Twisting and Turning: an update

Hello again. Sorry to abandon the WordPress community for the last couple of months. I knew May and June were going to be busy, but I guess I didn’t realize just how busy! Here’s a quick summary of what’s been going on here before I get into a real post. I’ve promised myself to get some real content flowing again now that my extra-curricular commitments are winding down.

I know I mentioned that I’m coaching soccer and t-ball this year, and it has been a crazy, frustrating, rewarding experience. I’m glad it’s (almost) over now, but I think I’ll sign up to do it again next year unless I have a scheduling conflict. That’s getting harder to predict, though.

I’ve had a bit of a shake up with my career as a writer-for-hire. I’ve done some freelance work over the last seven years or so, and I had a pretty sweet contract that kept me afloat. The industry I work in has been suffering a bit of a slump lately, though, and I’ve been hit twice now with major losses to that contract and it’s gotten to the point now where I need to branch out into something new.

The good news is, the timing is ripe for a project that combines many of my skills and interests, and while I have a lot of work ahead of me, I think I’m going to be able to turn the collapse of one contract into a huge new opportunity. I’ve got some meetings lined up over the summer, and I’ll be crunching some numbers and trying to drum up the financial backing I need to get started. So I’m in that excited/terrified stage of starting a new company where I waver between seeing all the potential, positive and negative, and not knowing where I’ll land. I’m choosing to stay positive, though. I’ll share more as I can!

I haven’t done much in the way of fiction writing over the last two months, as I’ve barely had time to sit down let alone put together a coherent thought. I pretty much crash as soon as I get the kids to sleep these days. However, I have been doing a lot of reading in my spare moments. I can still enjoy other people’s stories when I’m totally drained.

I have been studying some short story writers and hopefully absorbing some of their brilliance. I’ve finished: Skin Folk by Nalo Hopkinson, Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories, The Garden Party and other stories by Katherine Mansfield, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver, First Love, Last Rites by Ian McEwan, and The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami. I’m halfway through The Paper Menagerie and other stories by Ken Liu. Eventually, I might put together some thoughts on each of these. I really don’t think there’s a bad book in the bunch, but it’s a pretty eclectic collection of styles, so maybe not for everyone.

Otherwise, I’ve still been waiting to hear back about the third round of NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. A cash prize would be a welcome surprise at this point in career limbo, so keep your fingers crossed for me! I’ll let you know as soon as they announce the winners, even if I don’t make the cut.

July will be an exciting month for me as a writer. I’ve got the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge to look forward to, as well as two opportunities to travel (locally) and do some photo journalism projects, both of which will tie into my BIG SECRET PROJECT. As well as the aforementioned business meetings…

I’ll try to stay a bit more active here, though, as I miss the connection with other writers and people who feel my pain. Check in in the comments section if you’re still out there and reading!

10 thoughts on “Twisting and Turning: an update

  1. Always. You have a fan in me! Plus, it’s great knowing someone is out there watching you authorial back to keep you honest with your craft. We all wish to be the very best we can at our chosen avocation. It may be an art form, but if the brush strokes hurt the eyes, it will likely only attract the attention of a select minority of followers. So I welcome input from other artists like yourself.

    Good luck in your new venture. Hoping you get the positive notice you deserve.


    1. Thanks Harvey! I have high hopes for this project. It’s an expansion on the work I was already doing, so I’m pretty confident that I can do it. But this will be a massive change in scope for me (from one company to the entire northern region of the province 😂)

    1. Thank you! I’m on pins and needles over NYC Midnight 😬 The competition will be seriously tough this round. But I’m really happy with my story, so I’m trying to stay positive!

  2. This is all very exciting! I have great confidence that you will find this new challenge an adventure worth any struggles that you encounter along the way. I’m sure you will meet any obstacles with your usual tenacity and come out the stronger for it.

    1. Thanks! I’ll hopefully have more to tell next month. I’m going to try to get some more craft articles up in the meantime!

  3. I didn’t even notice you were gone… but that’s my fault. I’ve barely been keeping up with anything online for the last month or so, as that pesky RealLife(tm) thing has intruded rather unkindly.

    It’s interesting that you can read when you’re tired. I really struggle. My partner is amazed that I can write even when I can barely keep my eyes open, although I think that ability is waning, and it’s very much writing (in unfettered pantser mode), not editing or anything that needs “logical brainpower”. When I’m tired, the wacky bullshit generator keeps running, whilst fixing it to make sense has to happen later when I’m awake.

    Best of luck with your upcoming projects – it all sounds pretty exciting.

    1. RealLife is always getting in the way, isn’t it? I find it really hard to prioritize blog time when I’ve got so much other stuff going on, but I am going to get better at scheduling it in and sticking to it!

      I am completely useless at writing when I’m tired. I wish I could harness that unfettered pantser mode… I have such a hard time turning off my internal editor. But if I’m too tired for the internal editor to work, my brain just goes on strike. I can read when I’m tired, though! I’m probably -not as critical as I would be when I’m alert, and eventually I start going a little cross-eyed and need to sleep. But when I’m too distracted for writing, I can usually still indulge in the other habit, haha.

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