Thursday, November 20, 2014

Annual Review

I wrote this up last year because I was having some issues with what I was doing with my life... and it helped a lot, kept me on track, and gave me something solid to look at whenever I was feeling depressed.

So, while I'm not currently having those issues - honestly, the royalty check that I used to put a down payment on a CAR really helped with the idea that I'm wasting my time - it's about a year later and I thought it would be a good time to do an annual summary...

2014 Accomplishments

  • Living Proof accepted for publication with Antimatter Press (January)
  • Whetting the Appetite accepted for publication with JMS (January)
  • Fair Game accepted for publication in For Love of a Soldier (February)
  • Coming Together: Among the Stars anthology approved (March)
  • Building Us accepted for publication in They Do (March)
  • Howling Bitch accepted for publication with Vamptasy (novel) (May)
  • Blues accepted for publication with Torquere (novel) (July)
  • A Marked Man accepted for publication with Vamptasy (novel) (July)
  • Situation Normal accepted for publication with Coming Together (August)
  • Half the World Away (excerpt) for Crave, the best of Hot Ink antho (August)
  • In the Closet accepted for audio publication with Stupid Fish (September)
  • London Steam accepted for publication (partial reprint) with JMS (September)
  • The Terran Academy Novellas contracted (not written!) (September)
  • Go Down with the Ship (reprint) accepted for publication with JMS (September)
  • Room for Dessert accepted (reprint) for publication with JMS (September)
  • Mouse Games (reprint) accepted for publication with Beyond 50 (October)
  • Holiday Hours (reprint) accepted for publication with Coming Together (October)
  • On the Fly (reprint) accepted for publication with Coming Together (October)
  • Classic accepted for publication with Torquere (novel) (November)

Things that aren't on my acceptance list

I have a couple of short stories that are still floating around (one with an acceptance, then the project has been delayed like three times, and I have no idea of the status of... frustrating! and one that's floating around without an answer...)

I've discovered that I really enjoy putting anthologies together - Coming Together: Among the Stars was an excellent project and I really had fun with it... it also ate up a lot of my time and brain power. It was a branching out into a new direction of the writing process. I'm still debating if I want to do it again... (oh, who am I kidding, I already have an idea for another antho...)

I have 19 projects there from this year, which is 9 more than last year, of which four are novels... admittedly, some of the things are reprints or excerpts and didn't take lots of effort on my part aside from going "Yeah, we can use those... " altho I still had to 1) make sure I had rights back 2) go through the submission process 3) edit some of them 4) added an entire new short story to London Steam.

I helped plan and then attended a writer's conference, which resulted in several of the above stuff happening. I had my first official book signing. I have gotten a lot more organized. I've been approached for a few stories and concepts from publishers (Looking at you, Antimatter Press!) which is both flattering and exciting. I've started working with some very talented writers on collaborative projects, done some incredible charity work. I've become very, very good at writing book 'blurbs in a short amount of time and also mostly stopped complaining about it.

I've continued to refine my craft; I can now write up a fairly extensive outline and even if my novel wanders off track a bit (and they do. Novels are living things and they don't always stick to the map), I can still pretty accurately predict how long things are going to take me to do. I have not yet been late with a project target date that I've committed to. I have had editors / publishers ask me for things earlier than I said I'd turn them in and sometimes that gets a blowjob face and sometimes I can actually push and get it done.

I've also done extensive beta reading for a couple of other writers - three novels for EM Lynley (Spaghetti Western: Sex, Lies, and Wedding Bells, and Dirty Dining.) one for Elizabeth Black (Full Moon Fever) and several short stories for Nickie Jamison... not to mention editing an entire anthology from soup to nuts.

I've learned to say No to projects - even very interesting projects! - when I know I haven't got the time to give them their full attention. I've learned to say Yes to projects that scare the shit out of me. I've gained a substantial backlist. I've learned to politely reject a story submission. I've gained confidence as an author and confidence in my own work. I've learned to tell the difference between a bad story and one I just happen to not like.  

So, 2014 has been a busy year....

Goals and ongoing projects

finish revisions of A Wanted Woman and submit
outline and write Sins of Angels
outline and write All that Jazz
outline Terran Academy, parts 1 - 3
write Terran Academy part 1 (I'm not really sure what the schedule looks like for this yet, since publication won't occur until 2016)
begin short stories for Connections goal to complete 4 per year.
novella length project for MEWR

Projects that may or may not get done next year

- Hailey's Comet, a YA LGBT novel
- The Wormwood Trade, a steampunk romance
- Punked Up (book 5 of Rainbow Connections)
- Ghost Magics (book 4 of Demoniac Codex)
- Pretty much anything Rose Caraway asks me to do, because AWESOME
- Coming Together shapeshifter project, Were What? for Bat Sanctuary charity

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