2018, Here We Come

Reviving my little-used, long-dead blog for 2018. I’m going to use it as an accountability tool to better keep track of how much I’m writing & when.

But first, my goals for 2018:

  1. 12 Stories for 12 Months: write a short story a month. I’ve been pretty bad lately with finishing what I started. Right now, my plan is to say fuck it to how bad I feel my writing is, and just get the words onto the page. Relearn how to finish my work. Keep an even amount of writing going week by week. And most importantly: have more stories out on sub! I currently only have 1 story out at any one time, and I miss the thrill.
  2. Write a Novella: At first, I thought I’d try writing a novel this year. But it scares the bejesus out of me, and given, as I mentioned, my lack of finishing things these days, I need something more achievable. Think of it as training wheels for getting longer, but also having something that feels bigger than my usual. I feel equally excited about being able to say “I finished a novella!”
  3. Write a blog post about my Viable Paradise experience: because honestly it was the best thing that has ever happened to me. And I want to share that, to encourage others, and just to get all disgusting mushy about the wonderful time I had & the fantastic people I met. Do that before submissions for it close.
  4. Read 12 Books: I’ve really fallen behind on reading, in a major way, and only read 5 books last year. This year, I’m setting an attainable but challenging goal, and won’t punish myself so much if I fall behind.
  5. Give when I can, to who I can: this year I planned to get a stronger hold on my financials. I wanted to save up to apply for Clarion next year. I still plan to save more, but with so much travelling coming up, I’m not sure Clarion is practical. So instead, I’m going to do the thing that actually makes me happy, which is helping out others financially. If I’m going to impulse-spend, at least let it be on people who actually need it and who might benefit from it. Clarion can wait a few more years (at least then I’ll be in a better position where it won’t cause me to fall in debt, anyway).

That’s it, really. 3 very practical, clear goals, 1 easily achievable goal I just need to put an hour or so into (the VP post), 1 more nebulous thing that I’ll do when I see a need for it.

I’m pretty excited about 2018. I feel good, invigorated. 2017 was a shitshow in general. This year, I’m taking better care of my mental health before political fatigue & personal burn out occurs.

So, I have a lot of exciting stuff planned to keep me healthy (or healthier, at least) and stop me from spiralling.

Here’s some of what I’m up to, if only so I remember too:

  • February: Right on Paper! It’s basically lots of experts talking about relevant topics for SF&F worldbuilding. I’m most excited about the cities & the xenobiology, but they all look very interesting and informative!
  • March: Flying to Boston for Readercon! Seeing my VP class again, meeting lots of VP alumni, plus an awesome convention? Count me in! I just hope to see more of Boston this time…
  • June: Going to Marseille with my boy. It looks to be the perfect city to wander round, and we tend to walk a lot when we go anywhere together.
  • June, Part II: I’ve been waiting since Jan 2017 for this – Hamilton is in London, and I have tickets! Yesss, I’m so hyped!
  • August: I’m debating whether to go to Nine Worlds. If I do, it’ll be just for the Saturday because I wasn’t completely sold even if I did mostly enjoy myself in 2017.
  • September: Off to Orlando for a week, for my VP roommate’s wedding!
  • September, Part II: Flying on from Orlando, the boy and I are heading to Bermuda! His dad grew up there, so we’ll be meeting his parents there. Should be very different from my usual haunts.
  • December: I didn’t end up going to Dragonmeet in 2017 – I was just too exhausted by the time that weekend rolled around. I intend to attend this year.

So that’s all me this year. More leaving the house, more seeing friends, more writing. It’ll be a good year, I swear, if you just plug your ears and shout over the torrent of shit coming from every other direction.

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March Writing Review

Written or finished writing: 1 short, 1 flash, 1 twitter fic

Submitted: 4 (all pro markets)

Rejected: 3 (1 personal, 2 form)

Pending Response: 2 (1 from this month, 1 from Feb)

Other: I started writing my Viable Paradise application this month. This means the short and flash I finished this month will no longer be taking trips to magazine’s slush piles until I’ve finished the application & heard back.

Comments: I definitely caught up on my Write 1, Sub 1 this month, which is great because otherwise I’d spend all of April feeling defeated.

Most of my time this month was taken up finishing my short. I started it last year, and it got a bit…out of hand. I have now shortened it from its original projected 10k words, and significantly changed the opening scenes. It still has a lot of work, but it’s the piece that I feel really has the best I can offer – I just need to get it there.

I also bought a critique in the Apex “Revive the Drive” and I’m still pondering which short of mine gets the honour.

April Goals:

I’ll be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo for April, which is my first time in three years doing anything NaNo related. I’ll be working on short stories, as well as sneaking a few blog posts in there. The goals are as follows:

  • Write 15,000 words
  • Participate in Sci-Fi London’s 48 Hour Flash Fiction challenge (8th – 9th April)
  • Two blog posts in addition to the monthly writing review
  • Finish VP application
  • Send pieces out for submission within a week of rejection

The Sci-Fi London challenge will definitely be the most, uh, challenging, as I’m busy the morning of the 8th and going to the theatre in the evening of the 9th. While I write fast, my ideas take a while to form, so here’s hoping I can scrub something together…

I will be writing a post on my experience with that later this month.

Acceptance

My first acceptance rolled in back in January, for a short story I’ve been subbing for over a year. Admittedly, the nine month stint at Tor.com really set me back there.

It’ll be appearing this summer in Pantheon Magazine, in their Janus issue. The theme called for stories of great change and transitions.

I’m really excited about it, especially as my story is slipstream which made it difficult to place. The pacing is literary where the story is sci-fi, and those sensibilities are not for everyone. Pantheon publishes some great work, too, and each story comes with a beautiful illustration.