Writing

Status

diana

So it’s my partner’s and my 11th anniversary. Let’s take bets on who remembers what.

The writer’s to do did get put aside for a bit – I had some difficult things happening in my personal life, and that sinus infection? It found a way to stretch for 40 days. This wasn’t the simple sniffles of just-past-allergies cold either. This was round #3 with existential crisis inducing illness. It finally succeeded in being there for an existential crisis.  I’ve got to add St. Johnswort to my round of meds every time I get sick from now on. The things that got destroyed needed destroying, but it seems more like a targeted unfair than it does the usual unfairness of a random universe.

Priorities:

  • I am reframing and postponing my Artist’s Way Class in hope of getting more students. I had one show up for my first session, and that won’t work out with that particular person. I also know more about parking and traffic that time of day, so that may help.
  • The Pagan Consent Culture piece – it has been accepted but requires edits, most of which are research based. So while I want to add in material, I have to add in sourcing so that takes 2-3 times longer than just typing in a few changes.
  • The proofing copy of my Samhain book has landed – and that is due at the end of May.
  • I need to make a full length chapter for a proposal for the urban Wicca book. It’s been a slog.
  • That’s four.

Backburnered:

  • Blog essays I still have waiting in draft.
  • The Pagan Children’s poetry anthology.

I have been asked if I am going to return to blogging my personal life. I don’t know. I’m just out of the habit, I guess. I’ve noticed that anything less than fawning worship of San Francisco will get me verbally attacked in multiple fora. Given that I’m in a rather delicate position, I’d rather not invite the undeserved trouble that often comes from observation and honesty about my feelings.

Status

diana

So here’s a reality of writing not oft spoken of: the reality that sometimes you have to drop something. That means that at times in life, anthologies must float by without a submission, stories must get tabled, and that blog post doesn’t get made. Situations like that happened last week when I didn’t just have a sinus infection, I had a full on relapse of the same goddamn cold. I am now waiting for the mucus to stop pooling behind my ears and then I can get on with my life.

So, dropped from the to-do rotation:

  • The Poseidon anthology. It wasn’t going to happen when I went through a second round of unconsciousness thanks to a gnarly sinus infection.

Moved over from last week (and weeks prior):

  • Poems for Janet Callahan’s Child’s Book of Prayer – Due August 1
  • Add requested changes to the Pagan consent culture piece. (Accepted with editorial changes. Yay! Pagan editors that pay attention!)
  • For the moment, all Facing North book reviews are caught up – including one for a book I got in the mail Friday. While I have ambitions of an occultist’s Brain Pickings style blog, this is not the year for that to happen.
  • The FAQ for Divorcing a Real Witch.com.
  • The Publicity update for Divorcing a Real Witch – while I didn’t win the Diagram Prize (to the disappointment of sensationalist headline writers everywhere) I came in first runner up – with a vote margin of 1%.
  • Creating and posting an outline for print copy owners of Divorcing a Real Witch.

Added to the list this week:

  • Finish out a chapter on the Urban Wicca book  – my agent needs a complete proposal. It would have been better if I’d done it BEFORE she went to a national conference.
  • Time to start planning proposals for Llewellyn annuals. It usually starts in March nowadays and with the editorial shuffle I can’t count on a friendly email asking for a pitch.
  • There are 30 blog posts in queue on this blog that I have yet to post. Perhaps it’s time to start editing and scheduling those.

Given Priority for the Week:

Situations happen that force you to move one project ahead of another for any number of reasons. If you’re especially lucky – and adept at time management-  they are for reasons other than “Oh shit! That’s due!”

In this case, I happened to find a super reasonably priced space to teach my Artist’s Way class at. I had hoped to get the lesson plans done first, but hey, I have a space to teach. So this week my effort goes into:

  • Setting up artistswaysf.com website for Artist’s Way San Francisco. This includes payment systems, etc.
  • Finishing writing up that full curriculum. Adding the “insert” curriculum for magical people.
  • Advertising/promoting the class – I need to spread the word EVERYWHERE but the most efficient ways to do so are a little foggy around here. The “if you build it they will come” method is not so reliable in this day and age of everybody building it. If you know where/how to get the word out in arts circles around San Francisco, do tell me. I am starting with Craig’s List but that can be hit or miss in terms of response.  I only need 3 students to make the class sustainable. I can go up to 12.
  • Writing up a biography, taking some self-portraits, getting all that stuff up and ready so that people can see who and what they’re signing up for.

 

Status

diana

Last week I did focus on the Diagram Prize promotion. I also encountered three setbacks:

One, a poem I wrote around 2002 titled “Daughter of Lilith” has utterly disappeared from my personal archives. It’s gone daddy gone, and nothing I can do will bring it back – unless someone reading this happens to have a copy that I shared.

Similarly another poem I thought I wrote is also gone – so I guess I need to actually do some poetry work in coming weeks.

That cold/cough is now past the twenty day mark. I am not happy to still have a vicious cough.

The actual list on my Google Keep is quite a bit longer than this, but  I am trying to cut things down to small, chewable pieces. After all, there is still laundry, cooking, cleaning, volunteering, and exercising to do.

This week:

The full reads for Facing North reviews are all done, so it’s time to start drafting those reviews. I am going to return to writing a book review as soon as I’ve read it – it was necessary to do it this way for awhile based on where my energy was willing to go. Fortunately they were all quite good this time.

Moved over from last week (and weeks prior):

  • Poems for Janet Callahan’s Child’s Book of Prayer – Due August 1
  • Poseidon Anthology – due April 1
  • Finish writing up Overview for the Urban Wicca book proposal (taking it down to one step per week, and some steps will take two weeks, like finishing up sample chapters)
  • Finish creating full lesson plans for an Artist’s Way course I’d like to teach, including a “magical insert” to teach at  Pagan/occult shops

Setting Aside:

Looking for fresh work leads. I have plenty to do without looking for more at this time.

Status

diana

Despite passing out in a locker room last week, thus living out one of the more popular worst high school nightmares, last week proved fairly productive. I’m amazed how much I got to run a strikethrough on!

  • This week, partly because the Diagram Prize vote closes this week, I must prioritize (if a bit late) a deeper update to Divorcing A Real Witch.com. I won’t have enough time to post a downloadable index for my print book buyers (on the to-do list) but I can at least post a FAQ.
    From last week’s list, moved over to this week’s:
  • I am going to work on the overview for that book proposal. One small thing gets steps forward.
  • Almost done reading the last book on the stack, so I am almost ready to start drafting those book reviews for Facing North.
  • Dig up an old spell/prayer for Janet Callahan’s Pagan Child’s Book of Prayers. (Due August 1.)
  • Check my Facebook save list – I’ve been finding a lot more anthology submission type things over there. Eventually I do want to inch towards stuff outside the Pagan market.

New to the list:

  • Devotional piece to Poisedon for Bibliotecha Alexandrina – it’s due April 1, so an opening salvo of research seems like a good place to start this week.
  • Sort through some significant blog article backlog. I have quite a few essays waiting in the wings, never yet schedule to post.

Status

diana

Posting this every Monday – it helps set a guideline for the week. It also might help fellow writers see what a long-term workflow looks like, especially since writing full time is lifestyle as much as job. This is a callback to when I worked through Finding Water – I often worked through long, ambitious posts of to-do lists. Realistically, only one to-do item should fall off the list each week; in spectacular weeks 2-3 items should disappear.

This also lets me share calls for writers. Most are still non-paying, and most are at this point still Pagan oriented because that’s the market I know. I am working up the nerve to send to other markets, and hopefully it happens naturally as I clear a swathe through my area of specialty. I would very much like to become a true portfolio/crossover writer. There are moments when it seems like I can.

My writing to-do as of March 9, 2015:

  • Finish draft for Immanion’s Pop Culture Magic anthology. It’s due March 15, although I spoke to the editor and he commented about relatively few submissions at this point. I had written up a bit last month; hopefully this first draft won’t be in hideous condition.
    3/13
  • Review the proofs on the Mabon book. That is going to be me, a coffee shop, a highlighter, and a red or purple pen. I’m oddly looking forward to it. (BTW, you can pre-order it now!)
    3/12
  • Respond to an interview for Eternal, Haunted Summer. 3/12
  • Finish correcting and annotating last year’s anthology submission for a piece I wrote on Bast as an early warrior goddess (yes, she was) for Bibliotheca Alexandrina.3/12
  • Start drafting reviews for this latest round of Facing North. (Mind/Body/Spirit Pagan book reviews by actual Pagans.) Finish reading the last book from that stack – most likely on Friday, since that’s my reading day.
  • If possible, dig up something I’ve already written for Green Egg since I don’t think 10 days is really enough notice to concoct a new submission.3/14
  • Work on that book proposal.
  • Dig up an old spell/prayer for Janet Callahan’s Pagan Child’s Book of Prayers. (Due August 1.)
  • Check my Facebook save list – I’ve been finding a lot more anthology submission type things over there. Eventually I do want to inch towards stuff outside the Pagan market.

Remember, from week to week you’ll see some of these repeat.  Realistically this stuff takes time, especially since I do have to go to the gym, cook dinner, volunteer, and live a life with some social interaction lest my creative well run dry.

 

 

A quick sketch of Divorcing a Real Witch for the Diagram Prize voters

You can vote for Divorcing a Real Witch: for Pagans and the People that Used to Love Them to win the Diagram Oddest Book Title of the Year on We Love This Book. Official/original announcement on The Bookseller. The prize? Whoever nominated my book gets the claret. Whoever that is is not sharing, the bastard. As a rule, Pagans don’t… Read more →

My Pagan-based problem with poetry

There’s this line of thought among contemporary poets that poetry should not rhyme. That’s an old-fashioned thing that only shows a new poet’s lack of exposure to what’s out there. The reasons are good: poetry is meant to push boundaries. It’s likely the single best way to understand language and comment on all aspects of culture and shaking off constraints/trying… Read more →

Absolute Write: the Dog Days of Summer (FICTION POST)

Absolute Write does a blog chain each month. Writers from the board participate with their posts on a given prompt. This month’s prompt: Dog Days of Summer In other words, the hottest and most sultry part of summer. Etymology lesson here. As always, can be prose, poetry, play, fiction, nonfiction. Instructions: Simply post your blog’s URL in this thread to… Read more →

A sobering look at best-selling Pagan titles

An article on Scott Cunningham’s dynamic-changing book Living Wicca pointed out that, as a best-selling title on the subject, it sold 400,000 copies. For the Pagan genre, that’s huge. For a lot of books in any genre, that’s huge. But it comes nowhere near best-seller category. While there’s no consistent number for what makes a bestseller – you just need… Read more →