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?

I got my chapter draft away late last week, which means this week gets devoted to creative project rewrites and making the suggested changes to my prospectus document accompanying my confirmation submission.

What’s inspiring me this week?

I’ve been reading Chris Claremont’s run on X–Men from its beginning around issue #100, building towards the Dark Phoenix saga. It’s largely regarded as a genre-defining approach to comics in many ways – and you can definitely see the shift in approach from Stan Lee and Roy Thomases earlier issues – but reading it as an adult also starts to reveal some definite Claremont-isms that define his run and aren’t as fun as they were when you’re a fifteen year old comics reader.

That said, the large-scale ambition and sense-of-wonder he brings to the comic are fantastic.

What action do I need to take?

Now that I’ve got all the thesis drafting stowed away, I need to start getting fiction drafting fired up again and get back to drafts.

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

  1. 07/01/2018 at 11:56 AM

    Peter: Good luck with the fiction drafts!

    Regarding Claremont’s run and the more soap opera focus, do you find there’s a difference in his willingness to create complicated long-running character plots compared to say, Kirby?

    • 08/01/2018 at 10:37 PM

      I’m also curious: what are the Claremont-isms? I think I picked up two or three bits and pieces of his X-Men work well after the fact, but not enough of it to get a sense of that.

      Was that the difference between him and his predecessors then? The longer and more complex character plots?

  2. 07/01/2018 at 12:06 PM

    What am I working on this week?
    This week is preparation for the Games Development Conference which I’m now officially heading to in March, along with a lot of time allocated to my own study – so narrative mostly, and finishing the read on Work Clean. Also doing lead generation work to prime the year. My last week of being on my own time in R&D mode before heading back to splitting time with the survival job again to start the regular rhythms of the year!

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    We started watching through Ash Vs The Evil Dead last week after bouncing off a really tedious Supernatural season start, and Ash was moment to moment SOLID GLEE. It’s a beautiful marriage of the slapstick of Army of Darkness and the goriest moments of Evil Dead 2. Really looking forward to more.

    Other than that, I’ve been listening to a lot of the Deus Ex: Breach soundtrack by Ed Harrison, and loving it as a background to work due to it being restrained, but quite atmospheric.

    What action do I really need to take?
    Continuing to spin up lead generation for the year now that the work on the film is done.

    • 07/01/2018 at 10:38 PM

      What sort of preparation does a conference like that requrire?

      • 08/01/2018 at 7:46 AM

        Planning outreach for arranging private meetings. The sessions are all recorded and put up online after the conference, so I’m more focused on arranging a manageable number of one on one chats over coffee/beer/etc with the Right People.

  3. 07/01/2018 at 12:30 PM

    What am I working on this week?
    After a year that was basically written off due to depression, I’ve set myself a suite of goals and I’m putting in the work to meet them. The current goal is to complete The Obituarist III, and I aim to put down about 3-4K of wordcount on that this week.

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    I’ve been steadily working my way through HP Lovecraft’s body of work on my morning/afternoon commute. A lot of it leaves me cold, to be honest, but when he lands the payoff for the buildup – and doesn’t go too racist – then he can be really chilling and powerful.

    What action do I really need to take?
    Buy a new CPAP machine so that I can get some decent sleep again.

    • 07/01/2018 at 10:35 PM

      Thanks for the reminder – I’ve been wanting to reread some. I really loved Kij Johnson’s The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe and it makes me want to go back and read more HPL to understand Johnson’s lenses better.

      • 08/01/2018 at 7:18 PM

        Not every story is gold – in fact, a lot of them are cobblers.

        But ‘Charles Dexter Ward’, ‘Call of Cthulhu’, ‘Color Out of Space’ and ‘Mountains of Madness’ are all really solid. And ‘Nyarlathotep’ is just wonderfully strange and disturbing, despite not having any kind of real plot.

    • 08/01/2018 at 7:49 AM

      I’ve been loving your Lovecraft commute tweets, although I’ve been terrible and not reached out to say anything!

      What’s the next step you need to take on the CPAP machine?

      • 08/01/2018 at 7:15 PM

        Going to the CPAP machine place and giving them money.

    • 08/01/2018 at 10:43 PM

      Yeah, the too racist thing. Sometimes you think, “Yeah okay, racist undertones, I see it.” And sometimes you just have to wince.

  4. 07/01/2018 at 10:33 PM

    What am I working on this week?
    – I’m spending this month concentrating on my exegesis for uni, so: that.
    – I’m also making sure I spend at least 2 hours/day on art commissions – I was meant to have blocked this month out but then the wheels fell off in November.
    – Editing the Regency. I gave myself 10 hours to finish the latest edit, and I have four left. Will I make it? There’s only sentence-tweaking left.

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    – 12th Night party, and all the different bits of books people brought to read out: Polish poetry and astronaut autobiographies, linguistic science fiction and picture books, gentle oddities and observant mysteries. And the Silmarillion.
    – Elizabeth Longford’s 1969 biography Wellington, the years of the sword. I’ve had this sitting around for about 15 years, and I regret all that lost time! It’s dense and funny and opinionated.
    Manhunt: Unabomber. I did not expect to like this – I’d run out of BBC murder mysteries for art background viewing. But it’s an excellent cast (Paul Bettany, Keisha Castle-Hughes…) and the final episode is gently amoral and unsettling and very beautiful.

    What action do I really need to take?
    – Start Early. Stop at the End.
    It turns out I was sick for a lot of the end of last year. Now I’m behind and there are deadlines. In the interests of self-preservation, I’m setting a necessary limit of hours-of-work-per-day, but I’m at the early stage of getting back in the habit, which means starting mid-afternoon and finishing well after midnight. I took today off, entirely, and I hope if I can trust myself that there will be a day off, I won’t dig my feet in quite so much about working. People say procrastination and perfectionism are caused by fear, and when pushed to say what I’m afraid of it’s honestly the certainty that finishing anything brings paperwork.

    • 08/01/2018 at 7:51 AM

      This might be a daft question, but is it possible that adding an item on your to-do list or whatever equivalent you work off for each stage of the paperwork could help shoot a little bit of endorphins into the process of getting that sorted, to get you to Done on each piece?

      Hope the deadlines aren’t too rough on you this week!

  5. 07/01/2018 at 10:34 PM

    Peter: Congratulations on finishing your chapter!

  6. 08/01/2018 at 10:55 PM

    What am I working on this week?

    I think I have two release-related tasks left, just a couple of announcements to draft. Then I need to figure out what to do next. (See below.)

    What’s inspiring me this week?

    Having something published and out in the world for the first time is a real buzz.

    What action do I really need to take?

    Actual planning. Actual getting my process back on track. A combination of Christmas and various British plagues left me with time for only the essentials over Christmas and the New Year. Fortunately I’d done a lot of planning in advance for the release. I need to devote one of my morning working sessions to hashing out where I’m going this January.

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