Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wrapping Up the Year ... and a Few Other Things

Well, I haven’t managed to keep blogging as often as I’d hoped, but I’m sure you’ve read that on other blogs before. And you’ve probably read blog authors saying they plan to “do better” from here on out. Yes, that’s me. I am hoping to blog more often in 2016. BUT, I will note that, as an author, I will always choose my fiction work first. If I was a full-time author, maybe I could budget time more easily for fiction and blogging, but... 

Anyhow, I think blogging is worthwhile to do, so I will keep trying my best, and I hope my best means posting more consistently in the future. 

What got in the way? I got sort of a dream job. Well, my dream job is writing full time, and it’s not that. But it’s a good (and good-paying) paralegal job. Now, I already had a job, so the end of my year involved winding down at the old job and jumping in (with no break) at the new one. I have a lot to learn, and that’s kept me busy and frazzled for the past couple weeks. But I keep telling myself: IT WILL GET BETTER! 

It also means my fiction writing – mainly my rewriting/revision of my novel, Cosmic Ray: A Science-Fiction Mystery Adventure, has had to go on the back burner a lot. But I’ve been inching along on it, and will continue to do so until I have a second draft ready to be beta read.

I also signed up for a challenge – 85K in 90 days – which means I’ll be working on a new novel from January-March, trying to get approximately 85,000 words done on a first draft by March 31st. I CAN DO THIS! (Though I should note that I have a ghost story due, too, by January 15th, so I’ll be making that the first part of my 85K words.) 

So, with all that out of the way, a few last things for 2015:

1. Accomplishments this year: Big one is finishing the first draft of Cosmic Ray. I began it in mid-2013, but barely worked on it during the first half of 2014 (was in school full time). It’s 111K words now. I also completed first drafts of a few short stories, but they need some serious revision.

2. Irritating trend this year: People lecturing each other online. I hear people getting upset about a phenomenon they call “mansplaining” quite often (this is when a man feels he must explain a topic to a woman because, as a man, he knows more, and she needs help), but I’ve seen it go both ways this year (on Twitter and Facebook, mainly). Yes, this means women addressing posts to “men” and telling us things with the tone of a mother scolding a child because, you know, we are all big, stupid, sexist brutes. My point isn’t so much about the sexism part, but ... what makes people feel they ought to go online and lecture about this or that? I guess I probably have done it, too (maybe I’m doing it now?), but I am working to avoid doing it, AND to avoid reading it (or, my usual fatal mistake, arguing with the lecturer). I hope we, as a species, will outgrow this confrontational, belittling crap at some point.

3. Finally, I don’t think it makes one racist to express surprise and/or disappointment about there now being a black Hermione Granger in Harry Potter (or that her true appearance has been revealed, if you prefer). This is different from the ire that happens when one finds out a black actor has been cast as the Human Torch, I believe. I think the surprise, at least for me, comes from the fact that an actress who happens to be white – Emma Watson – played the character in eight films and made the role her own. I think she and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) both became the faces of those characters for a lot of people. I would be surprised to see another in the role of Harry as I am with Hermione. There’s nothing wrong with it, of course, but, sure, it’s a bit jarring. Also, one wonders why Ms. Rowling never spoke up before. I had thought she’d had input into the films. I’ll admit, I’m not overly well-versed in this particular controversy, so if I missed something, feel free to educate (without lecturing, please) me.
I think that’s it for me for 2015. I may do a “looking back/looking forward” post on Facebook later, and I might copy/past that here. We’ll see.

I wish you all a healthy, happy, enthralling 2016!