A Year of Rockin’ It

rockOkay, okay, “rockin’ it” might be an exaggeration. You may recall from one year ago that I had a few vague writing resolutions that rapidly morphed into several specific writing resolutions. I wanted to finish a book during each of the three NaNo months, as well as the third Star Daughter book on the side. I also wanted to send out at least two queries and two short story submissions per month.

I am proud to say that I knocked out four ugly (as in mega-ultra-ugly) duckling drafts: Crown of Shadows [SD3]; The Sad, Sad Tale of Dead Timmy [which I adore- def my favorite of the year]; Love Notes [which I am sadly dropping, but it was fun while it lasted]; and Blood and Ebony [still deciding what I think about this one]. Boy do they all need work, haha. Still, I feel pretty good about four first drafts. I knew it was ambitious at the start, especially with the baby on board, but I managed to pop ‘em out. I am a little less proud to admit that I only sent out about half the queries I intended to and about a third of the short story submissions. But both were still improvements on previous years, though, so win!

This year, I’m approaching things a little differently. I find myself with an abundance of unsightly first drafts cluttering up my laptop. None of them are fit to be seen and that’s a problem. So next year, I intend to switch my focus over from drafting to editing. Rather than writing four new books this year, I’d like to polish up three to four and draft only one. (Hopefully, the year after that I can settle into a nice 2/2 ratio.)

The second Star Daughter book, Goddess Forsaken, can probably stand to just be picked at, as far as editing goes, which will eat up most of my early year, I imagine. Crown of Shadows, however, needs to be rebuilt completely and so April NaNo will be devoted to a full rewrite, with further clean up bleeding out into June. Likewise, July NaNo will go to bulldozing another draft, although I haven’t decided which one yet. (Likely Blood and Ebony, but we’ll see.) The next three months will be given to polishing either Dead Timmy or BCS (both of which definitely merit some polish), or maybe Blood and Ebony if I can still stand to look at it. November will be spent on a completely new book (and what a relief that’ll be!), possibly the next Star Daughter book, or maybe even another stand alone- I have a contemporary fantasy idea I’ve been toying with as well. December will just be general wrap-up for the projects.

I know all my ultra-classy beta readers were probably SUPER BORED without all my doofy stuff to read through this last year, so start warming up those red pens now.

As far as querying goes, I’m considering a different approach. I think I’ll let City of the Dead rest for a while and start querying either BCS or Dead Timmy once they get a little cleaned up, which means I probably won’t be querying steadily for the first half of the year. Also, instead of submitting two short stories every month, I think I’ll do either that OR write and edit a new short story each month. I think the drafting of shorts will help me stay sane with all this editing business going on. ‘Cause I loves me some drafting, and darling husband got me a shiny new license for Write or Die 2, which I am super stoked to take for a ride.

So! That’s what I’ve been up to / will be up to! How about you? Did you have any writing resolutions from last year? Any new ones you’d like to share?

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Technofail: the Sequel

I can’t believe how bad this whole “technology beyond lightbulbs” thing has been lately. The internet has conked out yet again. If any other internet companies want to come to Alaska, the field is wide open and any degree of competency will raise you head and shoulders above the present competition. Please come. PLEASE.

So! Here I am, Jill-of-the-past, stealing internets on a Saturday morning. (I seriously snuck into an unused classroom in the back of the museum to use the university’s much more reliable internet. I’m cold and the ceiling is making weird noises at me. Please pray for me.) Unfortunately, I can’t stay long. So, with no means to do any research, I don’t have a regular blog post for you. But I doooo have a recently finished Camp NaNoWriMo project. *bats eyelashes* So until I can figure out how to browbeat my internet into not sucking (attempts to guilt the router have so far resulted only in a flashing red light of mockery), have the first chapter of the newly revamped Dead Timmy!

Chapter One

One fine spring day, Timmy died.

He didn’t mean to. He didn’t want to. But he did just the same.

And as unexpected as that was, what came next was even more surprising.

An unknowing blankness distilled into a kernel of self-awareness. Timmy didn’t know how long he had been out, or whether he had been dreaming during that time, but he knew who he was and, with that sense, he began to fade back into existence from the nothingness that had followed that rush of stone and water.

The first thing he saw was a six and then a two. He concentrated a little harder and noticed a seven and a one on either side of the 62. And there was a three. His vision telescoped out and he realized he was looking at a piece of paper, or at least something kind of like it, being held in a hand, or at least something kind of like it. On the strip of paper was the longest stream of numbers he had ever seen in his life, or after it for that matter, held loosely by an ameobic fingerless blob of being that could only be a hand. His hand, he realized with a start.

Wha…?

He held up the long strip between two translucent hands jutting incongruously out of his chest, or at least the bigger blob somewhere below where his eyes were.

What just happened?

It came back to him in a flash. Bright sunlight as he pinwheeled through the air. The smell of saltwater. Black rocks eager to embrace him. And then nothing more.

Dead.

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