Is it spring yet? Not here, but that doesn’t matter. Snowpocalypse 2015 has (hopefully) ended, and those of us who survived can celebrate by stocking up on iron (more about that further down). Or diving into reading and writing projects. I’m doing both. Care to join me? Here is a list of writing and reading activities I’ve either done in years past, or plan to do this year:
- Read or write poetry. Join a progressive poetry group.
- Reread a favorite book from your childhood.
- If you have children or are a caretaker of children, read to them.
- Buy a book for a child.
- Watch a movie based on a favorite book.
- Get a writing or reading buddy.
- Create a book cover for your book-in-progress.
- Map out a publication timeline for your WIP.
- Watch youtube videos of your favorite authors reading excerpts of their work and giving lectures or talks. I highly recommend Stephen King and Harlan Ellison.
- Read chapters of some of your favorite books out loud, and make notes of how you would improve the writing.
- Get involved with a local library event during National Library Week, April 12 – 18, 2015 (USA).
- Support your local bookstore by shopping on Independent Bookstore Day, May 2, 2015 (USA).
- Donate books to a book charity. If you don’t have any books you want to donate, buy some new or used and donate those.
- Attend a local author reading.
- Take a free online class. It can be a creative writing class, a literature class, or any class.
- Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Commit to strengthening the strengths, and improving the weaknesses.
- Start or join a writing or reading group.
- Commit to writing a set number of words per week, or per month.
- Submit a story to a call for submissions for an anthology.
- Apply for a residency retreat.
- Write a book review and post it on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, make one.
- Attend a writers’ conference.
- Read an edited and polished excerpt of your writing out loud at an open mic night.
- Enter your writing into a contest.
- Join an association, like the Independent Book Publishers Association.
- Write or read a novel outside your usual genres. If you do that already, then check out my genre list.
- Go on a solitary writer’s retreat of your own making.
- Read banned or challenged books during Banned Book Week, September 27 – October 3 2015. Tell people.
- Go on a literary pilgrimage to visit a place where a favorite author lived or wrote about.
- Write the draft of a novel during NaNoWriMo.
- Donate books to a juvenile detention center, homeless shelter, prison, half-way house, rehab center, or place of worship. Call to make arrangements first.
- Get a Fisher Space Pen and keep it next to some paper on your nightstand!
And so I’m back! And at a less frenetic pace than last year. At the end of January I had to go to the ER for severe anemia… Then spent about a week at home just managing to crawl in and out of bed… After countless blood tests, and a month of recovery, my iron count is almost up to human level. Next month I have a hospital visit for even more tests. Maybe they’ll find another part of my internal parasitic twin (I’m assuming I have one. Where else is all my iron going? They already found my twin’s kidneys, so I assume I didn’t fully ingest her in the womb. Live and learn.)
(This is my front yard. The snow is still over my head.)
And HDWP Books was hacked, but our fearless leader Charles Barouch saved the day! Check it out, I have a short story in every Theme-Thology anthology so far…
Speaking of my stories, my over-arching project this year is working on the novel I wrote during the last NaNoWriMo: MEATFUL THINGS. I feel like I have a solid draft, and I’ve been steadily improving it as my own health improves. I have some beta readers lined up, but could always use more. So if you’d like to provide feedback on a complete supernatural horror novel of approximately 52,000 words, shoot me an email (click on the “Who is CMStewart?” link), or leave a comment below. I’ll be sending the draft, along with a few book critique questions, to my beta readers at the end of March. Thanks!