Originally published at Sherry D. Ramsey. You can comment here or there.

perlerbeadtypewriterIt’s been a while since the last Friday Desk Report–mainly because I haven’t been able to be at my desk, so there’s been little to report. However, between medication, time, and the stellar efforts of my wonderful physiotherapist, I’ve been inching my way back. I’m picking up the threads of the novel draft again, and making some progress on a new short story. The novel is certainly the more challenging of the two, since one might visualize it as something like this:

Tangled_leads

instead of something more like this:

loom

but that is what editing is for, right?

Actually, those two pictures make a pretty good summation of the state of life in general and what I’m trying to get back to. All with time, I guess.

I’ve also just joined up for Kobo Writing Life and put The Murder Prophet there. It was available on Kobo before, through Smashwords distribution, but I wanted to explore the opportunities that Writing Life might provide. I’ve heard other authors talk about good experiences with it. I’m not sure of all the ins and outs of it just yet, but I’m sure I’ll learn as I go. I have a few short stories published since To Unimagined Shores came out, so I’m thinking about maybe putting together a small short story pack. Just a notion I’m noodling, so we’ll have to see where it goes.

On the Third Person Press side of things, we’re looking at two manuscripts right now, so although it’s seemed quiet on that front, things are happening behind the scenes. More on that as things develop.

So it’s been a slow and rather painful December and January, but as the daylight hours begin to grow a bit longer, a few minutes at a time, so do things begin to get back to “normal” at the desk. What will it look like by the time spring is actually here? Time will tell.

Away from the desk, I’m doing a sketch-a-day challenge this year to work on my drawing skills. I always say I’m better at colouring than drawing–my forays into coloured pencil art  attest to that–but this year I’d like to get a little better with the sketching. I am calling it sketch-a-day, but am allowing myself some leeway on that. Some days I might just do some colouring or other art, and if I miss a day, I’m allowed to make it up later. Right now I think I’m two drawings behind, but I’ll catch up on those on the weekend. Sometimes the hardest part of the undertaking is deciding what I feel like drawing.

Things I drew (or attempted to draw) this week:

  • flowers from photos on Instagram
  • a lamp in my living room
  • sketch plans for a clockwork rocket
  • a tree in a winter field

Loom image by Ladyheart at morguefile.com

Originally published at Sherry D. Ramsey. You can comment here or there.

the-road-to-your-destiny-by-stealth37-nice-wallpaper-1600x1200In other words, looking back and looking ahead. :)


2013 was a great writing year for me. I started the year by completing revisions on One’s Aspect to the Sun, which then came out from Tyche Books in November. So far it’s been getting wonderful reviews and readers really seem to be enjoying it, which makes me very happy. That was my big news and my big accomplishment, but there were other writing accomplishments, too.


My story, “ePrayer,” came out in Third Person Press’ newest anthology, Grey Area, which also added another notch to my editorial belt. Grey Area was partially funded through our Indiegogo campaign, which was quite an experience in itself–time consuming and sometimes frustrating, but ultimately satisfying. Also with Third Person Press, we read submissions and made final decisions for our next anthology, Flashpoint, so we’ll be moving on to line edits for those stories soon.


I finished a short story for submission to another anthology, and that story became the jumping-off point for my NaNoWriMo effort. NNWM was a win, and although that story is far from finished, I’m pleased with it and will continue to work on it.


I also put two other novels into submission, in March. I’m still waiting to hear on those, and, to tell the truth, I’m getting impatient. Having been through the experience of waiting a long time for a publisher and eventually pulling the manuscript, I’ve vowed not to do that again. That’s a blog post all by itself, though, so I’ll talk more about that another day.


I worked on yet another novel manuscript, which is very close to being finished. I had planned a “novel swap” with a writer friend, but it didn’t come to be. I just couldn’t seem to finish the last few chapters in a way that satisfied me. With luck, he’ll still be willing and we’ll get to that this year, once I wrangle those chapters into shape.


I did preliminary revision work on two other unfinished novel manuscripts, and did some background work on Nearspace, the setting for One’s Aspect to the Sun. Yes, there are more stories to be told in that universe. No, I don’t have any details to share with you yet.


All of which is wonderful but…I could do more.


Once upon a time, I used to start more stories than I finished. Over time, I learned that this was, at least in part, due to starting to write too soon. I’d get an idea and start writing before I had let it “simmer” long enough in my brain. I don’t get along well with outlines, but I’ve learned that I do need to be able to see the structure of the story in my head before I start writing that first scene. That scene usually comes to me full-blown, so it’s very, very tempting to just “get it down” quickly. But as I said, I learned not to give in to that temptation, and finished more stories.


However, I find myself in the position of having a lot of unfinished manuscripts on my hard drive again. I’m not sure what the problem is now; partly trying to juggle too many projects, partly spending too much time on “writerly” things that are not actually writing, partly my propensity to procrastinate. (There, I’ve admitted it!) This time they are mostly novels, as opposed to short stories, thanks to NaNoWriMo, but still…they need to be finished. I came close to finishing that one I mentioned earlier, but didn’t quite make it.


Last year I set just one goal for myself for 2013; I would publish a novel. I’ve decided to make 2014 the Year of Finishing. I’m not saying I won’t start anything new this year, of course, but I really like many of these stories that are languishing only partially complete. I want to go back to them, finish writing them, and make them shine.


I also hope to blog more consistently this year. Last night at our New Year’s celebrations I threw two hopes into the resolution box: more consistency and less procrastinating in my writing life overall. With some luck and determination, they should combine to produce more finished manuscripts in the months to come. Stay tuned and we’ll see what happens from here.


Photo credit: Stealth37

Grey Area coverThe small press in which I’m a partner, Third Person Press, launched its first Indiegogo fundraising campaign yesterday. It’s been a busy few weeks getting everything set, and a busy few months in the larger planning stages. It’s quite amazing just how much time you can spend thinking about and planning your perks, changing your mind, tweaking, adding, subtracting and rearranging,  to say nothing of creating prototypes and mockups of rewards, writing website copy, and writing emails.

Then the campaign launches, and the real work begins!

Our project for this campaign is Grey Area: 13 Ghost Stories. It’s a collection of ghost stories (obviously), all by authors from Cape Breton or with a substantial connection to Cape Breton. Of course, one doesn’ t have to be from here to appreciate the stories; most of them are not even set here geographically. There’s a wide mix of tales, from scary to spooky to funny. And everyone loves a good ghost story, right?

So, you might be wondering, if the stories have little, if anything, to actually do with Cape Breton, why do we make a point of noting the connection of the authors?

Partly it’s because of our mandate at Third Person Press: we strive to provide a voice and venue for regional fiction and authors in the speculative fiction genres. You may not know it, but there’s a bit of a stereotype that Cape Breton authors (indeed, maybe even Atlantic Canadian authors) all write about farming and fishing and coal mining, with a little bit of historical fiction thrown in for good measure. And while there’s not a thing wrong with those stories, they’re certainly not representative of the whole of our regional fiction!

If you’re familiar with our other titles, you’ll know that we like a broad range of types of stories, and Grey Area is no different. We think they’ll have wide appeal, so if you’re even slightly interested, please check out the campaign and consider supporting us and this project.

Well. It’s been a while since my last post, which usually means it must be either early spring, or possibly early fall. I know that because January and February are difficult months for me to stay focused and productive, as are the summer months, although for very different reasons. However, the drip, drip of melting snow outside my office window tells me that this time, it’s spring.

While I’ve been busy not-writing, (albeit doing a lot of other writer-ish things) over the past couple of months, I’ve been considering the problem of how I spend my time. And realizing that I really need to downsize 1) the amount of time I spend on writing-related-but-not-writing endeavours, and 2) the amount of time I spend on things that *seem* important but probably aren’t. I’ve known for some time that this is a problem, but it was highlighted for me recently when I read an article on categorizing activities into quadrants of necessity, distraction, waste, and extraordinary results. I plan on taking a hard look at where my time fits into these quadrants and ways to put more into the fourth one.

Spring is a good time for re-thinking and renewing.

Work is moving swiftly now on the newest anthology from Third Person Press, Unearthed: we have cover images in place, most stories are out to contributors for final review, and we’re ready to start typesetting. We’re hoping for a release date sometime in May, so stay tuned. It’s our biggest crop of stories so far, and we’re excited about it.

Off to make the perfect Evernote to-do list!

June 2017

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