It’s been a while since I updated this blog. It’s been mostly due to my freelance workload and the determination to finish my writing project, but I also realized that the monthly update on my life has become slightly repetitive: focused on my writing, I do very little outside of it that would justify monthly reports. Therefore, I bulked the last three months together in a larger post. Next year, I might switch to quarterly updates or find another formula. Until then, here’s what has been going on in my life while I was quiet.
As mentioned above, I dedicated last months to finishing my projects. This year I planned to finish three books of my epic fantasy series starting with By the Pact, hoping to split and rewrite book 1, and then write at least the first draft of what would become book 3. I finished the first part of the rewrite relatively quickly, but then I lost my momentum due to loads of freelance work, and book 2, for now called Fissure in Magic, was stalling. In September, I finally managed to push it forward, and kept working through October to get it done. I didn’t get quite to the end, but I’m close enough to be certain that it’ll be done by the end of the year.
In November, I took a much-needed break from those characters and setting. For the first time ever, I decided to partake in NaNoWriMo. Last year, without participating, I wrote over 65,000 words, so I was positive I could face the challenge. I worked on Memories of Sorcery and Sand, a standalone fantasy that has been somewhat of a pet project of mine for quite a while. Somewhere around 25,000 words I realized that the story would work much better if I approached it from a different angle, so I promptly… started over. For the sake of the challenge, I still included words from the previous version in my total, and at the end of the month I hit the goal, 50,000 words written. Of course, with the shuffling, the actual progress only half as big, but I’m really happy with what I have so far. I’ll be going back to it once I wrapped up my epic fantasy.
Intensive writing means very little art, but after I had fun with Inktober’s challenge last year, I decided to try again. In a way, this might be that one month when I “play” an artist as normally I lack both the time and the drive to put enough practice into it. Therefore, I also took a bold step to get out of my comfort zone: humans. I’m not good in drawing anatomy, even a simplified one, so drawing witches was a challenge on top of the actual challenge.
Some days I did better, some days I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the outcome, but in the end, I’m happy I pushed myself a little bit. Some of the drawings turned out better than I thought, and I hope that in the future I’ll be able to color them in Photoshop. I also managed to draw daily, though due to work overload I had to skip a day, so I ended up with 30 witches instead of 31.
If you haven’t been keeping an eyes out on social media, here’s a sneak peak, and I’ll show them all in a separate post.
My life has been steady without much excitement, but it’s not a bad thing. I enjoyed my work, but freelance and writing-related, and I got to read and play video games in my free time. In the last week of November Inq took time off, and we considered a bit of sight-seeing, but in the end, the shifting weather as well as holidays-affected schedules kept us at him. We didn’t make a huge celebration for Thanksgiving though we ended up making turkey and other, less traditional food like sushi.
I also got a new orchid from Inq. The previous one didn’t survive the move from Arizona to Virginia, and with this year’s pansies having whithered as well, I can’t help wondering whether my green thumb isn’t in a rotten-green shade. But the new orchid is doing well so far, and here’s hoping to it’ll prove me wrong!
How was your autumn so far? Any achievements? Surprises? Beautiful pictures of autumn?
Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games.
Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English.
Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.