So yesterday afternoon, I decided I was going to make it through all of my other blog’s Pinterest emails . Pinterest sends so many emails that I have a hard time keeping up with them sometimes, and I’d managed to accumulate a whole bunch. When I was down to about 15 (less than half left!) I decided to start reorganizing my boards. I’ve reorganized them once before, but I still thought they were far too vague. Over the course of the afternoon, I split a few and reorganized them into sections. I really liked how everything was shaping up and was almost done when my browser really started to lag. Suddenly I was logged out of Pinterest, and when I tried to log back in, I was told my account was suspended!
I’m not entirely sure what happened. I’ve contacted Pinterest’s help centre and hope to have it resolved soon (maybe the Pinterest bots thought my reorganizing was spammy? I didn’t think it was because pretty much everything I was working with at the time was already pinned).
After that happened I was pretty bummed out and didn’t work on anything else. But earlier in the day I started coming up with a vague plan for that blog moving forward. I’ll give a better update on that once I have a more solid plan in place. 🙂
Oh, I’ve also done some editing for a few friends over the weekend. The first bit of editing was at work last Thursday and Friday; I’m working with a radio-style script for a big project (sorry, I’m keeping details rather vague on that, but it’s a project I’m quite excited for!) I’ve helped come up with the story, but my coworker did the actual writing of the script. I did a read-through of it with another coworker (which was super fun) and we determined that the script was too long (it was interesting, at 18 pages it took us 27 minutes to read, plus we were told we were reading it too fast). So I’ve been trying to shorten it. So far I’ve brought it down to 15.5 pages (I was hoping to take it down to about 14, so there’s still a bit to go). But I’ve taken a lot of the repetition out of the script and just tightened up the dialogue. At this point I’d kind of like to do another read-through before attempting to shorten it any more (because maybe shortening the dialogue was good enough?) We’ll see.
Then on Saturday I edited another friend’s story. He’s been working on it for awhile and has asked me for editing suggestions. Finally, on Sunday, I started playtesting yet another friend’s game that they made with RPG Maker VX Ace; I need to finish playing through that still to let him know what I think (so far it’s been great!)
Wow, I didn’t think I had done much, but this last week was actually really busy! I’m hoping that this week I’ll be able to turn a bit more attention back to my own writing though. 🙂
Happy New Year’s! It’s that time of year again – time to look at the goals I set for myself last year and set new goals for this year. Last year, my goals were:
- Read 25 novels. Success! I read over 50 novel-length books this year! I didn’t read many long ones, but that’s okay. Having no pressure to read made it much more enjoyable over 2018.
- Write two polished short stories. Failure. I wrote one, but didn’t finish the second one. 😦
- Finish a bloody RPG! Failure. I didn’t really work on anything at all. 😦
For 2018 I was hoping to work towards freelancing more. Even though I wasn’t really successful with my goals, I think I was somewhat successful thanks to starting my other blog, Sustainably North. Thanks to Sustainably North, I was asked by bUneke Magazine to write a monthly column, which has been a lot of fun and tremendous experience. For my day job I also wrote 9 articles, 7 book reviews, and interviewed 12 authors for TBPL Off the Shelf, so that’s pretty good, too. Oh and I almost forgot that 2018 saw my first published short story, “A Harmony of Soil and Sand,” which was published in Menagerie de Mythique Anthology back in May. So while I didn’t exactly meet all of my goals, I still think 2018 was a pretty good year of writing for me! 🙂
Oh yeah, and I participated in my very first game jam back in January! That was fun, too! 🙂
For 2019 I’d like to do things a little differently, particularly in regards to my writing goals. This year I’d like to set smaller goals every month rather than big overarching goals. My thought is that way I can use the end of the month as a deadline, plus I’ll have more flexibility in case other unexpected projects come my way (like when that big freelance project came my way back in 2017). Plus if something takes longer than planned (like how the story I’m working on for the Make Your Way anthology got bogged down in worldbuilding), I can adjust my scheduled goals accordingly. So here are my goals for 2019 so far:
- Read 25 novel-length books. 25 books worked really well for me last year and I’d like to keep the same goal. Like I said, this took the pressure off of me and made reading more fun. This goal is the only one I’m naming that’s for the whole year.
- Finish the story for the Make Your Way anthology by January 31st. I think that’s a reasonable amount of time to get this story written (and hopefully submitted!)
I’m not going to talk about Sustainably North goals on here right now. At this point I’m kind of just carrying on, trying to get a weekly blog post written plus an article for bUneke Magazine. If that changes, I’ll let you know. 😉
This will be an interesting year – I really hope that setting smaller monthly goals (with deadlines) will work better for me!
So what about you? Have you set any goals for the upcoming year? 🙂
Happy New Year everyone! 2016 was in many ways a difficult year. But in other ways it was a great year. I started my radio show AND got a permanent part time position at the library. I also just got back from a wonderful few weeks in sunny Florida (pictures forthcoming on Flickr!)
Here’s all the things I wanted to do in 2016:
- Finish Tears of the King – failure. I didn’t finish it, but I did work on it a bit more earlier in the year (to the point that I would say 1/3 is functioning and built). I think I made this game much bigger than I should have; it’s going to take me awhile yet to finish it.
- Write four polished short stories – failure. I don’t think I really wrote any short stories. I brought a few older ones with me to edit and that didn’t even happen. Oh well.
- Take a Lego Picture a month (and actually post it in a timely manner) –
failure huh partial success. I took one and posted it relatively on time every month until the fall. I seriously thought this had fallen apart long before then.
- Eat healthier – huh, partial success. I started using my dietary scale to make Greek yogurt parfaits with granola (which I love). I’m also a bit more conscious of my portions. Not bad!
- Be more active – partial success. I walked a lot over the summer, and a lot over the last few weeks in Florida. Plus last month I went swimming a lot, too.
- Read the anthologies I own – failure. I read 4 anthologies or short story collections. One of them was honestly an accident (I didn’t realize The Jungle Book was a short story collection when I started reading it). I also think I’ve read one of the four before (but didn’t realize it until I recognized the final story in the collection). I’ve also got two anthologies on the go right now and haven’t read from either of them in awhile.
- Build 1 of my worlds that need building. – this is another partial success. I did spend some time working on another world, but I don’t think I got it to the point where I feel it is ready to work with (the setting is still unnamed at this point, though I have spent some time trying to name it with no luck thus far). Hilariously I also spent a bit of time working on magic in Imezza while I was in Florida; sitting on a beach watching dolphins is sort of the best inspiration for an ocean world! 😉
- Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book – failure.
- Take apart my NaNoWriMo 2015 blob – success! I succeeded at this back in February! 🙂
- Work with Chat Mapper – failure. I have done nothing with Chat Mapper since January 2015 (which was fun though!)
While I didn’t accomplish many of my goals for the year, as I said, I ended up starting a radio show, which has been a great experience! My life has taken me in some unplanned directions, making me a lot busier than I may have previously been. So with that in mind, I’m going to make less goals for this year, but make them things I really, really want to accomplish. Hopefully this way I can keep myself a little more focussed on things now that I have more limited time. So this year I want to:
- Read 40 novels. In 2016 I read a lot of shorter things (both graphic novels and short stories). So this year I’d like to focus on longer works. Ideally most of those longer works will come from books I have stockpiled in my house but we’ll see what happens.
- Write four polished short stories. I have three worlds built to a point they can be written in/about, and a fourth one coming along okay. It’s time to start using these worlds!!! Plus there’s a short story contest I’d like to enter.
- Work on Tears of the King. Ideally I’d like to finish it. But even getting another third built would be awesome!
Those are realistically my most important creative goals for this year. Taking Lego pictures is fun, but I don’t want to bog myself down thinking I HAVE to take them. Chat Mapper hasn’t happened for the last few years, so there’s no point in worrying about it now (but if it does happen this year, that’s still cool). Likewise, I haven’t gotten around to editing any of the NaNoWriMo books I’ve written and they’re not a priority to me at this time (but again, if I do get around to them, that’s great). And I don’t need to do any more worldbuilding, but again if it happens, that’s great (and I already know I have to tweak a few things in my Imezza and Faeriia Google docs thanks to my brief work on Imezzan magic over the last few weeks). I also decided not to bother posting my non-Creative goals here since this blog is entirely devoted to my creative endeavours.
EDIT: I came up with one more goal. Goal #4 is to spend one hour a week on writing. This hour can be spent on Tears of the King, worldbuilding, editing, short stories, novels, whatever. I’ll even schedule it into my week if I have to!
So there we have it – my goals for 2017. Wish me luck as I work to accomplish everything! I’ll do my best to keep this blog updated with my writing progress. 🙂
Last week I got a message from Black Chicken Studios about their new Kickstarter, Victory Belles. I read the blurb and thought it sounded pretty neat – a dating simulator set in WW2, where the major warring factions are forced to team up and fight a bigger threat, the Morganas. Being wholly unfamiliar with dating simulators, I was picturing some kind of intriguing visual novel-style game where people of the different and often opposed factions were teaming up to fight this new threat. (I was thinking of something similar to Voltage‘s My Killer Romance or the hilarious White Lies and Sweet Nothings, both of which I tried a few years ago to get a feel for the genre). But then I watched the Victory Belles Kickstarter video, and realized I was somewhat mistaken. The Belles of the title are the spirits of warships likened to valkyries or kami and you get to collect them into a fleet to battle this new foe. Oh, but don’t worry, you can still date the ships (it IS a dating sim afterall).
After watching the video, I realized that all of the Belles were female. This led me to wonder about ships and how they are gendered in English to be a “she.” I don’t know if this is true as much nowadays (Grammarphobia said back in 2010 that doing so has become quaint; “it” and “its” may be replacing “she” and “her” in English). Leading further from that thought, I also started to wonder if other languages gender their ships the way we do (or did) in English.
Not knowing where to look, I turned to Google with a couple of vague searches like “do other languages refer to ships as she.” This was really frustrating because it brought up a lot of links talking about why ships are referred to as female in English. But then on Yahoo Answers, one of the answers I found noted that in Russian, ships are masculine. Following up on that, I managed to find this discussion here, which confirmed that generally Russian ships are masculine. There are some exceptions, like submarines. This is apparently true in South Asian cultures as well (ships=masculine, submarines=feminine). So it looks like I have my answer: other languages do gender their ships, but do not always refer to them as female.
During this research, I was chatting a bit with my friend at Black Chicken Studios. I posed the question to him, and he said that the German Bismarck “was considered so powerful that the Germans decided that only a male could have such power.” A WW2 German ship referred to as a male? How interesting. I asked if they’d made the Bismarck into a Belle. He said no, the Bismarck wasn’t commissioned in 1939 and so will not be appearing in the game. Which made me sad, because I really wanted to see the masculine Bismarck interpreted as a Belle. I guess I’ll just have to settle for the Russian Kirov instead.
Check out the Black Chicken Studios Kickstarter for Victory Belles here!
Happy New Year everyone!!! 2015 was overall a really good year for me and I’m rather sad to see it go. But hopefully 2016 will be just as good!
Here’s all the things I said I wanted to do in 2015:
- Read 50+ books off of The List -partial success. I read 51 books this year, but only 25 off The List.
- Stay in shape – I’m going to say failure. I did get back to swimming, but really late in the year.
- Get 2+ of my worlds that need building up to the point Imezza is currently at – success! City of the Dead and Faeriia are not done but I can easily write stories set in them. That sounds like the point Imezza is at to me! 🙂
- Finish the screenplay I started – failure because this was going to be a gift for a boyfriend who I broke up with in March (so I stopped caring about it).
- Write the Grief Project – success! A first draft was completed in my NaNoWriMo blob!
- Write a story a month for Apocalypse Madness – success! I actually wrote 13 stories plus wrote something with Chat mapper for Apocalypse Madness last January.
- Build a game – partial success. After Storynexus stopped being supported I switched back to RPG Maker (which meant switching to a different game). Tears of the King is not completed, but I’m still working on it!
- Figure out Chat Mapper – I’m going to list this as a partial success because I did write that Apocalypse Madness thing in January. But that was the last time I even looked at the program, so I don’t want to say it was a full success.
- Take a Lego Picture a month – failure. I stopped taking as many pictures in general this year and miss it, but I just haven’t had time! 😦
- Fix up my Red Bubble profile – I actually did do this early in 2015. So it’s a success, but I haven’t added anything to it since then.
- Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book – failure. Lack of time.
No wonder 2015 was a good year for me – out of 11 goals for 2015, I completely succeeded with 4 of them (and 2 of them were quite sizable – writing a story a month for Apocalypse Madness and getting two worlds to the detail level of Imezza!) I also made a valiant effort on a few others, with only 4 as outright failures! What’s more, I actually succeeded on more writing projects than I did last year! (I think my main accomplishment last year was to build Imezza). So 2015 really was a good year! 🙂
So let’s look to 2016. This year I want to:
- Finish Tears of the King. That should obviously go without saying.
- Write four polished short stories. I’m very proud of the work I spent writing for Apocalypse Madness this last year. But Apocalypse Madness is all about writing first or maybe second drafts. So this year I want to put the time into writing more quality pieces, not quantity. I’m planning on perusing Duotrope for markets that I’m interested in and writing a story every quarter for one.
- Take a Lego Picture a month (and actually post it in a timely manner). I can do it!
- Eat healthier. I’ve been so busy over the last several months in particular and I feel unhealthy. So 2016 is the year I’m going to try to be healthier. I’m just listing this here as part of my goals, but don’t worry, I’m breaking this down for myself in better detail!
- Be more active. Going hand in hand with number 4. Also breaking it down for myself into better detail.
- Read the anthologies I own. Looking through my list of books, i have over 25 anthologies of short stories on there! So this year I’m going to focus on getting through most of those (if I make it through 20 I will consider this a success). As a side note, I’m going to mark my Goodreads Challenge as reading 40 books for the year. So that means I hope that half of my challenge will be made up of short story collections.
- Build 1 of my worlds that need building. I don’t really need to do this this year, but I know there are two main worlds that need building (well, one world, one science fiction setting that in reality will be multiple worlds). If I can get through one more right now, that’ll only help me more in the future, right? 🙂
- Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book. This is the same as last year – I want to make it into a coherent narrative that I can share with people.
- Take apart my NaNoWriMo 2015 blob. This sounds a bit silly, but I’ve already put it off for a month. The blob is made up of worldbuilding, Grief Project, more worldbuilding, and several other, smaller things (stories, a blog post, etc). I need to take it apart and organize everything (particularly the worldbuilding and Grief Project. The smaller things are pretty much self contained inside of it).
- Work with Chat Mapper. This poor goal has been on my lists for the last few years (since 2013!) It’s time to actually do some work with branching dialogue!
So there we have it – my goals for 2016. The first five goals are really my priorities for the year. Wish me luck as I work to accomplish everything!
Back in June of 2013, I did some content writing for the Gamebook Holdfast: Record of the Dwarven Kingdom Volume 1 (originally titled Holdfast: A Gamebook of Dwarven Vengeance on the Kickstarter page). I received my copy of Holdfast in December 2013, and have been showing people it since then. A lot of people have asked me where they could get a copy of the gamebook; unfortunately it was only available to the people who backed it on Kickstarter. But today, that all changed – Holdfast is now available as a PDF on DriveThruRPG!
According to the Kickstarter update, so far only the main book is available on DriveThruRPG. But Black Chicken Studios has plans to release the add-on material over the next couple of months as well.
…time to see how I did with my goals and set some new ones for the year!
Last year I set ten goals for myself, but only wrote down the writing-related ones. But after a bit of a scare (I thought I lost the paper I wrote them all down on), I’m going to list all ten off here, along with my progress on them:
- Move out – success! I got my own place this December. I moved there with my new cat, Merlin. 🙂
- Get to GDC Main in SF – success! You can read all about it here.
- Finish reading 50+ books -success! I actually read 58 books!
- Get in better shape – sort of a success – I was going swimming twice a week all fall, but had to stop in December due to moving out and Christmas. Will be heading back to the pool this month though!
- Clear out my writing magazine stash – success! I got rid of a lot of them once I knew I was moving.
- Fix up my website (and eLance profile) – sort of a success – I fixed it up a bit before GDC, but haven’t done anything new to it since then (except update it with any articles I’ve had published). For the eLance profile, I don’t think I’ve even BEEN on eLance since the spring…
- Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 novel OR write a new novel using 90 Days to Your Novel – failure. All I did was look over 90 Days and decide not to use it. Since that time, I haven’t done a thing with my novel.
- Build 2+ of my worlds that need building – failure (sort of). I spent quite a bit of time working on worlds earlier in the year, and managed to get one up to a point that I think I could write stuff in it. It’s still not “done” though – there are some aspects that I still need to work on.
- Build a game (I don’t care with what) – failure. I was all gung-ho to build a Storynexus game after GDC, but that fell by the wayside (particularly when I realized the story I had in mind wasn’t going to work).
- Figure out Chat Mapper and write some branching dialogue – failure. I haven’t done a thing with Chat Mapper.
So of the ten goals, I succeeded at five, worked on two, and utterly failed at three. Unfortunately I didn’t really succeed at any of my creative goals (but I did a lot of work on worldbuilding, which will only benefit me in the future!)
With that in mind, it’s time to set some new goals for 2015!
- Read 50+ books off of The List (so that means non-library books – just books I currently own!)
- Stay in shape (get back to swimming and keep it up!)
- Get 2+ of my worlds that need building up to the point Imezza is currently at.
- Finish the screenplay I started. I forgot to write about it, but I started a screenplay at the end of November. It was meant to be a Christmas gift, but I ran out of time due to moving. So now it’s going to be a birthday gift. I have until August to finish it.
- Write the Grief Project. I had planned on doing this sooner, but my grief for my cat was too great and I couldn’t do it last fall.
- Write a story a month for Apocalypse Madness. Apocalypse Madness is a blog I started back in 2008. The idea is that every month someone would post a quote, then everyone who contributed to the blog had to write at least one story inspired by that quote. The blog died in 2011 (due to a number of reasons), but I decided I wanted to revive it starting today. So for the first time in three and a half years, there is a new quote; hopefully stories will follow! And if you’d like to join in on Apocalypse Madness, send me an email or comment on this post! 🙂
- Build a game. I don’t care with what (could be Storynexus, RPG Maker, Game Maker, a game book, whatever!)
- Figure out Chat Mapper. Same as last year.
- Take a Lego Picture a month. I’ve fallen away from Lego pics over the last while. I miss it.
- Fix up my Red Bubble profile. This kind of goes hand in hand with 9.
As a bonus:
- Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book. At least to the point where I feel okay sharing it with people.
So those are my new goals for 2015. This year there’s a lot more creative goals, so wish me luck with them! You’ll notice that there’s also nothing about getting to conferences. As much as I’d love to go back to GDC, or one of the other game ones, I don’t think that’s a reality for me this year. Of course, if that should change, I’ll blog about it. 🙂
Filed under goals, Updates
Sometimes plans can change unexpectedly. That’s what happened this week. I haven’t done a whole lot of writing lately because I’ve had some friends visiting from out of town. One was a good friend who grew up here; he came for his first visit home in two years. Then a few days after he left, another friend came up from the US to visit; I spent the week hanging out and showing him all the cool stuff around town. It was a fun week, but it was exhausting. After driving him back to the States so he could catch his flight home, I drove back here, expecting to spend the next few days getting caught up on sleep and emails, getting ready to work in earnest on the StoryNexus game I’ve been planning, and most importantly, hanging out with Tink.
But all of that changed on the way home. I got a call, urging me to get home quickly. And what I came home to was one of the most devastating things imaginable: Tink was gone.
When I’d left earlier that day, none of us had an inkling that he wouldn’t be there when I got home. He passed away quite suddenly during the evening; he was gone well before I made it home.
I don’t want to give a lot of details. The last few days have been hard. Everywhere I look, I’m reminded of him (particularly in the basement, where we lived together). Eventually this will be a good thing; the memories I have of him are all good ones and I wouldn’t change these last two months for anything. But right now they’re just a constant reminder that he’s gone.
So earlier today, I decided to put the StoryNexus project on hold, and instead channel my grief into a new project. I will provide updates when I can, but they will probably be few, particularly during the first bit while I’m working through the worst of my grief.
Last year I made myself a list of goals, most of which were writing related. Of the 11 goals I made for myself, I managed to accomplish exactly one off of the list. And it wasn’t one of my writing ones.
That being said, I did some work on the other goals. I played around with Chat Mapper a little bit. I started world building one of those worlds that need building. And while I didn’t clear out my writing magazine stash (one of my unlisted goals), I did clear out some other magazines.
I also accomplished some things which weren’t on my list. I was involved with a game project among friends. Sure, it ultimately didn’t go anywhere, but it was still a valuable experience. I also worked on Holdfast, which resulted in a published credit. And then I wrote that submission for the Dark Crystal Author Quest, which was quite a feat in and of itself (a couple months of research followed by three writing and editing it). I think the lesson from all of this is that while goals are good, it also pays to be flexible; you never know what opportunities life will throw at you.
So with that in mind, here are my new writing goals for 2014:
- Figure out Chat Mapper and write some branching dialogue with it.
- Build 2+ of my worlds that need building.
- Build a game (can be with RPG Maker, Game Maker, StoryNexus or whatever).
- Edit my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel OR write a new novel using 90 Days to Your Novel
- Get to GDC Main this year.
Most of these goals are the same as my last year’s goals, but that’s okay; I’m thinking they’re still good goals to strive for. For the fourth one, I’ve had 90 Days to Your Novel for quite awhile and wanted to give it a try. I might even just rewrite the NaNoWriMo novel using that book’s techniques since I’m pretty certain the book needs an almost total rewrite anyway.
I have a couple of other goals for the year that aren’t really writing related so I’m not going to post them here. That last goal isn’t completely writing related, but I do talk about conferences from time to time here, too. I’ve been saying I’m going to GDC for the last few years and still haven’t made it; I’d really like to change that in 2014!
Hopefully 2014 will be a creative and productive year for us all – Happy New Year, everyone! 🙂
Back in June, I talked about some work I did for a friend and his team on Holdfast, a gamebook that was funded through Kickstarter. The book shipped this December, and made it here a few days ago!
I’m still so excited to see my name in print. 🙂
I haven’t read through the book yet, but I did flip through and find a few pieces of what I wrote. It looks like the characters I created back in June made it into the final product (I found my three Battle Priests and four of the five Pit Fighters I created).