During a normal year, update posts occur two to three times. Nothing has been normal about this year. Fortunately, it’s almost over and life has settled down, so it’s time for an overdue update on my writing work.
PERCEVAL Novels: The year began with concentrated work on the second draft of the second novel in the series, Perceval’s Shadow. The work included a complete read-through while taking notes on what the story needs, then a careful rewrite of the first chapter. I planned to work on the rest of the novel and finish the second draft by the end of June. Life and health issues intervened in February and March. I decided to put this work aside for smaller projects until the life/health issues were resolved. I renewed my membership in the International Thriller Writers in July.
Short Stories: I began a new science fiction story that grew out of The Light Chamber. Still excited about it, too. Started to search for new markets for The Light Chamber. Did not work at all on The Negligee.
Essays: I continued my monthly “Word Power” articles for Mensagenda. Began to think of an essay collection about the medical patient experience, and write notes. After considerable research into newspaper markets, I decided to put aside the “essay project” for the time being. The newspaper business is in flux at the moment, and it may end up growing more online than in print. Bloggers have replaced columnists to a certain extent online. I need to decide if I want to pursue blogging for one or several newspapers – at the moment, this type of writing is mostly unpaid.
Marketing: I joined MediaBistro.com at the end of last year thinking that it might be a good resource for freelance jobs, especially for the “essay project.” I’ll probably allow my membership to lapse. Nothing else new on this front.
Eyes on Life Commentary Blog: I began writing a commentary blog last January under the pen name Gina Hunter at http://eyesonlife-ginahunter.blogspot.com. My original plan was to establish it in the spirit of the late “60 Minutes” commentator, Andy Rooney, and publish posts two to three times each week. As the blog developed, however, I seemed to be putting my own sometimes snarky spin on it. I’ve settled into a twice weekly publication schedule, which was interrupted twice this year due to life/health issues. My interests in healthcare and how money affects culture could determine the direction this blog takes in the future, especially now that I’ve begun writing a book about being a patient.
“The Patient Book”: Tentatively titled The Successful Patient, this nonfiction project is a book-length memoir of my experiences as a patient, including my mistakes and successes, combined with a self-help emphasis to show readers how they can benefit from what I’ve learned to be successful in dealing with our healthcare system as a patient. Ambitious, I know, but it’s been flooding my mind with ideas. At the moment, I’m working on its structure. I’ve already set up a presentation based on this book for next May.
Anatomy of Perceval Blog: As with the Eyes on Life blog, I’ve written weekly here except when life/health issues intervened. I was extremely surprised and pleased to achieve “Freshly Pressed” status at WordPress.com for my post “Facing the Blank Page” last September. I continue to write here about fiction, the Perceval novels, classical music, movies and book reviews, and anything else related to writing, especially fiction.
Guest Blogging: I plan to begin exploring possibilities for guest blogging to expand my readership, both here and at the Eyes on Life blog.
Job Search: I’m back at it as of the beginning of October. I’m looking for a solid part-time position in healthcare, education or the arts.
Oddly, as frustrating as 2012 has been in many ways, I feel that it has been a year full of interesting, challenging, and new experiences, all of which can serve as raw material for my writing. I’ve had my first experience of trying to write while on morphine for post-operative pain – believe me, what I wrote was extremely repetitive and barely legible, and I kept falling asleep. Not a very productive experience, to say the least!
May the next six months or so see positive movement on the job search front, and more good writing time….