February 11th, 2010

Seasonal Affective Disorder Progress Report

Now that I've made it into mid-February, it seems like a good time and review where I'm at in relation to some goals and predictions that I laid out for myself in this post back in September. At the time, I was feeling physically ill and I was feeling some depression creeping back in, aided by the crappy weather. Yeah, it's really sucked lately with all the snow and ice that we've had here, but we got cheated out of a large portion of our summer/fall season here, too, so I was already sliding into winter malaise even then. 

I resolved to fight against it by setting myself a long and involved list of interesting projects. I decided to ride out the dark season simply by being too busy to think about it a lot. So how did I do? Well, I claimed that I would occupy myself with the following things between 9/22/09 and 1/1/10:

M-Brane SF: publication of issues #9-#12
Things We Are Not: Promotion and sales of it, due out 10/15
Other M-Brane Activities: continue planning for the Aether Age
Other M-Brane Activities: Two or three "secret projects" to be announced later
Personal writing: Finish first full draft of Shame (October)
Personal writing: Revise three or four short stories that have been needing it
Personal writing: NaNoWriMo all November
Blogging: Maintain my own sites as well as my participation with GreenPunk and Outer Alliance

The first three items can be checked off as DONE. I did indeed publish those four issues of M-Brane and Things We Are Not, and Aether Age ramped up in a pretty serious way with my co-editor Brandon Bell recruiting some other creators to help make it a real multi-media extravaganza. We're about to select stories for it and make it real.

The fourth item happened also. The "secret projects" were the trade paperback version of M-Brane #12 and the books The 12 Burning Wheels (Cesar Torres, due 2/22) and Machina (Derek J. Goodman, due 4/1). More such projects are coming. I can think of three probable ones right now. But they're secret.

Now for some Fail. I did not finish the fifth item. I did do some more work on Shame, but did not really "finish" the draft and am still not quite there. Actually, I'll give myself an "incomplete" rather than an "F" on this one.

I didn't really do the next item (revise short stories) at all. I think I opened the files a couple times but that was about it. Indeed, as I sit here writing this entry, I am supposed to be finishing my attempt at an Aether Age story.

But some more success: I did indeed do NaNoWriMo in November and got my little winner's badge (still proudly displayed on the M-Brane SF blog). This was really good for me. It was a real confidence builder. It was a little bit rough getting moving on it during the first couple days, but once I got started, I really enjoyed it. Best yet, I dig my story. It's not terrible at all. If it were ever to be a "real" novel or if I ever wanted to publish it, then it would need a great deal of revision and some expansion as well (it needs to be closer to 75K words, I think, than 50K) but what came out of November is actually some of my best work ever, rough as it may be.

For the last item, blogging, I'll give myself a grade of "C-." I used this LJ as I needed to (it's here as an emotional safety valve), but I neglected the M-Brane SF blog a bit. I kept it updated on zine-related news, but I was hoping to have more articles of general SF interest on it. I still need to work on getting more and better content there. I've been even more neglectful of the Outer Alliance lately, and have done nothing about GreenPunk in ages (note to self: find out if GreenPunk still exists; if not, resuscitate it). But my lack of attention to the blogs is due largely to being quite busy with the other stuff (not to mention my ridiculous day job and sleeping). I am just one person after all.