The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

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The Sunday Circle is the weekly check-in where I ask the creative-types who follow this blog to weigh in about their goals, inspirations, and challenges for the coming week. The logic behind it can be found here. Want to be involved? It’s easy – just answer three questions in the comments or on your own blog (with a link in the comments here, so that everyone can find them).

After that, throw some thoughts around about other people’s projects, ask questions if you’re so inclined. Be supportive above all.

Then show up again next Sunday when the circle updates next, letting us know how you did on your weekly project and what you’ve got coming down the pipe in the coming week (if you’d like to part of the circle, without subscribing to the rest of the blog, you can sign-up for reminders via email here).


What am I working on this week?

Not a lot of writing for me in the coming week, as I’ll be wrapping up my blogging gig, getting back into the rhythm of GenreCon now I’m bac at QWC one day a week, and making sure I’ve got everything I need to get organised ahead of the PhD kicking off on January 31.

What’s inspiring me this week?

I’m compiling a list of stories set in the early nineteen hundreds as research for a coming project, which has led me back to to a re-watch Penny Dreadful and Luc Besson’s adaptation of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-sec.

Part of what I’m looking at is the use of the time period as the basis for SF/Fantasy works, without necessarily drifting towards Steampunk. The Penny Dreadful episodes do a great job with this – the most overt signs of industrialisation lie in Caliban’s backstory.

What part of my project an I avoiding?

I’ve got a checklist and seven different documents to read ahead of my PhD commencement meeting on the 31st, which covers all sorts of exciting topics like Occupational Health and Safety during the degree, and the internet code of conduct. Probably not the most arduous job of the week, given how much time it’s likely to take up, but I’ve been avoid it for a week now.


  21 comments for “The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

  1. 22/01/2017 at 8:25 AM

    I really loved Penny Dreadful. Eva Green is such a great actress, and she just delivers in that show. Not sure if it’d be a help, but I’d recommend checking out Mary MacLane’s I Await the Devil’s Coming which is the real diary of a 19-year old from 1902. It’s wonderfully dramatic and biting, and a really great insight into girlhood during the era.

    My Sunday Circle is here.

    • 22/01/2017 at 8:59 PM

      That sounds fascinating, and also it was so great being able to talk to you about Jackie!

      • 25/01/2017 at 2:39 PM

        SO good! It was lovely to see you. We should wine time and lady hangs soon. I know Emma would love to pick your brain a little more too, haha. 🙂

    • 22/01/2017 at 9:07 PM

      And the Maclane is now ordered.

      • 25/01/2017 at 2:41 PM

        Amazing! There’s a cool piece about her on The Atlantic here too. She went on to become a really fascinating memoirist, feminist and LGBT activist in a time which, well, wasn’t really very accommodating of any of those things.

    • 25/01/2017 at 6:44 PM

      Wherein, I ask a number of rather silly novitiate questions charging like a bull in a china shop: Can you put your finger on where the sag is in the middle of the novel? Is it pacing? Or coming from character motivation? Is it possible to look at it more mechanically charting from an A point where you’re happy with the novel, to a C point where you need to reach as a destination?

  2. 22/01/2017 at 1:49 PM

    It’s so exciting that you’re starting your PhD, Peter. I’m looking forward to following your post-grad adventures.

    Here’s my Sunday Circle for this week.

    • 22/01/2017 at 9:01 PM

      So glad you got to the gallery! I dragged my mother and sister along on Friday. Did you go through a particular process to find the new name, or go by feel?

      • 23/01/2017 at 7:48 AM

        I tried a few different name generators to get me on the right track. I didn’t choose one from the name generator but it helped me make a decision.

    • 25/01/2017 at 6:48 PM

      Hung Dada sounds fantastic (also, the link on your post is slightly borked – the URL is repeated twice)

      I’m very curious – how do you put your finger on a character’s name being the root problem? (asking as someone who has a terrible time naming characters mostly)

      • 27/01/2017 at 8:02 AM

        Hi Kevin, it’s in the way I start writing the story. If I give the character an everyday name (Nadine Gardiner in this case) it sets the tone in my head as an everyday story. But once I change the name to something a little more out there, it completely changes the style/tone of the story and so the way I write. I like to create stories that are close to reality but not quite – think Tim Burton & Wes Anderson.

  3. 22/01/2017 at 9:05 PM

    I’m curious to go back to Penny Dreadful after watching Ripper Street, which uses such lovely weighty un-modern-feeling language while playing with early-modern technology. I’m trying to find Adele as well – are you watching it online or DVD?

    • 22/01/2017 at 9:08 PM

      DVD. One of the first that I’d ordered in almost a year, simply because digital copies were impossible to get.

      • 22/01/2017 at 9:15 PM

        If it is borrowable at some point, I’d love to see it.

  4. 22/01/2017 at 9:13 PM

    What I’m working on
    -The novella, slowly, painfully but surely.
    -A picture book manuscript, and the art for a group show which will be for the same story.
    -Getting the February calendar and associated Patreon rewards up and out the door.

    What’s inspiring me
    -Eva Ibbotson. It’s so nice to find short stories to which I respond first as a reader. Later I’ll work out how she does it, but for now I sit cross-legged on the sofa happy-crying over odd meetings in museums and Hungarian train stations.
    -The fact that the hours-per-day process I’ve been experimenting with is working, creating progress even without momentum and in a few cases getting me ahead of the game. I’ve adjusted to it very quickly and could definitely expand my goal hours BUT I’m not changing it before the end of the month. I’ve always been very responsive and self-flagellatory so it’s peculiar to have done adequate work before dinner and start chasing other people.

    What I’m avoiding
    I’m just trying to avoid everything in rotation.

    • 23/01/2017 at 7:54 AM

      Interested to know how you go with maintaining the hours-per-day process – hope it keeps working for you. Achieving more than expected is always a bonus.

    • 25/01/2017 at 6:40 PM

      Awesome to hear that you’ve found a system that’s working for you at the moment, and has you ahead of the curve. That’s pure fucking gold!

      Hope the needle moves on the novella, manuscript and Patreon rewards for you in appropriate proportions this week. Keep us posted on what’s working for you motivation-wise going forward!

  5. 25/01/2017 at 6:50 PM

    Peter: depending on the kind of stories you’re looking to tell from that period, there are a few episodes of either Lore or The Dollop I could recommend for source material – so not actual fiction from the period, but real life events giving a real colour to what fascinated people at the time. Is that any help, or is that what you know already?

    • 27/01/2017 at 7:36 AM

      It’ll help, but at a different stage of the project than where I’m at now.

  6. 25/01/2017 at 6:57 PM

    I’m chiming in super-late this week because volunteering over the weekend for Global Game Jam on a midnight shift messed me around. On the bright side, I got to squeeze some voice acting in while I was there!

    What am I working on this week?
    This week is battle stations working on a long form narrative project, voice over for an indie sci-fi film project, and several video game projects, along with prep for the last session of the Dave Fennoy coaching. Also organising finance for business rental for new Mac before my trusty laptop dies. And, slightly insanely, I’m trying to do some lead generation work around that as well.

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    I’m continuing to play through Witcher 3 and I’m becoming more and more impressed with the quality of writing and voice acting in that game.

    I’m also continuing to listen to Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit, and while it’s suffering in some ways for being listened to via audiobook, it’s really filling me up with a great combination of motivational inspiration, and concrete practices to help push through creative blocks. Can’t recommend it enough.

    What part of my project am I avoiding?
    There’s a lot going on the backburner at the moment in the name of paid work that’s come through the door. I’m OK with that trade-off though.

    • 27/01/2017 at 8:03 AM

      Paid work is always excellent, Kevin. Sounds like you have busy times ahead.

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