Update On Writing and Future Plans

Hello loves! 

Today’s blog is a little bit different than usual. I have been making some headway with writing in the last few days (I have extra time to write due to the Virus) and I wanted to share some of that progress and my writing plan for the near future. 

Before I jump into it, I would like to know if you guys would appreciate a progress bar on various projects put on the homepage of this blog. It could be interesting to see what I am currently working on. Let me know in the comments whether that would be a good idea. 

The Blog

As you have noticed, I have been a little bit more active on this blog than usual. I have been trying to publish a new post once or twice a week. My posts are usually between 500 and 1,000 words and I spend a decent amount of time on them before posting. This means that that word count is not going towards my short stories and novels. The shift to something that is not fantasy can be a nice reset for my mind. So, it is a net benefit at this point. If/When I get publish I may go back to publishing once a week to once a month depending on my schedule but, for now, things will carry on as scheduled. (As always, you can email me ideas or put them in the comments.)

Short Story

This is the most exciting update, in my opinion. Sunday to Tuesday afternoon I wrote a complete draft of a 28 page 9,000 word short story. (that is why I didn’t post a blog on Tuesday) I had previously written a 5,000 page draft of the story but that was more of a really thick outline and I only kept two paragraphs from it. This taught me some really important things that I had known deep down but had not surfaced for me yet. 

I really love writing. It is exhilarating and I might actually be good at it. The words flowed very easily. On Sunday my word count was 4,218 which is a lot because there was so much else going on that day. I learned that I really can write a lot when I put my mind to it. 

I could totally write full time. This virus has allowed me to live as I would as a full-time writer before I got published. The lifestyle fits me and I am, surprisingly, able to push myself, create deadlines, and be a self-starter. This has helped me as I think about my future and what I want to do that writing is worth pursuing and I am going to do it no matter whether it takes two or ten years to get published. 

This story has two or three more drafts to go to but I am hoping to get it published in a Sci-Fi and Fantasy literary magazine as soon as possible. 

Novels

As I have completed a draft of my short story, I need to begin plotting my novel. This way I can begin drafting it. I am going to try to write between 2,000 and 5,000 words a day which will give me a novel draft in a month and a half plus the time it takes to plot it. I am going to take some time researching and plotting this novel before I write it so that the drafting process will go smoothly and I will have to revise less on the back end. I am hoping to have a completed first draft by early June and then revise in July and August. This will put me in a good spot to start querying in the fall, just in time for World Fantasy Convention. This is all tentative and, as we know, a lot can change quickly. So, who knows where we will be by then. 

Other Projects

I am always working on other side projects and I plant to overlap plotting, drafting, and revisions. So, I am always rotating in a new novel or short story to keep something fresh and keep my writing moving. 

I have a working idea page that I can go to and pick up plot and worldbuilding ideas and I have a page that is filled with scenes that I use to deal with writer’s block. I always have many irons in the fire and there is never a dull moment. 

I hope that this was an interesting and helpful update. Let me know if you like having these updates and what else you might wish to know about my writing, writing process, specific projects, etc. 

Stay safe loves!

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

Follow me on twitter @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

Traveling With My Sisters (An Introvert in Unknown Territories)

“I Read; I Travel; I Become” – Derick Walcott

Most of my traveling starts and ends between the covers and endpaper of my favorite books. However, there are times when it is necessary to move this corporeal body to a different location. And what does this mean? Airports. 

I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to three different continents, eleven countries, and 29 states. These trips have been beneficial as I think about writing and what I now know of the world. So, although I enjoy the comfort of my own how, I see the value of travel and enjoy where I am when I get there.

Leaving New York

My grandparents drove us to the airport early in the morning and dropped us off. We did the normal waiting in lines, getting our tickets and giving our luggage, waiting in lines, going through security, finding our gate, waiting in lines, and then, finally, boarding the giant plain. Once we were on the plane we figured we would be off within the hour. However, this was not to be the case. There was ice on the plane and a false negative in one of the door locks so we sat on the tarmac for two and a half hours before we finally took off for our 14-hour flight. 

I was getting worried at this point because our layover in South Africa was only three hours. We figured we would make up time in the air but it proved not to be enough. We landed in South Africa and as we were waiting to get off the plane we knew that the chances of our getting on the next flight were slimmer and slimmer. Once we had gotten off of the plane we had to get on a bus when we asked the lady in charge and showed her our ticket she told us we should have been on the bus that had just left. So, we got on the next one. When we reached the airport a man with a walky-talky had us run through the whole airport to try to get on the flight. We had almost run through the whole airport when we were told that the flight had left. 

A Night in the South Africa Airport

As you can guess, there was no other flight to Livingstone that day. So, we were stuck in the airport for 24 hours. We got a room in the airport hotel and they gave us meal vouchers. This was helpful because we could get showers and work on switching to African time. We ate at the same restaurant for the next three meals and had to go through security every time we wished to eat. But, the beds were comfortable and the food wasn’t bad. 

Arrival: My Parents Waving Through the Open Gate

The next day we got on our plane. It was a short flight that had been the separation between us and Zambia. We were at the very back of the plane since we had been added late and there were 24 empty seats behind us. This was not a popular flight. 

We landed in Livingstone and went to get our visa. We were at the end of the line. By the time we got to the conveyor belt all of our bags were off the belt and sitting on the floor. We picked up our bags and put them on a trolley. Then we went to the gate and saw our parents waiting there for us. They had seen our plane land and cross the tarmac. It was lovely to see them but I was completely exhausted from all of the travel and the airports. 

Airports and People

I love watching people and observing them but I do not like crowds. It is interesting though, I enjoy airports when I have other people as a buffer. My sisters were there with me and I could get them to do most of the talking because they are extroverts. Until they decided to have me talk to the guy at the desk and ask him a question we had already asked and I knew the answer to. This is where there are conflicts and stress for an introvert such as myself. 

I do, however, enjoy imagining who people are, where they are from, and why they might be in the South African airport. Overall the travel on the way to Zambia was much less “introvert exhausting” than I had worried it would be prior to my travels. This step outside of my comfort zone was well worth it and showed me that all I really need is a travel companion. 

Where Else to Get Material for Stories and Observe People than in the Real World?

I have always found humans intriguing, that is part of why psychology and personality types are so interesting to me. I love to observe how family units interact, how couples argue, and how strangers become friends. I cannot do this within my own head and that is where the real world comes into play. 

As a writer, it is wonderful to take a moment outside of my head and see new sights, smell new smells, taste new food, and meet new people, no matter how exhausting it may be. I use everything I see as material for my stories and people in my life get roles in the theatre of my mind that spills onto the page. 

Where would you like to travel in the world? What world would you go to if you could jump into a novel? What is your favorite place in the world?

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

Follow me on twitter @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes