Don’t plan the plan if you can’t follow through

First: Vote! If you’re in the U.S., go out and cast your vote. Every single one matters – especially yours!

The past month has been insanely busy, though there have been odd moments of calm. The last few days of October (the 27th through the 30th), most of my time was spent reading submissions (more on what submissions below), because I actually couldn’t do anything with other projects – they were either done, or I was waiting for some info or something. I had a few mild panic attacks during those few days when I realized I’d done nothing but read for a while and thought “OMGIshouldbedoing… oh no. Wait.”

Most projects are progressing nicely, though. The Kickstarter for A Festival of Skeletons ended with $538 (the goal was $300). One $38 pledge failed, but that’s still 167% of the goal, so not bad. I admit I was a bit disappointed by the number of preorders, but we worked hard to push them – there’s only so much we can do. We’ll see if we can create a nice release day (12/1). Crossed Genres Year Two is set, and yesterday we got in copies of it for review; I’m currently contacting reviewers about it. Yesterday we also got in 100 postcards of the cover of Festival, which look pretty nice! (Postcards were a reward for various levels of the Kickstarter.) We’ve never ordered postcards before so we didn’t know what to expect in terms of quality. But we’re pretty happy.

As you may have read about on the CG blog, there are some big changes coming to CG, the way it’s structured and such. Most of that is being spearheaded by Jaym & Natania, who are taking our encouragement to “Make CG your own” very seriously! 😉 But Kay and I have discussed all the changes with them ahead of time and we agree that it’s all good stuff. Some of it’s even things that we’ve considered in the past but never had time or impetus to implement.

It is REALLY weird that right now, I’m not frantically reading through CG submissions so that Kay and I can argue over decide which stories to choose. I’ve got plenty to work on, but this point of every month for the past two years has ALWAYS included tons of short story reading, usually in a rush to get through them all. It feels very strange, and I want to panic that itwon’tgetdoneARGH! except that I just talked to Natania a second ago and they’re totally on top of it.

Fortunately I have other short stories to read, for another project I’m working on! I’m not going to talk about it too much ATM, though I’ve mentioned it here before. But I will say: holy DAMN did I hit the jackpot. These were invitation-only submissions, and I invited people who I already know are talented writers. The result is probably the best overall quality from a pool of submissions that I’ve ever seen. Not to dis our previous submitters (a lot of the people I invited are people we’ve previously published, in fact), but with open submissions you get everything from great, can’t-put-it-down stories to stuff so bad you don’t get through the first page. And that’s every month. But when inviting people whose work you’re already familiar with, you don’t get those terrible dud stories. I’m about 3/4 of the way through my first reads, and I haven’t seen a real dud yet. Some appeal to me more than others, but that’s just because of my preferences. Overall the quality is truly exceptional. It’ll probably be harder than ever before to narrow down my selections. (Note: Editors do not consider this a bad problem to have.)

It’s November, which means: It’s NaNoWriMo time!!! I haven’t invested much in NaNo for a while – after Kay and I each won in 2006 & 2007, we didn’t finish in 2008 and didn’t even sign up in 2009 – we had other priorities, what with CG growing and Baz getting bigger and such. But this year, we’re sort of half-attempting it. We’re not putting a lot of pressure on ourselves, so odds are we won’t come close to the 50,000 word goal. But really, all we’re looking for is to feed off the collective motivations of all them NaNo-ers. Last night I wrote about 670 words in the 45 minutes before bed – not too bad, considering I didn’t even know what I was going to write on when I sat down to start! we’ll just see how that all goes. I will say that it felt really good to be writing! And what I wrote was very different from the sort of thing I usually write. That was interesting.

You know the best way to NOT get used to wearing contacts? Forget to wear them for days at a time. Last night as I was getting ready for bed I realized I’d forgotten for the 3rd day in a row. *headdesk* I set an alarm on my phone to remind me, so hopefully I’ll do better from now on.

The most interesting thing about my schedule now, looking into the near future, is that while it’s still quite full, it’s not so… deadline-y. There aren’t a lot of things that require my IMMEDIATE ATTENTION!!!1! Usually I spend the first half of each month working feverishly on the new CG issue. Now? Not my problem responsibility. Most things on my list now won’t be aversely affected if I bump them back a day or two. This will take some serious getting used to. Maybe I should add a 1-month project to give myself a close deadline…

Oh, yeah – Vote!

post title from “A Man’s Gotta Do” from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

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