December 2010 Updates

As the holiday season ramps up and we approach the final days of the year, it’s time once again to take stock, figure out what I accomplished this year, what I didn’t and think about my strategy for 2011.

The search for a day job continues. I’ve had a few interviews, but nothing has panned out so far.  I continue to send out my resume and job applications, recognizing that my bank account will not support me much longer.  To refresh my skills, I’m also doing (free) online training for an hour or two each day.  I have learned a great deal this year about myself, about my commitment to writing, and about job search strategies.

Although my writing took a back seat to the full time job search, I continued to write essays for publication and work on short stories.  Current status:

Perceval and the Perceval Novels: One Sunday in a blaze of hot creativity, I saw a new chapter one for Perceval in my mind — actually a prologue.  After writing extensive notes to capture the ideas, I realized that I was now on my way to another rewrite — I’ve lost count but I think it’s somewhere around Number 16 — to incorporate all the notes I’ve been writing for the novel in the last 2 years.  No marketing until I finish the rewrite. For the other novels in the series, I continue to write notes on ideas that I continue to get (thank god) and next year I plan to change my process a bit and write narrative instead of notes.

Essays: Yes, even more publication.  I’m now a regular contributor to Mensagenda.  I’ve other essays in various stages of completion that I plan to send out to paying markets when they’re ready.

Short Stories: Collected rejections for The Light Chamber.  Right now, I’m giving it a rest and will return to it next year to determine if it needs more work.  The second story is about half done with the first draft.  I have a third story, a Christmas story about an elf, in development.

Memoir: Rare, the memoir essay, has become a chapter in the second book length memoir and I won’t finish the chapter this year.  But I have come to realize that I can write the chapters as I think of them, rather than follow any outlines.  So, this could be a real mish-mash of work for a while, writing a chapter for the first memoir (about money) one week, a chapter for the second (about body) the next for a few days, jump around to chapters for the third memoir and the first.  Could be interesting.

Freelance Writing: I signed up to work as a freelance contributing writer for Demand Media Studios to provide informational articles for  The pay is not high but helps.  I average about two articles a week, sandwiched in between days of job searching and everything else.  I plan to continue this writing into the new year.  When I land a fulltime day job, this writing will become occasional.

Nonfiction Book Collaboration: Nothing new.  I hope to hear something about it from my friend in January 2011.

This Blog: I plan to continue posting here whatever happens in the months to come regarding my work life.  I am hoping that once I have a fulltime day job, life will settle down somewhat and I’ll be able to return to work on the novels and I’ll write more about them here.

Reading: Reading is an essential, crucial part of every writer’s life.  I’ve done much better this past year in my reading, but still lag behind what I’d like it to be.  I’ve learned a great deal from reading essays, short stories and novels this year, and also keep up with my nonfiction reading in order to stay current with world events.

What a year this has been….


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