Always quirky, sometimes sweet speculative fiction

Tag: progress on goals (Page 2 of 3)

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all goes well, you will be reading Gaps in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine this June), and one of my unpublished stories (Charming) received an honourable mention in the Q4 Writers Of The Future contest(as soon as I receive the certificate you can be sure I’ll show it off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?

July Goals Round-Up 2014

I feel like I talked a big game in my halfway check-up and then fumbled the ball.

As far as goal one – the revision of Written By The Stars – honestly, the size of the task daunted me. The current lesson in Holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel is the world building one, and I need to assess the world in every single scene. Blearg! I’m going to really try and buckle down on this one.

I started the ‘Princess Paladin’ idea I mentioned in my last goals round up, and what I thought would only be around 5,000 words looks like it’s going to round out around 10,000 to have the ending that I’m looking for. Of course I’ve done the old writer trick of having an idea mid-writing and have chased the rabbit, so it might end up being cut back down to 5,000 but we’ll see. So far I’ve written 5,000 words of the first draft.

I’ve watched a few webinars in pursuit of goal four, but it’s just reenforcing my belief that there’s only so much that free webinars will teach you (not to mention 90% of them finish trying to put the hard sell on you of ‘you must sign-up within the next 48 hours for this amazing discount‘). After ten or so of them and reading 1,000+ blog posts with advice for writer’s you start to hear either a lot of the same or a lot of conflicting advice. One good one to check out for marketing though (with no hard sell involved, no sell period actually) is ‘How Not to Be An Evil Marketer‘.
Anyway, I’ve got to put some gumption into it for the rest of the year. How are you all going?

June Goals Round-Up 2014 + Halfway Mark Check

This month just passed I wrote a new short story ‘The Ashes’ and got excited about an old idea in a new time period. I also came up with two more hilarious ideas for short stories I will call ‘Princess Paladin’ and ‘Choose Your Underwear Carefully’. I also found out I’d had my flash fiction piece ‘Anything To Fit In’ recently published(you can read it free here). So my third goal is going quite well.

I’m stuck in the world building lesson for Written By The Stars’s revision. As you can imagine there’s a lot of world building with fantasy, and there are lots of checks the lesson has me make, so goal one is moving along, if somewhat sluggishly with the aide of goal four.

And now, the half way mark has been reached, so my mid-point check up:

In regards to goal one (final revision and editing of Written By The stars) I’m a bit behind where I had hoped to be on this project, but should easily have it knocked off by year end.

Goal two (finishing the first draft of Keys, Clock, Quests), yeah… haven’t done much with this goal at all sadly, but I’m only at the halfway mark of the year, still plenty of time to turn it around. I must admit though this one keeps being prioritised last. I suppose something has to be though…

Goal three (continuing to write and submit short stories), I’ve written a few, ideas for plenty, and submitted quite a few, even had two published so far (Nightfall in the anthology 18 and Anything To Fit In on the website 365 Tomorrows) so this one’s been going quite well.

Goal four (keep learning), I’ve done a few webinars (though I think I’m starting to reach the point where webinars don’t seem to be teaching me anything I haven’t heard before), have taken a couple of Holly Lisle’s courses (How To Revise Your Novel and How to Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck(the flash fiction one is free), continued to attend my critique group (this is one of my favourite leaning tools and I can’t recommend it enough – a good writers group helps you learn and grow through receiving feedback and giving your own). I think this one’s moving along nicely.

All up things are going smoothly, but I can do better ;p

How are you all going?

May Goals Round-Up 2014

This month was all about editing. I buckled down and started slamming through revision for ‘Written By The Stars’, using Holly Lisle’s ‘How to Revise Your Novel‘ course. SIDE NOTE: I recommend any course Holly makes. She’s a brilliant writer and a superb teacher, so if you’re a writer and you’re uncertain which courses are worth the money I’d say Holly’s are. No, I’m not an affiliate and I get no kickbacks for recommending you, just expressing how I feel about the courses.

The only downside to revising all month long is my brain is hard core in editing mode. I woke myself up at 3am one night because the dream I was having rehashed information ;p

Hope everyone else is going well as we draw closer to the halfway mark!

April Goals Round-Up 2014

Well this month I attended the Aurealis Awards ceremony in Canberra for my piece ‘Short Circuit’ which was a finalist in the Best Fantasy Short Story category, but as far as progress on my goals for this year goes:

For goal one (finish editing Written By The Stars) I’m working through lesson two of Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel – which requires a full read through of the novel (after having done a full read through in lesson one as well ;p ) so plugging away on that goal. This also takes care of goal four (keep learning). Everybody loves two birds one stone!

Didn’t touch goal two (finish Keys, clocks, quests first draft) – I like to take things one novel at a time ;p

Goal three (keep writing and submitting short stories): I finished my latest novelette, Look Skyward, this month. I rounded it out at 11,300 words (I only wrote the final 4,300 this month) and I also wrote a 400 word flash fiction piece, Back To Work, about a mother returning to work after maternity leave.

I also made a few Found Fiction drops, both while I was in Canberra and around Brisbane. It’s lot of fun and I plan on planting a few more this weekend.

Not a bad month, but I think I can do better(long time readers will know I always think I’m under performing).

How are you going with your goals?

March Goals Round-Up 2014

March was still a bit slow for me – vertigo sucks – but on the plus side I’ve been getting much better recently, but have been needing to do a lot of housework to catch up.

I’ve started a new short story, 7,000 words into what will be approximately 10,000 words. I’ve also fleshed out a few plot lines and tinkered with a few new ideas.

I managed last month’s critique group meeting as well, but this one (April) will be the first I’ve missed since joining the group. Instead, I’ll be in Canberra instead attending the Aurealis Awards Ceremony 😀

February Goals Round-Up 2014

This month my goals progress has been somewhat impeded by whatever it is that this constant dizziness is. On the plus side I still made more progress in my writing than in getting a diagnosis.

I’ve been lucky enough to have a few new ideas but not lucky enough to be able to write anything of substance.

I did have a few clear-minded days, but I spent most of that time working on feedback from near-miss rejections and my critique group, thus getting some of my short stories out (or back out) into the submission pool.

Despite my vertigo I did manage go to my critique group meeting at the start of the month. Though I think I scared a few friends no one can doubt my commitment.

And no matter how little I managed to get done nothing can diminish the fact that this month my story Short Circuit became an Aurealis Awards finalist.

I hope everyone out there is making good headway on their goals for this year.

January Goals Round-Up 2014

stare at this real hard for an hour and you'll know how I've felt these last two weeks ;p

stare at this real hard for an hour and you’ll know how I’ve felt these last two weeks ;p

I wrote 11,700 words in a new novelette(working title: Grimoire) as well as two flash pieces (Anything To Fit In at 500 words, and Motherhood at 900 words) and two new short stories (God’s Chosen at 2200 words and Gaps at 5000 words), so am making progress on goal 3(writing and submitting more short stories). 20,000 words, not a shabby start to the year.

I’ve begun the major and (oh please god) final edit of Written By The Stars. I’m being guided by Holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel Class, thus also taking care of goal 4(learning) as well as goal 1(editing Written By The Stars).

All up, fairly productive, though that trailed off with the return of my vertigo (dizzy heads get foggy which makes editing a little difficult and first drafts pretty damn nutty).

2013 Rounded Up Plus Goals For 2014

The cover of Oomph, the first publication I received an acceptance letter from

The cover of Oomph, the first publication I received an acceptance letter from

I started 2012 expecting little then achieving lots, so when I made my goals list for 2013 I aimed high. A tiny bit too high, but that’s no matter I still achieved plenty. My 2013 achievements include:

  • Being Shortlisted in a Writing competition (2013 Redlitzer)
  • Being published for the first time (and going to the gala event to launch the anthology)
  • Being published for the second time
  • I wrote 2 novellas(14,000 and 17,000), 8 short stories (defining short as under 10,000 words as half of these stories are between 5-8,000) and 5 flash fiction pieces (four of which you can read right now by clicking the ‘Free Fiction‘ tab in the menu above. To learn more about these stories you can check them out in my ‘Current Projects‘ page.
  • Learned how hard it can be to edit a novel you wrote in two months as compared to a novel you spent years tinkering with.
  • Wrote roughly 80,000 new words in novels (split between Key,Clocks, Quests and this years NaNo novel Between Blinks). When added to my short stories written this year I have a total word count of 146,400.
  • Learned it’s not always about what you write in new words, but that there’s a lot of editing, proofing, and effort writing submissions and sending them that takes up your time as well. Now I will no longer be discouraged if I don’t have a high word count for the month as long as I can see I was still working hard.
  • Became listed on Goodreads and Amazon as an author (still get all squiggly in the tummy about that)
  • Went to a lot of writers’ festivals

Did a fair bit of learning didn’t I? ;p

2013 felt a bit like the year of the short story to me, because I wrote so many, and 2012 was all about the novels, so this year I’m thinking of trying to find a middle ground in 2014, so my goals are as follows:

Goal #1: Finish editing ‘Written By The Stars’ and start submitting it. This goal rolled over from last year because it was harder than I thought and I kept getting distracted by shiny new ideas

Goal #2: Finish first draft of Key, Clocks, Quests. and totally come up with a better name for it.

Goal #3: Keep writing and submitting short stories.

Goal #4: Keep learning.

Yes, it’s a shorter list than last year, hopefully so I can hit all the targets this year instead of just some, and you can be sure if I hit all my goals I’ll add a few new ones.

Well everyone, I hope you have a happy (and productive) new year 😀

Goals Reassessment

Yes I really should have done this earlier in the year, but usually a goal reassessment like this means the removal of goals which are unrealistic. I wanted to keep those goals up as long as possible for something to strive toward.

I did work on every single one of my goals to some extent so far, but many of them are too far from completion to realistically be completed in the less than two months to the end of this year. So a few of my goals will roll over onto next years goals list.

Now, let’s review the goal and where I’m at with them,

Goal #1 – Complete Storybook Perfect’s second book. Yeeeeeah, considering I’ve even been doing rewrites on the first one again, I don’t see that happening.

Goal #2 – Edit Written By the Stars, ideally to a level where it can be sent to agents. I’ve done so many read throughs this year, four when I go back and look at my diary. But I had a big stumbling block that stopped me from making those read-throughs actual edits. I’m pretty sure I have figured out the problem, but it’s going to involve some heavy plotting (that sounds almost sexy). I have to decide between projects and I don’t think I can finish this and the next project, so I have to pick one or the other. Still deciding though, I’m waiting to see what project feels best once NaNo is over and I can focus.

Goal #3 – Complete the first draft of Key, Clocks, Quests. I’ve hit the twist that made me excited to write this story, and I’ve even got them back to the point where they’re back in (almost) control of things, but there’s still a fair way to go. I think it might even be a NaNo length amount left to write. It might be hard to do this one before the year end, but I’m not counting it out just yet.

Goal #4 – Finish a new novel first draft. This one was always going to be a stretch. I’m going to cheat just a smidge and change this to ‘start a new novel first draft’, because by the end of NaNo I should have 50,000 words down in Between Blinks (which I need to add to my ‘current projects’ page), so technically then I’ll have achieved said goal.

Goal #5 – Make short stories, enter competitions and submit to journals. Well this one doesn’t need any correction. Thus far this year I’ve written 7 all new short stories, 5 flash fiction, 2 novellas/novelettes (14,000/17,000 words) and polished 4 short stories started last year to submission quality (or darn close). Two of those stories are successfully published and many of the others are getting from the slush pile to the final decision makers, though ultimately they return with rejections (but feedback riddled rejections, which are quite positive, so yay!). I could probably just sit back on my laurels and rest with this one, but there’s a few more awards and competitions running still so I’m going to keep on submitting.

Goal #6 – Make a newsletter list. I swear if there’s one bit of advice every writer on the internet seems to harp on about it’s the importance of your mailing list. I intend to give a freebie story away when you sign up, but the story I intend to use is tied up with other things right now, so there’s a slight delay on that. I’m waiting for the story to be ready, but sometimes wonder if I should just go ahead and start it anyway and give the gift out when it’s ready.

Goal #7 – Learn. I’ve done plenty for this and I’m nowhere near stopping. I think this is a roll over goal, one that will appear on every goals list for the rest of my life.

 

I’m a little disappointed by how many goals are not done, but at least I’ve made strides toward most of my goals and if I slog it hard enough through the end of the year I might be able to tick off a few more. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see (well, you’ll wait, I’ll be busting my ass off).

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