Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December Update: Year End and Year Ahead

Well, I stuck it out through NaNo last month and reached the end of my manuscript. I'm glad I did. While it's really more of an outline (like the outside edges of a puzzle, some people have said), I am really happy with the finished product. It gives me another marketable novel/series I can work on.

I've spent the weeks since NaNo going back over old manuscripts. I now have a plan of action as far as the top three novels I want to clean up and try to sell. Monsters of Lawrence is obviously first. My new Druid Wars book is next (it needs a new title: the current one is terrible). And the third, believe it or not, is my other book from 2011, Online Dating for Demons (also needs a new title, but that's sticking for now). I hated that book so much when I was done writing it, but reading back over it, I was absolutely entranced. It needs some work, but it's got a solid foundation and it has already been through beta readers.

I am still kind of poking at the first Druid Wars book, but once I get past the holidays, I will hit MoL revisions hard. After that, I may try to clean up the Druid Wars book for beta readers before diving into ODD edits.

That's the novel plan. Hah. Novel. Get it? Novel?

Ehem.

I am also going back over every short story I've ever written to decide what goes into my collection (the title for that will be Those Who Wander, and it will be put out by Bottle Cap publishing sometime in May 2016). I'm figuring out which ones are good, which ones need edits, and which ones should never see the light of day again. I'm writing at least three new short stories for it, as well. I had to pull two of them, because they were accepted for publication in other places. Which is fine. Kind of exciting.

So yeah, that is my plan for next year. At some point, maybe after ConQuest (where I will hopefully not only join the Bottle Cap Publishing table, but also speak on a handful of panels), there will also be Verdancy Publishing to think about. Maybe do something with. But I can only think really seriously about the next six months right now. Even that is a little overwhelming.

But, then I just look back at this year and all of the stuff I have accomplished, and it doesn't seem completely insurmountable.

Because in 2015, I:
-Wrote 10 short stories for the Cafe
-Had three short stories accepted for publication
-Wrote a 50,000 word novel
-Cleaned up MoL and sent it to beta readers
-Made a plan for (and started writing the next installment of) the Adventures of Sally Prescott serial
-Spoke on two panels at ConQuest
-Won honorable mention for the fall 24-hour short story contest
-Bought a cover for my short story collection
-Bought the domain for a publishing company
-Made notes for a choose-your-own-adventure zombie novel
-Successfully managed the Lawrence Region for Nanowrimo
-Edited two full-length Muse novels for R.L. Naquin
-Edited a science fiction anthology
-Proofread a horror collection
-Edited all of the short stories in Jack's collection

On top of that, I also got married, adopted a puppy, and ran eleven out of twelve monthly writing meetings.

I'm really doing this, guys. I'm living the writing and editing dream. Sometimes the drudgery and rejection are hard, but I've accomplished so much. My whole writing group, and Jack, we've all accomplished so much. I have this feeling that next year will be even better.

These monthly accountability posts have also helped a lot. It not only helps me keep revisiting my goal, but also revising them to be more realistic. And man, it's cool to see how much I've accomplished.

Thanks for sticking with me this year, if anyone still reads. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, and I will check in with you sometime during the first month of the new year!

Bring it on, 2016. I'm ready for you.

Friday, November 13, 2015

November Update: NaNoWriMo

With the arrival of November comes yet another National Novel Writing Month. My eleventh year participating (although if I'm honest, it's really only the tenth year I've committed to it: the first year I wrote a thousand words then quit). My seventh year as municipal liaison.

And I'm tired.

I was tired last year, but decided to keep on keeping on. I'll get excited by the time next NaNo rolls around, I thought to myself. I'll have the time and energy to keep the region afloat. Besides, even if I don't, I have a co-ML and a whole region full of veterans to back me up.

The trouble is, we're all tired. NaNo has been an amazing way to bring us together and encourage us to develop a writing practice...but the thing is, we've all been doing it for so long, that nothing much changes in November. We already write every week. We already go out once a month to socialize. We have all taken our writing to the next level, to the point where the idea of writing quantity over quality for fifty-thousand words is ludicrous.

So we're at a weird turning point with NaNo. None of us want to lead next year. We'd all participate if one of it is, but there have been talks of mass exodus. Would anyone take over if we all disappeared? It's hard to say.

And while we can't all stick around with nostalgia as our only region, I do feel the need to leave the region in good hands before I quit. It's true, I may burn out (I may already be burned out: I've been late to every event I've gone to, I've skipped events, I have made other people write pep talks and make event reservations) if I don't quite now, but as much as NaNo and this town have done for me, I feel a lot of responsibility to take care of it. Like putting my parents in a nursing home, or something. I can't just leave them at their house, knowing their health may fail at any moment.

From a professional standpoint, it's probably time for me to retire. Trying to run a freelance editing business, write end edit my own novels, write for the Cafe every month, put out a short story collection, and potentially start a publishing company...I need my Novembers to be free and flexible. I can spend a few hours each month making sure all of the writing functions happen every month, but it's hard to put together and attend 3-5 events a week for a month. Even if it's only a month.

Part of this might be the Week Two Blues for NaNo. Some of it might be that Jack has already basically given up writing this month. Part of it might be the continued rejection of stories I think are really good. A lot of it is that I've been sick and exhausted.

I'm going to finish out this NaNo, though. I may not hit fifty thousand words. I may be the most uninspiring ML ever. The region may suffer a bit from my lack of enthusiasm. But I'll see it through this year. And next year, I may need someone to slap the ML application out of my hands.

Because unless someone takes it away from me, I will probably keep doing it forever.

It's probably a good thing I'm not doing weekly posts on the Cafe for NaNo this month. I've had nothing good to say about the event this year.

Even my novel, that was going so well the first week, I've started to dislike and not want to work on anymore. So. Right on track, basically. My pattern is that I finally get into it once I hit thirty thousand, so if I can just write ten thousand more words, it should get easier.

At least I am not alone.I have a whole bunch of writing friends to help me through this.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October Update: Weddings and Nanowrimo

Well, friends, I am officially married to Jack Campbell Jr. The honeymoon was relaxing and amazing and the wedding was fun and went off without a hitch. Well, without any big hitches, anyway. We had amazing weather for the wedding and we vacationed in California for the honeymoon, so of course the weather was perfect for that whole week, too.

The only downside to the honeymoon is that I did not get any writing done. Jack was super productive, but I mostly just relaxed and wrote in my trip journal and read a ton and emailed about last-minute wedding details. And ate and drank a ton.

As fun as it all was, I am glad it is behind me, though. It was a lot of stress and money and my life in absolute chaos. I'm relieved to be settling back into my routine.

Although that routine is already slightly off.

Because National Novel Writing Month is almost upon us. I've been working on scheduling and event planning and organizing the region for November. And also doing a bit of novel prep myself. Things will be nuts for the next month and a half. But at least I'm pretty much old hat at it by now, and I've had a ton of help from the LFK Writers, since most of them are veterans of at least a few years.

The only thing I'm sad about as far as this update goes is that I never did get any editing done on Monsters of Lawrence. I had hoped to be done with that by now, but at this rate, it looks like it's going to become another one of my 2016 projects.

My list of 2016 projects has become quite extensive. I might need to take a few steps back and prioritize some things while allowing other things to take a back burner. I doubt I'll be able to edit and submit my novel, put together a collection of all of my stories, and start a publishing company all while balancing my freelance editing projects and writing for the Cafe.

The rest of this year is dedicated to NaNo and writing one last story for the Cafe this year (a tie-in story for Monsters of Lawrence, so at least I'll be revisiting that world this year). I imagine I will post at least once during NaNo (We'll be live-blogging at the Confabulator Cafe during NaNo, so I'll try to remember to link those here, as well), and do a kind of wrap-up retrospective plus what I want to do next year type post in December.

We'll see how I feel about my project list once the holidays are over. December is usually for being lazy and catching up on reading and TV. If I can write a novel next month and a short story for January in December, I'll consider this year a success.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

September Update: Progress and Deadlines

The past few weeks have been, as the upcoming ones will be, mostly dedicated to getting things ready for the wedding. We leave for our honeymoon in less than two weeks. We get married two days after we get back. We're mostly ready. I just have a dozen little small things to buy and do before the big day. I'm working on the wedding soundtrack today. It's making me want to write, honestly.

But as I was laying in bed making mental to-do lists this morning, I came to a couple of realizations. The first is that I've done a pretty amazing job reaching all of the writing and editing goals I set for myself at the beginning of this year. The other was that I could realistically take it above and beyond if I give myself some deadlines.

I have decided that I want to have my novel on submission by ConQuest next year. I mentioned that it only needs a few weeks of intensive edits to be ready. And then it just needs the query letter and synopsis and stuff for publishers and agents. I have been working on an agent list, and Rachel has promised to lend me hers, as well.

But with National Novel Writing Month coming up, and me both participating and being Municipal Liaison again, I am running out of time this year to pursue other writing endeavors.

So my goal is to have it edited before NaNo. I need to have it done by then so I can push it out the door and focus my energies on a completely different story. I don't want the pressure of my characters from Monster of Lawrence, asking when I'm going to pay attention to them. They do that enough with the next two pending books.

Between having an urban fantasy novel on submission, putting out a short story collection (I'll worry about that early next year), and having three collections and three novels worth of editing under my belt, I will actually feel worthy of participating at ConQuest next May. I felt like a baby with training wheels this year. And while I won't be a seasoned vet or anything, I will be able to rub shoulders with most of the people in attendance.

But that's only one reason. I use ConQuest as kind of a signpost these days. It's that time of the year where my creative energies get renewed, and I think about all of the things I have accomplished.

I've done a lot this year. I got MoL edited and sent to beta readers like I had planned. That was a huge step for me. Now I just need to take it this one step more. I need to get it out into the world by the end of this year.

The collection is something I can focus on early next year. I truly hope that next year I will continue to write short stories for the Cafe every month. But I also need to get back to novel writing and editing. I have a long list of books to write, and writing is just the first step.

I am still struggling with the idea that my writing isn't any good and that there's no point in putting my voice into the world, but I can't let that stop me. I need to keep trying to make progress, even if it's just going through the motions until I get the passion back. Editing is something I am good at. I can edit my own story into submission shape.

And then in November I will write.

Monday, August 24, 2015

August Update: Story Acceptance and Potential Collection

Good news! I did reach my Camp NaNo goal! Which led me to realize that even though it was fun to write, it's not really a very solid novel idea. I may go back to it when I'm bored just for fun, but I can't imagine when I'll have that kind of free time. It has a really interesting relationship dynamic--the protagonist and her rommate, and the protagonist and her not-so-love interest--so I may reuse elements of that at some point. But as a whole, it was mostly a rehashing of my time working at Wal-Mart turned into paranormal romance. I don't feel like anyone but me would enjoy it, so I'm shelving it for now to purse other projects that I feel have more potential.

So last month I started submitting short stories again, using Duotrope to find markets and track. I hadn't actively tried to get any short stories published for over a year, but in a flurry of cover letters and email queries, I sent out fourteen of my strongest short stories.

Then I sat back and waited. And got some rejections. And sent those stories back out. And finally, Jack said hey, there is this collection I think would be a good fit for one of your stories. So I submitted. And then, after about a month, my story got accepted.

A story I wrote for the Cafe, called "The Heart of Stone Monsters," will be in Wolfsinger's Misunderstood anthology that comes out on October 31 of this year. They are going to pay me five whole dollars. Woohoo!

I am excited about this. They've been extremely pleasant to work with so far. And as much as I love Halloween already, I have an even greater reason to be excited about it this year!

But. That is the only acceptance I've had so far. I still have about ten submissions out at the moment, but I'm getting rather discouraged. I've been through almost all of my stories once already. It's been a nice distraction, but I need to focus on more fruitful things. Writing short stories is a lot of fun, and I've gotten many a story idea for novels later down the line writing for the Cafe every month, so I don't plan on stopping writing them. But trying to get them published in magazines isn't really the best use of my time these days. It would be nice if I could recoup my Duotrope subscription costs, but even if I don't, that's been worth it to get my writing friends submitting, as well.

I think between Jack and Rachel, I've been talked into putting together a short story collection. Having written a short story a month for the Cafe this year, and all of my previous work, I'll have a pretty substantial amount of stories to collect. So I'm thinking about that. Brainstorming titles, trying to figure out who would edit it, how much I'd be willing to pay for a cover, stuff like that. I've been toying with this idea for about a month now, and I still haven't come down firmly on one side or the other as far as putting it out there. I think I'd probably aim for early 2016. Before Conquest, for sure, so I would have something to sell at the Bottle Cap Publishing table (if we get one).

I also really need to focus my energies back on the novel. Monsters of Lawrence is really close to done--A few weeks of intensive edits should make it ready for submission--but it's been in limbo since it came back from beta readers. I'm not sure if it's fear of failure or fear of success that has me stalled out at the moment. I'm also going through a phase of not feeling like my work is all that good, so what is the point of working on anything. I'd like to try to get back into it before the next book edit from Rachel. I have about a month at this point. Plenty of time. I just need to get my butt in gear and do it whether I'm in the mood or not. I've been putting it off for too long.

If anything, all of this short story submission has been a good warm-up for when I start submitting my novel. Helps thicken my skin and realize that there is a market for everything.

So that's me this month. Next month I will be in crazy last-minute wedding planning mode, and then Jack and I head to California for our honeymoon. We're hoping to do a bit of writing for the first half (since we were supposed to be at the Haunted Mansion retreat that got cancelled), and then drink a lot the second half in Napa. I'm looking forward to the time away. I'm sure I'll post update before our wedding, which is in early October.

October is shaping up to be a pretty awesome month for me. I just need to survive the rest of August and the first few weeks of September to get there!


Monday, July 27, 2015

July Update: Camp NaNo and Short Story Submission

The LFK Writers and I decided to participate in the second session of Camp NaNoWriMo this year. I'd say we've had about as much success this time around as we did in April. That is to say, some of us wrote a lot of words, some of us never even started our projects.

I will probably not reach my goal of 15,000 words, but I should hit around 10,000, and it's allowed me to explore a story idea I might otherwise not have revisited. The idea now has more of a foundation, and has the potential to become something, I think. Maybe something like a throw-away, self-published book I put out under a pseudonym, but also maybe something I can edit into a hot urban fantasy type book. Either way, I'm glad I did this round of Camp NaNo. I definitely got something out of it, even if I didn't reach my word count goal.

All of the LFK Writers have started to have similar feelings about NaNo. Not just Camp, but also NaNo proper. We're all outgrowing it a bit. We all know we can write a given amount of words in a month. We are now, most of us, in a place where we need to write good words in a month, not just any old words to reach an arbitrary word count goal. Having a deadline and the camaraderie for NaNo are still great things, but I think we've all grown past the point where we need NaNo to write.

I have never been so proud of my writing group as I have been this year.

We are all writing short stories every month that are published on our website. We've been going strong for seven months now. Rachel has just started a brand new books series, and she's actually doing really well without her publisher. The LFK Women Writers are beginning to submit stories to various publications. We've actually had a couple be published already. Jack continues to have stories published on a regular basis, and he is taking the GRE this very morning so he can apply to the KU PhD in creative writing program.

And that's just the start. Our group is expanding: we've had a couple of past members become active again. We've recruited several new members who are actually contributing their stories to the Cafe, as well. Several of us are getting close to finishing up full-length novels that we are actually serious about getting published.

It's amazing to be a part of such an amazing group of writers. Watching all of us grow as writers and gain the confidence to put ourselves out there along this journey has been incredible. I fought long and hard to get this group to where it is. And now, I feel like, if for whatever reason I stepped away from them, they would continue on strong. It's not like the days where if I didn't show up, there was no group.

I don't often get possessive or brag about this, but back in the day, with the help of one or two other people, I started this writing group. I had no idea, ten years ago, that we would have such an amazing group of people now. It makes me happy in ways I can't even put into words.

So that's my biggest news, I guess. I have an awesome writing group.

In other news, I finished editing my first full-length novel for R.L. Naquin. I have fourteen stories on submission right now, waiting to hear if anyone wants to buy one. I have written one short story a month for the last seven months. And...if all goes well...I will be starting edits on Monsters of Lawrence next month. Fingers crossed for me, friends. I am terrified about this project. It's so close to finished, but it still needs a ton of work before it's done. I know I can do it. I just need to jump in there and start getting my hands dirty.

Gotta get your hands dirty if you want things to grow. I'd say that goes for writing as much as it does for gardening. I've cultivated a lot of things this summer, from food to fiction. It feels pretty amazing.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

June Update: ConQuest Recap

I'm a little late in talking about my ConQuest experience. Most of my cohorts posted blogs a week ago. You can visit Jack Campbell, Jr., Kevin Wohler, and R.L. Naquin to see what they had to say about the convention.

Overall it was a ton of fun. It was crazy-busy. I missed out on doing a lot of the things I wanted to do, but I got to do a lot of things I hadn't prepared for, so it all it all worked out in the end.

I missed out on Story in a Bag, I did not drink with my fellow writers, and I was on panels for a majority of the Brandon Sanderson events. That being said, my fellow LFK Writers defended the Story in a Bag title: Dianne Williams won amateur sci-fi and Christie O. Hall won amateur fantasy. I'm so proud of my ladies! I also went to the Masquerade for the first time, where Dianne also won an Honorable Mention for her cosplay costume. We cheered super loud for her. Also? I went to the late-night panels instead of drinking. We wore pajamas (mine are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Rachel and I wore tiaras. I'm not even kidding.

I got to spend time with old friends - Sean Demory, Holly Messinger, and James and Anita Young - and made some new friends, too, like Gareth-Michael Skarka and his wife Laura, as well as the brilliant and enthusiastic Sarah Bredeman, who spoke on the NaNo panel with me. My network is ever-expanding, but more importantly, these conventions are becoming like big reunions.

As for Brandon Sanderson? Well, after closing ceremonies, we were standing around chatting, and he ended up right behind us. Bolstered by the buddy system, fellow LFK Writer Eliza Jaquays and I made our way up to him to say hello and get his autograph. The man was well-spoken and kind, and even had book plates in his jacket pocket since our books were already packed. I'm a bigger fan of him now than I was before.

My panels went well, I think. The panel on Working through the Bad Days wasn't entirely what I was expecting, but it turns out I have a lot of knowledge and experience, so I felt like I was able to speak authoritatively and supportively. I'll probably suggest a panel on mental health and art for next year, since it was a well-attended panel and I strongly believe the more we talk about mental illness, the less stigma there is associated with it.

The NaNoWriMo panel was kind of a mess, but it was fun. It was basically the panels on the panel and the panelists' writing groups in the audience. It became more of a "what does NaNo look like in your region" rather than an informative session. I had fun, though. I gave the KC municipal liaison my card, so hopefully we can talk joint write-in sometime this year.

Jack did an amazing job on all of his panels, sold several books, and promoted the heck out of Bottle Cap Publishing and the Confabulator Cafe. The Cafe has had many hits and a potential guest blogger since the convention. It's all very exciting.

Best of all, as always, my convention weekend has lit a creative fire in me. I'm moving ahead with projects and making plans. I'll give an update about those in another week or two. I've innundated you with enough information for now.

Thanks for stopping in! Hope you'll join me and my friends at ConQuesT 47 next year!

Monday, May 18, 2015

May Update: Beta Readers and ConQuest

ConQuest is in less than a week. The fated convention Jack and I look forward to every year with gusto. The convention that happens the weekend of Jack's birthday. The convention where our creative batteries get charged, make new friends in the business, and learn a ton of stuff about writing and publishing.

This year, we're actually speaking on panels. This is super exciting news! Jack is moderating four panels, participating on four, and doing a reading. He makes me feel like a slacker with my measly two panels, but I'm happy to be invited to speak at all, really. Our good friend R.L. Naquin will be on a few panels, as well. She and I are kind of dipping our toes in the water this year to see how things go. Maybe we'll be more involved next year. Jack basically did a cannonball into the deep end without even testing the waters. I'm excited for him, but I have a feeling I'm not going to see too much of him for three days!

I'll put together some sort of wrap-up after the weekend to let you know how it goes. There may even be pictures of us gals in our pajamas attending the brand new adults-only panels. Panels that start at 9pm and 10pm? That's past our bedtimes, so we're going appropriately dressed. Which may also include tiaras, depending on how much we've had to drink by that point. It should be fun. We've encouraged several of the LFK Writers to join us this year, so it'll be an awesome party.

If you are interested in the panel schedule, you can find it here.

Here's my speaking schedule:

Saturday, May 23
11:00 AM - Working Through the Bad Days
1:00 PM - NaNoWriMo: 30 days, 1 novel

I'll have swag for the NaNo panel, sent specially from NaNo HQ just for you. The rest of the weekend, I'll be following Jack and Rachel around to all of their panels and maybe stalking Brandon Sanderson a bit.

In other news, I have all but one of my critiques over Monsters of Lawrence back from my beta readers. I am equal parts excited about and dreading the amount of work this novel still needs. I'm overwhelmed, mostly. I'm not sure when I'll dive into edits for it. It might not be soon. It's going to take a lot of energy and creative inspiration.

Right now I need to work on something else for awhile. I don't know what yet. I'll let you know as soon as I figure it out.

In the meantime, I'm still over at the Confabulator Cafe every month writing short stories to their monthly prompt. So I'm not being completely idle!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

April Update: Camp NaNoWriMo and stuff

Hi friends. Checking up on me, are you?

As you should.

I've committed to posting on my writing blog at least once a month, and the month of April got away from me. I spent a full week sick with two different viruses, but I'm finally feeling more like myself.

That's a thinly veiled excuse for the lack of writing I've gotten done. It's the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo right now, and I set my goal at an easy 20,000 words. I've written 3,000.

But I still have a week. I know I can write the words if I just sit and write. But I'm trying to make it a point to not do it that way anymore. I've done NaNo enough years to know I can write 60k+ words in a month. But I want to focus more on the quality of words, not the number. And so, if I don't get all 20k words written this month, it's ok. What's more important is getting my ideas for this story down.

I'm working on the third story in a series that I started writing as my very first unofficial NaNo back in 2004. The story wound down at about 15k words, but left a lot of other stories to tell. Over the years, I've rewritten that first version a few times, and I've settled into the idea that someday I'd like to have five "season" of five stories, kind of like a television show. I've sketched out the whole series, and while the early "seasons" aren't all that strong, I think it has potential to be awesome.

I've thought about maybe self-publishing these under a pseudonym someday. I like the characters and the silly adventures, but the writing isn't as strong as I'm capable of and they aren't all that factually solid. They're supposed to be fun, both to read and to write, but I don't want that to come back and reflect poorly on me, in case I ever get serious.

So, maybe in another few years, once I've gotten the first five episodes written, I will start releasing them into the world. Maybe I'll build up a whole life for my alter ego. I'm already playing with different names I could use.

That's what's going on in my life this month. Attempting to write a novella, struggling with my health, and still awaiting critiques from my beta readers on Monsters of Lawrence. My friends have affectionately given my novel the hashtag #LFKMonsters. It'd be cool if that caught on.

Things have been quiet on the editing front. I finished up work on my most recent special project from Luna Station Quarterly, my author friend asked for a month-long extension to beef up her next book, and a horror writer who is friends with the future husband approached me about proofreading an anthology he's putting together sometime in June. So I'm between projects. Which means I need to stop binge watching Netflix and get some writing done!

Up next, I've got more Towers of Kansas transcribing, another month of Confabulator Cafe flash fiction stories, and I'll probably have to start incorporating beta reader feedback on Monsters of Lawrence as my friends finish up. Lots of work to do.

And ConQuesT is next month. Still no schedule yet, but Jack and I were both approached to participate on panels, so I'll let you know where I'll be as soon as I hear.

The next couple of months should be exciting! Stay tuned for more updates.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

All Systems Go

Writing: check
Editing: check
Networking: check
Wedding planning: in progress!

Life has been a whirlwind. I'd like to start making sure to update once a month. I missed February, so my March entry might be a bit longer. After this post, I'll be sure to check back in April, too.

My work toward my writing goals has been pretty amazing lately.
-I have been writing short stories each month for the Confabulator Cafe.
-I have written a couple of narrative passages for work. I did write a total of ten listening passages over a few months, and now they're having me work on narratives.
-My novel, Monsters of Lawrence, is out to beta readers right now. The initial alpha readers thought it had real potential, so my goal for this novel now is to get it cleaned up and into final draft mode during the month of May so I can start submitting it. Scary stuff!
-I'm signed up to do Camp Nanowrimo in April and July. I'm going to try to keep throwing words at the Monsters of Lawrence sequel, Towers of Kansas. It's a tough one to draft, because I've been working on it on and off for the last few years. The continuity is a little off. It's also tough because things in the first novel are still changing and evolving. But, a lot of that will be fixed in the revision process. Right now I just need to keep putting down words so that the story is there. Once it's written, I can tweak it until it's right.

My editing work is taking off, as well.
-I finished editing Transmonstrified, and it's doing really well. I should get a sizable bonus for that at the end of this year.
-I finished editing Jack Campbell Jr.'s All Manner of Dark Things collection. That should be available for sale next month.
-I finished editing the stories for Sean Demory's Slow Boat to Fast City anthology. Hopefully that will be available for purchase soon!
-Projects for my special projects editing gig at Luna Station Quarterly have started flowing again. They are working on putting out a Best Of for their first five years. Pretty cool stuff.

Upcoming stuff:
-This week, I'm traveling to Pittsburgh to attend the American Copy Editors Society conference for work. My first work trip ever. I'm excited to learn about freelance editing and network.
-I might be interviewed about freelance editing by the Johnson County public library for their blog.
-I will be editing R.L. Naquin's first book in her new Mount Olympus series in April. We're hoping to get it out sometime in May!
-May is also ConQuest, and that feels like it's just around the corner. I've been reading everything Brandon Sanderson possible, and I'm excited to meet the brilliant writer. Hopefully I will get to be on and/or moderate some panels this year. I'm not optimistic about that, but it should be a good time regardless.

And yes, Jack and I are planning our wedding. We have the venue booked, our honeymoon planned, and we're hashing out details like how to feed everyone and how the reception is going to go. I am having wedding dress meltdowns, as well as guest list freakouts, and I'm also having a hard time reconciling the idea of myself as a bride. But things are coming together, and I know it will be nice. I don't care too much about the wedding. I'm just looking forward to being married.

So that's me the past two months. I promise not to stay away so long next time!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Look Back and a Look Ahead

It's been awhile. I've shifted from a writing focus to an editing focus over the last couple of years, which is why it's been pretty quiet here.

I recently set up a website for my editing endeavors, though, so that frees up this space for a focus on my writing pursuits. If you are interested in following me on my editing journey, look me up at selundberg.com.

As I mention in my "about me" section, I do have goals to have a novel published eventually. It's not as high of a priority these days as it used to be, but since I've made a great deal of progress on the editing front, it's time to start thinking about my writing again.

To look back at 2014, here are some noteworthy writing accomplishments:
-I won the Story-in-a-Bag short story writing contest for the amateur horror category at ConQuest
-I won third place (and $200) for the Writers Weekly 24-hour story contest in the fall
-I completed my tenth year doing Nanowrimo, sixth year as Municipal Liaison
-I started writing passages at the new job

To look ahead at 2015, here are some goals:
-Write a short story a month for the Confabulator Cafe
-Participate at the professional level for Story-in-a-Bag at ConQuest this year
-Participate in panels at ConQuest this year
-Start to submit short stories again
-Edit and send out Monsters of Lawrence to beta readers
-Haunted Mansion writing retreat in California in September this year
-Talk to Jack's sister's young adult book club to encourage young writers

I haven't decided if I'm going to participate in Nanowrimo again this year or not. Having done it every year for the last decade, I'm feeling a little run down and burnt out. My fellow writing group members encourage me to still participate even if I don't ML. We'll see how I feel when November rolls around. I'm ok with the idea of retiring. I know I can write a novel, with or without the help of the month-long competition.

It is kind of a relief to switch this blog back to Prospective Writer. I need a place to keep track of my writing progress separate from my editing. They are two different sides of my brain. It's nice to have to completely different spaces to play.

Besides, here I get to brag about the books I'm reading, share any awesome quotes I've heard, and talk about what I'm writing.

Time to get back to basics. I'm shabby and out of practice being a writer. I'm relying on this blog to help me get back on track.