I’ve been quiet this last month, sorry about that — had to get my head down and focus on a difficult rewrite. But now that’s done and dusted, I get to dive into a shiny new WIP.
Previously in Writing
Finished my big rewrite this week, cutting down a book from 97,700 words to a very trim 83,000 and tightening it overall. It wasn’t an easy redraft, but I was really surprised by how much better it was by the end of it. And afterwards, I was SO TIRED, ye gods.
But after a few days, I’m getting my creative energy back and getting pumped up to work on new stories. I’ve hit my 15k wordcount goal for the month with days to spare! It’s going to be a fun March!
Previously In Reading
At the start of the month I finished excellent sci-fi beta read, but I can’t talk about that other than to mention it was SUPER RAD and you should buy it’s predecessor, SERENGETI. It’s a brilliant fun sci-fi novel about a sentient AI warship trying to survive with a makeshift crew of robots, and it’s got this brilliant WALL-E sense of humour to it.
It’s basically been wizard month around here, starting the month with Diana Wynne Jone’s HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE (amazing, and much funnier than the also-brilliant Studio Ghibli movie) followed by Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED.
Both books were amazing, and I’d be hard pressed to pick a favourite… though I think UPROOTED would win because oh my gosh, the magic system is *SO GOOD* and there’s some really interesting elements of politics and social class throughout.
I love the believably, frustratingly clumsy protagonist who likes to organise books by colour. The Polish and Celtic culture. The strength of the prose!
I love that part of the story is a self-centred “genius” guy coming to terms with the fact that people learns things differently. He’s so frustrated that a woman learns differently to him. He’s textbook orientated & she just wants to bloody DO IT. Over and over again, you see this problem where Agnieszka is belittled and overlooked because, no matter how strong she is, her magic doesn’t follow the accepted way of doing things.
I’ve been knee-deep in reading about how we treat kids in school, particularly how the structure of education regularly makes life hell for kids who aren’t neurotypical, especially kids on the autistic spectrum. Everyone learns in different ways, and there’s no wrong way to learn if it works for you. I really appreciated how Uprooted included that as part of its world-building, with this thriving, living sort of magic that can be learnt in so many different ways.
Also, it’s got a SUPER PRETTY hardcover that uses gold foil brilliantly.
Previously In Art
It’s been a fairly quiet month on the art front — something I’m looking to remedy as we head into the next month — but I did get this quick piece done of a merrow, a type of Scottish mermaid.
This is Seònaid. Her clan take their colourings from the orca they swim with, and she’s kinder than she looks. A+ seamonster buddy.
Also, a quick perspective practice piece from the very end of January of Anna, giant robot engineer.
Next Time In Goals
It’s been a really satisfyingly productive month, and I hope to keep that momentum going through March as I try some new projects and revise some old ones. I’m also looking forward to upping my art game a bit and trying out Illustrator a bit more instead of my usual sketchy style. So here’s my goals for the month ahead:
1) Write 20k.
2) Read at least two books.
3) Make some art!