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 story, Waste Not, is now available for you to read for free on the Stupefying Stories ezine, Stupefying Stories Showcase. Waste Not is a fun bit of zombie flesh flash that even has an inside joke or two for anyone who has played World of Warcraft with me. Most importantly, perhaps, it makes me grin every time I read it. I hope you have the same experience 🙂
My short story, Feeders, has been accepted by Bete Noire for inclusion in a future issue. Feeders is a funny zombie story that I wrote as a part of the 2012 Whittaker competition. I can’t wait to be able to share it with Bete Noire’s readers. And you. 🙂
My zombie story, Crimes Against Humanity, was published on The WiFiles yesterday. For a while I was writing a lot of zombie stuff set in Edmonton, a lot. This is one of those stories. I hope you like it.
This story has a long, complicated history which makes me especially pleased to see it finally find a home in Kzine.
A couple years ago (it may even be a few years ago now) I saw an anthology that was looking for horror stories set in the land of Oz and I thought, “Hmm, zombie munchkins. How awesome would that be?” Eventually, long past that particular anthology’s deadline had passed, I finished writing a story about zombies in the land of Oz.
Around that time I won a charity auction to have Jim C. Hines critique a short story. Guess which one I sent him? 🙂 Jim’s feedback was fantastic. Not only did it help make this story better, but it taught/showed me things that have improved my writing just in general.
I revised the hell out of “…Oh My!” and submitted it to a zombie short story contest. I placed (I think I got third? It’s been a while LOL) and was offered a spot in their upcoming anthology of zombie stories. I accepted.
Then, several months later the anthology fell through. Wheee!
I set to work looking for a new home for this story. Do you know how easy it is to place a zombie story set in Oz? Um. Not very. I collected a lot of fantastic personal rejections, including one that thanked me for giving them the opportunity to write the phrase ‘zombified munchkins’, but no acceptances. And then along came KZine.
I am proud to say that “…Oh My!” is included in their 4th issue which was published this weekend.
KZine is a magazine specifically meant for Kindles, so that’s the only way you can read it. If you have a Kindle and are interested in zombified munchkins you can check out all the details here –> KZine Issue #4
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.
I’m incredibly pleased to announce that I’ve sold my short story “Crimes Against Humanity” to The WiFiles. “Crimes Against Humanity” is scheduled to be their very first story of 2013 and go live on January 6, 2013.
The Publishing Editor, Jay said of my submission, “I’m a sucker for a good zombie tale, especially when humanity is at the forefront of the tale (as opposed to schlock gore) so this could have been written for my personal taste.” which made me all happy-glowy. Yay!
Interestingly, three out of my four last sales were all zombie-related works. If I’m not careful I may end up typecast as a zombie writer LOL I love zombies, but they aren’t all I write about, honest 😉