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Monday, August 22, 2016

Introducing the Story-A-Week Catch-Up Challenge



I didn’t talk about this challenge, because, well, my record of completing challenges is pretty bad, but this challenge is part of my goal to find my feet and to learn to balance my study commitments, with my family commitments, with my writing commitments, while the university semester is on.

For this challenge, I wanted to try and write a story a week, hence the title, but then I got ambitious; I wanted to complete the stories I’d started for last July’s Story Match challenge. If I could complete one story a week, why not two? So, I merrily made the goal to write a brand new story each week, AS WELL AS completing an older short story, starting with the Story Match Challenge tales. I know, I know. You can sit down, now.

So, for the first week, it was so far, though, so good—although, I will admit that it has been tough. Fingers crossed I can keep this up AND still get the grades I need to do what I’d like to do next… while writing. The second week was also okay.

Aaand then it just stopped in the third week as I caught up with weekly readings, lectures and tutorials. I was hoping to get back to it in the fourth week, but chose to complete five 1,000-word assignments, and one 800-word assignment, instead.

In the fifth week, I started on a 2,000 word assignment, and was starting to feel optimistic again, so I decided Tuesday was a good day to catch up on the writer’s blog, and slide in a little writing. This was made easier by having to stay home and look after a sick child for most of the week.

In the sixth week, I was back at university, and trying to get my walking back on track, after injuring my ankle in Week 4, and being confined to the house for most of Week 5.
These are the results so far:

Story-A-Week-Catch-Up Challenge to Week 6

New Stories:

  • Week 1: Road Trip became an urban fantasy story set in the world of pixie dust and the Paranormal Operations Squad. I started it on July 12 and completed it on July 16. It started life as the randomly rolled title: Berry Fairies, and came in at 6,979 words.
  • Week 2: Banquet at Magic Mountain became a science fiction tale. It took from July 21 to July 24 to write, and ended up being 3,947 words long.
  • Week 3: saw me doing assignments and university readings, so I started Week 3’s new story in the middle of Week 5, and without a clue as to what I was writing. It ended up at 6,364 words long, and turned out to be one of the Paranormal Operations Squad tales, set in Canberra in the pixie-dust world. It’s title? Memory’s Return. I also caught up on the blogging for my writer’s page, during Week 4.
  • Week 4: saw me finalise 5 x 1,000-word reading assignments, 1 x 800-word Op Ed assignment, and set the first draft of a 2,000-word assignment, before I could get back to my fiction. Bid Farewell to the Moon was this week’s short story. I started and completed it on the last day of Week 5. It was 4,369 words long.
  • Week 5: I got back to the fiction writing with a vengeance this week. Having to stay home to look after a sick child helped with catching up and writing, so I managed to complete two new and two old short stories, which puts me a week behind in this challenge, and three weeks behind in my other goals.
  • Week 6: has been a complete disaster on the writing front. I have two chunky essays due in 11 days’ time, and I got sick and fell behind with readings, and it snowballed, so I just got done what I could. I completed the 2,000-word assignment, and started on the 3,000-word assignment, but didn’t do any creative writing until Saturday night, after posting this report, so that piece of writing will go into next week’s Challenge report.


Older stories:

  • Week 1: Men of Sand and Light was resumed on July 16, the same day I completed Road Trip, and completed on July 20, 2016. It ended up being 5, 137 words long.
  • Week 2: White Pinnacle was resumed AND completed on July 20, 2016, and came in at 3,060 words.
  • Week 3: The Medusa’s Starman was one of those stories I didn’t actually start in the Story Match Challenge, although I’d left a place-holder document. I started it on July 25, 2016, and didn’t get back to it until August 9, 2016. I completed it on August 11, and it ended up being an 8753-word long blend of dark fantasy and science fiction.
  • Week 4: The Magicians and the Silk Road was scheduled for beginning on Week 4, but I didn’t start it until August 12, close to the end of Week 5. It was completed on August 13, and came in at 4,760 words.
  • Week 5: The Plain Magician was slated for Week 5, and has yet to be started.
  • Week 6: Luck Amongst the Servants was slated for Week 6, but, despite almost having this part of the challenge back on track by the end of Week 4, I bombed out  in Weeks 5 and 6.

I know, not auspicious, but I’ll keep trying. This work-life balance thing is a lot harder than it seems.

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