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

Sunday Circle Banner

I’m off to teach a course on characters in a few hours, so I’ll refer people back to last week’s post if they need a whole bunch of context about the how and why of The Sunday Circle. Short version: I am interested in what people are working on, what people are reading, and in providing a weekly check-in on creative projects for accountability purposes.

If you’d like to be involved: Post your answers to the three questions above in the comments or on your own blog (with a link back here, so the rest of us can find you). 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 week two (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? Still working my way through the opening chapters of Space Marines: Pew! Pew! Pew! My patten for this book consists of writing a scene that feels very movie-like, then going and doing some research, and coming back and re-writing the scene so that it actually feels like something out of a novel.

What’s inspiring me this week? Patti Smith’s memoir M Train, which traces all manner of her artistic obsessions through a lens of morning rituals at her favourite cafe. The kind of book I read and start thinking very carefully about what I consume, on the artistic front, given my tendency to get lazy and repetitive in my tastes.

Entirely the wrong book to be reading while trying to write puply space-marine action – it makes me want to go back and do weird short-stories for a stretch.

What part of my project am I trying to avoid? The actual sitting down and writing things. My work habits have been shoddy this past week – partially due to sleep disruption, partially due to commitments like Christmas parties and workshops, and partially because I’m haunted by the feeling that this is not the book I’m wanting it to be.


  16 comments for “The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working on This Week?

  1. LC
    06/12/2015 at 9:03 AM

    What am I working on this week? Still the queerish PNR novel. Broke ground on Chapter Two!

    What’s inspiring me this week? Other people’s queer paranormal/fantasy romances, largely – I just finished the first in a new series (Death By Silver by Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold) and am debating whether I want to give book two a try (it was good, but not amazing, and if the second book has as much “just TALK to each other” as the first, I’ll be irritated). Would love recs for paranormal romances and fantasy/urban fantasy in general if anyone has them!

    What part of my project am I avoiding? I’ve hit a sticky bit of Chapter Two (exposition is needed, and I’m closing in on how I’m going to do it, but not quite there yet), so I’m avoiding actually trying to make words on that. I probably need to just try, and go through the annoying process of trying out sentences until I hit something that works.

    • 06/12/2015 at 10:40 AM

      Congrats on making progress on chapter two – awesome work!

    • 06/12/2015 at 10:56 AM

      Congrats on hitting chapter two! You’re doing so well.

      I wish I had some recs for you, but those aren’t really my genre of knowledge (though I’ll be watching for recs, because broadening my horizons is always fun).

      Good luck with that tricky bit in chapter two. You can do it! I tend to back away from bits that I’m struggling with, too. I’ll wander off and do something else, and more often than not I’ll figure out a solution to the problem. Hopefully you’ll find a solution soon.

      Good luck with this week’s writing!

      • LC
        06/12/2015 at 11:21 AM

        Thank you! I am now tinkering with sentences, a bit irritably, so that’s progress over playing Minecraft.

    • 06/12/2015 at 11:16 AM

      Ooh – almost forgot, too. Some recommendations if you haven’t read them:

      Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series (
      China Mieville’s City and the City

      • LC
        06/12/2015 at 11:20 AM

        Ooh, thanks! I’ve heard of both but never got around to either, I’ll stick them on the list! (I loved Kraken by China Mieville, though, there is a point in my novel notes where it says “try not to rehash Kraken”.)

        Also apparently accountability is good for me, at least to the tune of 13 words I didn’t have before. 😀

        • 06/12/2015 at 12:18 PM

          OK in an effort to pretend that I keep in touch and will get anything done this week, I am taking this chance to be within blog comment distance of some real creatives.

          What am I working on?
          Not dying in the heat. Turning up to class all week cause I’m the trainer and they expect it.

          What should I be working on?
          Completing the scene where my sexual vamp kills off the geneticist to save the vamp she had to tie to a frame and seduce in order to save the Lady of the Court. OR
          I should be working on my study units OR
          rewriting my course for online shift workers OR
          finding homes for the kittens now they are weaned.

          What’s inspiring me?
          This coaching course is actually pretty interesting looking into motivation and barriers.

          What part of the project am I trying to avoid?
          Using the computer that has the best set up but suck a/c

  2. 06/12/2015 at 10:54 AM

    What am I working on? Continuing work on audiobook project, and I’ll be getting out some concept audio for that game project that I was stalling on last week, today. Continuing to do bootstrapping work for next year, re-jigging systems.

    What’s inspiring me at the moment? A few things. Continuing a deep dive on cyberpunk, and I’ve got some great recommendations to follow up, particularly reading Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson as my next piece of fiction. Feeling a little like Kevin Bacon in Stir of Echoes at the moment with the whole systems re-jigging thing – it’s like the advice of the last couple of years is just starting to crystalise and anneal into place by itself. I had a great meetup with a sound designer yesterday where we started talking about collaboration and creative tension and how important it is to have peers like over here in the Sunday Circle, which really filled the batteries.

    What part of my project am I avoiding? Dragging my feet on the audiobook project moving beyond getting basic progress happening, when I know there’s a lot more I could be doing to get it out of the way. So doing everything I can to build momentum around closing this out so it can be DONE. I think the fear here is centered around finding something I can’t fix, or that will take serious effort to fix, and thus somehow reveal to the world that I AM A GIANT IDIOT WHO DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HE’S DOING… which is admittedly sort of ridiculous.

    • 06/12/2015 at 11:28 AM

      See, I’m really, really impressed by people who have even a basic understanding of audio and visual projects. I tend to just assume you’re all genius wizards, because that stuff looks like it requires a level of tech understanding that I don’t have, and probably won’t ever get around to learning. So for what it’s worth, there’s at least one person in the world who thinks you’re a genius and a wizard.

      It sounds like you’ve got some amazing projects in the works, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about your progress!

      Great to hear that all the bits and pieces of information are starting to come together for you- I love it when that happens.

      You’re not alone in that fear of people thinking you don’t know what you’re doing. I get really worried that if I stumble onto something I don’t know how to deal with in my writing, it’s somehow proving to the world that I’m an absolute fraud who has no idea what I’m doing. I’m getting better with it though, because when I have those moments of doubt and actually notice them (still not great at that part- my subconscious is a sneaky one), I stop and ask myself if it’s something I should know. Seriously, it’s ridiculous the number of times I expect myself to be light-years ahead of where I’m realistically going to be in terms of my knowledge and understanding of the craft and business of it all.

      Usually, it’s well above my pay grade, or level of understanding. But if that doesn’t stop me fretting, I’ll ask myself how I can learn about it. In the age of Google and YouTube, there’s generally someone out there happy to show me what I’m doing wrong, and if not, there’s always workshops, classes, and people happy to help me work through the problem.

      The silly thing is that when it comes to writing, I’ve had very few people who hold me to the same unfair standards I hold myself to. Practically everyone just shrugs it off if there’s a typo, or assumes that I don’t (and can’t) know everything. The people who expect my work to be perfect tend to also be the ones that wouldn’t be happy even if it was perfect.

      Good luck with your audio work this week!

  3. 06/12/2015 at 11:10 AM

    By the way – how’d you go with that briefing scene you were trying to sort out, Peter?

    • 06/12/2015 at 12:10 PM

      Still haven’t hit it. Which is good, ’cause I’ve got a mountain of things to watch/review before I write it.

  4. 06/12/2015 at 11:40 AM

    What am I working on?
    I need to re-jig the plot notes of my apocalypse action/drama story. I’m trying to get better with plotting, but I still find that my stories veer off course. Those tangents are almost always for the best, but it means I get to the middle of the story and have to figure out how to get from there to the ending.

    What’s inspiring me at the moment?
    Buddy Wakefield. I love his imagery and phrasing, and I find myself sneaking listens in to the spare moments in my days. I’ve also just started a project over on my blog where I’m talking about what I’ve been learning at all of the writer talks and panel sessions I’ve been to over the years. It’s so much fun sitting down and looking at all of this knowledge that’s just been sitting around in notebooks.

    What part of the project am I avoiding?
    Figuring out the plot issues. I think it’s because plotting isn’t my natural state of being, so now that it needs to be updated, my brain is deciding it’s a failure and too much work. Which is ridiculous, because even if I took a few hours and figured this out, and had to do it again later on, it’s still so much less time than it takes to make my unplanned drafts manageable.

    • 06/12/2015 at 4:13 PM

      Personally, I’m blown away by this whole writing thing. Every time I’ve tried my hand at it, it feels like trying to show the shape of some mystery object by throwing electrons at it and watching them veer away, so I’ve got a world of respect for what you do! And providing overall structure that’s both rewarding to the reader AND achieves everything you’re trying to do with the story? That’s frickin’ magic to me, so my hat’s off to you. 🙂

      I checked out some Buddy Wakefield after you mentioned him, and wow… Convenience Stores almost destroyed me. Definitely gonna check out more! It might be a completely irrelevant recommendation, but I love Neko Case for evoking some of that same rustbelt Americana, and the minutiae of peoples lives writ large. (example:

      Have added your blog to my RSS fields, because your project going back over the great advice you’ve received sounds fantastic!

  5. 06/12/2015 at 12:14 PM

    What am I working on?
    A short story about time, which is threatening to turn into a novella.

    What’s inspiring me at the moment?
    I’m really getting into particle physics and time physics, loving the inspiration from crazy stuff that’s actually real.

    What part of the project am I avoiding?
    I guess deciding on whether I’m going novella or short story. Commitment is hard.

  6. 06/12/2015 at 1:33 PM

    What am I working on? A retro book cover, the pencils for a five-page comic and a Regency short story.

    What’s inspiring me at the moment? Being over jet lag.Lifestyle Illustration of the ’60s for story ideas as well as the sheer vivacity and variety of art styles. A Skype conversation I just had with an author in the States, and being promised the text for our project in instalments over the next few weeks, like a little Gothic advent calendar. 10 days left in the office! This episode of One Fantastic Week which I think has a lot of application to writers too (it’s a good show about the business of genre creativity generally):

    What part of the project am I avoiding? Sitting down to work on the book cover. My mind keeps skittering away from the style I’ve chosen. But I’ve just sent off the covers for episodes 11 and 12 of Tremontaine, so I’ve got more desk and mental room.

  7. 07/12/2015 at 3:59 AM

    What am I working on? Same as last week. The Finite. Currently avoiding work on it by doing an edit for a friend.

    What’s inspiring me at the moment? Rocksmith, which has gotten me back to attempting to play the guitar.

    What part of the project am I avoiding? The actual writing. It’s not even that I’m finding the writing hard, when I get to it, but boy am I finding plausible things to do instead of my D1. Currently at 6K words. Would really like to substantially increase that by this time next week.

Leave a Reply