Always quirky, sometimes sweet speculative fiction

Category: All Write! (Page 3 of 8)

Updates on my progess towards getting published

March Goals Round-Up 2015

dramaThe month started out well enough, then my body decided to abandon me(more than one trip to the hospital to check baby was doing better than I was and fortunately she was fine even though I was not) and by the time I recovered from that my life decided it needed some more drama on top of that – but let’s not get bogged down in that.

I achieved goal #5(start my newsletter). Yes goal #5 is completed. Done and dusted at last and you can sign up here and get the free bonus ebook of ‘Stolen Hearts’.

Goal #4 (writing and submitting short stories) I wrote 6,000 new words in two different short stories. One(working title: Light In The Deep) was intended for a specific anthology but I blew the word count out of the water and haven’t even finished the first draft so I (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ and started writing another story(working title: The Broken Mirror) since to trim Light In The Deep down to word count would take out too much of what I love about the story.

Also – kind of goal #4 related – both Short Circuit and Stolen Hearts were listed as honourable mentions for Twelfth Planet Press’ Years Best Speculative Fiction 2013 anthology. I totally would have missed that without the keen eyes of Shane Halbach (thank you 😀 ).

Goal #6(keep learning) was furthered by watching a Holly Lisle webinar and joining Critters (but because of the drama I’ve fallen behind 🙁 ) so I’m working hard on that as always.

And lastly goal #1(being a good president to my writers group) kept me busy with trying to reorganise a new meeting date since our usual ‘first Sunday of the month’ meeting day was Easter Sunday. Still don’t know for sure if I’m doing a great job, but no one’s tried to depose me yet ;p

February Goals Round-Up 2015

feb goalsFor such a short month I was surprisingly busy, but at least I managed to get a lot done.

For goal #1 (being a good president to my writer’s group) we’ve commenced work on an anthology to celebrate 20 years of Vision Writers writing and critiquing one another. The anniversary is next year, but as most people who know about publishing are aware it’s not as simple as snap your fingers and done, so we’ve a long road.

I also organised and ran my first writers retreat. It was all Vision Writers members, but it wasn’t an official Vision event. We all had a great time and you can find out a little more about it here if you’re interested. I would like to do it again, but not any time too soon – not with baby on the way ;p There’s so much organisation that you might not realise is involved.

In regards to goal #2 (final revision and editing for Storybook Perfect) I still haven’t started it, but that’s because I only want to revise one book at a time, and I’m working on goal #3 which is the revision of Written By The Stars. I’ve been using holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel course to help me get as much done in one pass as possible. For most of last year I was stymied by the massive world building lesson, lesson 7, but I finally defeated the daunting lesson and moved through another 6, I’m almost finished 😀

Regarding goal #4 (writing and submitting more short fiction) as usual I killed it. I think I’m very much in love with short fiction, which is funny considering one of my very early posts about finding them difficult ;p

I wrote an extra 3000 words in ‘Foxworth'(previously known as Tubby) based on the group’s feedback, and according to those who gave the story a second read through made it even better. I also finished ‘Couples Counselling’ at a total of 3358 words and submitted it to my writers group for critique. Then I wrote a new flash fiction piece called Ella’s Baby (500 words) and did some editing on the novella ‘The Troll’s Toll’. Because of The Troll’s Toll’s larger length I’m seriously considering self publishing it as it’s length makes it a hard sell to just about every market I know of.

I’ve been working towards goal#5(starting a mailing list) too – finally! I have formatted two ebooks and made my first cover, all working towards the freebie for signing up. I’m repackaging a competition winning story that’s now out of print. You’ll see the results very soon.

Goal #6 (keep learning), well I learned lots through goals 1, 3 and 5 and even (as you always do from good feedback) some from goal 4, so still chugging along.

On wonderful, but slightly less goal orientated notes, I enjoyed my 3 year blogiversary and I added Goodreads buttons all over the website 🙂

How’d you go with the shortest month of the year?

Three Year Blogiversary

3621625591_dc0a8063d6_mIt’s been three years since my first post ‘Starting In Medias Res‘ and to celebrate three years of blogging here on I’m going to share with you some of the ways I’ve changed over the last three years.

Well of course, first up I’ve been published. I’ve won a local writing competition, been a finalist in a national award, and have an honourable mention in an international competition. I’ve also racked up plenty of rejections too.

I remember I used to read all the spam comments to check and see if a legit person had been erroneously filtered in. Now if I went through and read the 600 odd comments that appear daily I’d have another 100 to read by the time I went through them. If the filter took your comment sorry, but she’s gone ;p

I’ve discovered the ‘joys’ of spending twenty minutes tinkering with a widget or a page improving it in ways that most people probably will never notice.

And for the start of my fourth year here’s four things I promise never to do:

  1. Those stupid ads, positioned right beside a link you need to click so you accidentally click the ad thus giving me money and you frustration(and maybe a virus to top it off).
  2. Speaking of ads, those ones where Google algorithms try to tailor the ad that appears to what you’ve looked at recently, but only ever seems to show a website you just visited.
  3. Spreading information (or gags) across multiple pages so you have to click next to keep reading the one article. This is a cheap tactic used to get more hits per day so Google ranks you higher
  4. Make my mailing list sign-up form appear as a pop-up mini-window over my website. These annoy me because even when I have signed up to the mailing list, when I visit the site again later it prompts me again. If you want to join my mailing list I’ll be setting it up very soon (still working on the freebie), and it will always and ever live in my sidebar, never in pop up windows.

Well. Here’s to three years done and a multitude more yet to come 😀

Certifiably Delighted

Me and my shiny new certificate. Yes, I framed it.

Me and my shiny new certificate. Yes, I framed it.

I’ve already mentioned this, but I suppose it was more in passing in a goals round-up than in a big way. So let me rectify that.

Last year my (still not yet published) short story, Charming, received an honourable mention in the fourth quarter of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers Of The Future contest.

An honoruable mention nets me a nice certificate to commemorate the achievement. And it just arrived in the mail 😀

Now I’ll be putting it beside my lovely Redlitzer trophy and my ‘published author’ plaque/desk stand thing. I’m starting to get a nice little collection going.

If you’d like to know a little more about Charming this is the one sentence summary I have for it on my ‘Current Projects’ page:

To keep his small kingdom from bankruptcy Prince James sells his services to worried parents and lazy lovers to rescue their princesses for them. His latest mission however, is proving to be his most difficult.

Charming is still out there shopping for a home and has a couple of sequels at various developmental stages too. I’ll keep you updated on its progress.

January Goals Round-up 2015

There should be a ‘belated’ in brackets at the start of that title ;p

As mentioned yesterday I not only went on a writers retreat but organised the whole damn thing(including lunches and dinners), so the end week of January was a crazy rush for me – hence utterly forgetting to do my goals round-up.

I sent out only a couple of stories (most of my polished ones were sent out at the end of last year so are still awaitng acceptance/rejection), but I did do a crazy massive edit on Glass Bones to make it an acceptable word count for a particular magazine running a theme I thought it very apt for. I took Glass Bones from 8,400 words to 6,000. I wasn’t sure I could do it, but somehow I did(I might post about that more soon).

I wrote a new short story ‘Tubby’ based on the writing prompt I created for the Vision Writers website. Tubby came in at 2,300 words and I submitted it to my writers group for critique. I also got back to work on Couples Counselling(an idea I had last year) and wrote an additional 1,800 words in it. So goal #4 is chugging along quite nicely.

As far as goal #1, being a good president to my writers group I think I’ve been doing well. This is based on a lack of hate mail and no one throwing rocks at the back of my head ;p . No, really, I’ve based that on me getting to work on the Vision Writers website, updating pages, getting the start of a regular blogging schedule underway – including making up (what I hope are) new and original writing prompts. Not to mention the writers retreat (despite it not being an official group event I’m sure it fostered happiness within the group), lots of organising for that!

While I didn’t touch #2 or #3, number three did get a thorough going through at the retreat, but since this is a January round up we can’t count work done in February.

All up, a good, but very busy start to the year 🙂

2014 Rounded Up + 2015 Goals

P12200052014 has been a bit of a turbulent year, my vertigo returned(and fortunately left as well), our family went on it’s first fly-away trip, I took off a fabulous birthday weekend to go to Canberra for the Aurealis Awards ceremony, I’m pregnant and had a rough first trimester. More good than bad, but certainly life did it’s best to get in the way of my dreams ;p Never forget, good things can get in the way as much as bad.

I wrote a reasonable amount of short fiction this year, some of it sold, some of it is out looking for homes and a few are still in need of a bit more TLC before making their way out into the world. For those curious my 2014 stories were: Look Skyward (11,000), God’s Chosen(5,000), Princess Paladin(not quite finished and in need of a solid revision, currently written 8,500), Motherhood(900), The Ashes(1,700), Gaps(5,000), Anything To Fit In(500), Back To Work(400) and a couple more which at this stage will probably never see the light of day (some stories are great ideas, but don’t quite live up to your expectations when they make it to the page). I’ve totaled about 45,100 new words in short fiction for this year.

I was published twice this year, Anything To Fit In on the website 365 Tomorrows, and Nightfall in 18. I also have received an acceptance letter for a story that will be published next year(assuming all goes well, you will be reading Gaps in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine this June), and one of my unpublished stories (Charming) received an honourable mention in the Q4 Writers Of The Future contest(as soon as I receive the certificate you can be sure I’ll show it off ;p ).

In regards to Key, Clocks, Quests I only scraped in a few thousand extra words, I kept prioritising other work because this was my stretch goal.

I decided to give NaNoWriMo a go again, so have 51,900 words in a new novel: Tuuca of the Tides. It wasn’t one of my original goals, but I do have the first third/half of a new novel at least. I enjoyed it, but sometimes wonder if I shouldn’t have directed that energy towards Key, Clocks, Quests instead.

So my word count for the year comes in at 97,000. Not bad, but compared to last year’s 146,400 and 2012’s 159,800 a drop in new words (though a lot more editing and revision happened this year – not to mention vertigo – so I’m not beating myself up over it).

My goals for 2015 may seem a little on the light side, but considering the due date for baby #2 is in June and anyone who has had an infant knows nothing is really going to get done in that first three months or so, I’m going a bit light on myself.

In 2015 I’ll be president of Vision Writers too, so I’ll be losing a small amount of my writing energy to helping the group. I’ve got a few things up my sleeve, but that’s for the group to hear, so if you want to know, you need to come to our meetings ;p

I am determined to try and get both Storybook Perfect and Written By The Stars completely revised and ready to go out to a short list of agents before my due date. Depending on how busy life is I’m not certain this can be achieved, but it won’t be for a lack of trying.

So goals are:

#1 Be a great President of my critique group Vision Writers (this will help new writers as well as myself)

#2 Complete final revision of Storybook Perfect

#3 Complete final revision of Written By The Stars

#4 Continue to write and publish short fiction

#5 Start a mailing list

#6 Keep learning

Really, keep learning is pretty easy, and will be easily bolstered by #1 and #4(4 because good rejections come back with feedback you can learn from), but if needs to be in there because I’m not a master yet ;p

Anyway, got any big (or little) goals for 2015? Who’s ready to muck up written dates by still putting down ’14’ instead of ’15’ for the next four weeks or so?

Spotlight On Me

My apologies. When I first got news of this spotlight I prepared this post, saved it as a draft and then – like the genius I am – forgot to actually publish it when this article was posted on Allan Walsh’s A Writer’s Journey.

So, delayed by a month and a week, I hope you enjoy reading this sweet ‘Spotlight On the Author’ about me.

Thank you for all the kind words Allan 🙂

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner


Finished just in time for the weekend ;p

And yes, I probably will have chicken for dinner tonight. Most likely chicken schnitzel.

NaNoWriMo Update

I made this meme back for my first NaNo and I just love using it ;p

I made this meme back for my first NaNo and I just love using it ;p

Just a quick post to let you all know I passed the 30,000 word point in NaNo today.

If you’re interested in what I’m writing this NaNo, check out the description on my NaNo page. If you like the sound of it feel free to cheer me on in the comments (I’m sick at the moment so every word I type feels like a miracle and I’m not so proud as to not ask for help – and by help I mean shamelessly asking of praise ;p )

I’m also trying to get some flash fiction typed out for an end of year rush to see if I can’t get one more publication credit before New Years (not likely but it definitely won’t happen if i don’t try at all ;p )

20 Questions Interview

One of my lovely friends from Vision writers is doing a series of interviews with 20 questions and here’s my interview with him 🙂

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