March 2024 Writing Update

Happy March, everyone!

The GIF reads: "Hey March!" in cursive letters. Surrounding it are flowers that are starting to bloom, particularly crocuses.

I hope everyone’s March is just as good as February, or even better!

Last month was incredibly productive writing-wise, and I’m happy to go into details later in this post. Since I have a lot to cover, I’ll just dive right into it now!

I’m a Semi-Finalist in the Iridescence Awards!

I’m so happy to announce that I’m a semifinalist in the Iridescence Awards!

The Iridescence Awards is a short story contest run by the Kinsman Quarterly Review. Kinsman Quarterly is the literary journal of Kinsman Avenue Publishing, Inc, a 501(C)3 non-profit organization that celebrates, equips, and publishes individuals of BIPOC and underrepresented communities. Though they did not announce the semifinalists publicly, they did inform me about my semi-finalist status back in mid-February. 

At the time of this post being posted, they’re announcing the official finalists sometime today/March 1st! Fingers crossed that I’m one of those listed finalists!

You can learn more about the Iridescence Award by clicking here. Good luck to all the other semifinalists in making it to the finals!

Book Review:

Last month, I shared the following book review:

I also shared a list of books I didn’t review, but enjoyed reading!

More book reviews and a bonus writing advice post will be posted this month on this site’s blog, so stay tuned for those!

Goal Review For Last Month:

GIF of a checklist of goals being checked off one by one.

1. Submit pieces (poetry or short fiction) to at least 3-5 literary magazines or contests to be considered for publication

Did I Accomplish This? Yes!

I surpassed the 3-5 lit mag submission goal only five days into February, so I just kept submitting to lit mags wherever and whenever I could for the rest of the month.

It’s really easy to do so when you have something to track submissions like Submittable. Many lit mags accept submissions through that platform. I’ve also sent submissions through Moksha or just straight-up emailing the editors, depending on the lit mag’s guidelines. However, I think about 75% of my submissions go through Submittable.

I submitted poems and short stories to 11 lit mags in total!

2. Plot out future books OR write new short stories and/or poems

Did I Accomplish This? Yes!

I drafted 2 short stories and 12 poems this month, which is a lot.

3. Do all the rest of the required set-up for self-publishing “Bloody Fantasia” in the eventual future

Did I Accomplish This? Yes!

I’m quite far ahead of schedule with formatting “Bloody Fantasia” for publication, as well as setting up other preparations. I can’t do much now until closer to the release date. Assuming there are no complications within the next few months, well…

Picture of an open notebook with the words "Save The Date" printed in it.

“Bloody Fantasia,” Book 3 of the Harlow Mystery series, will be released in June 2024!

If you’re subscribed to my newsletter, you already know this since earlier last month. However, I’m super thrilled to share the release date of the final book in the Harlow Mystery series.

I hope all of you look forward it when it’s released!

I’ll confirm an exact release date a bit closer to said date. Meanwhile…

Smashwords’s Read An Ebook Week RETURNS!

Smashwords is hosting another “Read An Ebook Week” event taking place from March 3rd-9th this year!

Both my books “Winner Takes All” and “Engagement To Die For” will be on sale for 25% off on Smashwords! There are also many other authors who will have their ebooks available for sale through this event as well, so please consider supporting our works! This is a chance to get my book, along with books from many other great authors, at a discount so you can get right to reading.

You will find the promo at the following link starting on March 3rd, so make sure to save it:

Please feel free to share this promo with your friends and family. Just share the link above to anyone who would love a chance to find their next favorite book and, as the name suggests, read an ebook!

If you want to find my books on Smashwords and wishlist those now so you remember where to find them during the sale, the links are below:

Thank you for your help and support, and happy reading!

A picture of someone writing in a notebook.

What Else Have I Been Writing or Doing?

In addition to working on the previous listed goals, I also reread some of the past novels I’ve been drafting.

For those who haven’t read my newsletters or previous writing progress posts, I have many drafted novels that I simply ended up putting on hiatus or pausing, after creating Draft #1. One of those books is a standalone fantasy book that’s heavily inspired by Sierra Entertainment (also known as Sierra On-Line)’s King’s Quest video game series. Unlike the fantasy trilogy I was drafting earlier this year, this standalone book is meant to be more lighthearted and comedic. 

After rereading that King’s Quest-inspired book I wrote, I thought: “Huh. Maybe I should consider editing this one a bit more and see what happens.” And so, editing has ensued!

The plan is to finish writing/editing Draft #2 of the King’s Quest-inspired novel by the end of this month.

Meanwhile, I also got a new book idea a week into February and started drafting and outlining it. The day after I started, it turned into two books, making it a cozy urban fantasy duology. I then finished writing Draft 1 of Book 1 by just after mid-February (Feb. 17th to be exact). 

I then thought – “Oh, maybe my goal for March will be writing half of Book 2 by the end of March.”

I then surprised myself by finishing writing ALL of Draft 1 of Book 2 by February 25th. 

Yes, you might be thinking, “Claris, you just mentioned a while ago that you have so many drafted novels. Now you’re telling us that you’re editing another book while writing these two new ones?”

Well yes, yes I did. But, just because I have a lot of projects already going on and/or paused doesn’t mean that new ideas can’t keep appearing! For now, I’ll be putting my drafted works to the side to focus on the King’s Quest-inspired novel. I’ll probably come back to the duology later this year for edits and creating Draft 2 of both, however.

I am also aware that in February’s writing progress post, I decided to take a break from working on a certain fantasy trilogy. The plan, at the time, was to come back to it and start drafting Book 3.

However, my current priorities are now working on the King’s Quest-inspired novel. I’m going to push back writing Book 3 of the trilogy until April because of this.

Additionally, submitting poetry and short stories to lit mags will be a lower priority this month. Given that I did a lot of submitting to lit mags during the past two months, my focus is mainly on a bigger project this month.

Headphones are wrapped around three books - one book is yellow, another is pink, and the third is blue.

I started giving podcast and/or audiobook recs in my newsletter!

I got into listening to audiobooks last month. It’s been really fun experiencing books in this way. If you want some new listening recs, subscribe to the newsletter (it’s free!) and check it out.

I also posted my first fanfic of 2024, a Bravely Default/King’s Quest crossover oneshot, last month.

I don’t expect to post many fanfics like I used to in the past since I’m prioritizing writing original work. However, I’ll still try to share a fanfic or two from time to time. 

My overall goals for this month are the following:

  • Finish editing/writing Draft #2 of the King’s Quest-inspired novel

Thank you for following my writing journey!

I hope all of you enjoy reading more of my progress and upcoming work! Do you have any goals for this month? Let me know in the comments below!

If you like this post, please share it with your fellow writers and readers! Also, feel free to follow my site and/or other socials listed in this Carrd for more reader/writer posts, fanfics, book reviews, and other updates! Also, subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here or entering your email below if you want updates coming directly to your inbox!

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