Year’s end, or where has all the time gone?

This year has been a whirlwind. I started and finished one internship. I wrote half a novel, and wish I’d had more time to work on it than I did. I’ve started a new side gig, and another, more on that on my other name. I struggle, I admit, with how much to share and where and when. I don’t always make the right choices, and I’ve deleted or not posted posts I wanted to, for fear of saying the wrong things in the wrong place at the wrong time, or the wrong people seeing them and interpreting things I don’t mean from them.

It’s something I’m working on, and I get better at it every year, but straddling the line between honesty and openness vs professionalism is hard for me. The internship I started late this fall has a lot more restrictions on what I can say, even general industry related, and blogging has fallen by the wayside, because it’s not like my other identity is secret vs this one. I’m also feeling a bit rootless without it, however, so I’m hoping I can find an acceptable medium in the new year.

It might be short, picture posts, or some short stories I don’t find other homes for, but I need to prioritize taking a few minutes a month for me.

My goals for 2015 are pretty limited, but others are going on my other blog, and some are other personal ideas…

1. Read at least 50 published books. (which is about what I did this year, due to internship volumes of reading. Given as I was spending about 20 hours a week on the old internship, this isn’t as simple a goal as it sounds.)
2. Get my apartment organized.
3. Write and submit for publication at least 1 short story. This involves not only writing it, of course, but researching and finding a home for it.

How’s everyone else’s holidays? Hopefully good. ❤
I failed the GLBT challenge this year, going to try again next year. Though I succeed if we count the unpublished GLBT manuscripts I read, so… that's something, I guess.

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February 3 #Writemotivation update

1. Keep up the walking/crits/reading.- Worked on crits a bit Saturday, did more Sunday. Reading- Many partials for my internship, I’m behind on my reading of published stuff, need to dedicate more time to that. Walking’s a duh.
2. Finish the current set of projects for the internship.- Made a dent. I hate letting people know bad news, but I know the waiting is harder than no. (This was the majority of what I had to do this weekend, alas. But one is in the middle of being written up in a positive fashion, so there’s that!)
3. Write one chapter on a current project.- Will get to this hopefully next weekend.
4. Write my OWM story for next month and edit this month’s.-Will get to this next weekend whether I want to or not.

Plus I now have more testing at work to do for our in-house software. I enjoy it, I think ultimately I’d rather be on the tech side there than on the phone side. But that also involves me taking enough time to really learn proper coding instead of “Let me google the piece of code I need.”, so we’ll see if that ever actually happens. (Then again, why reinvent the wheel? It’s a dayjob, not my passion.)

I attempted to set aside 20 minutes a day to work on my own projects last month. It didn’t really work. Before work, I’m too busy getting things together for the day. After work, I make dinner, catch up on a few internet things, then spend whatever time’s left working on internship things. Lunch breaks are too distracted with coworkers to be really useful productive time too, and what time there is I tend to snag to read things for my internship. I need to find a happy balance.

Also, still doing my twist on the GLBT* challenge. This month, the discussion there centers around “Things I want to see (or see more of) in YA LGBT fiction.” Oh the rant I could go on for this. See, thing is? I’m not much for navel gazing in my novels, but that’s so often a large facet of GLBT novels. I deliberately, in my internship, have my eyes peeled for GLBT novels with PLOT. They have 50% of their letters in common, after all, they should be able to coexist! I want ones where yes, the characters are GLBTetc, and they act on/react to the attraction(s) they feel. But if they can do it while running from the rebels who are trying to kill them, or while plotting a heist, or while skydiving into a parallel universe or something? THAT I’ll be all over. If it can be integrated into the story in the same way a straight romance would? I’ll be singing the praises of that author right to an editor’s hands. Seriously. It doesn’t need to be a niche market, if it stops going “WAAAH I’M STRUGGLING WITH MY SEXUALITY” constantly.

Malinda Lo is one of the few authors I’ve seen do this and do it well. We need more of this. I buy her books even when I’ve read a library/loaned copy, on the grounds of declaring the market. I deliberately will prod a GLBT novel that looks otherwise less interesting, in hopes it might surprise me. This month’s GLBT read will be (if I get to it) Grasshopper Jungle. We’ll see. 😉

January 20th #Writemotivation update

1. Walk, keep up on crits, read at least 15 books- STRETCH GOAL: 20 books!- Walked. Crits: 1 Books finished this month so far: 1 unpublished (5 partially read for this. I wonder if I should count 4 partials as 1?), 5 published. Didn’t have much to do for my internship this week, so if this continues, I’ll catch up on the reading. I’m almost done with a GLBT one, Affinity. It’s a little slow, but at least there’s some plot beyond the romance. It’s supposed to be gothic, but I’m not feeling it so much. With any luck, it’ll improve near the end.

2. Finish up January’s OWM story and pick my next prompt. STRETCH GOAL: Work on that prompt too!: January’s done, Feb is started, all prompts for the next cycle are picked.

3. Get another chapter written or revised in one of my active projects. STRETCH GOAL: 2 chapters.
Working on that today.

I’m off today, thank you MLK. (I’ll freely admit, I don’t have any authentic “right” to this holiday, but I’ll enjoy it anyway.) This coming weekend, I’m going to ALA under my IRL identity. It should be a blast, I’m hoping to meet a few editors and just politely introduce myself as an agenting intern. I’m going to stop by on Friday after my dayjob to pick up our badges and get a general lay of the land. They’re having a meet/greet kind of setup, so I’ll poke around that and then come home. If I’m MIA next weekend, it’s probably because I’m up at the convention center. (It’s just less than a mile from my place, so I can always pop home for lunch and such, drop off arcs, etc.) No promises, as I’m awful about going to the post office, but anything anyone REALLY wants in arc form? Hmm. Maybe I’ll see what I get and then do rafflecopter giveaways for a few? Ya know, if anyone’s interested. 😉

LGBT* Reading Challenge

So one of my interests (aside from the obvious) is LGBT* fiction. It’s personal and professional both, for me, but I find I don’t really read as much of it as I should. Partly, it’s because I don’t know where to start. So much of it is either depressing contemporary angst, or “Lookie, lesbians!”. There’s a decided lack of bi/trans/queer lit. So much of what I run across is lesbian and gay that I never felt like I belonged reading it. I’m bi. I realized this in college when, chatting in a writers group with a bunch of friends, I found myself staring at one of the girl’s icons (large boobs in a corset top and a come hither look. Anyone who saw that icon agreed with my lusting, as it turned out.). There was no moment of wangst or Oh noes I don’t fit. I very clearly thought, “She’s hot! …Oh. I like girls too. Ok, bi it is then.”.

I never really felt like I was getting discriminated against. I was a late bloomer in ANY interest in sex, much less sexuality. I had other things (like school and friendships and writing) that I didn’t have the brainspace to spare for things like relationships until I was almost done with college. By the time there was any “issue” around my sexuality, I had enough of a sense of who I was and what I wanted out of my personal life that it was just another way to widen the range of my dating experience.

I know I’m incredibly lucky in that. I threw myself into dating with both genders, and I had experiences I don’t know I would have had the courage to dream of doing if anyone’d told me ahead of time what I was getting into. I don’t regret a single moment of it. I learned what I needed out of those failures and those heartbreaks and those awkward moments after a tentative kiss sitting on the couch next to the woman in the icon and going “So what do we do now?” when there turned out to be no spark in person (though she’s a lovely, sweet person and we’re friends to this day).

Most people who realize their sexuality earlier don’t have that luxury. So instead of just reading a few GLBT books, I want to find good BTQI books. I want to find books where love wins, and where sexuality is only a part of who someone is, instead of the whole plot. Recommendations are very much welcomed. (Comments are screened for approval if you’ve never commented here before, the better to keep out riffraff, but I won’t censor you if you disagree with me. Hateful, obscene, or namecalling comments will be consigned to the trash, though.)

If you want to join me, the signup is here.

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