July Report

The year is shorter today by another month, which means that it’s time to do another monthly report! July was extremely busy, more so because things at work have kicked off royally and I find myself with much less time to do other things than before. Combined with my huge reading piles which keep getting bigger, that means even the writing generally suffers.

To do a small recap of my goals for the year,

  1. Write ~420,000 words of both fiction (various submissions and novel projects) and non-fiction (reviews and blogposts).
  2. Read 250 novels, comics, novellas, stand-alone short stories (still not sure if these SHOULD be included) and listen to some audio dramas and audiobooks.

At the end of June, I was ahead of things quite a bit, having done close to ~225,000 of those ~420,000 words and was still ahead on the reading goals, as I was at 124/250 on June 30th. You can find the June report here.

2012 Writing Challenge

  1. Project: Hammer of Shadows – For this project, I didn’t really have any firm goals in mind, other than “getting it done”. Based off my old ideas, this was meant to be a 10,000-word story, with an allowance of an extra 2,000 or so. That’d make this is a really, really long short story but when I came up with this, the publisher’s guidelines indicated 10,000-words to be the maximum length. Besides, a lot goes away in the editing right? I didn’t get to work on this as much as I’d like, given my increased workload last month, but I did manage to hit the half-way mark and ended the month at a respectable 5,385-words. The total story now clocks at a little over 5,800-words and I’m aiming to get the first draft done by the end of the month so I can hopefully start the edits as well before August is over.
  2. Project: Dharmayoddha – Since this was an entirely new project for which I only had doodles, done over the last three months or so, I wanted to focus on only the synopsis for the first stage. All the disparate ideas I had for this really needed to be consolidated so that I had the basic framework for a story. Not to mention that I love doing synopses, for some reason I find them to be quite fun. The month ended well I think because I got my basic synopsis for the novella done, and also had tied together some of my ideas for my protagonist, Vikram Chauhan. After a little over 2,000-words, I think I’m ready to get cracking at the novella itself now. So that’sll be the goal for August: writing the first 3,000-words and going from there as my schedule allows.
  3. The Founding Fields – The backlog keeps increasing every month and July was just as much of a race to the finish as the months before. I did write 13 reviews all told, two of them being guest reviews (X: Men #1-6 by Victor Gischler and Before Watchmen July Releases). The Founding Fields also kicked off it’s Self-Published Author Spotlight with several guest posts by authors who’ve taken the plunge into this publishing medium and that we wanted to feature on the site (Dan Johnson, John C. Scott, Selso Xisto). The run has been great so far and there’ll be another one going up tomorrow! I’m hitting my goals for reviewing but, at the risk of repeating myself, I do have to say that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. I definitely need to slow down on requesting review copies, especially through NetGalley. My TBR lists, print and digital both, have been getting enormously big day by day. Not a good thing. Still, reviewing goals for this overachiever remain the same as before.
  4. 24FPS Movie Reviews – Finally, a month where I actually managed to get out two reviews as per the plan! I wanted to write at least one more but wasn’t able to fit it in sadly. You can find them both, The Amazing Spider-Man 3D and Cocktail over at the 24FPS site or through my Movie Reviews page. Saw Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, recently as well so the review for that should be up within the week. I’m hopeful!!
  5. The Blog – I actually went ahead and did a “Best of the Best” post, in which I listed my top 6 novel and comics reads, as well audio dramas. It was a fun process, coming up with the “best” list. I’m definitely going to do one for the end of the year. I think they are fun to come up with. Then there was a short-n-sweet post in which in which I mentionded that I was linking my 2012 Reading Challenge with that of Diayll at Mother/Gamer/Writer. And that reminds me, I need to get over my reviews for the months!! Finally, there was a rant-ish post by me, The State of Reviewing, in which I talked about one of the most recent “scandals” to hit the reviewing circles, plus one of my pet peeves about being a reviewer. Do share your thoughts on the topic! There were some other things that I wanted to talk about as well, but again, time being limited and all. For August, I might cross-post a couple of my editorial articles elsewhere on the blog-o-sphere. Stay tuned!

Overall, July wasn’t really that bad of a month. I had fewer projects to worry about and it kept me focused on things rather than haphazardly trying to fit everything in. And that’s why I think it worked so well. I mostly hit my fiction targets and I started two brand-new stories, all in original worlds, and the feeling of exploring them both is fantastic!

In total, the writing for the month amount to a grand total of ~33,300-words, which is slightly more than what I did in June. I lay the credit at the brutal schedule of writing ~500-words a day on both my fiction projects for the last 2 weeks of the month. Even when I didn’t get around to either of them, the other days I was driven enough to meet the goals. Any way, my total for the year so far is now just a little shy of ~257,000-words. I’m still on track to hit the year’s goal of ~420,000-words!!

2012 Reading Challenge

Ah, reading, my favourite thing to do in the world when I’m not playing video games, and the latter has been rather precious of late. It’s simply been too long since I’ve played a video game!

July was an absolutely monster reading month, especially where comics are concerned (details on my “Reading List” page). But while it was a monster month in quantity, it wasn’t so much in quality though, because some of the comics I read were downers, and left me feeling really disappointed. The same with a couple of novels as well. Most disappointed.

Still, am supposed to be focused on the positive, so the best positive thing was reading Rachel Aaron’s first Eli Monpress novel, “Spirit Thief“, which was so awesome that I consider it to be as good as Nathan Long’s Jane Carver of Waar, and joins what I consider to be the elite elite club of my highest rated books (the 10/10 club). I finally took the plunge into Forgotten Realms proper with the fantastic “War of the Spider Queen” series and, thanks to my friend Stefan Gore, I’m going to be exploring a lot more of the setting in the coming weeks.

In a burst of awesomeness, I also managed to get press access to BOOM! Studios, one of the best comics publishers in the industry. Lots of fun titles in the database and I can’t wait to dig in for August! This is gonna be awesome.

Anyways, the counter by the end of July read 167/250. If you remember from my last report, I’d increased the target from 200 to 250, with a provision for increasing it still further to 300. That’s what I’m going to do for August, since I’m reading a ton of comics and need to keep what I’m reading (in general) straight in my head as well. The list is really handy for that. At the end of the year, I’ll definitely consolidate it down (grouping together all the single issues by story arcs and so on). So that’s that.

Let’s see if I can end August with a score of 200/300!!

Here are the top picks for the month of July:

Top 3 – Wall of Night #1: Heir of Night by Helen Lowe, Eli Monpress #1: Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron, and War of the Spider Queen by Richard Lee Byers, Thomas A. Reid and Richard Baker.

Honourable MentionsPriests of Mars by Graham McNeill, Veiled Worlds #1: Debris by Joanne Anderton, and Perfection by Nick Kyme.

Top 3 [Comics]Dungeons & Dragons Volume 1: Shadowplague by John Rogers, New 52: Earth 2 #1-3 by James Robinson, and Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #2 by Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner.

Honourable Mention [Comics]: Hypernaturals #1 by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, New 52: Green Lantern #9 by Geoff Johns, and Spider-Men #1-3 by Brian Michael Bendis.

On a final note, I just want to say that this was a stellar month of great comics reads and picking these top 3 in both categories was an absolute pain!!

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Posted on August 6, 2012, in 2012 Reading Challenge, 2012 Writing Challenge, 24FPS, Book Reviews, General, Guest Posts, Monthly Reports, Original Work, Review Central, Self-publishing, The Founding Fields and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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