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Archive for the ‘plans’ Category

Writers of the Future Q1 2011 Results

I got a Silver Honorable Mention for my story. My first Silver HM, so that’s something I suppose. I figured this story was HM level sort of thing, so it did better than I expected. My story for Q2 is, I think, going to be a Semi-finalist. I believe it is really good, but it might have a flaw that won’t work for the contest. We’ll see.

I have a couple more neo-pro interviews to post this week so the blog won’t be totally neglected while I finish this novel. I’ve been reading books on writing and reading tons of short stories lately. I have all sorts of plans, but I’m torn between what to do and what order to do it in. We’ll see. I might be posting a revised writing schedule for the year here soon.

March in Summary

This month was terrible for writing.  Terrible.  Good things happened (like getting accepted to Clarion) but in general, I failed it hard.  The high point besides Clarion is that I’m selling more and more ebooks every month.

Here are my pathetic stats:

Words written: 21,648

Stories sold: 0

Stories finished: 1 (and a few starts)

Novels finished: 0 (almost one! Soon!)

E-books money earned: 42.86 (almost double last month, yay!)

New e-book projects finished and released: 1

So that’s that for the month. April will be better.  I have three romance novellas to write, a handful of short stories to finish, and a week-long intensive workshop on Character Voice to attend (that’s going to kick my butt, but everyone who has taken it says that it pushed their fiction to a whole new level and that’s what I’m always looking to do).

Quickie Update Again

Hey, I’m in the middle of finishing up my Writers of the Future Q2 story and putting the last couple of chapters of the first Pyrrh novel together. So that’s why it has been quiet around here.

There will be more Clarion news soon, I’m working on a couple projects that I’ll be offering up to help fund my crazy workshop adventures.  Until then, I leave you with an interview about my fantasy novel A Heart in Sun and Shadow by the awesome David Wiseheart and his Kindle Authors blog:  Find the interview here.

So…more later this week. Meanwhile, back to work!

101 Ways to Get Me to Clarion

Okay. So as pretty much anyone reading this blog knows, I’m a full time writer.  A neo-pro full time writer, which means that writing income is spotty at best.  My wonderful husband pays the rent (and health insurance) but we live on the line between broke and poor in order for me to have the time to work on my craft and build my writing into a real career.

So now I have an amazing opportunity to pursue another learning experience that will help build my career: Clarion.  Clarion is not free, however.  I have to pay the workshop fee (no word yet on scholarship monies, I applied though, so hopefully I’ll hear something soon) and I have to get airfare to go to San Diego and home again six weeks later (airfare shouldn’t be too bad, since I live in PDX.  I am fortunate not to be someone coming in from the East Coast or overseas).  We’ve been saving some money, but if I have to pay the full Clarion tuition fee plus airfare, I’m doomed.

I won’t let doomed stop me.  It’s a state I’m used to.  But I will take (non-illegal!) suggestions for how to raise money quickly.  Be as zany as you want.  I’m willing to try anything that doesn’t break the law or compromise my personal health or safety (or anyone else’s, for that matter).

I also have some e-books for sale.  Please consider getting one if it catches your interest or recommending them to others who might enjoy science fiction or fantasy.  Here’s the link: http://overactive.wordpress.com/read-my-fiction/

So how about it, blog readers? What suggestions for making money quickly do you have for me? Bring it on in the comments.  Let’s see if we can get to 101.

Clarion SD

It used to be called Clarion East, but got moved to San Diego, so yeah, I’m going with Clarion SD for now (or UCSD? Maybe?).  Anyway, I got accepted.  I’m crazy excited.  This is especially amusing considering my agony over whether to even apply or not and the fallout from that and then finally my decision to apply to Clarion SD.

Frankly, I didn’t think I’d get in.  Not because my writing sucks (it doesn’t) but because “not sucking” is not enough.  Hundreds if not more people apply each year and they only take 18. The math just wasn’t in my favor.  But with the instructor list I couldn’t resist applying.  I knew I’d kick myself if I didn’t try.

I tried. I succeeded. Crazy.  I’m still reeling. For the first couple days I figured it was a mistake, they’d mixed me up with someone else.  But that seems to have not been the case.  It seems even in success the self-doubts that plague me still stick around, heh.

I don’t know about scholarship money yet. I’m only panicking a little.  My husband and I talked it over and we’re going to do whatever we have to.  I want this. This is the point in my career that Clarion will likely be of most value for me.  I am big on continuing education and this is a huge opportunity to further my writing and my network of writer friends.

So yeah. I’m going to go dance or something and then go write like crazy because I need to sell some more stories. Meanwhile, if you want to help… I do have some e-books for sale.  The links are in the “read my fiction” sidebar.  Every penny helps and will go toward Clarion at this point.  Thank you to those who have already bought (I crossed the 100 e-books sold mark at some point early this month) and to those while will in the future.  It really does help.

Ok. Time to put on some Amanda Palmer and dance around a little. And then I’m going to work.

I Really Should Post…

I keep staring at the blog, knowing I should post *something* new because it has been over a week.  But what I really really really want to post about, I’m not allowed to talk about yet.  This is one of the downsides to being a writer, I guess.  Sometimes really cool things are going on and you just can’t say a word about it until you have someone else’s okay.  Grr.  So yeah, how’s that for a tease? I have pretty BIG news (at least, I think it is a pretty big thing) and I can’t share it.  Yet.  I will as soon as I can.

So… what to talk about? Mostly life lately has been finishing up Avarice (also known as the Law & Order with swordfights book 1) and outlining a few other projects (a series of eight romance novellas I’m writing).  Hopefully, Avarice will be off to an editor and my first readers at the end of next week.  This weekend I’m going to write my Q2 entry for WotF.  Next weekend I’m going to write a steampunk short story to submit to the Mammoth Book of Steampunk and finish doing research for another project I probably shouldn’t talk about yet.

Because of that other thing I can’t talk about (the BIG thing), I’m probably going to rearrange my novel schedule for this year as well.  And I’ve been looking into things like Kickstarter and debating doing a project for that and seeing if I could fund it that way.  The Casimir trilogy might work for it, now that I’ve solved the POV issues in the first book and can write it in a way that makes sense.  If it didn’t get funded I could always serialize it here on my blog and then do an ebook/POD version later.  I think the trilogy has great potential, so we’ll see.

So yeah, crappy little update, sorry.  I’ll be getting another interview or two up in the next few weeks.  I’ll also post the new project schedule once I’ve got it hammered out.  But hey, update!

Now I better go write…

February Wrap-up

Short month, went quickly.

I started, deleted, started again, and didn’t finish a novel this month. But I’ve solved how to finish it and now need to start over one final time. This annoying process underlined how important having the right point of view in a book really is (the POV issues were what was stalling me out in the middle, thankfully I figured that out before giving up forever).

Words written this month: approximately 72,000
Words discarded/deleted this month: about 34,000 (this number will GO AWAY next month. Seriously going to stop doing that. Seriously)
Ebook earnings: 22.75 (just slightly less than last month, yay!)

For March, I’ve got two novels to go up as e-pub. I need to get on the POD/Createspace thing and learn how to do that and get print copies out. I’m also going to start the sequel to a book while working on the SF novel (now that POV issues are solved). I’m behind on the Write one/Sub one challenge, so I’m going to try to get seven or eight stories done this month as well to catch up. And I’d like to finish one of the romance novellas. I’m debating on waiting until all eight are done to start putting them up, but we’ll see. I might wait until I have three or four, then start putting them up every couple weeks.

Meanwhile, today I’m going to be approving copy edits and generally taking it easy. Just got back from an amazing week of workshops and really need a little brain break before I start writing for the week.

Ebooks January

Hey, why not? I love it when other people talk frankly about the money, so I’ve made it my policy to do the same, for good or ill.  It’s tough starting a new business, which is what I’m doing with writing.  Today marks the two year anniversary to my “get serious about writing for a living” day.

In January I released a short fiction collection as epub and had my best month ever, earning a whopping $22.95 (whoops, forgot initially to count B&N and Smashwords into this, yay extra money).  Who knows if that’s a fluke or if it’ll pick up from here.  I’m planning on releasing a novel this month (if I ever get this other novel finished so I can have time for something other than writing).  Novels supposedly sell better than short fiction, so we’ll see.

Also, I received an amazing review of my collection from Alex J Kane.  I’m sort of in awe of people who can write up their ideas and opinions on a work in a way that really talks about things instead of just being a “durr, I liked this” or “gah, can’t stand this”, which is what I normally end up thinking about things I read (I am the world’s WORST reviewer, which is why you won’t see many reviews from me, just recommendations on occasion).  Anyway, if you want to read the awesome review of “The Spacer’s Blade & Other Stories”, do so here at Alex’s blog.  And if you like what you read, well, I’m always up for having a better February than January any day.

And with that. Back to writing.  11 days left. Meep.

15 Days

This novel (currently standing at 7,300 words) is due on the 15th of this month.  15 days.  (I’m shipping out the query package tomorrow).  I need about 72,000 words more to have it be a decent (re: marketable) length.

15 days. 72,000 words. 4,800 words a day.  Go!

So yeah, I’ll probably be fairly absent from my blog for the next two weeks.  But some cool things are coming (more interviews, a fantasy novel released via Doomed Muse Press).  Meanwhile, I gotta write.

The Streak Begins

So the writing in shifts thing has been working out pretty good except for one tiny issue.  I keep working on one thing.  Despite my brain being fully capable and willing to write two (or ten) things, apparently once I get into my groove, it wants to finally settle down.  That’s not a bad thing at all.  I am learning my limitations, however.  Like that it takes me realistically six weeks instead of four to write a novel because I like to goof off and procrastinate and do all manner of things that aren’t writing.  Or that I don’t really like working more than 4 hours a day (some days, I do.  Some days the words and flowing and I’m on a roll and don’t want to stop, so I don’t).  Four hours (broken up into a couple shifts) of writing brand new fiction feels pretty good.  I usually get 3-5k words done in those four hours, which is a totally acceptable pace for my goals.

So I’ve decided to start a streak, a writing streak.  I’m going to write every day for at least 20 minutes.  I find writing is like exercise, I don’t necessarily feel up to it instantly, but usually once I’m doing it I feel pretty good and want to keep going.  I’m usually less focused and more distracted on weekends (weekends being when my husband and cat and stuff want my attention most).  But I’m going to keep my streak up.  Every day. Every. Day. 20 minutes minimum.

I’ve also decided what I’m going to do during my streak.  I’m going to focus my efforts this year on the various novel series I already have going.  I’ve set up a calendar of novels and deadlines because I work best to deadlines.  Most of these books are already outlined.  I intend to use weekends for short story writing so that my short story submissions don’t fall behind and because shorts are awesome.  One and done.  One day (sometimes two) and I’m finished.  They are very satisfying.  When stuck in the middle of a novel, it is nice to remember what finishing something feels like, so I like to do short stories to mix things up.

So here’s the rough deadline schedule:

Wrath (Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division Book 2): March 19th

The Raven King (Cymru that Could Be: Book 2): April 29th

Delilah in Paradise: June 10th

Beyond Casimir (Lorian Archive: Book 2): July 22nd

Casimir Rising (Lorian Archive: Book 3): September 2nd

Hunger (Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division Book 3): September 23rd

The City is Still Hungry (A Remy Pigeon mystery): November 4th

Vainglory (Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division Book 4): November 25th

Delilah in Hell: December 30th

The Slow Beat Down (A Remy Pigeon mystery): February 10th, 2012

Sindra’s Storm (possibly a duology): March 23rd, 2012

So that’s the schedule.  Unless, of course, a giant wrench gets thrown in it due to either success (like a contract or two) or disaster (but hey, I could still type in a hospital bed, so I’m good, right?).  And of course keep the streak up and hopefully get 52 stories written and submitted.  I’ve done two shorts so far this year.  I’m a little behind.

Go go gadget streak writer *grin*