First Reprint

My second post of the year and on schedule. And I’ve done pretty well with my daily reading so far. I missed the last couple of days, but I was able to critique an 100K novel in a little over a week, and some nights I read more than half an hour. But this had nothing to do with the title of this post.

There were a couple of things that happened late in 2016 that I forgot to mention. My story, Soil of Truth, which was published in Bundoran Press’s Second Contacts anthology in 2015, has been getting some love. It was included in a short fiction spotlight for 2016 with a nice review over on Black Gate. And I’ve made my first ever reprint sale. Soil of Truth is going to be translated in Chinese for Science Fiction World. I’m not sure when that will be published but I will post an update once it comes out.

And edits on my Folklore novel are coming along pretty well. I’ve finished all the major edits I had notes about and now am doing a full read through and marking it up in red font (cause digital). I keep floating between feeling confident and thinking that edits may not take as long as I was first anticipating, and being certain that I must have deluded myself into believing this and that there’s way more work ahead and I may not finish it on time. Oh the joys of being a writer. In reality, it’s probably somewhere between those two extremes: definitely stronger than my last novel (waiting on the back burner after 4 drafts), but still a healthy amount of work left. A certain amount of crippling self-doubt is normal for us artistic types and helpful motivation to work hard at making the story better. And critiquing groups and partners are a godsend. Speaking of which, time to get back to the editing.

2017: The year of the deadline

(dun, dun, dunnnnn…)

But before getting into what’s coming up for the new year, I suppose it’s worth looking at what happened in 2016. (Do I have to?)

2016 feels like it was an unproductive year, at least if I look at the number of things finished. Most of the year I was focused on drafting my novel for the Folklore: the Affliciton setting for The Ed Greenwood Group, which meant not a lot of short fiction got written. Also, when in the throes of novelling, I tend to forget about submitting existing short fiction. I did finish the novel draft, which is actually more words written than if I’d just been writing short fiction. I started editing it, and still think that draft one of this novel is stronger than draft four of my last (nano) novel was. So although it was slower drafting, that’s a fair level up and a win in my books. (Hopefully I’m not just deluding myself into thinking it’s stronger).

I also took two 6-8 week online writing workshops. The first focused on novel writing with Marie Bilodeau and got me through the last of the novel drafting. The second course was on short fiction with C.S. Friedman and I did draft a short story for that one, but again, as I’ve had novel on the brain it hasn’t been critiqued or submitted anywhere yet.

The Ottawa ChiSeries was nominated for an Aurora Award again in 2016, and Second Contacts (with my story Soil of Truth) won the Aurora for Best Related English Work. I completed my third year slushing for Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and we were nominated again for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards, and had short stories we published win awards. This year I was formally on the Can-Con planning committee.

It was a quiet year for storytelling, and I expect 2017 will be even more so (you’ll see why soon). Marie and I, with my friend Jason Sonier, had our Arthurian show at the start of the year, and that was my only performance. I’m not planning any shows at this point for 2017, unless we are able remount the King Arthur one, which we’ve talked about doing but finding time when all three of us are available is very challenging.

On to 2017 and the reason for this post’s title. Though I suppose it could also be called 2017: The year of the novels. Yup, plural.

Of course there’s edits to continue on my Folklore novel. My deadline though has actually been pushed up, so now the manuscript is due in September. Of 2017. That’s not too bad since the draft is finished and I’ve started on edits. However, I am writing a second novel in a different setting (Lost Princesses of Mars, space opera) and that deadline also got moved up. Not in 2017, but close enough. January 2018. So I have to edit one novel and draft and edit another this year. It’s doable, but there’ll be no time for slacking off. (I’m going to try not to panic about not having done any work on it over the holidays.) I’m also working on a gaming related project for The Ed Greenwood Group. That’s actually what’s had my attention over the past couple weeks, since the draft needs to be finished before the end of the month.

So my goals for 2017 are pretty short and simple. I think the two novels is enough. I’m also setting myself a goal to read for half an hour every day. I haven’t been reading very consistently lately. When I start a book I really like, I get pretty focused on finishing it, but I almost miss when I had a longer commute to work as that’s when I did a lot of reading. Slushing won’t count towards reading time, but I may allow critiquing time, especially when critiquing a novel. I’m also going to try and start blogging more regularly. (I heard that snort… and I don’t blame you.) I’m going to try and write a post every two weeks, and am putting it in my calendar to remind me. With both the blogging and the reading, I’m not concerned about meeting these goal perfectly, but attempting these goals should get me doing more of both, and that’s good enough.

So you should be hearing (reading) from me again come mid-January. We’ll see how this goes. Back to writing.