Friday, January 22, 2016

Writing Projects For This Year

Finally, finally, I want to finish a short story I began years ago.  It is set in the 1950's in the summer in Flagstaff, Arizona at the time two commercial flights collided over the Grand Canyon.  An Indian Powwow was also taking place in Flagstaff.  A teenager is visiting town with her dad who is on a business trip.  Weird stuff happens.  My writing group says, "not much happens."  Yes and no. 

Project # two is another short story, told from the point of view (POV)  of a cat.  A lot happens.  To the cat.  This is based  on a true story, and it's something I have wanted to write for years.  So why haven't I? 

Project # three is a rewrite of a mystery novel I wrote a while back. It was always my critique group's favorite novel of mine.  I liked the story, the setting and the characters.  Went back to re-read and see why it  had never sold.  In the intervening years, I've become a better writer.  And the story needed work.  Pruning.  Whole chapters came and went where not much (maybe even NOTHING happened.)  So the rewrite is coming along.  My NEW (different people) writing group is not convinced, but they are all writing thrillers.  This book has to build. Lots of stuff happens, but not right away, except for the murder.  The sleuth has to feel her way into a strange town and a difficult situation.  Have I set myself up to fail?  Hope not.  Still like the story, the characters and the setting, which is the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  

Other projects:  meet with my agent and find out what's going on with my two novels that she is trying to sell. 
Clean out tons of old projects and useless paper from my office.  This is a tough one.  Why do I keep procrastinating? 

Decide if I want to do a Civil War story I've been keen on.  Is it a short story or a novel?  Maybe a novella.  The thing is, there's a huge amount of research in front of me, and maybe it's only a short story.   What to do? 

Last thing:  some PR to give my last novel, Festival Madness, a shot of adrenaline.  
Last, last thing:  maybe a cookbook?  
So many projects, so little time. 

What keeps so many projects on the back burner?  Inertia, laziness, not enough time, and I don't even know what. Read what the writers below are fixating on for 2016.   Do we all have the same issues?  

Oh yes, and I need to try to sell another short story I've been sitting on.  When I'm looking for something to do, I can always re-read this post. 
Writing is hard.  But you knew that. 

The Late, Much-loved Thisbe, who always inspired my writing
Victoria Chatham
Margaret Fieland
Skye Taylor
Diane Bator
Beverley Bateman
Connie Vines
Bob Rich
Rachael Kosinski
Judith Copek
Kay Sisk
Anne Stenhouse
Hollie Glover
Helena Fairfax
Fiona McGier
Rhobin Courtright


  1. Sounds like you'll have a full year, Judith.

    Your critique group is right, to a point. With modern readers, you need to grab your reader, straight away. Then you can build up, with a steady diet of tension-raising bits. Disasters on every page can be off-putting, but regardless of how good a book is, your readers only find out if they don't get bored!


  2. Is that kitty your muse? She looks like a charmer. Your short stories sound interesting, so keep working!

  3. I thought I'd posted before, but things are hectic here. Love the kitty, is she your inspiration? Writing has to be your view, and I know how you feel about suspense and drama. It can be hard, but emotional tension can be a strong draw, too.

  4. You have a very busy and ambitious year. Good luck with all the stories.

  5. I love your cat! Our cat Onyx (yes, he's all black) usually appears at just the time I'm settling down for a writing session. He will get into my lap and purr and purr and how can I write when I have to pet him?

  6. We have something in common. I wrote a story I loved years ago that got rejected. Of course, by the time the rejections arrived I'd moved on to another project. But the story was still a good one and over the years I've learned a lot as a writer so one of my projects this year is to revisit the book and edit and then resubmit.

  7. Hi Judy, I'm a person who starts and then side-lines, too. And I have a lot of excess paper. Maybe we should swap studies and clear out for one another? Anne Stenhouse

  8. Anna, Great idea! :)


Your comments are always welcome!