2018: I Dwell in Possibility

That’s my theme for 2018, by the way. Near the end of 2017, I ran across the concept of having a “theme word” (or whatever they called it) for each year, as a focal point. I couldn’t find just one word that quite worked for me, so I borrowed a phrase from Emily Dickinson instead. (It just barely edged out “Reclaiming My Time.”)

In this case, “possibility” was code for “my constants are gone, my routine is shot, I feel pretty much adrift here, and I have no idea what’s going to happen in 2018 but I’m still trying to hope things will get better”.

Or, as I put it in this tweet:

I meant to write a lovely memorial blog post for that mentor back at the end of September, but I couldn’t, and then it was October, and I still couldn’t put anything together, and then it was November, and I tried to get into the RAWR Write-a-thon in hopes of getting something else (anything else) accomplished before the year closed, to feel good about, and then I fell behind on that but had good intentions of catching up to a revised goal, and then just before Thanksgiving our cat seemed to suddenly stop eating, and it was lymphoma, and we hoped we’d have maybe a month or so, and it turned out to be a week, and the week was beautiful and precious and also utter hell, and less than two weeks later I was laid off, which wasn’t a big surprise and actually was almost a relief, in some ways, but it still meant more scary unknowns and upheaval, more loss of the Way Things Were, and then there was Christmas, with all its attendant Things to Get Through and Halfway Enjoy As Possible, and then it was just cold and gray and… well, here we are.

And if you think that was a long sentence, try living it.

So now the first month of 2018 is almost gone. Job-wise things are hopeful; I still hate transitions of any sort, but I start training with a new company next week and I’m hoping spring will bring positive long-term changes. Unlike the previous times either of us were laid off, we’re not under major financial stress from the loss of income, though it’s going to take a little longer to pay off the credit card again. As always, things could be worse, even though by this point it feels superstitiously risky to say things like that.

I still feel guilty that I haven’t used much of my time “off” for writing, and I remain unsure how to find my way out of the slump I’ve been in for over two years. My only consolation is that it won’t be hard to double or even triple my output from previous years, given that in both 2016 and 2017 my only completed projects were one piece of flash fiction each year. Yeah, I also wrote a lot of notes and fragments, so it’s not like I gave up completely, but you can’t exactly share notes and random bits, and that’s what I long for — to be able to have something new to share again, so I don’t feel so completely out of the loop and the conversation, like everything’s passed me by and readers have all moved on to better and far more prolific authors, who are able to write no matter what’s going on in their lives, because they are Disciplined (Real) Writers Who Deserve Nice Things, and I’m not, so I don’t. I’m tired of feeling that way, and it seems finishing something is going to be the only way to deal with it… and yet I still can’t seem to get going. And since most of my online socialization is with other writers, I’ve withdrawn from a lot of that over the last year or so, because when everybody’s talking about what they’re working on or their latest short story publication or their shiny new book, after a while it just gets kind of depressing.

I’ve also been frustrated by how Three From Waynesboro has progressed (or, more accurately, not progressed). I started the blog with a lot of excitement, but it’s become something I’m having to force myself to see through just for the sake of completion. (This blog post here is me procrastinating on catching up over there.) For various reasons, 3FW hasn’t developed into the kind of project I envisioned, and now that I no longer have that relevancy of the 25th anniversary of the episode, the whole thing starts to feel like a series of missed opportunities and bad timing — but leaving it unfinished would be even worse, so I have to push through. At this point, based on the rough schedule I’ve outlined, it looks like it’ll go through May or even June, depending on how much detail I go into.

Besides 1) completing 3FW and 2) finishing basically anything else on my list of writing projects, my other goal for 2018 is to finally overhaul my website so that it’s more modern and (most importantly) mobile friendly. I’m looking forward to cleaning house there, updating some things, reorganizing others, so that when I actually do have something new to show off, I’ll have a better place for it.

Interestingly, I’m still deciding whether I really want a blog on the new site or not…



RAWR Write-a-Thon: Donate here!

During November, I’m participating in the RAWR Write-a-Thon, a writing fundraiser that benefits RAWR (Regional Anthropomorphic Writers Retreat)*, an annual furry writing workshop.

My writing goal is 25,000 words, and my fundraising goal is $200. All proceeds I raise will go toward RAWR’s operating costs.

If you’d like to donate and help cheer me on toward my goals, you can use the link here. Thanks! 🙂

RAWR Write-a-Thon 2017

I went back and forth on whether to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. On the one hand, my writing output this year has been dismal at best, and I’ve had some great writing experiences with both the November NaNo and the summer camp version.

On the other hand, my track record with NaNo hasn’t been that great in recent years — a lot of participating, not that much winning — and going from a dead stop to an average of 1700 words a day just felt too daunting a prospect and too much like setting myself up for more failure and guilt.

So I decided to skip NaNo again, but then I was reminded about a different — and more customizable — challenge.

Instead of doing NaNo, during November I’m participating in the RAWR Write-a-Thon, a writing fundraiser that benefits RAWR (Regional Anthropomorphic Writers Retreat)*, an annual furry writing workshop led by authors Kyell Gold and Ryan Campbell.

(If you’re not familiar with RAWR, another furry writer, Alkani, has written a great blog post about both the workshop and the Write-a-Thon here on his blog.)

My writing goal is 25,000 words (which I’m calling a half-NaNo, like a half marathon), and my fundraising goal is $200. All proceeds I raise will go toward RAWR’s operating costs.

If you’d like to donate on my behalf and help cheer me on toward my goals, you can use the link here. The other participants (along with their own donate links) are listed on the contributor page.

Writers, if you’d like to participate too, check out the Write-a-Thon FAQ and the signup form. The Write-a-Thon runs through December 1, and to me it seems like a natural complement if you’re already doing NaNoWriMo — a way to work toward your writing goal and also help support a unique resource for furry writers.

The Twitter hashtag is #RAWRWriteAThon, to keep up with everyone’s progress updates. At the time of writing this post, I’m still nailing down my project details, but I’m probably going to be working on a Christmas-themed humorous romance novella that’s so far out of my comfort zone it’s completely low pressure.

Wish me luck (and toss me a few coins if you can too). 🙂


*(Yeah, I know, furries have this thing for cute acronyms.)


Furry Book Month 2017!

Furry Book Month Huntress promo 2

October is Furry Book Month (courtesy of the Furry Writers’ Guild), and as part of the festivities, many writers and publishers are offering special sales.

In my case, if you don’t have a copy of Huntress yet, you can get the book on sale at Smashwords for just $1.99 (regularly $4.99):


or the paperback at FurPlanet for $7.95 (regularly $9.95).


For a list of all the sales going on, be sure to check out the Furry Book Month page at the FWG and keep an eye on the #FurryBookMonth hashtag on Twitter.


Poem: “Trying To Remember The French Word For Cloud”

Trying To Remember The French Word For Cloud

It drifts at the edges of memory,
in the delicate blue ciel,

changing shape each time
thought makes a grasp.
There’s neige, but I think that’s snow,

étoile, star; soleil, sun; pluie, rain; oiseau, bird.
I’ve populated the whole sky by now,
but it’s still hopelessly clear.
I remember rêve is dream, to sleep dormir.

Fluffy like sheep, but I can’t
remember sheep either,
though I could count them as long
as there weren’t more than ten.

So many words have blown
through the expanse of my memory,
dissolved into fog in the mind,
and now it comes to me
that I’ve even forgotten the word for remember,

though I still remember
the word for forget.


Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale

July marks the annual sale at ebook retailer Smashwords, and my ebooks there are 50% off through the end of this month. (Yeah, I’m a little later than I wanted to be with this post, but at least you’ve still got 11 days left.)

Real Dragons Don’t Wear Sweaters on Smashwords

Wishing Season on Smashwords

Huntress on Smashwords

Smashwords carries all ebook formats, including epub, mobi (for Kindle), and PDF. And if you like what you read, please leave a review!

Smashwords 2017 sale



Making plans

I’d originally meant to post about this topic back at the end of last year or the start of this one, but day job + state of the world have pretty much crushed my motivation for a while. At any rate, the subject is timely again, so better now than never…

One of my favorite parts of the end of a year is buying a new planner. (Yes, a paper planner. If your apps work for you, that’s great, but this post isn’t for you.) I’ve never been quite satisfied, though, with any of the ones I’ve tried. In my case, I don’t have that many things that have to be done on a certain day (so I don’t need a huge space for each day), but I do have things that need to get done sometime that week. Inevitably, I’d wind up writing a bunch of to-do stuff in the Monday and Tuesday slots, only get a couple things done, and then wind up highlighting the rest so I’d still pay attention to it by Friday. Or I’d find myself keeping a to-do list elsewhere, of stuff that needed to get done that week or that month, just not on a specific date. I also hated that my planner didn’t have a monthly calendar page integrated with the weekly layout.

The other issue for me was trying to figure out how to organize both my regular day-job/household-type planning needs with my writing/creative planning needs. For 2015 and 2016, I’d tried having a separate writing planner, but even though I loved the idea of that, in both cases it never quite worked as well as I hoped. It was too much separation. I needed both aspects of my life in one place, but my writing planning really didn’t lend itself to a regular day-by-day layout.

So as the second half of 2016 came around and the 2017 planners started hitting stores, I looked at all different brands and styles — Japanese imports, the Leuchtturm planners since I’d liked their notebooks, the usual B&N offerings — but there was always something missing.

Finally, staring at Google one day, I told myself, “That’s it. It’s 2016. We’ve had print-on-demand technology for years. There’s GOT to be somebody online offering customizable planners.”

Enter Agendio.

(Can I just say, I love their name? It’s like a Harry Potter spell to create a to-do list.)

I found other companies selling “customizable” planners, but the options tended to be more along the lines of, choose what picture you want on the cover, put your name on it, choose which type of layout you want (always the same types of layouts you can get in regular planners).

With Agendio, you can customize pretty much everything — the full layout module by module, the font, the colors, whether you want lined pages added in, or a pocket, or an elastic band, or tabs. You can have all your family’s birthdays printed in there (one of my favorite things). You can choose which holidays to include based on what country you live in or faith you observe. If some event happens the same day and time every week, you can have that printed in there automatically too. I spent hours — wonderful, happy, nitpicking hours — tweaking every last thing.

(For the record, you wouldn’t have to spend hours building your planner. It’s not that the process is difficult or massively time-consuming; it’s just that I was a kid in a candy store with all the options.)

So now I have a planner with the left page showing the days of the week and the right page made into two to-do lists: Household and Creative. The household one has a bulleted list format; the creative one is just a blank shaded block. There are monthly calendar pages (to keep track of bills and pay dates) interspersed where they should be. It has lined and blank pages in the back for notes, a pocket for business cards and clippings, and a lovely charcoal gray cover.

In short, it’s pretty much perfect. (And yeah, it’s more expensive than your average B&N planner, but I expected that. Still, even with all the bells and whistles I added on, mine breaks down to be a cost of about $5.83 a month, which to me is pretty good for something I was able to build to my own specs.)

I mention all this now not just because I’ve had a couple months to try it out and still love it, but also because Agendio has a sale going on right now. Until March 12, using the code INeedAnAgendio will get you 15% off any planner or refill (they print refills for Day-Timer, Filofax, etc, too).

And just to cover the fine print:  They’re not paying me to post this and I don’t get a percentage of clicks or anything; I just like signal-boosting good stuff, and they’re a relatively new company that I’d love to see thrive. That said, if you want to see my layout, I do have this referral link that will show it to you, and if you buy a planner from that particular referral link, I do get a credit toward my next purchase. So there’s that.

*opens planner, checks off “Write blog post about Agendio”*