Always quirky, sometimes sweet speculative fiction

Fabruary Goals Round-Up 2016

fabThe goal I probably did the most work on last month was Goal 2 – being a good president to my writers group. Our group is working on an anthology to celebrate its 20th anniversary. I spent a lot of time hunting down old members and trying to contact them. I discovered there’s a surprising number of successful authors who don’t have websites, or social media, or any easy way to contact them >.< So if you are a published past member of Vision and didn’t get a message from me, that might be why (or I never heard you were a past member). I also had several other things to do with the anthology front and back matter and edits organisation. Also I worked on a presentation plan for an  appearance at BWF again – but in a different way this time! And dealt with a website outage. Busy busy!

Goal 3, working on my novellas saw some attention, with me utilising some beta reader feedback for The Troll’s Toll and writing a further 10,400 words in Skeleton Romance(working title). I also did a plot outline for a couple of novellas I’ll be writing soon (The Charming Sequel and Glass Slippers). Also wrote the first 1,500 words of Glass Slippers.

Goal 4, write more short fiction. I wrote the first 4,500 words of Sugar Cane and Swamp Monsters, a new short story, and wrote a plot outline for another short story I want to write for an upcoming anthology(which the working title is almost too ridiculous to even say outloud).

Goal 6, work with as many editors as I can, went well. I worked with editors (a team of them 🙂 !) on Charming,  a different editor on God’s Chosen, and yet another on Glass Bones – and that was just in February. When you count my January edits I’ve worked with five different editors (or groups of editors). An exciting start, and I’m sure learning lots(which of course satisfies goal 8, keep learning ;p ).

In regards to my February specific goals:

  • Finish the first draft of Skeleton Romance(working title) – I wrote another 10,000+ words, but came across a problem, I have two antagonists whose narratives need wrapping up. My original plot outline was only concerned with wrapping up the romantic and platonic relationships and the self-growth of the protagonist, not the antagonistic stuff. What an over sight! And i made some pretty nasty villains who are going to be harder to polish off that i at first thought. It’s going to take a bit longer than I thought. Again. also, there is nothing novella length about Skeleton romance now – it’s a novel ;p
  • Get betas back for The Troll’s Toll and utilise feedback – I did so. The Troll’s Toll now has a more solid ending and a lot of lovely compliments ;p
  • Get betas back for Foxworth and utillise – I’ve only had one beta reader get back to me. I was so busy with the anthology and the edits for my professional sales I forgot all about this goal until this very moment ;p Time to send a few polite emails.
  • Write the new Charming sequel – I didn’t write it, but I did get the plot outline done. I still feel there’s a little something missing from the story though, so I’m researching a lot of lesser known fairy tales trying to find the missing puzzle piece (plus, reading fairy tales is fun 😀 )

My stretch goal, to write some more flash fiction, was sort of done. I’ve come up with 3 new short stories and started a couple of them, but none of them are flash fiction, they’re all 7,000 words or longer in their projected length. They’ll still suit my purpose of getting more stories to try and sell traditionally though ;p

All up, I think I did make February Fabruary. It was a busy and productive month.


  1. Daniel

    I love your work. So does pretty much all of Vision (those that show up). I think you’ll do well in a sort of 21 century understanding of fairytales and horror. I think fantasy and horror need a writer like you. And Vision is seriously a great critique group! (I’m in a couple that let petty bickering, crude humour and selfishness rule everything, but they are learning. Vision is ‘streets ahead’ of that group-mindset. We do great critiques because we were founded on serious members who knew their shit. We’ve gone the distance. We’ve turned out some great pieces, whether they went on to fame and fortune or not (those who put a few pieces out with no way to contact them would do a lot worse than those with a professional attitude to the business side of writing) and you, for one, are one of my favourite writers in Vision. You always seem to have an energy and imagination that’s hard to beat. I think, if you hone your writing to the best it can be, you’ll do really well. So far you’re gaining some pretty good traction anyway. And you work in customer service, so of course you can probably give your card to the customers who prefer media with well-constructed stories. And I know you work at a games selling franchise, so your probably hear a LOT of what gamers want in games, and I think a lot of gamers prefer games with stories that work. I think your stories in prose form really mirror the best of books and games, products that resonate with people and which know what they’re doing. A lot of movies and games (and some books) don’t have a clue. You do. Obviously. You know Story. A lot of movies and games don’t, and those that do, generally do pretty well because players and viewers are not as stupid as Hollywood and EA Games seem to think. I could go on about this infinitely, but I figure games, movies and books, despite their differences due to the mediums, are suited to some great stories and so forth. And I think you’ll do well in whatever form you chose to tell your stories in. If I’m ever a successful author or whatever, I will be very invested in helping you succeed. I know a lot of people are too humble or proud to accept financial help, but I would definitely invest in your and a few other great authors I know, because I tend to believe in your stories and want to see them realised properly. That’s a big deal, but if I can ever help you, just ask. I’d be so happy to help, because yours stories move me. I don’t get nearly enough of that in my consumerism (heh). I believe in you. Your writing rocks, and I hope to see you succeed based on talent. I will definitely be reading you for a long time to come@

    • Kirstie Olley

      Thanks Dan, you’re making me blush.
      I love what you say near the end, about really wanting to help me get further, that’s what Vision does as a whole, and that’s the attitude I want to continue to encourage, so we all want to help each other as much as possible. <3

      • Daniel

        That’s what artists are meant to do. If you only go in for fame and fortune, and treat your peers with contempt, one thing is certain – they won’t have your back in the hard times. It’s part business attitude, and part just not being an asshole. Besides, we’re all in this together. There’s a sense of comradery in Vision, which I don’t get much of in my other group (we just do discussion of topics; this other group are so mean with critiques that people have actually destroyed every bit of writing they’ve even done in their life. I don’t like the group very much. But they’ve gotten a little better, I’ve seen since then. They still have a long way to go before they’re Vision.)
        Daniel recently posted..Neil Gaiman immortalises David Bowie (more) in fictionMy Profile

        • Kirstie Olley

          That meanness you see in some other groups is why I’m not surprised when newbies come along just to see what we’re like. I kind of want to tell them that we get rougher with each other after time(because we know we can take it and we know that everyone knows we all still care), but we’ll be very gentle (yet still helpful) the first few times when they submit.
          All you can do with your other group is try and lead by example I guess, show them what they could be. (oh and slip some of Vision’s business cards to those who might like a friendlier experience ;p )

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