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).
Weigh less at the end of the year than I do at the start
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
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)
Read at least 50 books
Slush doesn’t count, nor do books by friends I read to critique.
When someone visits this blog and leaves a comment — reciprocate.
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.
I felt like I should go take a photograph of my closet to go with the announcement but after about half a second of thought I dismissed that idea LoL
My poem, “Their Closet Existence” was published today on Every Day Poets. On its surface this is a poem about mine and Jo’s closet, but on a deeper level I think it’s about who we are. Deep or shallow, I am really proud of this poem and I hope you’ll take a look and give it a read.
What a year. To say it’s been exponentially better than last year would be a huge understatement, but at the same time, it’s been far from perfect. It’s that time again when I look over my goals, see how well I did, celebrate the good things and figure out how to fail better at the others next year.
I’ll list my goals for 2013 below, bolding the ones I figure I accomplished and addressing each briefly. I don’t want to turn this into a novel-length blog post 😉
Successfully complete the P90x program (I’m giving myself permission to swap Cardio X workouts in for Plyometric ones because I worry about my ankle and also, I’m a bit of a wussy)
No energy drinks
Significantly cut the amount of sugar in my diet. I have a complicated set of rules for this for myself, but I don’t want to bore everyone with sharing them.
Right. So I totally fell down on pretty much all my health goals (though I mostly managed to avoid Red Bull). I’m not even sure what happened to tell the truth, I just never managed to get back into the habit of working out and watching what I ate. This needs to be my primary focus for next year though because if I’m unhealthy everything else falls apart too. I may need help remembering that over the coming months though, so I’ll have to figure out a way to address that when I set my goals for 2014.
Begin another course (or two) toward my degree no later than April 1st and complete it/them successfully.
I took Psychology 304 – Research Methods in Psychology (which is required for my degree) and passed it with a B+. A very irritating B+. I was point five percent away from an A. >_<
Sell my cancer anthology idea to a publisher.*
Edit the cancer anthology, making sure the end result is something I am proud of.
Promote the hell out of the anthology, ensuring that there actually are royalties to donate to charity.
Continue to pursue my sekkrit projeckt with CJD
Increase Niteblade’s readership and distribution
Begin offering Niteblade in more file formats
Hold a successful fundraiser for Niteblade
Produce a NaNoLJers anthology if sufficient interest exists
I sold the Metastasis anthology idea to Wolfsinger Publications and edited the hell out of that thing. I am *SO* freaking proud of this book. So proud, and my mother (who I dedicated my efforts to) would be as well. We’re still in the process of ‘promoting the hell out of it’ and our first statements haven’t come out so I’m not sure how sales are going yet. Fingers crossed though… and if they aren’t where we want them to be, well, I guess I’ll just have to put some more time in.
This year I did increase Niteblade’s readership, distribution and the number of file formats it is available in. We also held a super successful fundraiser (raising $604!) and even adopted a chimpanzee.
While I did check to see if there was interest in a NaNoLJers anthology, there didn’t seem to be. Maybe next year… And my sekkrit projekt kind of got left behind a bit this year, but maybe that’s something I can look to a little closer in 2014 as well because I sure wasn’t slacking when it came to editing projects this year.
In addition to Metastasis and Niteblade, I’m also working on an anthology with World Weaver Press. You may have heard of it, it’s this little thing I like to call Fae. And I also broke ground on the first of what is going to be a huge series of anthologies, A is for Apocalypse.
Successfully complete the weekly version of Write 1 Sub 1. For the ‘Write’ portion of this challenge I will count completed short stories or poems as well as individual scenes from longer works. By allowing myself to count individual scenes I will be able to work on longer works and still participate in W1S1
Actually successfully complete the AprilPad or NovPad properly, without having to make up prompts after the month has passed
Self-publish “Aphanasian Stories”
Look into the practicality of bundling and re-releasing some of my previously published short stories as ebooks
Follow through on my 2012 plans for my zombie poetry
Well, you win some you lose some, right?
For example, I participated in The Whittaker Prize (well, this year’s incarnation was the Not-Whittaker Prize) but when it carried over into November, when I was trying to do All.The.Things including NaNoWriMo I decided to drop out for my own sanity. I was successful with NaNoWriMo however… but then I totally haven’t written another word on my novel (which needs about 30,000 more of them) since then. >_<
I did participate in Writo De Mayo where my primary goal was to transcribe a family history my grandmother had written and format it as a book to give to her. I did, and she loved it very much making the month’s worth of work well, well, worth the effort. (Alas, now she has edited the proof copy so guess what I’m doing in May 2014? LOL).
I also self-published Aphanasian Stories. Sales have been pretty lame (read: nearly non-existent) but I’m glad those stories are out there and available to an audience who might want them, if not today, perhaps tomorrow. Plus, the reviewers seem to like them, so that’s good for my ego 🙂
I’m looking at bundling some of my other previously published short stories to re-sell as ebooks but right now I don’t have enough which aren’t under contract that have common themes, so that’s something I’ll have to look at again next year.
As for the zombie poetry collection? It’s a work in progress. Hopefully I’ll have something to show for it before the end of the year, but I don’t want to rush through and create an inferior product. Because.
Under the writing umbrella for 2013 I’ve had a fantastic year. I’ve produced some stories I’m really, super proud of, and many of them have found homes with dream publishers. Highlights definitely include being published by Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast, work forthcoming in Kzine, Mythic Delirium and the Trafficking in Magick anthology, poetry publications with Every Day Poets and especially the story I co-wrote with Jo for Masked Mosaic: Canadian Super Stories.
Read at least 30 books
As of today I’ve read 47 published books. I’ve also been privileged enough to read one soon-to-be published book as a critiquer and a couple anthologies I may have mentioned above. I also read a crapload of short stories as submissions to Niteblade and those anthologies, so overall I think I crushed this goal 😉
Post writing prompts/exercises in NaNoLJers on odd numbered Mondays
Run and participate in the writing bingo in NaNoLJers
Don’t forget that life is for living, not leveling
I did well on these ones 🙂 Sadly I didn’t make it to WorldCon, we had some unexpected expenses that needed to be dealt with (stoopid money) and I kinda sucked at putting prompts up for NaNoLJers but other than that I rocked the goals in this area. My month of letters was a lot of fun and I still write to several of the people I met that month (in addition to the friends I’ve always written to — I’ve fallen behind on that, but working on catching up. Let’s blame a crazy autumn, okay?), I did the Blogging from A to Z Challenge with a theme (Niteblade), ran the writing bingo at NaNoLJers and significantly cut back on the amount of time I spend playing World of Warcraft.
My social media retreats have gone very well, except for during the times when I’m in the midst of a promotion or such and need to pop on at least once a day because of that. I think next year I’m going to set a daily time limit for social media stuff rather than trying to avoid it completely for one week of the month. I think it will be better for consistency and also my sanity. Taking a break has definitely been good for my productivity though, and my state of mind. It’s really easy to get caught in a loop when every time something happens you think ‘I need to tweet this!’ Stepping away regularly definitely helped me shift my perspective and live a more balanced life. And that’s what it’s all about, right?
In the next little while I’ll look at my goals for 2014 and share those here, but in the meantime I think I’m going to bask a little bit in the glow of a year which, while it wasn’t perfect, was pretty damn good.
My poem, “Their Closet Existence” has been accepted for publication at Every Day Poets. This poem was based on a prompt from my 2013 April Poem-a-Day challenge. Because of how I work it took me a long time to get around to revising it, but happily not very long to find it a new home. It’s always a pleasure to be published at Every Day Poets and I will be sure and let everyone know when this piece goes live. 🙂
My poem, “Hold This Camel” has been published in Volume 1, Issue 3 of The Germ.
Hold this Camel came to be when I was looking at a poetry prompt from the April poem a day challenge which said to make the title of the poem ‘Hold that ____’ and the first word that popped into my head to fill in the blank, was camel. Not ‘thought’ or anything which made sort of obvious sense right away, but ‘Hold that camel’. I really, really, really wanted to write that poem. And I did. I had to change the that in the title to a this, but I pulled it off and I’m pretty pleased with that.
Issue 3 went on sale recently and puts me in some pretty good company with other writers, poets and artists. I can’t wait for my contributor copies to arrive 🙂
My poem, New Arrival, was published this morning at Every Day Poets. It’s pretty short, so even if you don’t usually think you like poetry, it might be worth popping over for a read anyway. Ya know, not that I’m biased or anything 😉
My zombie poem, Choice, has been accepted for publication in issue #3 of Disturbed Digest (a relatively new publication edited by Terrie Leigh Relf). Issue #3 is due out this December so I look forward to pointing you toward it again then. 🙂
Have I mentioned that Every Day Poets has become one of my favourite markets? One of the many reasons for that is it doesn’t require me to classify my poetry according to genre and since more and more I’m writing pieces that aren’t speculative, that is a lifesaver.
Last week I received notification that two more of my poems have been accepted for future publication at Every Day Poets (One speculative and one not). New Arrival and Mary Lee will be coming soon to EDP. You can be sure I’ll keep you updated on that 😉
I’m revising and transcribing poems from my April Poem a Day notebook onto my computer to send out. The prompt for Day Fourteen was “A Sonnet”.
I don’t love sonnets, I find iambic pentameter awkward and just not my favourite. That being said, I’ve written a couple I was pretty pleased with… but not this April. The top of my page for that day says “Day Fourteen — A Sonnet” It is then followed by two and a half pages of things that have been written and then scribbled out. And then, finally, the poem I ended up with this:
I’m supposed to write a sonnet
but my pen doesn’t know how.
It keeps inking haiku,
limericks and jokes (low-brow).
I’m supposed to write a sonnet,
that is fourteen lines long
but all of my rhymes
are far too sing-song.
I’m supposed to write a sonnet
minding rhythm and feet
but it’s not going to happen
so I might as well cheat.
I’m supposed to write a sonnet,
but I wrote this instead.
It made me lawl so I thought I’d share it. I hope no one was offended by the profanity.
Ya know, one day I’m going to self-pub a book full of my bad poetry and give it away. Just for the hell of it.
Well, today I’m ridiculously pleased to announce that my poem, “Hold This Camel” has been accepted for publication by The Germ. This is a new market for me and I’m very much looking forward to this poem’s publication in their autumn issue due out in September.
My poem, Alien Skin Creme, was published today at Every Day Poets. If you’re intrigued but the title (c’mon, you are, right?) then you ought to check it out. I wrote the first draft of this one as part of April poem a day last year and am especially pleased with how it turned out.