Back to the Nose to the Grindstone

I’m finally back on the wagon in terms of writing: I put in 1000 words on “Moe Yuki Ona,” my J-fetishizing-expat-in-Japan horror story, and I spend an couple of hours slowly working my way through “A Killing in Burma,” a project I left by the wayside a while back to focus on other things, but which I want to get out of the way before I start anything new.

If you search the latter title in my blog, you’ll see babblings about it going quite far back, and since I like the vaguely cartoon-like quality of the characters and story, as well as the madness of the plotline, I’m happy to go there again. It’s currently at almost 18,000 words, though, and the plot is just coming together. I don’t know if it will finally end up being a novella, or a short novel, or a novel, period. But I figure if I put in a little time every day on it, I should be able to figure that out by the end of February, and maybe set it aside if need be to meet other (short-story/anthology) deadlines.

Of course, work is also intruding, in the form of various things I need to get done by the middle of February if possible, or at the very latest by the end of the month, before the new semester begins:

  • Reformat the tentative writing program curriculum that another teacher and I hammered out, and which recently got tentative approval, and then email it to all the Composition teachers for the semester. And book a meeting with all those people for the first week of classes, too.
  • Set up, config, and do some layout work on three websites: one for “Goose Dad” (the graphic novel my students worked on last semester, the English-language version which will be launching in March, with Korean translation to follow a semester later), the department website, and the e-zine site for the Journalistic Writing course I’m teaching next semester, which will replace the English-language magazine club whose “work” I and other professors edited in the past. The set-up is easy, really: WordPress with a very definite set of plugins and so on. The format is a little tougher: I some templates in mind for each, but working on CSS is my least favorite part of web design, and is going to take me some time.
  • Cleaning up my office. The floor needs a good mopping, the furniture some rearranging, and I’m going to try to disassemble a table that is taking up half the room so that I can haul over one of the couches upstairs. I’m planning on experimenting with my office as a more, er, “laid back” kind of place, with a few couches and better lighting and so on. This will also make the fact that I need to spend 4 full days a week there much more tolerable.
  • Responding to a few student emails about grades which I never got around to. Specifically two that very definitely deserved the grades they got, but don’t see why.

But even so, I figure I can spend enough time to write 1000 new words a day, and to do a little editing on older work that’s waiting to be polished off and sent out. My forthcoming fiction is about to drop to zero new pieces, and I don’t like that situation in the slightest!

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