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Hello 2019!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Write two polished short stories.  Failure.  I wrote one, but didn’t finish the second one. 😦
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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? 🙂

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Read 25 Books + Editing Pass Complete!

So earlier in the week, I got sick.  It sucked, because while I was feeling completely like crap, I didn’t feel like working on that short story I’ve got on the go (even though I had just a few paragraphs left to go on that editing pass!)

But what I did end up doing was reading.  Quite a bit, actually.  As of today, I finished one book and read two more, including Steve Brusatte’s The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, which I read in about 24 hours (thanks in large part to starting it while waiting to see a doctor yesterday).  The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs actually ended up being book 25 in my reading challenge!  So yes, as of earlier today, I accomplished one of my goals for the year – I read 25 books!  At least some good came of being sick. 🙂

In all seriousness though, I am feeling a bit better today.  I’m now on antibiotics, which I think is the main reason for that.  I’ve eaten a bit more today without feeling super nauseous (thanks to being nauseous, I barely ate anything over the last two days).  I’ve spent the evening making soup (it seriously has ended up an entire evening affair – I started at about 6pm, and it finally finished at almost midnight! Oh well, at least I now have soup). And over the last few hours of soup making, I sat down to finish this editing pass on my short story. 🙂

So with my story shaping up, I went to go and check the Duotrope listing I’m planning on submitting it to.  The listing closes in about a week and a half, so I’ve still got plenty of time to work on it.  Unfortunately, I just realized the listing wants short stories of 3500- 5000 words in length.  And their website says they are looking for horror (the Duotrope listing says horror, sci fi, and fantasy).  This story is currently quite a bit shorter than 3500 words (it’s now 2440, which is over 1000 words longer than the first draft, so it’s moving in the right direction), and is not at all a horror.  I just sent them a message over Facebook asking about the genre and whether they are open to accepting shorter submissions (someone else asked about the shorter submissions on their website, but they didn’t answer).  And of course after I asked my questions I found that they say they are open to all forms of speculative fiction.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get this story to 3500 words or not.  But that’s a problem for another day.  For tonight I’m just happy to be done this editing pass! And whether it gets submitted anywhere or not, at the very least it will hopefully be one of the two polished short stories I wanted to write this year. 🙂

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Blog Progress

I’m rather proud of myself: I’ve managed to successfully post on Sustainably North weekly for over a month!  When I first started that blog, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with it (considering my track record on here hasn’t been great).  I don’t know that I’ve managed to find the proper voice for the blog yet, but it has been getting a bit easier to write posts.  I don’t want to stretch myself too thin or get overwhelmed (I have a really bad habit of that because I always seem to take on too much or try to work on multiple big projects at the same time), so I’m going to keep Sustainably North going at one post a week for now.

With that going well, I need to start adding in other things too (but nothing too big because I don’t want to get overwhelmed).  Specifically, I think I need to start working on some of my goals for the year.  I’ve already managed to read 16 novel-length books (8 were actual novels), so I’m not too worried about my reading goal.  So that means it’s time to either work on one of my RPGs or look at writing a short story.

Oh, thinking of short stories: I WAS working on one back in early April.  I found a market that sounded intriguing and started writing something for it.  But by the time I got through most of a draft, I realized the story wouldn’t actually fit the market very well.  So that got shelved and unfortunately I haven’t been working on anything else since.

So I think my plan of attack for this week is going to be to start working on another short story.  I need to either find another market on Duotrope that interests me, or else pull out one of the stories I’ve shelved and actually finish it.  I’ll see what catches my interest over the next few days. 🙂

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Hello 2018!

Happy New Year everyone!  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:

  1. Read 40 novels.  Success!  I read forty novels, a bunch of graphic novels, and a bunch of comics!  2017 was a great year for reading!
  2. Write four polished short stories.  Yeeeah….partial success I guess?  I did write one.  But that was it.  I did start on a second one, but I discovered that Imezza isn’t in as good shape as I thought; I got a bit bogged down in worldbuilding, and the story ended up really blah as a result.
  3. Work on Tears of the King. This was nice and vague.  I worked on it a bit this year (it’s no where near being finished).  So partial success?  I don’t know if I built another third, but I did make some progress.

I apparently also set a fourth goal, which I managed to forget about (it was to spend an hour a week on writing).  😦

2017 saw me start two new RPG Maker Games (oops): Memories and a second one I haven’t actually talked about on here yet (oops, I’ll have to remedy that).  It also saw me working on a freelance project which I’m still unable to talk about, which was very exciting.  It also saw me slowly and unexpectedly move away from my second job.  So for 2018, I’m going to work on freelancing a little more than I have.

So with that in mind, here are the goals I’m going to set for 2018:

  1. Read 25 novels.  Well, novel-length books.  I know that the 40 novels from last year was my only really successful goal, but I need to back that off.  I found that 40 novels was a lot of pressure while I’m trying to accomplish other things.  I also found myself shying away from any books longer than around 300 pages, so making this goal less should help me tackle some of the longer books I’ve had for years and have ignored.
  2. Write two polished short stories.  I wrote one, so this year I will aim for two.
  3. Finish a bloody RPG! Like I said, I currently have THREE RPG Maker games on the go.  So this year, I want to get SOMETHING finished!  lol I also have to not start another RPG Maker game until I get something finished!

A couple of final notes for the upcoming year:

  • next weekend I’m going to be participating in my first ever game jam!  I’m really excited for it!  I’ll have to blog more about it. 🙂
  • I am not going to make a goal for “so much time writing” this year.  Instead, I’ve currently got one guaranteed afternoon off from work, so I’m going to try to use that time for working on things, be they writing or researching (although it’s also a time I use for other things like vet appointments, because I know it’s a time I don’t work).  Depending on how the year goes, this can change, so I’ll have to be flexible with it.

So that’s it.  Hopefully 2018 will be a good and creative year, giving me the flexibility to work on different things (and actually get some stuff finished!)

So what about you? Have you set any goals for the upcoming year? 🙂

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Autumn Update

I’ve been rather quiet on here since talking about refreshing my writing space  and submitting that short story (omg I forgot to mention – it was accepted!!!) The reason was that I was working on a big freelance project that came my way.  Once it was over, I had to deal with a couple of personal things (and honestly rest my brain!)  I read four books over the last week, which was great (I hadn’t read any fiction since early September); one of them, Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker, was absolutely fantastic!

Today was a day spent catching up on email and whatnot.  I went through all the Duotrope emails I’ve ignored over the last few months, looking into a few more listings that sounded interesting.  I also signed up for my very first game jam, which will happen in mid-January.  I don’t have a team yet (as far as I know, I’m the only local person who has signed up so far); I figure I’ll just make a small game on RPG Maker or Twine if no one else signs up (since I do not have the coding know-how to make an engine or anything fancy like that).  I’m really excited though – I’ve always wanted to participate in one, and now there’s one being held locally (previously this particular game jam was held only in Sudbury – that’s not too far away, relatively speaking, but the time of year is so iffy with the weather).

So now I’m not quite sure what I want to be working on.  I have two RPG Maker projects on the go (both Tears of the King and Memories), so I wouldn’t mind working on one of those.  But I also wanted to write four polished short stories this year (and to date I’ve only written one).  With just over a month left of the year, it’s looking like I may have to sacrifice one in order to achieve the other.  So I’m going  to take some time to decide on what exactly I want to be working on through December.

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Hello 2017!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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! 😉
  8. Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book – failure.
  9. Take apart my NaNoWriMo 2015 blob – success! I succeeded at this back in February!  🙂
  10. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.  🙂

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Hello 2016!

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:

  1. Read 50+ books off of The List -partial success.  I read 51 books this year, but only 25 off The List.
  2. Stay in shape – I’m going to say failure.  I did get back to swimming, but really late in the year.
  3. 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!  🙂
  4. 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).
  5. Write the Grief Project  – success!  A first draft was completed in my NaNoWriMo blob!
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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!  😦
  10. 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.
  11. 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:

  1. Finish Tears of the King.  That should obviously go without saying.
  2. 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.
  3. Take a Lego Picture a month (and actually post it in a timely manner). I can do it!
  4. 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!
  5. Be more active.  Going hand in hand with number 4.  Also breaking it down for myself into better detail.
  6. 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.
  7. 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?  🙂
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. 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!

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