Except that technically I’m not even calling them “goals” this time around. The list in my journal is headed “Things to work on in 2013,” since they aren’t really quantifiable goals and instead are more things I’m generally aiming at and focusing on. The first two are holdovers from 2012, but the others are new:
1) Complete The Second Life of Bartholomew T. Lion. (In this case, I’m considering “complete” to mean a finished draft that’s suitable for getting critique/beta reads on. I’d love to define “complete” as “ready to start querying agents,” but that may or may not happen alongside other projects, so we’ll start with step one and go on from there.)
2) Get a professional headshot taken. (Between financial issues and the entire year mysteriously disappearing at an alarming rate, this never happened in 2012, though I did start researching local photographers to see what was available in my area and what the price range might be.)
3) Keep chasing that last pro sale that will qualify me as an active SFWA member. (If “Nevermore” had just been twice as long, I’d already be there…)
4) Work more on this blog. (In other words, make more posts than just announcements, though I think I’m still most comfortable on Twitter.)
5) Try to find a critique/writing group. Because of where I live, it would need to be online, and I’ve had various ones recommended to me over the last few years but haven’t found anything that (at least from the outside) feels like it would be a good enough fit to be worth the effort. I’m looking at groups focused on professional publication, but I’d like something small and intimate, and most of the well-known fantasy and science fiction groups just feel too large and impersonal for my taste. Granted, some days I feel like my current beta system works well enough, but sometimes I also think it’d be helpful to have a more formal group with structured requirements and such. (Got a suggestion? Let me know.)
So those are my areas to focus on in 2013. How about yours?
…before the start of the new year.
My Christmas-themed story “The Gingerbread Reindeer” is now out via the Anthro Dreams podcast:
(For my other holiday offerings from the podcast over the past few years, check out “An Older World,” “Special Delivery,” and “Holly’s Jolly Christmas” part 1 and part 2.)
I went back and forth for some time trying to figure out the best way to structure this post. (Should I go month by month, the way I’ve seen some artists do in talking about what they’ve created/learned in the past year? Should I give a recap list of everything that was published this year, along with my thoughts about each piece? Should I separate things into categories, with publishing in one place and writing in another?) In the end, I decided to use a tactic that works well enough in my writing — namely, to just jump in and see where I wound up.
Which means this will probably be long.
I’ll be back soon with the obligatory year-end wrap-up blog post, but for now, I wanted to share that I have a story in the new anthology For All Eternity: Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins, published by Dark Opus Press.
As the subtitle suggests, the anthology is a collection of seven stories, each based on one of the traditional seven deadly sins. My story, “A Fragment of Shadow,” is a historical dark fantasy piece set among the master glassblowers of Italy on the island of Murano, and deals with the deadly sin with which I find myself most familiar — the sin of envy. The story took a while to find the right home, and for a time I had figured it might just become a trunk story and never be published at all, but then came this call for submissions, and the fit was perfect.
The paperback version of the anthology is now available from CreateSpace, and it looks as though an ebook via Smashwords may be coming along later on.
Just a quick post to let everyone know that, if you haven’t already downloaded my free short story mini-collection Six Impossible Things, it’s now (finally) available for free on Amazon. (Don’t have a Kindle? Download free Kindle apps for your phone/tablet/computer, or pick up any of the major formats — including PDF and plain text — over at Smashwords.)
Not much else to report on the writing front — I was laid off from my day job a week ago, so my time lately is spent filling out applications and/or listing things on eBay…
TTA Press, publisher of Black Static, Interzone, and Crimewave, is doing a fun Advent calendar for the month of December, featuring a new link every day to a piece of flash fiction or poetry (possibly Christmas-themed, though that wasn’t a strict requirement) by one of their previous contributors. (I was in issue #29 of Black Static.)
The calendar kicked off today with a link to my flash piece “Nativity,” as well as a link to the calendar’s discussion thread:
To keep up with the contributions all month long, just go to their website and click on Interzone, Black Static, or Crimewave.