Fae All rights reserved by Rhonda Parrish

2015 Goals

All rights reserved by Rhonda Parrish

I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions, because I’m crap at keeping them, but I do enjoy setting goals for the coming year each January. I find them super helpful staying focused and find the accountability which comes from sharing them publicly really helps as well. This year I’m a wee bit late on getting this blog post done, so it may be slightly less chatty than in years past, but without further ado, here are some of my work-related goals for the coming year (and health counts because you can’t work if you’re not at least a certain degree of healthy).

Health

  • Weigh less at the end of the year than I do at the start
  • Run 5k
  • No working on weekends and minimal working on evenings.

Editing / Publishing

  • Publish the final three issues of Niteblade and then close down that aspect of the magazine
  • Complete Corvidae and market it to the best of my ability
  • Complete Scarecrow and market it to the best of my ability
  • Publish B is for Broken and market it to the best of my ability
  • When Shadows is published market it to the best of my ability
  • Have the manuscript for C is for… polished and ready for publication
  • Have the manuscript for D is for… polished and ready for publication
  • Come up with a way to set actual concrete goals for promotion.
  • Make progress on sekkrit collab with CJD
  • Open to submissions for Sirens

Writing

  • Write and submit at least one new short story a month*
    • The ‘submit’ part of this is important. I can’t just write a first draft and leave it to moulder indefinitely. The story needs to be ready for submission and, in fact, submitted, within the month to count.
  • Begin querying agents about Hollow
  • Self-publish at least one collection of reprints
  • Complete work on collaborative project with Marge
  • Successfully participate in April Poem-A-Day
    • This means actually writing a poem a day or at least having thirty poems written by the end of the month
  • Participate in NaNoWriMo*
  • Either complete the first draft of a new novel, or revise one of the novel first drafts I’ve already written (this can be completed in conjunction with NaNoWriMo or separate from it)

Reading

  • Read at least 50 books
    • Slush doesn’t count, nor do books by friends I read to critique.
    • Have at least 20% be non-fiction

Misc

  • Create a website at poiseandpen.com
  • Attend When Words Collide and Pure Spec
  • Blog at least once a week
  • When someone visits this blog and leaves a comment — reciprocate.

Kobo

As of New Year’s Eve of 2014 I’d sold a total of one book via Kobo**. One. For a whopping $0.45 in royalties. One of my goals in 2015 is to improve that. I don’t have a super firm goal in mind but it shouldn’t be too difficult to top one sale and less than fifty cents in royalties, right?

I’ll probably tweak this list as the year goes on, but for now I think it’s a very good jumping-off point 🙂

*under this name or as a pen name project. Either counts.
**this doesn’t count books I didn’t self-publish like Fae, Metastasis etc.

pcard

Corvidae & Scarecrow Update

pcardYou know what the last couple months have taught me? Editing two anthologies which are meant to be companions for one another is not twice as much work as editing one anthology. It is exponentially more work.

Truly.

That’s not meant to imply that it’s been a chore, not even close. But it has been more difficult and time-consuming than I had anticipated. And that, right there, is the only excuse you’ll hear from me about why it’s taking me longer than usual to respond to submissions.

It is taking me longer than usual, and I apologize for that but I am working on it, I promise.

Acceptances for CORVIDAE have begun to trickle out. Only a few so far, but there are more to come so if you haven’t heard from me one way or the other, please don’t panic**. Also, if you’ve submitted to both CORVIDAE and SCARECROW, you may have to wait a little longer than those who only submitted to one or the other because I often prefer to respond to both submissions at the same time. I know that doesn’t really seem fair, but try not to hold it against me too much.

Acceptances have not yet begun to go out for SCARECROW submissions, but they will soon. We’re just finalizing a couple of things in the background and then the mail will begin to flow.

In the meantime, I have some fun stats… for people who find this sort of thing fun LOL I may blog about these in a bit more detail in the future, but for now, just some numbers. Let’s call them ‘approximate’ numbers because there’s no reason to believe I didn’t make a mistake at some point.

Corvidae Submission Stats:

Submissions: 135
Rejected: 108
Shortlisted: 26
Withdrawn: 1
Rewrite requests made: 2
Number of stories with no corvids*: 9
Number of stories submitted to me more than once: 3

Scarecrow Submission Stats:

Submissions: 100
Rejected: 77
Shortlisted: 21
Withdrawn: 2
Rewrite requests made: 1
Number of stories with no scarecrows*: 2
Re-tellings of Feathertop: 2

 

And lastly, an exciting announcement:

 

The incomparable Magnus E. Magpie (also known as YEGMagpie) has agreed to read both SCARECROW and CORVIDAE and offer a corvid’s perspective as a tweet-sized commentary to every story. I can’t wait to see what Magnus (who has even run for mayor) will have to say about these stories! 🙂

 

 

*literal or otherwise, as best as I could tell
**though, if you’re worried about your submission, by all means, query.

Fae

Fae Contributor Interview: Shannon Phillips

Fae

It’s another Fae-tastic Friday 🙂

This week I’ve got an interview with Shannon Phillips as well as an excerpt from her story, A Fairy Midwife.

Shannon Phillips’ Interview

What was the inspiration for your Fae story?

Mine is actually a modern spin on a traditional Celtic fairy tale. In its original form, “The Fairy Midwife” centers on a woman who is (at first unwittingly) hired to serve as a midwife to a fairy mother. She gradually realizes that all is not as it seems, and the story can take several turns from there: in some versions she is dutiful and circumspect, and is paid with an apron-full of coal dust that turns to gold when she reaches her home. In other versions, she’s more curious and takes a dab of fairy ointment for herself. When the father realizes that she can now see through glamors, he plucks out her eyes as punishment!

Anyway, I was inspired by that old folktale, but I wanted to bring it forward into the modern world. When I started to think about how modern technology would change the fairies and their world, I started to picture the Greenbud birthing center, and Madon, and Tara. The story almost told itself from that point.

Was this your first foray into writing fairy stories? If no, why do you write fairy stories? What is it about them that appeals to you?

No, it’s definitely not my first fairy story. The first story I ever published was a fairy tale, and I’ve just kept writing them since. My novel, The Millennial Sword, is all about fairies in San Francisco. I love folklore and mythology–I grew up on it, especially Celtic literature. From Lady Wilde, George MacDonald, and Lloyd Alexander all the way back to the Táin Bó Cúailnge and the Mabinogion…I love it all. It’s what I read, so it’s what I write.

Can you tell us a bit about the specific type of fairy creature in your story? Is that your favourite type of fae?

They’re pretty much your basic Sidhe–human-looking, mostly, but immortal and removed from human morality. I do write that kind of fairy pretty often, but I also love kelpies, selkies, brownies, tomte, pookas…even your little flower-skirted faires with butterfly wings. Love ’em all.

Outside of your own writing, who is your favourite fairy character? (ie: Tinkerbell, Puck, etc.) What is it about them that makes them special?

Ack, what a dangerous question! I will say Queen Mab because she is the one I would least like to offend.

Do you believe in fairies?

I believe in them as metaphor. I think they are real in the way that all stories can be real: they tell us real things about ourselves and the world, even if they do not, in the narrowest sense, exist.

 

Excerpt from The Fairy Midwife by Shannon Phillips:

 

The next call came in the afternoon, so she didn’t have the grogginess of sleep-deprivation or even the Listerine to blame. There was just the same dark sedan, the silent little driver with thistle-white hair, and, at the clients’ address, a nondescript apartment that looked like it had been hastily staged for a realtor’s tour. It had a couch and a rug and a spray of pussy willows on the coffee table, and at least this time they’d put in a bed. But there were no hangers in the closet, no toothpaste in the bathroom, and the refrigerator light didn’t even turn on.

The mom was gorgeous, like she could have been a model, but everything she said sounded exactly like the croaking of a toad. The dad had to give the medical history, and it was, again, some complicated story that didn’t quite make any sense. Tara made a noncommittal noise and set about inflating the birthing ball.

The mom croaked louder as contractions intensified. Tara rubbed her back and coached her to breathe: fast-fast-deep, fast-fast-deep. They moved from the ball to the bed to the tub, and ended up delivering on a birthing stool. Tara guided the dad to catch the baby, and found herself getting misty-eyed as the mom gave deep, throaty trills of joy.

The dad tried to pay her in leaves. Oak leaves, brown and crackling, a whole stack of them, and a little bag of acorn caps as well. “No,” Tara said gently, “Madon will send you a bill.” But he insisted on pressing them into her hands.

“So,” she said finally, “I guess you guys are fairies?”

“You weren’t supposed to know,” he said.

FAE quote - marge simon 1

Available directly from the publisher:

Paperback $11.95
Ebook $6.99

Or find it online:

Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes & Noble (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Kobo
Books-a-Million

Vanity - Photograph by Rhonda Parrish

Award Eligibility Schtuff

Vanity - Photograph by Rhonda Parrish

It’s that time of year. Where we share the work we did in the previous year which is eligible for awards. This is, for me, an awkward process that always feels a little vain, but I recognise that it is my job and it’s important, so I do it anyway 🙂

Besides, who knows, right?

I published a fair number of things last year, and I am happy to provide copies of it all to anyone who is eligible to nominate or vote for any of the major awards (including, because I am Canadian, the Prix Aurora Awards). If you’re interested in that email me at rhonda@jofigure.com 🙂

Being human, however, I do have a few favourites I would especially like to bring to your attention, and pieces with an asterisk are my favourite, favourite. I’m allowed to have those because I said :-p


Short Story


Seedpaper
(3,400 words)*

Published by Mythic Delirium in April 2014 and then again in the Mythic Delirium anthology which earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly this story was described as being fairy tale-esque, which made me happy.

…when you got down to the marrow of it, she was a storyteller. She created her own paper, beautiful stuff that was strung through with coloured fibers and peppered with seeds and blossoms. She wrote on it, her hand as elaborate as the paper and reminiscent of medieval scribes. She would often sew the pages together, creating books that she lined up, spines out, along her mantle. Sometimes though, she’d bury them by moonlight in her garden—

The Other Side of the Door (2,700 words)
Published by Kzine in January 2014. This is a ghost story I wrote while on vacation in Nova Scotia and it has been described as being haunting and heartbreaking. Two awesome things for a ghost story to be, right?

The boat was carried in on the back of the fog.
Growing up on the bay, Aric had seen boats slip through fog plenty of times, he’d even been on a few of them. They were nothing new or unusual for him, and yet—there was something about the shape in the mist, about this particular vessel. He leaned closer and pressed his forehead against the glass…

 


 

Poetry


Matches
(13 lines)*

Published by Ruminate Magazine in August 2014. This poem isn’t speculative, which is problematic for me since most of the poetry awards I know are speculative, but it is my favourite poem, maybe ever.

She liked their straight lines, / bright red tips. / The sulfur taste / on her tongue…

Hereditary Delusions (32 lines)
Published by Every Day Poets in February 2014. The speculative angle is subtle, but it’s there if you look for it 😉

I thought he’d come / from light years away, / that the dust was residue / from the Big Dipper…

 


 

Editing (Anthologies / Related Work)


Fae
(17 short stories about fairies)
Published by World Weaver Press in July 2014

“The Fae prove treacherous allies and noble foes in this wide-ranging anthology from Rhonda Parrish that stretches boundaries of folk tale and legend. These fairy stories are fully enmeshed in the struggles of today, with dangerous beings from under the hills taking stances against the exploitation of children and the oppression of women, yet offering bargains in exchange for their aid that those in desperate need had best think twice about accepting. There’s no Disney-esque flutter and glitter to be found here — but there are chills and thrills aplenty.” — Mike Allen, author of Unseaming and editor of Clockwork Phoenix

A is for Apocalypse (26 short stories about the apocalypse)
Published by Poise and Pen Publishing (me) in August 2014

“In A is for Apocalypse, the world ends in both fire and ice–and by asteroid, flood, virus, symphony, immortality, the hands of our vampire overlords, and crowdfunding. A stellar group of authors explores over two dozen of the bangs and whispers that might someday take us all out. Often bleak, sometimes hopeful, always thoughtful, if A is for Apocalypse is as prescient as it is entertaining, we’re in for quite a ride.” – Amanda C. Davis, author of The Lair of the Twelve Princesses

 


 

Editing (Fan Publication)


Niteblade Magazine

We published four issues last year (in March, June, September and December) all filled with fantasy and horror short stories, poems and art.

The haunted, wonderful stories and poems published by Niteblade are often unsettling and strange but always utterly fantastic. I look forward to every new issue and I am honored that my work has been a part of it.” – Brittany Warman

(I won’t pick a favourite favourite from my edited works)


 

This year I can nominate and vote only for the Prix Aurora Awards, World Fantasy and Dwarf Star awards (I think). I will be keeping my eyes out for blog posts like this one, listing peoples eligible work, but if you’re afraid I might miss something you’d like me to consider, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or drop me a line.

Issue 15 Cover Preview

Published: The Witch

Issue 15 Cover PreviewIssue #15 of Plasma Frequency Magazine is out, and it includes my short story, The Witch.

Go. Read the story and then come back to finish this blog post. Seriously. I’ll wait.

*waits*

*waits some more*

*waits a wee bit more*

Ya know, I can tell you haven’t gone to read the story. It’s short. Humor me. I’m about to talk about it and you’ll get more from the discussion if you’ve read the story.

*waits*

Right.

So.

Some stories are trickier to sell than others and The Witch was a tricky story to sell. It gathered 21 rejections including a fair number of ‘close but not quite’ personal rejections and several times it got rejected for the same reason. The editors would say (I’m paraphrasing of course), “I know what’s going on in this story, but I don’t know if my readers would.”

Which could be legit but every time I considered making the story more obvious I’d send it to a friend and be like, ‘Do you know what’s going on here?’ and they’d be like, ‘Yes?’ and I’d be like, ‘Damn it!’ which was a bit confusing for them but if everyone who read it ‘got it’… well then the problem was one of perception, not storytelling. So how do I fix a problem that exists outside of the story?

The answer, it turned out, was Plasma Frequency Magazine. Which just goes to show that it’s all about finding the right market for the right story. My point (which most of us know but occasionally need a reminder of anyway) is, the home for your work is out there, the trick is not giving up before you find it.

Related, but not, my current record for number of rejections before a sale is 23, and that eventual sale is one of the ones I’m most proud of thus far in my career. What’s your record so far? Can you beat mine? LOL

 

This issue of Plasma Frequency is available at:

Amazon:
Print or Kindle

Createspace:
Print

Weightless Books:
Kindle, ePub, or PDF

Fae

Fae Contributor Interview: Sara Puls

Fae

Fae

Sara’s story in Fae, Ten Ways to Self-Sabotage, Only Some of Which Relate to Fairies, was one of three from the anthology honored with a Pushcart Prize nomination from editor-in-chief Eileen Weidbrauk. Sadly, the interview with Sara I’m about to share was conducted long before the nominations were announced so I didn’t ask her about it. Next time. Next time… For now, Sara has plenty to say, and an excerpt to share for Fae-tastic Friday 🙂

Sara Puls’ Interview

What was the inspiration for your Fae story?

My inspiration for writing this story was something pretty mundane–I had a bit of an ant problem at my house. Somehow, that got me thinking about a fairy infestation…

Was this your first foray into writing fairy stories?

I have written one other fairy story of sorts–about a lady that works as a “matchmaker” for the fairy creatures, where fairies are loosely defined as “creatures that exist because we believe in them. Because we talk about them and write about them and dream about them.” That story is available here.

Can you tell us a bit about the specific type of fairy creature in your story?

Well, my story actually contains about eleven types of fairies, including pixies! selkies! dryads! and trolls! The most prominently-featured fairy, however, is a “mermaid fairy,” who contributes to a bit of friction between the two main characters.

 

Excerpt From Ten Ways to Self-Sabotage, Only Some of Which Relate to Fairies by Sara Puls (417 words):

5. A List

As with people, there are many types of fairies:

A. Within the water fairy family, sirens and selkies and mermaids are the most common. At least, these are the ones Elly most often finds spit out through the faucet into her tub. They’re smaller than she would have guessed. And they have green wings that remind her of kelp.

B. The air fairies consist mostly of ill-tempered Tinker Bell types. They’re always whispering about what needs fixing around the house. And they act out something fierce when Elly and Lina crawl beneath the sheets. Elly learns quickly enough that it’s straight to the basement with them.

C. Fire fairies. The untrained eye sometimes mistakes fire fairies for lizards. They get along with no one, save the air fairies.

D. The earth fairies that frequent Elly’s bungalow most often are tree nymphs and trolls. She finds the tree nymphs tending the potted plants in the kitchen. The trolls sneak into the refrigerator to eat up all the rotten vegetables.

E. House Fairies. These fairies supposedly live only to help with household chores. Elly finds such a claim more than a little suspicious. She trusts these fairies less than most. Why would they want to help someone like her? What did she ever do to deserve it? It has to be a trick.

F. There are also goblin-like fairies that speak mostly Spanish and some Portuguese. These are called Duende. Elly has considered taking up the study of Spanish in order to understand their whispers. But she hasn’t found the energy.

G. The Moon fairies appear only during a full moon.

H. The soul catcher fairies. Whenever they’re around, Elly feels like something is eating at her from the inside out.

I. As a child, Elly had heard that fruit fairies help crops grow. This, she has learned, is true. But there is a limit to how much fruit one can eat.

J. Music fairies. These are Lina’s favorite. But Elly can’t stand it when they sing.

K. Finally there are the ice fairies. They think it’s funny to freeze the water in the pipes. Despite their name, Elly has learned that they do not limit their appearance to the winter months.

Lina likes lists. She tells Elly that making lists might help her take more control of her life. Two months into their relationship, Elly has made several lists. But she still hasn’t revealed how she rids the house of the fluttering, singing, sugar-smelling fey.

FAE quote - marge simon 1

Available directly from the publisher:

Paperback $11.95
Ebook $6.99

Or find it online:

Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes & Noble (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Kobo
Books-a-Million

From Where

2014 Year in Blogging

Jetpack, one of the add-ons I use on my blog, compiled a ‘Year in Blogging’ thingy for me. I could have shared the whole thing here but meh, there was a lot of stuff on there no one but me would care about. There was, however, some bits I thought might be interesting to you as well.

Like this:

Posting Patterns

Actually, that may be a bad example LOL Could be I’m actually the person most likely to think this is cool… but c’mon, this is cool! It shows the days I posted blogs last year (the darker green dots are where I had more than one post that day). In 2014 I made 179 new posts. A pretty high percentage of them were guest blogs (more this year than in any year before) but still… that’s a lot of blogging for someone who is always complain/bragging about how busy she is LOL

This is where my visitors have come from:

From Where

102 countries! Holy freaking hell. That is so awesome 🙂 It looks like for most of those countries I only had one visitor*, but you know what? I’ll take it LOL

This is the thing I thought was pretty interesting. For two reasons. The first is because it’s fun to see which posts people want to read (looks like calls for submissions mostly… which I guess means most of my visitors are writers. No surprise there ;)). The other reason it’s interesting is because of what it says about comments.

Take a look:

MostViewed

#1 on that list, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was a sorta review of Neil Gaiman’s book of the same name. When I tweeted a link to it, he retweeted it (*squee* Neil-freaking-Gaiman retweeted me!) so it’s not exactly a surprise that would be the most visited link on my blog last year. What did surprise me, was the fact no one commented. That got me thinking. I don’t get many comments on my posts just in general. At least, not *on* the blog itself LOL I get responses on Twitter and Facebook so I know people are reading and reacting to what I share but comments on the blogs are really rare with the exception of my B is for Brainstorming post, which has 50 comments on it (half of them are mine, I think LoL but still…).

I think the thing is I don’t tend to end my posts with anything that deliberately and specifically calls for replies from my readers. I plan to work on that for 2015.

I’m also going to try to be better about reciprocating visits to my blog. I’m not super awesome at that. No excuses. I’m just not. That is also on my ‘Work on that!’ list for 2015.

I’ll be making a ‘Goals for 2015’ post in the near future (next week, I think), so I’m pondering these sorts of things a lot this year. Have you already made your goals for next year? What are they? I have some ideas of what I want to set as goals for next year, but perhaps yours will help spark something in my brain.

Also, do you have a ‘Year in Blogging’ or even a ‘Year in Review’ blog post? Link me, I’d love to see it 🙂 For real. These are the kinds of numbers I like LOL

*And I happen to know the visitor from one of those countries got blocked on account of they were trying to hack my blog LOL But ya know… everything counts, right? LOL

To Do

2014 Goals. How’d I Do?

So this is it. The time of year where I look back at the goals I set for 2014 and find out how well I did at reaching them. What’s usually most interesting about this time for me is seeing how my priorities have shifted over the course of the year, the number of things which were really important to me at the beginning of 2014 which I was happy to back burner (which is totally a verb) but the end.

Also, I have a rule. I may explain failures, but not excuse them. Who wants to read a whole blog post of self-justifications and excuses? Not me LoL

So. 2014 goals. How’d I do?

bold = success

tl;dr — Overall, it was a pretty freaking awesome year 🙂

~*~

Health

  • No drinking pop. Period.
  • Lose 20 lbs
  • Lower blood pressure (bonus points if I get to reduce my medication)
  • Run 5k

Didn’t do so awesomely here. Or well at all, really. I’m still drinking a lot of pop (diet pop, for better or for worse) and my weight has remained steady. Much, much too high, Diet Dr Pepperbut steady. I *was* making (very slow) progress on that 5k run thing before plantar fasciitis reared its ugly head but once it did I was less than enthusiastic about actively stretching to relieve it or exercising in a way which didn’t aggravate it so… pretty sure that counts as an excuse, not an explanation. The only thing I did manage here was to lower my blood pressure. Alas, I did not get to reduce my medication in the process so no bonus points for me. *pout*

~*~

School

  • This degree is taking a ridonkulously long time. I need to finish another course toward completing it this year. Bonus points if I manage two, but it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that this is honestly more of a hobby than anything and it must not negatively effect my work.

I didn’t find the time to finish even one course toward this degree. In fact as of last month I became inactive in my program, which is kinda crappy but I felt like my writing and editing took off to such an extent that it would be a bad choice for me to prioritize school over them at this point in time. So what I’m saying is, I’m okay with having failed to meet this goal. I think it was the right decision.

~*~

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Editing / Publishing

  • Complete Fae and promote the hell out of it.
  • Pursue other anthology ideas
    • I am really, really, really enjoying editing anthologies right now and I’d like to have at least one more under contract with a publisher by the end of 2014.
  • Increase promotion efforts for Metastasis
    • I need to come up with a way to set actual concrete goals for promotion. Not only for Fae and Metastasis, but everything I edit and/or publish. Oh hey!
  • Figure out a way to set concrete goals for promotion. Set concrete goals for promotion.
  • Hold a successful fundraiser for Niteblade
  • Produce a NaNoLJers anthology if interest exists
  • Publish and promote A is for Apocalypse
  • Solicit writers for B is for (haha not telling yet!) and begin that process
  • Continue to edit and publish Niteblade, keeping it something I can be very proud of.
  • Complete the edits on Grammy’s book

Wow. What a year it’s been under Editing / Publishing. Going to tackle all these one at a time…

This is the audience for the launch of Fae at WWC

Audience at Fae Launch at WWC

First, I did finish FAE and I promoted it to the best of my ability. That included getting over my anxiety about holding a physical launch party, and making sure I always had copies of the book on hand at every convention I went to (and I went to three) to sell. Some of these efforts were successful (the party at When Words Collide, for example) and some, like the postcards with discount codes I printed up for World Fantasy were abject failures. Live and learn, right?

I was also successful in pursuing other anthology ideas. My goal had been to have at least one more under contract with a publisher by the end of the year, but I smashed that to bits. I have two anthologies with signed contracts which I’m even now finalizing the tables of contents for and which will be published this year. They are SCARECROW and CORVIDAE. I also have a verbal agreement to begin reading submissions for a fourth anthology for World Weaver Press (tentatively entitled SIRENS: Sea and Sky) this year and publishing it next year.

I did not find any awesome ways to increase promotion efforts for METASTASIS, but even so it earned out all its production costs and began sending small (but emotionally meaningful) donations to support cancer research.

C.S. MacCath reading from her A is for Apocalypse story at WFC 2014

C.S. MacCath reading her A is for Apocalypse story at WFC 2014

I also didn’t come up with a way to set concrete goals for promotion, but I did get far better at tracking the results of promotions, so I’m going to call that a step in the right direction.

We held another successful fundraiser for Niteblade in 2014, raising $510 and (even better for my ego) collecting a whole lot of really nice things Niteblade authors had to say about it.

I didn’t produce a NaNoLJers anthology last year, but that is because there wasn’t much in the way of interest.

A IS FOR APOCALYPSE is awesome. I did, in fact, publish it and promoted it as well as I could. I think in some ways it suffered for being launched so close to FAE but despite that sales exceeded my expectations and it has been very well-received including having stories from it on people’s top five lists, end of the year reading recommendations and getting a handful of nice reviews here, there and everywhere.

Not only did I solicit writers for B IS FOR BROKEN I’m nearly finished editing those stories and I’ve settled on the themes for the next two alphabet anthologies and let the authors know about them so they can decide to sign up, or not, in a leisurely fashion.

Niteblade had a fantastic year with me at the helm and though I’m partly saddened that 2015 will be its last year, mostly it feels like the right thing to do. End on a high note and go out in style 🙂

I completed the edits on Grammy’s book. Added the whole new section she wanted appended to the back, got it formatted, published and shipped to her in time for her to give out copies at Christmas. So, basically, I rocked it 🙂

~*~

Writing

2014 is the year of the novel. It is because I say it is, damn it!

  • Complete the novel currently known as ‘Hollow’
    • By ‘complete’ I mean have that sucker ready to start querying agents about
  • Complete the first draft of at least two other novels
    • One of these may be one of my pen name projects
  • Self-publish the zombie poetry book and complete my other plans for it
  • Write 350 words a day, five days a week. So 1,750 words a week.
    • Yes. A week. It’s not huge, but I’ve got a lot of other stuff on this list, damn it! :-p
  • Bundle up and self-publish more of my reprints
  • Complete sekkrit collaborative project
  • Participate in NovPAD and/or April PAD
  • Anything with the word ‘NaNo’ in the title is optional
    • …except NaNoLJers. Set up prompts for odd-numbered MondaysMythic_Delirium_paperback_cover-1024x760

Well, despite my intentions 2014 turned into the year of the anthology, not the novel. Hollow is done. Mostly. I had to do a whole extra draft I hadn’t counted on, but now it only needs a final spit polish and it will be ready to start querying. It’s finding the time to do that polish that is turning into a tricky thing.

I also sold my Aphanasian novel, SHADOWS, to World Weaver Press. That required a lot of re-writing and I anticipate at least one, possibly two more passes before it’s ready for release. It’s scheduled to be released some time this year though, so we’ll have to wait and see when that comes to pass 🙂

I did self-publish my zombie poetry book, and a collection of funny zombie reprints. I didn’t find time to ‘complete my other plans’ for the zombie poetry book, but who knows, perhaps a miracle will happen and I’ll find a way to do that this year LOL Could happen…

Still not finished my sekkrit collaborative project with Marge Simon, but working on it. Still working on it. Kind of like the tortoise in that story…

I participated in NovPAD and April PAD. I was not super successful at either but… I got a few poems out of them. I also participated in NaNoWriMo, however in recognition of how busy I was I re-named it MicroWriMo and aimed for 10k words. I wrote just under 8k. Meh.

Also, I had prompts set up and scheduled for odd-number Mondays for NaNoLJers and then I did something very stupid and deleted them all. So, that was a big fail right there.

~*~

Reading

  • Read at least 50 books.
    • Have 25% be non-fiction

Ocean At The End Of The LaneAccording to Goodreads I read 63 books (I really ought to keep track of how many stories I read in slush LOL) 11 of which were non-fiction. So, I surpassed the main goal but fell short on the mini one. Of those books my favourites, in no particular order, were:

~*~

Misc

  • Create a publishing website (company name, etc. but only to publish my own projects.)
  • Participate in A Month of Letters
  • Do the Blogging from A to Z Challenge
  • Blog at least once a week
  • Shoot at least one roll of analog film per month
  • Finish the ship cross stitch I started *mumble* years ago
  • Complete the top of the quilt I’m doing in memory of my mother and post it on JoFigure
  • Attend at least two writing conventions

Photo stolen from Billie Milholland --> https://www.facebook.com/billie.milhollandSo… the good news about all the things I missed on this list is that they are all still on my radar, and aside from A Month of Letters I can do them anytime. I’m surprised I missed A Month of Letters this year, so surprised I had to go and check my blog archives to make sure I really had. Weird. I do write snail mail sporadically over the course of the year anyway but historically I’ve really gotten a lot out of A Month of Letters so I’ll have to work pretty hard at re-adding that next year.

Also, I went to three conventions. When Words Collide is my new all-time favourite convention ever. Plus I also attended my second World Fantasy and went to Pure Spec here in Edmonton. The highlight of Pure Spec, for me, was the Character Death Matches (I participated and got my butt kicked. Fun!)

~*~

And there you have it. My year in review or, more specifically, a look at the goals I set last year with an eye to seeing how successful I was.

On paper I wasn’t super successful, but as I mentioned at the start of this (very long) entry, it’s always interesting to see how my priorities shift and change over the year. While my health-based priorities remain the same and I really need to devote more time, energy and effort to them I’m perfectly good with the progress I made on my other goals. Writing a lot of novels got pushed back a bit in favour of editing a lot of anthologies, for example. I’m good with that, and very proud of the results.

I know a great number of my friends struggled through 2014 in ways that meant getting dressed each morning was a victory, but overall, 2014 was a very good year for me. How did it treat you? Did you accomplish most of the things you set out to do? Are you happy with what you managed?

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what 2015 has to offer. I’ll be making a new set of goals for myself and sharing them here in the near future. If you do the same please let me know, I like seeing the goals other people set for themselves, sometimes they help inspire mine 🙂

FAE quote - tangent 1

Fae Pushcart Nominations

 

FAE quote - tangent 1

Editor-in-Chief of World Weaver Press, Eileen Wiedbrauk, recently announced her Pushcart nominations for 2014. They were:

  • “From a Stone,” Eric Choi, Far Orbit
  • “Starship Down,” Tracy Canfield, Far Orbit
  • Queen of Lakes,” L.S. Johnson, Fae
  • “And Only The Eyes of Children,” Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Fae
  • “Ten Ways to Self-Sabotage, Only Some of Which Relate to Fairies,” Sara Puls, Fae
  • “The Wicked Child,” Elise Forier Edie, Krampusnacht

Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees, but an extra big yay for the authors whose stories were in Fae. I’m so stoked for L.S., Laura and Sara. Their stories are fabulous, and it’s awesome to see them receive a little extra recognition.

Congratulations, ladies, and good luck!