August in a Nutshell: Keeping It Simple, Preserving my Health, Energy and Emotional Equilibrium

Academic Action Plans, Academic Writing Goals, Writing Action Plans, Writing Goals

I had grand plans for August which included concluding work on my Malaysian Genre monograph, and finalizing revisions on Watermyth which is still out on query with Dream Agent. To be clear, I’ve been revising the dratted novel for two years, but the panic adrenaline of querying revealed to me how I could make it better — it never ends!

Anyway, I also wanted to submit academic articles and short stories.

But health threw a spanner in the works. I’ve been suffering extremely bad acid reflux due to medication and stress. So bad, I thought I was having a heart attack, and was sent to ER in an ambulance. That’s kinda a wake-up call.

Then, the research institute said they wanted final reports for our research project on the 15th and not the 28th.

I promptly gave up after that.

Not on the monograph, but on finishing the monograph in August. It needs more work anyhow. So I’ll do it slowly but by next week I should have sent the book proposal to my targeted publisher (they don’t need the whole book just a targeted completion date plus other info).

Work on the novel’s progressing nicely. I’m reasonably optimistic I’ll be satisfied with it by the 28th of August, barring life’s vicissitudes.

I’ve also submitted a three-act postcolonial Gothic play although that might get rejected by tonight or tomorrow night (can never catch a break with this pub *laughsob*. One day. One day!)

On the reading front, I’ve already read a fistful of books and novellas. I am up to 78 books read. Enjoying Roshani Chokshi’s Crown of Wishes right now, and I have When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon on my iPad’s Kobo reader. Delightful!

On the publication front, I am Miss Published In Clarkesworld Four Times. I feel I deserve bragging rights especially since it’s been such a rough year for me healthwise. Let a girl enjoy her successes when they come.

What’s even more awesome is reader feedback coming in for Reversion. I was really nervous about it because I’ve been norty. Oh so norty. But people seem to really like it? Yay! Well, the critics haven’t weighed in yet so I’m nervous but you know, I don’t write for critics. I write for dreamers and weirdoes like me. 😉

Also, I am still very happy that POC Destroy Science Fiction got the recognition it deserved by being nominated for the British Fantasy Award. It’s not quite the same as being nominated as an individual but since my story was one of the most fantasy-ish in the volume, I can’t help feeling verklempt. Also, it’s a huge jump from thinking I’d never get nominated ever to having something I’m in get nominated. It gives me some hope, I guess. And small amounts of hope can be a good thing.

I guess this is it for now. I got no time to pretty up this blog. I know, semester break but I always seem to be super busy during semester break trying to meet my writing, research, reading and submission quotas.

But. Deep breaths. August is also about self-care, getting well, resting so I can survive the incoming semester. So. Cannot push myself too hardlor.

July’s Nearly Over: A Postmortem of Sorts

Academic Action Plans, Academic Writing Goals, July 2017 Writing Schedule, Writing Action Plans

July ran away from me because of trying to do various things. I visited my father in Sabah for about 5 days. It was a good catch-up with family but his health condition made me very sad.

I’m also under a lot of stress which resulted in weird physiological symptoms inclusive of palpitations and swelling feet. I’ve identified (sort of) that a lot of this is anxiety-driven because I am actively trying to finish two books right now (academic monograph + novel). That’s a crazy amount of pressure to put on oneself let alone someone not at optimum health conditions.

Slowly but surely, the work has been getting done.

Right now I have more or less drafted 4 out of 5 of the monograph chapters (I always leave the introduction to last). I have decided to postpone (YET AGAIN) my Oyeyemi monograph till next year. I feel the Malaysian monograph is more urgent and more needed right now.

As for submissions, I have 7 short stories and 1 novella out on submission right now. And I have at least three short stories coming out in the not too distant future. Not too sure about the fourth accepted short story.

Basically my modus operandi right now is to continue doing the work while being kind to myself but not too selfish I am not kind to others as well. It is so easy, when caught up in the work, to forget the human aspect of it, and to connect more with others. I’m slowly relearning this.

Health is also a major priority right now, both physical and emotional health.

And this is all till July ends and I’ll post a roundup of what I’ve done. Call this my accountability blog 😉

Writing and Academic Goals for July

Academic Writing Goals, Writing Goals
  1. Continue drafting my Millennial Malaysian Genre monograph — refers to works written in the 21st century, not just millennial-age authors. I’ve got two chapters to go. August should be about revisions. This seems to be going relatively well!
  2. Finalise revisions of Watermyth (it’s pretty much mostly done but have ideas on improvements). Almost there!
  3. Submit two academic articles. Jeepers I have been sitting on this for months!!
  4. Finish grading this week. By tomorrow!!
  5. Finish drafting new hard SF short story I started yesterday.
  6. Finish revising Venetian romantic fantasy to be submitted sooon.
  7. Start drafting Rosemirror. Honest to goodness I am so excited about this. Watermyth ends on a bit of a cliffhanger so I’m dying to dive straight into What Happens Next On This Glorious And Romantic Adventure.
  8. Work on revisions to one short story I have a revision request on. Don’t want to keep editor waiting too long. This is actually one of my top priorities.
  9. Start work on expanding a clockpunk alt-history short story to a novella because I pitched this earlier this year and don’t want to keep publishers waiting. Planning to deliver in September so that should give me time.

So far I have drafted 7 short stories in 2017 (plus one novella), but two of those are only partially drafted. Most of the rest have been sent out with one already accepted.

Resurrections and New Beginnings


I decided I needed a more public author blog and since I’ve been using this domain for 7 years or so now, why not just keep it? Mostly it will be a mish-mash of food/music/book music notes and pictures. Thoughts on the writing process should probably be @ but for now I have no wisdoms to share. I’m too busy working on my Millenial Malaysian Genre monograph, grading, and trying my best to finalize final final “before agent asks for revisions on it” revisions on my novel. The “before agent asks for revisions on it” part is still rather optimistic given I haven’t got an agent yet. But I’m going through the process of looking for one and it is both terrifying and exciting!

Still playing around with themes so the layout will fluctuate quite a bit.

I find that even though I loved my old theme — the darker colours made posts seem more sinister or unhappy than they really were. I do miss the theme though…

But! This should have a photo-gallery friendly theme since it’s mostly going to be photos and travel/food/music notes.