Working Smarter, Not Harder

keep-calm-and-think-work-smarter-not-harder

Source: Lifehack.org

 

WORK-LIFE BALANCE

As I work to perfect my “Work-Life” Balance, I have found that I haven’t been utilizing my time and resources as effectively as I could and this blog entry details some of the ways in which I have developed to address this imbalance.  In 2015, I wrote a lot, but did not maximize the submissions part of my writing.  In 2016, I wrote a little, but I really focused on the submissions aspect, and did not really focus as much on my writing.  This year, I’ve tried to focus on both, but the amount of schoolwork has limited my ability to really write creatively, as you can see through the lack of blog entries that I have posted this year.  So, I had fallen back to prioritizing submissions as a way to still feel connected with the creative writing part of my life.

STEPPING STONES

However, after recently dusting off an older story that was already published and sending it to a market that accepts reprints, I realized that I already have a cache of material, that with a little reworking, that I can use as “stepping stones” to create longer, and more lucrative works.  Ship of Shadows (SoS) is a story that I created, submitted and was published in Visions IV: Space Between Stars.  I have detailed its genesis in this blog entry.  I am really proud of this story, but rather than try to reprint it in other Visions IVanthologies/markets (although I totally could as the rights have reverted back to me), I wondered if there was a way to “expand” upon it in some way, and to make it longer and more in-depth.  In other words, was there a way that I could revise (“re-vision”) the story and take the same “kernel” of the story, but “re-see” it in a new, longer form work?  I then began to brainstorm what that would look like.  First, I would need to know what longer form work is it that I’m envisioning.  The options that I would be interested in working on at the moment are graphic novels, screenplays, and novels.  In my mind, the next logical stepping stone up from a short story is the graphic novel–it is short enough to be read in one sitting (in many cases), but tells a more elaborate story.  I already know that the characters, setting, and plot are strong because it was published (& something an editor paid to publish), so why not work smarter and try to “build” upon a structure that I already know has the potential for success?  So I am currently working on outlining the graphic novel version of SoS.  I am hopeful that I will be able to write a strong rough draft from my outline during my Summer Break.  I will, of course, be detailing its construction in this blog.

MAXIMIZING FREE TIME

Okay, look, I’m a PhD student.  My days are jam-packed with reading, teaching, reading, working, reading, writing (academic), reading, grading, reading, reading, reading . . . you get the picture.  Heck, even as I type these very words, I have a 5-7 page paper to complete and an annotated bibliography to start, so my time is precious to me.  This, unfortunately, means that creative writing has gotten the short shrift during the past two semesters.  I realize, however, that I have a lot of time (free) built into my days that I’m not utilizing in a very productive way.  On those days where I’m “free” (i.e., no classes, I should take an hour as I’m eating to simply write on the current draft that I’m working on).  On the days I have to “work” (i.e., days where I have classes or academic commitments, I should simply outline/rough draft future works).  That way, I’m always working on something current and will be ready for those extended “Breaks” (Summer & Winter) when I can devote my full time and resources to the things that I’ve outlined or rough drafted.  On weekends, my time should be used for preparing submissions.  If I can somehow achieve and maintain this balance, I think my writing production and my satisfaction with the writing process will improve immensely.

Well, that’s all I have time for this week.  I’ve got assignments to write, papers to grade, and books to read, so I’ll sign off.  Here’s hoping you have a successful week, and with luck, hopefully I’ll have a successful writing week as well.

Score One for the Good Guys! Ship of Shadows–in Visions IV: Space Between Stars

Visions IV

So last week, I was super discouraged with life in general and the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre in particular.  As a self-proclaimed good guy (a la Captain America/Luke Skywalker in my own humble assessment 🙂 ) I felt I was getting the short end of the stick on pretty much everything last week.  Then to top it off, everything I tried to read for enjoyment seemed to be some poorly written pastiche of Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, or Walking Dead (where the bad guys get to win).  Argh!  It was enough to make a grown man scream (or in my case, post a disconsolate blog entry).

And then comes this news from the wonderful Carrol Fix–the book that has my story that I worked on and submitted in February 2016 is OUT NOW!

YAY, Carrol!

Here is the full Press Release.  Please, Please, PLEASE, consider purchasing a copy, if not for my story being inside of the book, please consider purchasing a copy to show that sometimes the “Nice Guys” get to win!

Visions IV

Visions IV: Space Between Stars Cover

The Antidote to Boring Scifi!
It’s time to read
Visions IV
Space Between Stars

• When an influenza decimates everyone else aboard the colony ship, Evalynn Santori discovers unexpected companions.

• Should past knowledge always be preserved? Even if that knowledge is dangerous to what remains of the human race?

• Vampires in outer space. What could happen to the polymorphous vampiric body away from sunlight and gravity?

• A murderer is stalking a paradise space station at the outer edge of the heliosphere. Some believe Lady Ink’s body ink gives her special senses that will find the killer. Some think she’s the killer. She doesn’t know who is right.
Buy Now From Lillicat Publishers!
or
Buy from Amazon

Imagine the deepest regions of space between the stars. Cold, empty, silent, and vast. Someday, humankind will reach those realms and find endless opportunities for strange and exciting adventures. What will they see, and what dangers will they overcome, in the dark recesses of the deep space between stars?
Space Between Stars describes how those voyages could be made and speculates on the unique challenges to be faced. From generations ships with internally developed cultures and religions, to cold sleep and faster-than-light travel. Black holes, space warps, FTL travel—or something never thought of before—will transport future voyagers through the long night between the stars.
Fifteen talented, award-winning science fiction authors share their visions of how our descendants will live, and possibly die, in deep space.

The Visions Series examines our urge to venture outward…to explore the Universe. Visions: Leaving Earth, describes our first faltering steps to rise from Earth’s surface. Visions II: Moons of Saturn confirms that we have left the Earth and are at home in our solar system. Visions III: Inside the Kuiper Belt proclaims humankind’s domination from the Sun to the outermost reaches of the Kuiper Belt. Visions IV: Space Between Stars astounds us with the infinite possibilities of adventure and danger far from any suns or planets—in the cold, dark regions of deepest space. Beyond these volumes, we will search far beyond our solar system to colonize the Milky Way and understand the Universe.
Our vision is limitless.

Lillicat Publishers
Editor@lillicatpublishers.com
www.lillicatpublishers.com
“Communicating with the world, one book at a time.”