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. 🙂
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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Write two polished short stories. I wrote one, so this year I will aim for two.
- 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? 🙂
Filed under goals, Updates
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.
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. 🙂
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!
I was working all day on Friday, and then I had plans to hang out with a friend. So I didn’t end up working on any personal projects on that day. But I did get to spend a bunch of time writing during work. I was starting to work on an article that’ll be due at the end of the month. I was also working on organizing some interviews for TBPL Off the Shelf (I’m once again interviewing the authors who are coming to Thunder Bay for the IFOA), plus I have to have a book review written early this week, and I have two more articles due at the end of the month. I’ve also got two articles that were/will be published (something in the Seniors paper, because the library columnist who usually writes the column is going to be away a lot this fall, plus an @ Your Library article which should be published in Sunday’s paper). So the whole month should be quite busy with work writing.
On the projects front, I wrote “Just One More Level” for Apocalypse Madness Tuesday night and published it on the blog Wednesday afternoon. I’m considering NaNoWriMo again this year. I haven’t participated for the last couple of years. I’ve kind of said (not on this blog I don’t think), that I’m not going to participate again because I currently have two messes of novels that I’m not sure what to do with. But while thinking of it, I realized that I don’t have to write a particular body of work that equals 50,000 words. I just need to write 50,000 words. So I was thinking I would do some work on what I’ve been calling the Grief Project, which is one of my goals that I have not done any work on so far. I’m not even sure how big of a story that’s going to end up, so I don’t want to commit to making it a 50,000 word novel. I’ll also have to write something for Apocalypse Madness next month, so I was thinking I’d tack on the word count for that as well. And probably any work I do on Tears of the King if I’m working on it (I may put it aside just for November, but we’ll see).
My friend and I finished Secret of Mana on the Wii Friday night! I played it by myself around September 11th, but he offered to help me play through it after that, which I thought was great. We’ve played it about once a week for the last few weeks. I thought we *might* be able to finish it last week, but there’s quite a lot to the game and we had to hold off because it was 5 in the morning. I think that was my first real video game RPG that I’ve finished, or at least my first old-school one. I was looking at it from a game design perspective, seeing what I can learn to help me make Tears. I need to choose another game to play now; I’m thinking either Chrono Trigger on the Wii or Whisper of a Rose on Steam. I’m swaying towards Whisper of a Rose because I think it was made with RPG Maker. Unfortunately most of the RPGs I’m looking at are single player, so my friend won’t be able to help me through them, too (so we’re going to find something else to play through eventually).
…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
I did it: I made it to GDC in San Francisco this year! I’m really excited to be able to scratch that off of my list of goals for the year!
I went to San Francisco on March 16th. With the time changes, I made it there around 1pm. I met the friend I stayed with at San Fran in the airport (we split a room); we checked into the hotel, then went to China Town. Last time I was in San Fran (for Casual Connect last summer), I meant to go to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory but forgot about it. So that was the first thing I wanted to see! You have to pay 50¢ to take pictures, which in my mind was well worth it. I got a bunch of free samples, and ended up buying several bags of fortune cookies (which actually made it home relatively intact).
After China Town, we met up with some friends at the GDC badge pickup party; GDC had officially begun! I ended up going out for dinner with some friends that night, then heading back to the hotel a bit early; Sunday was the one and only night where that happened!
Monday and Tuesday were the Narrative Summit days. Being a writer, those talks were my primary interest in GDC (besides the networking opportunities). I sat in on some excellent talks, including my friend’s day two talk about putting more sexy men into video games (“Fewer Tifas or More Sephiroths? Male Sexualization in Games”), which was being haled as THE talk of the Summit.
Day three I called a “me” day. My friend and I stayed and chatted in the hotel until about noon. Eventually we wandered to the conference, although she went sooner than I did because she had an All Access pass (I only had as Summits and Tutorials badge, which meant there was a lot less for me to do on the latter three days of GDC). So I went to a round table, then went to meet another friend of mine and go see the Golden Gate Bridge. The two of us have been friends on Xbox Live for 6-7 years; last Wednesday was our first time meeting in person.
The final two days were mostly networking and checking out both the Expo Hall and GDC Play. I wish I had discovered GDC Play sooner than Friday because it was a lot of fun!
In the end, I had a really great time seeing old friends and meeting new ones. And now I’m hoping to make it back to GDC next year!
Pictures from my trip can be found here if you’re interested. 🙂
It is official: I am going to GDC!
I know that I made getting to GDC one of my goals for the year. But over the last few weeks, I was worried that getting to San Francisco this March wouldn’t be a reality. But I’ve managed to sort everything out and have registered for the conference. I’ve also spoken with a friend and we’re going to room together.
I can’t wait! 🙂
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! 🙂