have you read any George Saunders? 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!