Tag Archives: goals

2014 in Review

This year I

  • Went through a full submission process for my novella Queen of the Eight Banners, then decided to use the novella to keep experimenting with publication formats.  Hello, Wattpad.
  • Wrote a novelette, got it read/critiqued, but haven’t managed to come back to it yet, for reasons further explained below.
  • Wrote a short story and a scene snippet set in a world am developing, though neither particularly stand alone.
  • Decided to stop submitting stories to publication venues and focus on playing in a rejection-free sandbox instead.
  • Launched my fairy tale & folktale translation website in July.
  • Annnnd… also in July I became a full-time primary caretaker and my writing, alpha-reading, &c. pretty much came to a screeching halt.  However, I am still managing small monthly updates on my translation website.
  • Caved and got a tumblr page so I can keep track of my favorite artists (after Google dropped their RSS Reader) and also to support my translation website.
  • Started a Patreon fundraising page to support my fairy tale & folktale translation website, and we hit the milestone goal that makes having the patreon worth it–with only two patrons, which surprised me.

In other words, 2014 has been a year full of transitions. We’ll see what 2015 brings.

Forgive the personal moment:

The worst part about being chronically ill is the inability to explain what it’s like to those who are not, (especially one that is 80% of the time invisible to others’ detection). A click of understanding is tangible. You feel when it’s there…and when it’s not. No matter the “good intentions” or the sympathy.

I remember being on the other side of the wall years ago, trying to understand my friends who were ill. How far away I was from understanding, though I really did try…. If there is one thing I would never trade, it is the knowledge I now have of what this is like.  In the mean time, I’ll keep trying to find ways to show, explain. It’s the least–and most–I can do for all the others who are suffering and will suffer this way.

Without understanding, there can only be loneliness….

Update on Goals.

There’s no way I can meet my goal of finishing A Cautionary Tale of Love and War by the end of the month.  I have to keep playing the back and forth game of dreaming of reaching the stars and then belatedly realizing that my health means I have to crawl–not run–to get there.

If there’s one thing I have a hard time doing these days it’s meeting deadlines.  I managed to meet all the ones I set for myself in April, but this go around it looks like that’s a No.

One thing I have learned from this is that expectations are what take the most energy out of you and give you the  most frustrations.  Expectations should be moldable, interchangeable, adaptable. Hope should be a constant fuel.  I hadn’t realized that expectation and hope were two separate things before.  I’m still trying to work it out, but that’s what I’ve got so far.

So here are my new set of goals to attempt to adapt to the situation I’m facing.

  1. Continue to crawl towards my goal of finishing A Cautionary Tale soon. (Never give up, never surrender!)
  2. Sign-post goal of finishing THE WITCH’S TOWER by the end of July still. I likely won’t make that goal, but if not I still have the goal of finishing before WorldCon in August.
  3. It appears the short story a month goal is too much to add on top of that. So let’s change that to short story per quarter, so I can have something to submit to Writers of the Future.  I have short story ideas enough to last me the end of the year while still focusing mostly on noveling.

News! And some long-term goals

As of last week–Two things of import!

  1. Meg and I have decided we’re going to WorldCon together in August. Woot! The timing and location work out really well, so I think it’s a go!
  2. My novel THE WITCH’S TOWER now has an ending I’m happy with!  I’m also passed my block of uncertainty on what should happen in the upcoming scenes. All because of insomnia.  Sometimes unpleasant things have good outcomes.

So! Anyone else going to WorldCon this year?

Other than that, I’ve been thinking about long-term goals recently. Using spreadsheets, I’ve mapped out the next months until the end of the year.

I still really want to have THE WITCH’S TOWER done by the end of July. That will hopefully give me enough time to fix the chapters I wrote without all the backstory I now know  and will give me about a month’s leeway before WorldCon at the end of August.  I’m penciling in September as a month of edits as well, and we’ll reevaluate from there.

I also have decided I want to write a short story, novelette, or novella every month.  The novel comes first in priority, of course, but it’s nice having a side project to take breaks on.  Also, I think it is a nice pace to go on, considering the short story writing markets’ typical response times. I’m going to stay organized and I’m going to keep my stories on submission. They don’t do any good just sitting on my hard drive, and even if they’re getting rejected–at least someone besides me is reading them!

As for the e-book publishing world vs. the traditional publishing world question, after much inward debating, I’ve decided that I still love Tor-Forge and DAW books too much not to try to become a part of their book community.  You don’t need an agent to submit to them, either, so I will definitely make submitting to them and doing my best to present myself and my novels well to them a top priority.

There are a few more things I should mention about possible projects in the future.  When I get to Utah, perhaps in July, a couple of things will happen. First, I will have my Maze of Mirrors script again, so that will add itself to my projects.  Second, I will have access to all of my translation materials and resources–including Pierre Corneille’s machine play Andromède, which I translated and compiled in 2008.  I am still hoping to review it, edit it some more, translate some additional materials and try to get it published.  We will see if I can end up publishing it traditionally…but really there is not a huge market for translated books in America that aren’t somehow textbook related.  Now I am beginning to wonder if I can’t release it as an e-book for the Kindle or Nook, etc.  There might be a market for it? If only as a sort of curiosity piece?  It really is a brilliant play, and I did a poetry to prose translation so it’s more approachable and I don’t think my writing is half bad, either.  My good friend and artist Niki Smith has already done the cover art for it and she did a gorgeous job with the design.

Other goals include going to ComicCon or TCAF next year. I’ve decided. I love art so, so much. And really, I can’t stay broke forever. New adventures must be had!

So long, folks! This entry brought to you by randomosity!

April Miracles, May Goals

Some writing-related miracles this month.

  1. Finished writing The Miller’s Daughter on time. (April 10)
  2. Finished beta-reading Joe’s novel on time. (April 15)
  3. Started submitting The Miller’s Daughter. (April 21)

All hard and miraculous with CFS. I’m really grateful.  And yes, just enjoying the Easter season.

And for my own curiosity, since February I’ve written approximately 16k of new material and have worked 48 hours on writing, editing, and researching, (not including alpha/beta reading).  Lol. Piddling statistics there. Oooh, CFS.

– – –

Some brief goals for May.

  1. Finish A Cautionary Tale of Love and War by the end of May.  I’ve been working on it since February at least and it’s still not done.  Originally I’d wanted the novel it belongs to to be done by May, but that’s when I was thinking I could do 1k a day everyday realistically. I just recalculated for a new goal of finishing the novel by the end of July.  Let’s hope I can make it.
  2. Get up to writing 2 hours a day as my norm. This is a CFS self-management/stamina thing. Right now my max is 1.5 hours.
  3. Start The Harvest Mask, hopefully finish it, too. I’m not foreseeing it becoming a novella monstrosity. Hopefully.  Either this one or the Armenian tale I’ve been thinking about.  I should actually decide what it is I want to work on as a side project.  Chinese or Armenian? Hmmm.  It might be better to work on the Armenian story first, since I was in Armenia recently and don’t want to forget any more than I have…. But The Harvest Mask has a plot and is closer to being ready to work on.
  4. Continue scheduling posts for MWF. Though it seems Fridays are the most active days, so if nothing else I’ll try to have a weekly post.  The Maze of Mirrors week-long post series was rather fun to do. Maybe I can find something similar?  I’ll try not to spam anyone’s RSS feeds, though. Promise!

Short stories, novellas, hmmm thinking aloud

So, I have lots of story ideas swimming around in my muddy, murky mind.  One thing I am noticing about CFS is that I have a really hard time holding onto big pictures and keeping details in my head, problem-solving and…just a lot of things that make it difficult to work on something novel-sized.   Even outlining I forget what I’ve outlined.

So I’m considering readapting my writing schedule a bit, and cutting down on the scope of things.  In other words, just writing short stories and novellas for a while.  I hit 12k on one project and am finding even its size a bit discouraging.

So I’m going to babble about projects and goals to adapt to this. The ones in bold are what I’m currently writing.  List of short stories/novellas goes like this –

  • The Ghost of Heaven’s Garden. 1k. Finished & edited twice through.
  • A Cautionary Tale of Love and War. 12k & ongoing.
  • Aji Dobi: Little Fox.  (Idea stage.) Possible prequel story to The Harvest Mask, set hundreds of years into the past. The story of a little farm girl among the Hu people who becomes a famous historical figure.
  • The Harvest Mask. (Planning & research stage, adapted from novel-size) About Iris, a slave girl who stops a political coup set in an alternate Manchurian China.
  • The Miller’s Daughter. 1k & ongoing.  About a girl who is confronted with a whole new future and chooses love instead.  DUE as a GreyJournal prompt on April 10!
  • Armenian Tale. (planning & research stage.)  – I’m adapting this novel to novella size, as well.

I think…these are enough short stories to work on. Lol.  I still feel THE WITCH’S TOWER novel hanging on me.  I do want to finish it, but I’m not sure if it’d be the most productive project to work on, considering the things I’m struggling with.  I mean, I do rather feel guilty? Because I have 3 novels started but unfinished.

So…how’s this for goals?

  1. Daily writing goal: 500-1k words.  But more realistically, spend ONE HOUR at least each day. So that includes days I need for brainstorming and research.
  2. I’m allowed to alternate between ONE short story and ONE novel.  For sake of variety and if I get stuck on something.  For now, A Cautionary Tale of Love and War counts as a novel because it’s an interior story in one.
  3. Finish The Miller’s Daughter by April 10. Finish A Cautionary Tale of Love and War by the end of May.

(x-posted from TheGreyJournal)