Posted by AJ
And so the third quarter ends and we finally move into the last 3 months of the year. I’m wondering where all the time has gone!!! Lots of good things happened in August and the morale-boosting effect of that lasted all through September, as you’ll see below.
To do a small recap of my goals for the year,,
- Write ~420,000 words of both fiction (various submissions and novel projects) and non-fiction (reviews and blogposts).
- Read 300 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 August, I was quite a bit closer to my goals, having crossed the ~300,000-word mark, out of ~420,000 words and was still ahead on the reading goals, as I was at 207/300 on August 31st. You can find the August report here.
2012 Writing Challenge
- Project: Hammer of Shadows – Sadly, I did not get to do much work on this as my novella kept me quite busy through the month, not to mention some rough time at work plus the fact that I received a free week of play from Blizzard for World of WarCraft: Cataclysm to celebrate the release of World of WarCraft: Mists of Pandaria. So I wasn’t able to devote much time to this. However, I did manage to do about ~550-words for this so all’s not lost! It was 550 words more than I did in August! Anyhow, given that I hit a certain milestone with regards my fiction writing last month (more below), I should be able to devote more time to this. Fingers crossed.
- Project: Dharmayoddha – *queue much cheers and fanfare!!* I managed to complete the first draft on this! After about a solid ~9,700-words the first draft has now clocked in at just shy of 25,500-words, which is quite a bit shorter than my target of 30,000-words but not to worry. Its only a first draft and I’ve been jotting down ideas here and there on how to make changes to the whole thing. I am super excited. This is the first project of mine, EVER, where I’ve managed to complete a first draft in full and therefore, this is a landmark victory for me. The goal for October is to dial back on this and do revisions on it in bits and pieces. I don’t want to put it to the side like I did with my Raven and Blood novel project from last year, a project that has sat untouched for going on 10 months! I am determined to have a publishable draft for the novella ready by the end of the year, no matter what it takes. Shall see how it all goes!
- The Founding Fields – Two things made this month stand-out for me. The first is that I posted my 100th review ever at the start of the month, and then I posted my 100th review of the year just a few days later! It is mind-boggling (read a bit more here). Add to all this that just four days ago was the anniversary of my first book review ever. Its been a swell ride and I’m quite thankful to Sarah for getting me started on this road. And also to all my friends at The Founding Fields who’ve provided a ton of support over the last year and everybody who’s been reading my reviews and providing feedback. You guys all rock! Owing to that free week for World of WarCraft I procrastinated on a few reviews so I didn’t get out quite as many as I wanted but I think that 13 reviews is still a good number no? One of those reviews is a guest review for Stefan over at the Civilian Reader and should be going up soon, it covers the August releases for DC’s Before Watchmen comics.
- 24FPS Movie Reviews – Another month of just one review sadly – “Expendables 2“. Weekends have sort of become my movie-review days but after I got that first review out, the next two weekends it was all me watching True Blood and Merlin, so I didn’t get around to writing any more reviews. Movies I saw this month included: Total Recall, Dredd 3D, and Heroine (Bollywood).
- The Blog – August was a fantastic month for the blog. First it was my announcement that I was starting a guest post series – “Names: A New Perspective” – on my blog where I invited debut authors from 2011-12 (have yet to hear back from a few 2010 ones) to talk about what the names they use in their novels mean to them. Then the posting schedule went up. That was quickly followed by a short and sweet update where I talked about those 100th reviewing milestones. After that it was the second installment of my own “Horus Heresy: Thoughts Part 2” where I talked some more about what I want to see happen down the line in the series, and its been quite well-received as well. Finally came the first three installments of the guest post series – Myke Cole, Chris F. Holm, and Kim Curran. As you can see, it was a hell of a busy month this time around and there will certainly be no let up for October!
As you can see, September has been completely incredible. So many great things happened with regards to both my fiction and non-fiction writing that I’m still not over that. Its things like these that keep me motivated to keep writing. Honestly, being so overworked is where I thrive. I may not complete all my goals but I still stay motivated. And of course, when I don’t complete my goals, I give myself a mental kick in the ass just the same. Gotta keep it real!
In total, the writing for the month amount to a grand total of ~37,300-words, which is significantly less than what I did in August but that’s ok. Its still on par with most other months so far this year. My total for the year so far is now just a bit over ~337,400-words. That means I’m just about 80% done with the goal of ~420,000-words and if I can keep it all up, then I shouldn’t have a problem hitting that target!
As an addendum to the guest post series details, I’m also in the process of talking with more authors about having them over on the blog and will be talking with a few of the ones who initially declined as they couldn’t make the deadline for the first round of guest posts. They have a lot of time now!
2012 Reading Challenge
Owing again to the fact that I let most of a week slip by because I was on World of WarCraft: Cataclysm leveling to 85 and enjoying the endgame (5-mans only sadly, no raids), I didn’t do as much novel reading as I did comics. I did listen to quite a few audiobooks though, the first three original Dune novels by Frank Herbert to be specific, among other things. Still, a lot of what I read was quite good barring some outliers such as Jay Kristoff’s Stormdancer, a debut novel I couldn’t even bring myself to finish, so terrible it was. I *may* go back to finish it however because I *am* interested in seeing how things turn out and so I can offer a fuller opinion of what Kristoff does wrong. Still, onwards and upwards!
I said last time that I may not have to increase the challenge counter as I didn’t foresee myself going over 300. Oh, how wrong I was! Instead of ending the month at somewhere around 230/300, I ended up at 257/300, owing largely to reading a lot of single comics issues this month, which help inflate the numbers to a degree. So now I find myself needing to increase the counter, and I’m pushing it up all the way to 400, double the original goal of 200 at the start of the year. Man, the things you learn!
Here are the top picks for the month of September, with accompanying review links where applicable:
Honourable Mentions – Brave New World #3: Resolution by Matt Forbeck, Treacheries of the Space Marines by Various, and Tales of the Nun & Dragon by Various.
Top 3 [Comics]: New 52: Earth 2 #0 by James Robinson, Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #3 by Darwyn Cooke, and Artifacts Vol.1 by Ron Marz.
Honourable Mention [Comics]: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #2 by James Robinson, Danger Girl/G.I.Joe #2-3 by Andy Hartnell, andNew 52: Green Lantern #0 by Geoff Johns.
If you compare these top picks against my reading list, you’ll find that I haven’t listed the Dune audiobooks here. There’s a very good reason for that. I’m starting my Dune-verse re-read this month and while for October I’m reading the Legends of Dune prequel series, I expect to read the original trilogy in December and I *know* that those will be the best books I read that month, so I want to maintain a bit of a balance in my top picks. That is all. Consider the first three Dune Chronicles novels to be a special listen for the month of September!
I also got back to reading video game novelisations this year (after my rather bad experience with them last year) and it was great! Deus Ex: Icarus Effect by James Swallow was to be my first October read but I started and finished it on sunday. Still, I’ll be including the book in the October reads for the challenge counter anyway!
Bring on October!
Some new acquisitions of mine –
The Dead of Winter by Lee Collins. An advance proof-copy of Lee’s debut. This appears to be a paranormal western starring a female protagonist. Sounds all awesome to me!
Dragon Apocalypse #2: Hush by James Maxey. A review copy. I loved Greatshadow when I read it back in August and the promise for this novel is VERY HIGH.
The Subterrene War #3: Chimera by T. C. McCarthy. Another review copy. I have yet to read the first two novels in the series but pretty much all the reviewers I know who’ve read the books say that these are great and TC is a great guy to talk to on social media so I’m looking forwards to getting my feet wet with Germline soon.
Dredd: The Omnibus. Review copy. This’ll be my first reading experience with 2000AD and with Judge Dredd. Saw the movie recently and I’m super excited to be getting to this soon. Honestly speaking, this should be on my October Reading List actually!
Chaoswar Saga #1: A Kingdom Beseiged by Raymond E. Feist. I’ve often waxed lyrical in my reviews about how much I love Feist’s work, having read almost all his novels set in Midkemia, barring the Chaoswar, Demonwar and Darkwar novels. Uh, I guess I have a lot left to read then! So yeah, this should be fun!
Demonwar Saga #1: Rides a Dread Legion by Raymond E. Feist. Same as the above!
Theirs Not To Reason Why #1: A Soldier’s Duty by Jean Johnson. Came across this novel in an SF Signal podcast with host Patrick Hester and the author herself. I’m intrigued by any SF novel that has a female protagonist, especially one with a very cosmic/galactic space opera feel to it. Fingers crossed!
Prelude to Dune #1: House Atreides by Frank Herbert. In the vein of the House novels from the month before, this was another bargain buy (DHS 10 = 1.70 GBP = $2.70). Its a decent copy too, although I would have loved to get one with the same cover art as the others! Not to fear, just having *a* copy of this awesome book is enough for me
Posted on October 2, 2012, in 2012 Reading Challenge, 2012 Writing Challenge, 24FPS, Book Reviews, Debut Authors Guest Series, General, Guest Posts, Monthly Reports, Original Work, Review Central, The Founding Fields, World of Warcraft and tagged 2012 Debuts, 2012 Reading Challenge, 2012 Writing Challenge, 24FPS, Book Reviews, Fantasy, Guest Posts, Indian Mythology, Movie Reviews, Original Work, Project Dharmayoddha, Project Hammer of Shadows, Sons of Corax, The Founding Fields. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.