Monthly Roundup – October 2014

Another month flashes past. October 2014 went by very quickly, people. On the writing front, I’ve been typing up the first 20,000 words of a space opera I started writing longhand earlier in the year. I’ve also been thinking through the editing process for Unaligned, the manuscript I typed “the end” for not that long ago.

I’m struggling with the editing process. Not so much the theory of it. I can think of a lot of things I need to do, and there is a lot of useful advice out there on self editing. The manuscript needs a lot of polishing before I can get other people involved in reading it. I recognise that.

However (and this is a big however), I’m struggling to fit editing into my life. With the first draft writing by hand, I could find 1/2 hour here or there and get a little bit more writing down. My at-least-1-page-per-day system worked well. With a busy job and two young kids, small snippets of time are all that seem possible. But that approach is not working for me when it comes to editing. I find I need more time, the capacity to really submerge myself into the work for an extended period, before I seem to be able to edit properly. Trying to do a little bit each night is not working. In fact, on some occasions it is actually counter-productive.

That’s why I started writing another manuscript (the space opera – working title Untethered). It was easier to fit in.

So, my current strategy is to find a couple of interruption free days to kick start the process. Perhaps once I’ve delved into the manuscript in a focused way, subsequent editing bit by bit will become more feasible. Negotiations have begun with my wife to free up a weekend so I can work sans-kids (of course I’ll need to return that particular favour!). Negotiations have begun with my parents so I can grab their caravan down in Wollongong for the isolation. I’d like to find some time pre-Christmas. Wish me luck.

On the culture consumed side, I read and reviewed The Godless by Ben Peek. Excellent book, but you’ll have to read my review to find out why.

As flagged last month, I started the YA collection Kaleidoscope, but haven’t yet finished. OK so far, like the diversity theme but have my normal struggles engaging with YA work. It’s not them, it’s me.

Read another one of the recently re-released Wild Cards series, Aces Abroad. Love the flash back aspect of reading an 80s/90s series. There is one story set in Australia, and the airlines referenced were Ansett and TAA. Love it! As previously commented, some gender issues that jump out now that I didn’t notice on first reading, but not as bad as it could be. All up, I’m enjoying the re-read.

Also started The Long Mars by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. Only a little way in though, more to report next month.

On the TV front, I’m not liking The 100. In fact, I think I’m about to give up. It has been vaguely interesting, but they’ve just introduced a new character on the space station with a new strand of political intrigue and I realised I didn’t really care enough about what happens to the characters. I’ve got too much of a backlog of TV, I think I can afford to give this one away.

Heard an Australian podcast recently talking about the new TV series The Flash (a spin off of Arrow), but I have not been able to find it here in Australia. They must have been obtaining episodes by other means. I saw a “coming soon” ad on Foxtel though, so I would imagine it is not too far away.

The rest of my superhero fix is coming from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow and Gotham. AoS has been good, I’m liking the darker, short of resources world of the second season. Arrow remains just a little over the top melodramatic, but I really like the flashback approach to showing backstory. Jury is still out on Gotham, but so far so good.

In terms of TV series finished this month, I watched the last episode of season 4 of Teen Wolf (a much shorter season this time around) and The Strain. Enjoyed both shows, with a slight preference for Teen Wolf.

So, who else is overdosing on superhero TV? Read any good books I should be considering? Any other interesting culture consumed?

Author: mark

A writer of speculative fiction and all round good egg. Well, mostly good. OK, sometimes good.

2 thoughts on “Monthly Roundup – October 2014”

  1. Editing does require a different kind of approach. I hope you get the time.
    I'm still watching The 100 but only because there isn't much else on at the moment. I'm not holding my breath for the Flash either since I'm not a huge fan of the Arrow. If that makes sense. (I think they are made by the same people or something).

    1. Thanks Lyn! I'll keep plodding away.

      Yes, I can't quite pinpoint exactly what it is about The 100 that has put me off, but when faced with watching the latest episode this past weekend, I threw in the towel! I know what you mean about not being a lot on though – surely we must be due a new, excellent quality SF show?

      Yes, The Flash is by the same people as Arrow. Supposed to be a lot less violent though. Ah, what can I say. I'm a sucker for a superhero show!


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