Thursday 5 Jan 2023: New Kickstarter to back

Holly supervising me. She’s sitting on her mat, which is folded over, on the top letter tray.

New Kickstarter campaign

On Tuesday evening an email came in from Kickstarter with news on the latest Dean Wesley Smith/Kristine Kathryn Rusch campaign: Fantasies Collide. I didn’t even know what a kickstarter was until I started to read Smith’s blog posts. Since then, I’ve backed several and received masses of extras, including far too many books to read and online workshops I have yet to attend.

For the latest Smith/Rusch kickstarter, they’re selling five volumes of fantasy short stories, ten stories by each of them in each volume, for $30 (apx. £25). That means a total of 100 short stories from these two great writers. (Rusch has very quickly gone to the top of my most favourite short story authors list. Her award-winning stories are wonderful.) Every backer at every level receives these anthologies.

Pledge more, and backers get more, such as physical copies of the books, or collections of anthologies from the previous two ‘collides’ series, or special signed copies, and so on. There are also two writing workshops available that will only be available through this kickstarter as well as some attractive discounts for the other workshops these guys run.

The reason I do them, though, is mostly because of the pop-up writers’ workshops they also offer as ‘stretch rewards’ when different milestones have been reached. The more of these I ‘win’, however, the more live* workshops I’m tempted to attend, if only I could afford one (one year, one year…). In the past, I’ve also been known to increase my own pledge if there’s something else I fancy, such as a magazine subscription. Other stretch rewards include previously published anthologies of short stories by various authors, and more books by Smith and/or Rusch.

* I say ‘live’, but there’s no way I’d be able to attend one in person as they’re held in Las Vegas. I mean when the workshops are actually running and attendees have to turn in assignments at the end of each week.

If you’re interested in backing this campaign, follow this link. I’m not affiliated or anything, and I have yet to decide whether or not to back this one myself as I’m not a massive fantasy writer. But if I do back it, then the more milestones it hits, the more pop-up workshops and other goodies I’ll get.

(At the time of writing, it looks like this campaign was already on or around its second stretch reward – so the first pop-up writing class on writing weird fantasy is in the bag! Backers also get the five Smith/Rusch anthologies, one various anthology, and a copy of Rusch’s first ever published fantasy novel – that’s seven books already. For $30.)


I slept all the way through on Tuesday night and woke up very early for me. I hung around for just under an hour to see if I’d drift off again, but I didn’t. So I got up and had a cup of tea. It still took me almost an hour to be ready for breakfast, but it also meant I hit my desk on time – for the first time this year…

Pomodoro 1

The first pomodoro of the day was catching up on more of those competitions. I’ve made a massive dent in the backlog now, so should be just about caught up by the end of today’s session. I started today’s blog post and went to find out more about the kickstarter mentioned above.

During my first short break, I emptied the top tier of the dishwasher while first the kettle boiled and then the tea brewed. This is when I wish I liked coffee. I could just go and grab a cup without having to wait for the water to boil.

Pomodoro 2

Back to my desk with my cup of tea for the next session of motivational workshops from Dean Wesley Smith. (One of my previous rewards for backing a kickstarter campaign.) I only managed one batch this time because I wanted to get on with some other work. Topics included:

  • taking risks
  • getting nowhere
  • risks and results

Because there was still time in this pomodoro, I did another couple of quick competitions as well as some more admin work, which consisted of updating the new month word-count spreadsheets. There are two of these, one is a multi-project spreadsheet, the other is a totals sheet for each month of the year.

Aside – Excel/Lotus

Does anyone remember the old days when we could put a formula into a cell in one workbook to go and grab data from a cell in a different workbook? I’m starting to think it was Lotus that allowed us to do that as I’m sure Microsoft wouldn’t take such a backward step as to remove it from Excel… would they? If I could find out how to do this in Excel, preferably quickly and easily, it would save me inputting the information twice.

Pomodoro 3

By this time the cat had woken up properly and was on my desk being a nuisance, knocking pens off the desk that she didn’t like the look of or asking me to move her warm mat from the top letter tray to the windowsill while it was sunny and then back again. When I’m working, she likes to sit in the office with me and if it’s sunny she’ll bask on the windowsill. On Tuesday evening when I worked until 10:30pm I lost her and searched the entire house. There she was, fast asleep, on my top letter tray.

During my third pomodoro, I retyped some of Scene 3 of Catch the Rainbow. I have several versions of this story now, all chopped up and all over the place. So I’m consolidating it all together in one file and rewriting it where necessary as I go. Yesterday I added 990 words to the new total. I’m going to track these as ‘new words’ until I have it all consolidated into one complete draft.


I made myself presentable, had something to eat, and went on my errand. I had to return some books to a client that were sent to me by mistake and it was cheaper for me to drop them in than send them in the post. It took a good two hours out of my day, though, and I think I’m going to call it Pomodoros 4 and 5 because when I got back it was time to take the dog for his twilight trot, and by the time I got back from that, it was almost 5pm and I was tired after working late the night before.

It’s fine, though, as I’m not being so restrictive with my timings at the moment, to see how it goes. Plus, I did some writing work yesterday, some personal development work, and this errand that comes under client work.

Pomodoro 6

I did manage to squeeze in a final pomodoro for the day, and my sixth of six if I count the errand as two. I had a look at the ghostwriting, for which the second instalment needs to be submitted by Tuesday 17 January, both to refresh my memory, as it’s been more than three weeks since I submitted the first instalment, and to work out a sensible schedule.


Fingers crossed I get a good start on today too, especially as I don’t have to go out anywhere and break my flow. It is still quite the list, though:

  • finish Project Management for Writers: Gate 2 and pass to the poet for his/any input
  • rewrite/retype some more of Catch the Rainbow
  • catch up on daily competitions
  • (if time in my morning slot) July date work
  • (if time in my morning slot) year planning
  • continue with the motivational Monday workshops

I want to watch all of the first quarter motivational videos this week and then start a publishing pop-up workshop next week. At the beginning of February I want to watch the second quarter motivational videos. I’m picking up some good tips from these, making notes as I go along and highlighting anything in particular I want to remember and apply.

Client work today includes:

  • Ghostwriting Client #1 (GW1) Book 12 Part 2
  • edit history book 3
  • continue reading next NetGalley book