SWAGr for April 2019

Post your goals for this month and let us know how you got on with last month’s goals.

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Leave a comment below telling us how you got on last month, and what you plan to do next month, then check back in on the first of each month, to see how everyone’s doing.

(It doesn’t have to be fiction. Feel free to use this group to push you in whatever creative direction you need.)

Did you live up to your commitment from last month? Don’t remember what you promised to do? Check out the comments from last month.

And don’t forget to celebrate with/encourage your fellow SWAGr-ers on their progress!

Download your SWAGr Tracking Sheet now, to keep track of your commitments this month


Examples of Goals Set By SWAGr-ers in previous months

  • Write a story a day in May – everyone!
  • Revise at least 10 short stories – Iraide
  • Write two short stories. – Jami
  • Attend one writers’ conference – Julie
  • Write fable for WordFactory competition – Sonya
  • Re-read the backstory pieces I wrote in May and see if I can use them within my novel – Monique
  • Research the market – Jami
  • Focus on my serial – Maureen

 So, what will you accomplish this month? Leave your comment below (use the drop-down option to subscribe to the comments and receive lovely, encouraging notifications from fellow StADa SWAGr-ers!)

(Next check-in, 1st of the month. Tell your friends!)

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30 thoughts on “SWAGr for April 2019”

  1. Hey. I committed to a story in 48 hours on yesterday’s Story a Day Superstars webcast.

    So, here’s the abominable first draft.

    I won’t cringe if you don’t.

    I was thinking I had to make it by 4 pm Eastern, but the challenge came later in the webcast. So I’m probably all right.

    The story, maybe not so all right.

    So, as promised. Did one. Here it is. And maybe I’ll even make a comic book out of it. For kicks.

    Story a Day 8-29-19

    A knight visits the royal court. The king and queen require a special relic of legend which has special powers, or the kingdom will fall into disrepair. The knight must go on a quest.

    So, the knight studies up a bit on legend and decides his best prospecting Is in a county to the east, because the ruins of an ancient parish are there, and it’s reputed the keepers at the time of the relic had special interest in keeping it there. What could that special interest be?

    Well, the knight sets out and travels until dawn. He finds the place really is a dark skeleton of a ruin on a grassy green knoll in the middle of a thick forest. He’s had to ford streams and track through trees to get there, even though ancient maps suggested it should be somewhere in the forest.

    But, lo and behold, as the knight begins to look about the remains, a dark werewolf character appears behind some stones and attacks. So the knight fights valiantly, and at the end of the battle, the dog does not just drop but disappears in a blast of red dust.

    But in the middle of it, lying on the stones is a tooth. That’s write….right. A hound’s tooth. But the knight recognizes it from his studies as the tooth of doggy lore.

    So, he sets out to find a sooth for the tooth to let him know what it means. And lo and behold, not far from there, he stops at a lake to take a drink, and a woman appears, floating above the water, and says you shouldn’t have taken a drink from the water without asking.

    And the knight says where’s the sign and why didn’t you put up a frickin’ fence? But, as the story goes, he says now what? And she tells him the water will end him if he doesn’t offer a token. He says, well what about this tooth? Oh, that’s dangerous, she says, because you’ve awakened the spirits. Now you have to reckon with them. The only one who can help you is a pissed-off wizard in an ancient castle in the Legendary Mountains of Peril. Give the tooth to me and I will give you special powers over the water.

    So he does. And she gives him a vial of glowing blue. Very useful. These days, they can just make the stuff.

    So, he travels for many days past villages, through forests and valleys to the misty and craggy rocks of the treacherous mountains. At first, he doesn’t see the castle because it looks very similar to the dark and damp rocks in the mist. But, because of his newfound powers, he can see the spaces around the castle that are filled with mist, and he finds it in the rocks.

    But there is a very deep and precipitous chasm that runs completely around the castle with no bottom in sight. The mists swirl and gather and sometimes create trails and clouds.

    Once again, the knight holds out the blue vial. It glows in the mist, and the knight steps out into the mist over the open ravine. The mist holds, and he carefully makes his way across on the shifting air.

    He knocks on the big door and it echoes. Finally a voice, very cranky and miserable, calls down from the tops of the walls. What the hell do you want?

    I found the hound’s tooth, and I was told you know what to do, now that I’ve wakened the spirits.
    Uh, oh, says the wizard. And the great door comes down and a grey-bearded, skinny old man in a robe comes out. You guys again, he says, and says, get in here.

    So the knight spends many months learning to meditate and generate a field of protection. And he learns to predict the unpredictable ways of the elements – water being one of them. Now fire and earth and air as well.

    Then the wizard finally calls him and says, you must go to the fire mount, well down the mountain range from here and deal with the rock dragon that lives there.

    So, the knight gathers up his things, crosses the misty bridge again, finds his horse, who’s been hanging out with the mountain goats and learning to feed itself. But, the horse says ok and they travel again for many days, now through the dangerously steep, sharp and rocky cliffs, with drops of thousands of feet and sharp rocks below.

    And they see a red glow in the particularly thick mist around the top of the highest mountain. They start to climb it till, eventually, snow appears lying about and they see a large cave in the fog, glowing red and orange inside.

    The knight ventures toward the glow, which turns to an oven, and there, sitting on a mountain of treasures is a giant creature of rock and magma, with golem-like wings and tail with a crusher at the end, all made of rock and glowing magma between the cracks. Fire streamed from the monster’s eyes and nostrils and stone-toothed mouth. It rose to the heights of the cavern, and when it saw the knight, it roared like a furnace and let out a blast of flame that covered and spread out across the treasure on the floor.

    But the knight now knew the ways of the fire and the elements, and his training allowed him to jump high onto some nearby rocks to dodge the flames.

    And, now knowing the ways of the earth, he continued to dodge the monster and the flames and to jump where he knew the dragon’s tail would bash the walls. And each time, the walls would cave in, till the rubble nearly filled the mouth of the cave and less wind came in.

    The air grew thinner, which stifled the dragon, making its fire ever dimmer.

    But this also filled the cave with smoke, and the knight also had trouble breathing.

    But, when he saw the dragon’s breath was diminished enough, he grabbed the blue vial. He ran up to the dragon, and as it rose to blow fire on him, he threw the vial into the dragon’s mouth. With a roar like molten rocks thrown into water, the creature collapsed into a heap of steam and rocks.

    And there, in the middle of it was the gleaming appearance of the magical relic, let’s say like a gem or a silvery orb, or both.

    And as the knight coughed against the smoke and steam, he lifted the relic of legend into the air (what was left of the air) and suddenly he and the horse were magically transported to the hall of the royal court.

    The king and the queen were sitting there, as they always do, and the knight, with wisps of smoke and steam, presented the relic of legend to the king and queen.

    And I have two minutes to post this. So, the kingdom then lived happily ever after.

    Clever me.

  2. Lowered my goal to 20 and I’m only five behind now on the competition, appreciate having two or three shorter prompts in a role. Hope to catch up another story today and only be four behind tomorrow. Lot of fun to date, week off for vacation didn’t help the output but certainly restored my enthusiasm.

  3. Hi! I’m brand-new to Storyaday, and looking forward to the May challenge. In terms of upcoming goals… I’ve been writing online with small groups for several years now, but it’s my hope this year I can break out on my own. Storyaday, I think, is an awesome challenge that will help me shed some of the beginner’s paralysis I feel about my new solo projects. I’ve been doing research around the journey of amateur-to-professional, both through traditional and nontraditional publishing methods, but part of me definitely suspects this is a way of avoiding the actual business of content creation. So here’s to breaking the ice on a new path!

    Concrete goals:

    – Complete and publish (blog) one story for every day of May (no minimum wordcount).
    – Participate in the May Insecure Writer’s Support Group check-in.
    – Compile a list of upcoming 2019 writer retreats.
    – Finish “Clash of Kings” (GoT) novel and read 300 pp of “The Priory of the Orange Tree”

    1. Welcome!

      Ah, research. What a wonderful way to procrastinate! (Ask me how I know…)

      Love your goals for this month. When it comes to writers’ retreats, don’t miss the Writer Unboxed Un-conference. It’s in November in Salem, MA.

      1. Thanks! I will definitely check that out. I’m going to be spending a lot of time in the States over the next year and I really want to take advantage of it.

  4. March followed on from February and grew from January with some good achievements.
    I submitted to the first round of NYMidnight short story – Jan 26th – action/adventure
    First Kiss RWA Feb – romance. 1500 words in which the protagonists kiss for the first time and a prologue outlining the story up to that point.
    Ada Cambridge competition – memoir
    Peter Carey – short story (no theme)
    1st 1000 words Drowned Earth Novella series – shortlisted then accepted so I have begun the collaboration with 8 other authors.
    Aftermath – dystopia human fault
    Furious fiction 500word AWC
    AnitpodeanSF 1500 word short story for an anniversary anthology of previous contributors.
    Gotham writers 10 word story
    I signed up for Story a Day in May, attended heaps of writing related webinars and made sure my subscriptions and memberships were up to date.
    April Goals: Keep working on my drowned earth novella, hope to make it to the next round of NYMidnight(I will know today), and write at least a few hundred words every day.

    1. Wow, Cecilia, you’ve been on a contest-entering binge. Good for you!! Hold onto that powerful feeling no matter what the external results (judging is so capricious and subjective).

      And good luck!

  5. Here’s what I promised to do last month:
    – Write one short story – DONE
    – Host a hangout – DONE (cheating, because that was done before I posted this!)
    – Lots of StoryADay prep including getting all the prompts ready – All prompts but three, DONE
    – Revise half the novel – Revised about 1/8th of the novel. It’s a start.
    – Brainstorm more guest posts and articles – falling behind on this
    – Read and blog about 4 short stories – READ, not sure I blogged them all
    – Read 2 novels – Finished a ma-hoosive novel and read a non-fiction book cover to cover (which I do’nt always do)

    For April
    -Lots of awareness raising stuff for StoryADay
    -Host a hangout for Superstars
    -2 podcasts, 4 writing prompts, one big blog for StoryADay
    -Revise middle of novel
    -Teach two workshops live, in person
    -Write one short story

  6. My March goals changed when I got a fandom bingo card. I wrote pretty much every day on it from when I got it, neglecting my other work. But it was so worth it.

    This month is Camp NaNo, which means it’s time to crack down on those exchanges and get to work. I’ve got one due in about two weeks that I haven’t even started, so I need to get going. Plus, I’ll hopefully get my second bingo card soon.

    1. I love the sound of these challenges. They force you to be prolific, and it sounds like you’re having a blast. Looking forward to hearing how Camp NaNo goes.

  7. This is my first SWAGr post and I wish you all luck and perseverance with your goals.

    My plans for April:

    – write and submit four pieces of flash fiction
    – submit Story A
    – revise Story B and submit it
    – write 4 pieces for current client

  8. I never posted my March target – write all my April A to Z posts. And I failed as I still have R to Z left. Due as the month draws to a close – well, from April 20 onwards.

    I’ll get there – I have to. Then it’s back in the same universe to my police procedural novel.

    1. “Failed” or “left room for improvement”?
      Looks like you still have room in your schedule, though. Hooray for planning ahead!

  9. I’ve fallen out of the habit on commenting here, but I’ve been busy writing!

    I started a blog, and have been posting every Monday in 2019: https://newyearsrevolutionary.com/

    In May I will be doing a series on creativity. I plan to write a post about Story A Day specifically, and the amazing experience I had participating in it last year. My goal this month is to continue to focus on the blog content and try to make it the best that it can be.

    1. Love it. Love the discipline of writing a post for every Monday too.

      Let me know if you need anything for your StoryADay post!

  10. In March, I didn’t work on my novel revision 9 minutes a day as I had idealistically hoped to do. I also didn’t send off a bunch of poems as I had planned, but that was mainly because I started to focus on writing them and decided to focus on submitting several of them at once in the summer. In March, I wrote about a poem a week.

    In April, I plan to work on poetry thirty minutes a day, with the goal of finishing at least a poem week. I will go back to dividing my time between fiction and poetry once the semester is over after May 9. Right now, I have to balance the desire to express my creativity with the need to grade papers.

    1. Ah, I come from a line of teachers, so I appreciate that dichotomy!

      Glad to hear you’re writing. The submission process is a different gear.

  11. Hi, all,

    For March my goals were:
    *to finish and submit a piece of flash fiction to a contest: It’s essentially done but the deadline is the 10th and I keep tweaking it.
    *continue with the final edit and polish of the almost-done novel (including working on a synopsis): I did some, but not as much as I could have.
    *continue with regular blog posts (I am re-reading Arthur C Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama and writing about it as a writer): I did this!
    *keep working on the draft 1 novel (subplots for now): This is coming alone really well and the subplots are well developed.

    For April, I am:
    *doing Camp Nano. I’ll be revising my first draft novel.
    *submitting that flash fiction piece!
    *continuing with the regular blog posts, both about Rendezvous with Rama and about my writing/editing process during Camp Nano.

    Hope you all have a good month!

    1. Oo, Camp Nano is, somewhat unsurprisingly, popular around these parts.

      Good job on the March accomplishments!

  12. March was a month that required me to focus on other-than-writerly elements of life. I have made peace with the goals and commitments that went unmet, the meetings I missed and the sleep I did not get. Moving on …

    April, I am so glad to see you!
    *I have a rough draft of a horror/thriller (my first!) that I am going to revise to completion during Camp Nano – 2,500-3,000 words
    *Revise to completion a second short story that is about 2 drafts from being done
    *Read 1 poem, 1 essay, 1 short story every night before bed
    *Finish reading Windy Lynn Harris’ book
    *Finish organizing my writing in a single folder as suggested in a blog (that I can’t find to share just now) shared by a fellow StoryADay member

    1. Katherine! Sometimes we need to roll with the rhythm of life. Glad you’re back and tracking in on the writing again.

  13. My goals for last month were to blog every day for a teacher writer challenge which I accomplished. I also wanted to connect with my writing groups which I did online but not in person. I did not attend my real life group.

    For April I want to complete 4 longer short stories (3000ish words) for Camp Nanowrimo. I will blog at least twice a week. I will write every day.

    I have no solid submissions goals this month. My ego is bruised so I may take a bit of a break. If something comes along that pulls at me to submit I will but otherwise I will wait til May. I have a couple pieces still out now.

    1. Well done on the teacher challenge. Writing every day is a lot!
      Great goals for April.
      And yes, I very much sympathise on the ego-bruising. There are, of course, all kinds of reasons why stories don’t land, but knowing that doesn’t really help…

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