Tag Archives: world fantasy

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

~*~

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 itโ€™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 Iโ€™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 Grammyโ€™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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

~*~

Writing

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

  • Complete the novel currently known as โ€˜Hollowโ€™
    • By โ€˜completeโ€™ 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. Itโ€™s not huge, but Iโ€™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 โ€˜NaNoโ€™ in the title is optional
    • โ€ฆexcept 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 Iโ€™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 ๐Ÿ™‚

All. The. Things.

When I looked at the list of things I wanted to signal boost this week I actually felt a little dizzy. “How the hell am I going to fit Twitter, Facebook and blog posts for all those things in without sounding like a social media spam-bot?” I wondered.

Then I got smart and decided to just put all the things into one big blog post. Yay!

Firstly, check out this character portrait:

Bayne -- Artwork by Danica Parrish

This is Bayne.

He’s a half-incubus swordsman who figures prominently in many of the stories I’ve written set in Aphanasia (Sister Margaret, Lost and Found and the forthcoming Shadows — which is subject to re-naming LoL).

Bayne is also the character I will be playing with at the Character Death Matches at Pure Spec next month and he’s also the only character from those stories who hasn’t been on a book cover… so didn’t have a portrait.

My daughter, Danica, felt bad for me as she watched me struggle to find a stock image I could crop, Photoshop or otherwise fake to fit my character and she drew this portrait for me ๐Ÿ™‚ He looks a little younger in this than he is in the stories I’ve written about him thus far… but I’m taking this as a sign that perhaps I ought to write some stories about a younger Bayne… someday.

Anyway, I’m super lucky to have such a talented kid who is willing to draw character portraits for me. Thank you, Danica! He’s awesome and I love it ๐Ÿ™‚Aphanasian Stories by Rhonda Parrish

As I mentioned, Bayne features strongly in Aphanasian Stories. If you haven’t read Aphanasian Stories and you like straight-up fantasy, have I got good news for you.

This week I’m participating in #CreepyFreebies. As part of that I am giving away copies of the most recent issue of Niteblade and I’m running a raffle to win a copy of Aphanasian Stories.

However… there’s this t-shirt I wanted (Roots of Remedy) but my Paypal account was a bit short, so I spontaneously decided to put Aphanasian Stories on a super big sale — 70% off (Coupon code:ย VG96R at Smashwords — click here) to try to top it up a bit*.

That made me feel bad for having Aphanasian Stories as the raffled off item, so I’ll also be throwing in a copy of White Noise for whoever wins. And if you win and you already own a copy of Aphanasian Stories, I’ll give you something else instead. Because.

I’m not just doing CreepyFreebies though. I’m also taking part in #CoffinHop2014 ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a super fun little system where rather than interviewing one zombie author a day, Julianne instead asks several of us one question each day. The posts are pretty short too, which in today’s world full of constant distractions, seems like a good thing. So far the posts have included:

But wait! There’s more!

White Noise -- Art and cover design by Jonathan ParrishI was interviewed by Virginia from StarkLight Press recently to celebrate the launch of White Noise. It’s not a very long interview, only about six questions worth, but I really think it gives a lot of insight into what’s going on in my skull. If you’re even a little intrigued, it’s a quick read that ought to satisfy some of your curiosity. You can check it out here:

An Interview with Rhonda Parrish | Starklight Press

Annnnnnd there’s only a few days left to get your submissions in for Scarecrow and Corvidae. Our deadline is Halloween, which is my 10 year anniversary so you can bet I won’t be sitting at my computer watching midnight come around so I can officially cut off submissions, BUT if your work isn’t in my inbox by the time I get up on Saturday I won’t be able to consider it.

Related to anthologies, at the World Weaver Press hosted #SFFLunch last week we announced the subject matter for my next WWP anthology:

Sirens

When submissions open (in 2015) I’ll be looking for siren stories to fill its pages ๐Ÿ™‚

Lastly, I think. I will be attending World Fantasy Convention next month, as will several of the authors from Fae and A is for Apocalypse. I’ll post another reminder nearly the time, but just as a head’s up, C.S. MacCath will be having a reading where she’ll be reading from her A is for Apocalypse story, N is for… on Thursday afternoon (plus I’ll be reading part of it with her, so be sure to come by to watch me shake in my boots) AND Adria Laycraft will have a reading Saturday evening which will feature her story from Fae, Water Sense.

Whoot!

Unrelated to this post at all, but I have noticed that my website is running slowly these days. I’m in the process of moving domains over to a new host as they come up for renewal so please bear with me until that process is done at which time things should speed up significantly.

 

*Great plan except that the Smashwords quarter comes at the end of December LOL Oops. #brainfart

I’ve Been Tagged

I’ve been tagged by Tabitha Shay to participate in a blog meme. Now, usually I ignore these sorts of things, but to be honest, I really needed a virtual kick in the pants to make myself update this blog, and I figured what the heck, this could be a fun way to do that.

My instructions were to write six interesting things about myself or my work and then recommend six other blogs for visiting. I got the impression, though the rules never said outright, that choosing writers’ or writing-related blogs would be better than not.

Okay, so six interesting things about myself or my work. That’s quite tricky really…*thinks*

1. I met my husband online on a silly photo-rating website. He traveled to come meet me in order to model for some pictures I wanted taken, and despite my best intentions I fell in love with him almost immediately. We were engaged within four months of meeting and married on October 31st a few years ago. We wore costumes — he and our daughter dressed up as pirates and I was a wench. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. I am ridiculously addicted to World of Warcraft. Thankfully, for family peace, my husband and daughter both play as well. Danica is far less addicted than Jo or I, which I think is definitely a good thing, but it’s nice to have the game as something we can all do together. It’s not a traditional family activity, I grant you, but we make sure to do lots of things with actual face-time as well, so I think it’s all good ๐Ÿ™‚

3. My Aphanasian novels, Swamp Story* and Shadows are about to be joined by another. I plan to write a third story set in Aphanasia this November for NaNoWriMo. “See The Sky Again” will tell the tragic story of the mountain elf A’nuntu. What makes this extra cool to me is that A’nuntu makes a small but pivotal appearance in Shadows, continuing my trend of having all the Aphanasian novels connected in some way.

4. I’m currently in the second year of a four year degree; a B.A. with a double major — Psychology and English. I am incredibly busy so I tend to take one or two courses at a time with long stretches in between. My goal is to finish it before I’m 40, and sadly it may take that long. That’s okay though, because I really enjoy the courses…mostly. Statistics sucked, but in the end I got an A ๐Ÿ™‚

5. The only television I watch are re-runs of Law and Order while I’m working out every afternoon, and Doctor Who which we tape on our VCR (no TiVo here) and watch later as a family.

6. I enjoy cooking and baking (though I’m not very fond of cleaning up afterward) when I’m making something special, but day-to-day standard meals bore the crap out of me.

Bonus: I’m attending the World Fantasy convention in Calgary this year. It will be my first convention and I’m equally nervous and excited. Okay, perhaps a bit more excited than nervous…a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

Now for the fun part…picking six of my favorite writing-related blogs. For the record these are in no particular order.

1. BD Wilson: BD is one of my best friends and a phenomenal writer. Best of all, she’s promised that when she becomes a world famous author she won’t forget me. Yay!

2. Carrie Jones: Carrie rocks. She’s hilarious, has an awesome dog, is running for office and is an amazing writer. Her novel, Tips on Having a Gay (ex)Boyfriend is incredible. I’ve not read Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape) yet, but it’s totally on my list, and I intend to buy Need as soon as it hits the shelves.

3. Jim C. Hines: Have you read Jim’s Goblin series? If you haven’t you totally should. You should also be anxiously awaiting his Princess series as I am. Jim’s a great writer and his blog is not to be missed — where else can you find gay fire-spiders and LoL book covers?

4. Amber Stults: Amber is a friend, writer, book reviewer and book blogger. Her website always has loads of interesting links and information and I drop by at least once a week just to look around. You should too.

5. Greg Schwartz: Greg is a wonderful poet who I had the pleasure of meeting through Niteblade. I love his work and I find his informative posts about what markets are looking for what and such very helpful. If you like dark poetry or market information, this is a blog worth visiting.

6. NaNoLJers: It’s probably against the rules for me to link to this blog because I know damn well they aren’t going to do this meme no matter how many times I tag them. I know that, because I run it LOL NaNoLJers is a friendly NaNo-centric writing group that was formed to cheer its members toward victory during NaNoWriMo. It has since grown and now has writing exercises posted twice a week, a word of the week every Wednesday and we host our own NaNo-like writing challenge in May called Writo de Mayo.

Voila! I’m done. I hope you enjoyed getting to know a bit more about me, and that you visit these very awesome links.

*formerly known as Blood and Stone

A Good Day

I had a good day yesterday, no, actually, it was a great day. Days like that don’t come along very often.

First, my short story Axe was chosen to appear in the first ever print edition of Demon Minds. Yay! I was very excited about having it accepted for the online version a few weeks ago, but I’m one of those writers who love, love, loves to see their work in actual print. Axe is the most disturbing story I’ve ever written, though, so it’s exciting and nerve-wracking to know it is going to print.

Also in the category of nerve-wracking is that I heard back from one of the agents I’d queried about Blood and Stone (which I’ve renamed Swamp Story). She requested a partial. *squee* I’m so excited, but nervous too. Keep your fingers crossed for me…

But wait, there’s more!

The day before yesterday I got an email from Carolyn Clink inviting me to read some of my poetry at an open mic event during World Fantasy. I don’t intend to read, but I hope to attend and listen, and I did do a little fan-girl squeal and bounce in my seat at reading the email. It was sent to me and a few other people, but we were all mentioned by name in the body of the email. Yes, I really did think ‘Oh my god, Carolyn Clink wrote me an email, she totally knows I’m alive!’. Yup. For those of you not familiar with Carolyn, she’s a very talented poet and she is married to Robert J. Sawyer. Yup. So full of awesome.

But, more about yesterday…

I’d entered a contest a few days ago and I got the email yesterday that I’d won! I would include a link here to the book I won, but um…I don’t have the link yet. Once I do, I’ll share it ๐Ÿ™‚

Last, but certainly not least, my copies of Lost Innocence arrived yesterday. They look amazing! I can’t wait for people to see them, they are so gorgeous. Now I just need to figure out how to get them to the post office (I don’t drive and 40 books are heavy). I suspect they will be being mailed out in waves.

So yes, I had a fantastic day yesterday. Have you ever had a day like that? I’d love to hear about it.