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?

Last week week was rough on the writing front, courtesy of two projects moving into their final quarter at the same time and the looming point where GenreCon starts to take over my thinking. I’ve hit the point where raw word count ceases to be a useful benchmark, so this week I’m taking those to projects apart and setting up a list of scenes that either need to be revised or created anew.

What’s inspiring me this week?

I finished watching the first season of The Tudors and reading/watching Game of Thrones in the same week, and it’s interesting to see the parallels between English history and the way GoT is set up. The War of the Roses has always been an obvious reference point for Martin’s series, but there was a scene in the Tudors where Henry offers the role of chancellor to Thomas Moore and the immediate parallels between the portrayal of Robert Boratheon and Ned Stark leapt out.

I also started playing X-Com 2, courtesy of Kevin’s video project, and it’s starting to get me excited about a project I’ve had in mind for a while. I won’t be starting it just yet, but I’m locking down a bunch of research and planning in advance of getting time in my schedule.

What action do I need to take?

I’ve got to put together a bunch of meta-data that’s serving as the penultimate major task before Project Countdown moves into its final phase, but I’ve been putting it off because there’s no clear list of everything that needs to be done. This week I need to move that task back a step and establish the list and word restrictions I need to put together.

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

  1. 24/09/2017 at 11:52 AM

    Good luck with your projects and GenreCon! And I’ve been meaning to watch The Tudors for ages. The podcast Stuff You Missed in History Class has some really great episodes on the War of the Roses (and various international monarchies) that I’d recommend too, if that’s up your alley~

    My Sunday Circle is here.

    • 25/09/2017 at 3:29 PM

      I do love the kids-facing-off-against-evil stories! I was noticing it when rewatching Strictly Ballroom – just a hint of it in Kylie and Luke’s background activities.

    • 26/09/2017 at 12:30 PM

      Hope the whiteboard shopping goes well – I’d be lost without mine! Would love to hear how you go about prioritising, too – my week-to-week way of triaging is the Weekly Checkpoint, but that’s just what works the best right now.

      Comparing IT and Stranger Things would be really interesting – did anything stand out at all in the differences in approach to storytelling? (personally, Stranger Things felt like a homage to King’s work without some of the rough spots and as clear a thumbprint as you get sometimes, if that makes any sense)

  2. 24/09/2017 at 10:45 PM

    Just a quick note for you lovely people to say I’m not going to get to this until Tuesday, but I’ve absolutely NOT forgotten about this!

  3. maggiedot
    25/09/2017 at 11:12 AM

    Phew! Back again, post-vacation madness. Best of luck with the dual-project assessments, Peter! What kind of meta-data have you been collecting on your current WiP?

    My Sunday Circle is here!

    • 25/09/2017 at 3:30 PM


      • 25/09/2017 at 3:31 PM

        And yes, ahem, his economy: I always described it to people as, imagine Tolkien as an enormous illuminated manuscript, then each of these books is one perfect picture in a margin.

        • maggiedot
          26/09/2017 at 11:29 AM

          Totally! (and *SQUEE!* love love love these books!) It’s an excellent example of how to engage your reader and make them part of the story, if only because he expects them to do so much world-building on their own via judicious suggestion. Love it!

    • 26/09/2017 at 12:34 PM

      Congrats on being ahead of the curve, and good luck with the reading!

      (jealous that that’s your highest priority at the moment – I’m struggling to find time for the regular study during this stretch)

  4. 25/09/2017 at 3:26 PM

    Hello! I am still here! Well, mostly I have been interstate and/or frantic, but what’s new about that?

    What am I working on?
    – Finishing a set of illustrations for a short story collection. I’m researching a few images at the moment, and feel like I’m just drawing lots of Tudor lanterns and Victorian clothespegs and not actually getting work done, but I am gradually learning to remember how much preparation will pay off later.
    – Putting some structural changes into the novella for uni, after which I still have to shorten it by 1/6.
    – Sounding out the characters for a possible November writing project.

    What’s inspiring me?
    – Revisiting old favourites: Our Mutual Friend and The Baroque Cycle, Busman’s Honeymoon and The Book of Three.
    – Rewatching Strictly Ballroom (group-tweeted under #newsteps) and remembering how frank and compact it is: brisk, over-the-top but efficient, SO SHORT (oh my goodness) and for all the cartoonish villainy how human everyone is under it.
    – Visiting Mulberry Hill and seeing glimpses of the Lindsays’ lives there: sketches by and of them and their visitors, a window into early-mid-century Australian cultural life. And then going to Hanging Rock and sketching there, the way Joan Lindsay and Perceval and so many others did, and seeing all the faces in the rocks, and travelling at illustrator-speed.
    – I’ve been getting through a lot of My Favourite Murder while drawing, too.

    What action do I need to take?
    – Book flights to the States for WFC (in progress) and CHOOSE ART TO GET MATTED for it (sobs).
    – Pick a technique for my novella illustrations.
    – Work out when to fit in starting the next round of edits for the Large Amorphous Manuscript.

    • maggiedot
      26/09/2017 at 11:33 AM

      Ooo, Strictly Ballroom sounds very interesting. May have to check that out. Is the novella for Uni the same one you read a snippet from at Readercon in 2016 (Because zomg I loved the heck out of that.) or a new one?

    • 26/09/2017 at 12:41 PM

      I’m seeing a lot of references to My Favourite Murder out there – can you explain what the hook is in the podcast for you?

      Also, BOOK THAT FLIGHT! 😉

      • 26/09/2017 at 8:25 PM

        The flight is booked!

        For me, My Favourite Murder is… well, I keep going “you can’t say that on air!” when I’m listening, but it’s just the sort of conversation we’d have had sitting in a hallway at an all-girls college late at night – at least, those of us who were fascinated by true crime.

        It’s very conversational, and I listen to it as much for Karen & Georgia’s reactions to each other’s reactions as for the information – more, since it’s really a show about enjoying talking about true crime rather than about giving the most strictly accurate information.

        I got into it because I’d finished Morse, Lewis and Forensic Files – true crime documentaries and low-key British crime shows hit almost exactly the right speed for background noise when I’m drawing. It’s not about the genre as much as the unchanging detectives/announcers, and little need to actually look at the screen. There’s a pattern to the story which means it doesn’t have to be my primary focus when I’m working.

  5. 25/09/2017 at 3:32 PM

    All the best for the deep-dive into Genrecon! I’ll look forward to seeing you again on the other side:)

  6. 26/09/2017 at 12:22 PM

    What am I working on this week?
    Preparation for PAX (including a FB Live event this Saturday, which is proving a novel experience to prepare for), tax stuff (still outstanding) and recording for a long-form narration gig.

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    Hrm. The thing I’m most excited about at the moment is playing with emerging narrative in the video project I’m working on, but I’m struggling for time to work on it due to priorities. It’s not the worst problem in the world if I manage to summon great professional opportunities by trying to carve time for side projects.

    We’re slowly moving through season two of The Expanse, and there are moments in each episode where we both just flail at the screen wordlessly because it’s SO GOOD. It’s doing such great stuff, with respect for the audience. I’m really enjoying seeing some character arcs emerge, too. Definitely gonna sit down at some point and rewatch in binge mode.

    What action do I really need to take?
    Still tax prep as the biggest impact on the bottom line at the moment. There’s a WORLD of lead-gen and self-promotion activities I want to do, but too low on the priority totem pole, and at the moment putting all the eggs in one basket of making PAX panels a success feels like the right step forward.

  7. 26/09/2017 at 12:27 PM

    Peter: Your point about The Tudors is an interesting one – I’ve found the same interesting parallels listening through The Pirate History Podcast, because it covers some of the same political ground to explain how things get to a certain point in history. There’s one particular inbred member of royalty that’s all but EXACTLY Robin Arryn. More power to GRRM for serving it up in such an engaging form!

    Also, as a reminder – would LOVE to see your research queue around the project sparked by XCOM if it’s in a shareable form at any point.

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