Each year I set goals for the year to come and share them on my blog here. At the end of each year I assess how well I did in accomplishing my goals and set new ones. It’s an important thing for me, this setting and sharing of goals. Setting them and having them written down in concrete language really helps me regain my focus when I lose it (which is often), evaluate progress, get things done and also, look back over time and see a bigger picture of things I’ve accomplished. Sharing them on my blog here with you is equally important because it provides a sense of accountability which can be a huge motivation at times when I need it most.
Over the past couple years my goal lists have grown and grown becoming quite long and complicated. So, too, has my career when you count in the things I don’t talk about here (such as freelance work and ghostwriting). It was kind of beginning to feel overwhelming, which is pretty much the exact opposite of what I’m going for so I think it’s time to simplify a wee bit. Thus…
My Goals for 2016
- Speed up my blog/website
- Write the Haunted Hospitals book with Mark Leslie.
- I’ve begun working on this in February. My goal is to have the first draft of my contribution done by the end of April. I’ve never written anything like this before though, so I’m unsure how reasonable this goal is.
- Announce D is for… anthology and prepare it for an early 2017 release
- Release C is for Chimera on April 19th
- Promote it sufficiently to break the sales numbers for A is for Apocalypse (based on the first three months after release)
- Release Sirens (July?)
- Promote it sufficiently to break the earn out its advance within the first year. Bonus points if it’s in the first six months.
- Attend the ‘Despite Excuses’ writing retreat in California this July
- Take August off. With the exception of attending When Words Collide… which is work but also isn’t :-p
- Write the first draft of Deadmonton (My Winterknight Towers book), beginning in November and using NaNoWriMo as a springboard to get started
- Hire an editor for Shadows and prep it for release
- Host a December blog tour to celebrate the holidays and benefit the food bank.
I’ve also got several projects that are pending or in limbo right now including a brand new anthology series (Keep your fingers crossed for this one, especially!), three stand-alone anthologies I’d be co-editing (with three different people) and two collaborative poetry projects. I’ve deliberately built some empty spaces into my project calendar for the year to address these projects. Also, you just never know when I’m going to be distracted by something shiny and need to take a little detour for a while 😉
Ed Greenwood has a new project. Or projects, rather. He has created 15 new worlds/settings and is setting a whole horde of creative people loose in them. It’s very exciting. There are novels, and short stories, RPGs and art, and I don’t even know what else. When I first learned about it during a news leak on Facebook (oops!) I requested the NDA that would give me access to the setting information even though I wasn’t sure this was a thing for me–I’ve never written in a shared world before and I’m also ridiculously busy. But I was curious and I wanted to poke around, see what was there.
And then, not only did my NDA get approved, Ed-freaking-Greenwood personally sent me an email inviting me to pitch a novel and suggesting the specific world he envisioned me writing in.
I mean. How do you say no to that? If you’re me, you don’t. If you’re me you press pause on everything that you can and dive into the lore of the world Ed-freaking-Greenwood has invited you to pitch him a novel for. And then you come up with a story. And you pitch it. And then you wait. And wonder. And stress.
Which is totally what I did.
But now I am proud beyond words to announce that my pitch was accepted, the contracts have been signed and I will be writing a novel for the Winterknight Towers setting!
And I’m so stoked.
But also terrified.
Which I’m taking as a sign that I’m doing something right 😉
P.S. The novel has the working title of Deadmonton, which some of you may recall was also the title of a zombie novel I wrote a few years back–these are not the same thing. I struggle with titles but I needed something to include in my pitch, my story is set in Edmonton and it has to do with ghosts so, Deadmonton fit. I’m not sure if that will still be the title by the time we get to publication but it’s the title for now.
This entry concludes the Blogging from A to Z challenge! Yay! I’ll be doing a W1S1 summary post for the month of April tomorrow but after that I won’t be blogging before next week. At that point I’ll do a sum-up post for Blogging from A to Z, the Platform Challenge and the April Poem a Day Challenge. Thank you to all my existing readers for sticking around while I did this blogging challenge, and welcome aboard to the new readers who found me because of it. You’re awesome. All of you.
Z is for zombie. It’s also for Zamboni. Sadly I don’t have any zombie or Zamboni photographs handy that wouldn’t require effort to locate and edit, so I went with this picture. It’s not apocalyptic-y, but it’s kinda forlorn, so… Close enough 🙂
So yes. Z is for zombie and Zamboni. A couple years ago my NaNoWriMo novel was a zombie novel set in Edmonton which I, oh so cleverly, titled Deadmonton 🙂 The spark that set me thinking about Deadmonton was the idea of having a book which included a scene where a zombie gets killed with a zamboni.
Deadmonton, in its current incarnation is deeply flawed and I’m not sure I’m ever going to get around to fixing it, to be honest. The good news is that means I can share a scene from it with you here. Which scene? Well, the zombie vs Zamboni scene of course. This scene has a lot of problems with it, but if you read it without your editor hat on, it’s kinda fun too.
Warning: There is plenty of violence and profanity in this scene.
Zombie Vs Zamboni
(A Deadmonton excerpt)
Leading up to this scene Ashley was skating on freshly Zamboni-ed ice at Hawrelak Park when zombies start coming from all directions and surrounding her. The driver of the Zamboni has helped her onto the Zamboni, presumably to get away.
Continue reading Zombie vs Zamboni
So, I’m NaNoing, as usual, except that this year I had zero enthusiasm for it and writing my story was like pulling teeth. I was working on ‘See the Sky Again’ which is an Aphanasian novel. Writing the Aphanasian piece I felt like I was pulling teeth. It really, really hurt. The problem, I think, was that the setting (an underground city) wasn’t fully formed in my mind yet. It’s still not. Once it is I’ll go back to it, but in the meantime I’ve switched and I’m now working on my WIP zombie novel, Deadmonton.
The words are coming much easier now and I’m really very fond of this novel. I can’t wait to get it done so I can share it with people (my brain won’t let me send out WIPs for critique).
And here is a short excerpt — warning, this is a pretty violent and profane passage, it is, after all, a zombie novel 🙂
Continue reading Deadmonton Excerpt
Carrie Jones had an entry on her blog recently which encouraged people to post the first page of their current work in progress. I thought that was a very good idea — so I’m going to share the first page of my Edmonton-based zombie novel, Deadmonton. I hope you enjoy it…or at least are intrigued.
This contains a fair bit of foul language, so read at your own risk.
Continue reading First Page of Deadmonton