Happy New Year to all of you!
I know there are a great many people out there who take New Year’s as a chance to go out, get drunk and party…thereby preventing themselves from having any memory of the night’s events. As you may have guessed by now, I’m not that kind of person.
Instead, I’d like to take a look back…and take a look forward. I’m sure you had no idea that’s what I was going to do this time, right? No, stop looking at the title. There’s nothing there. I said stop.
Let’s move on, shall we?
What I’ve Written
A Glimmer of Perspective
Since this blog is supposedly about me as a writer, that should come first, right? Well, let’s start with the biggest accomplishment: I’m finally published.
“A Glimmer of Perspective” was released on Amazon Kindle on September 6, 2013. For the first 90 days or so, I sold it at $0.99 and it did fairly well. A total of five reviews, with four five-stars and one four-star. A short time later, I published it on Nook, KOBO and iBooks using the Draft2Digital platform.
I’m not saying that it was a huge success. It wasn’t really. In fact, I’m still not sure how to promote it.
In September, I sold 11 copies of the book on Amazon.
In October, I sold 2 copies.
In November, I sold 1 copy.
In December, I told 2 copies.
In all that time, I only sold a single copy through the Nook, KOBO and iBook Channels.
In truth, I have a lot to learn about the process, especially about promoting my books. But at least I can say that I’m out there. This was a huge first step for me and I don’t think I should let myself feel marginalized just because I wasn’t an immediate smash hit.
In the Sun Eagle’s Wake
This project was supposed to originally be a short story that ballooned into a small novella I managed to finish the day before National Novel Writing Month Started. Perfect timing too. Set in a previously-unseen area of Taylin (The Scribe/Dreamscape universe), it was the story of a boy with the obsession of wanting to fly like his beloved sun eagle…but never being able to find the right kind of book to help him Change into a bird. When the chance to get access to a book that might just give him that power coincides with his first date at an impromptu festival, which will he choose?
I started it on October 11, 2013 and ended on October 30, 2013 at 12:01PM. The story clocked at 28,491 words.
I’m not quite sure what to do with this story, to be honest. Maybe one day it’ll go in an Omnibus. But it’s another story with more of the rules started.
Solstice by Starlight
I talked a little bit about this story two weeks ago. I was hoping to have it done by today, but I got rather sick in the last few days and time just managed to get away from me. *Sigh* And in truth, I really am not sure what I’m doing there. It’s supposed to be about how Pauline becomes Ak’s apprentice. However, I’m having trouble with the conflict. There are two primary conflicts…but both of them get answered in “Soul of the Scribe.” I can’t answer them early, since this is supposed to happen 4 years before the events in “Scribe.” So in the end, I decided to move back to my NaNoWriMo story…
What Lies Beyond Magic and Steam
Another great writing accomplishment for this year: winning National Novel Writing Month, even with having a second baby on October 31, 2013. I’m still not quite sure how I did it, but I did it. And this one finally gets my hero cast out of Rosan City to see the various fantastical locations all across Taylin. At the moment, our heroes are under attack by strange flying contraptions, pinned down by technology they’ve never even seen before. And that was after getting blown out of the sky (literally) as an elevator shaft was destroyed around them. They’re having a rough day, to say the least.
Anyway, while I won’t be able to get to this tonight, I’m looking forward to getting to it tomorrow. I haven’t been writing in it the last few days because I’ve been as sick as a darn dog.
In the Corridors of Light and Dreams
The second of the Taylin stories, this mammoth beast was originally my National Novel Writing Month story for 2012. In the end, it became nearly 175,000 words. I’m not quite sure what to do with it, but right now, I’m still nailing down the general universe. But I think I might be reading too much Brandon Sanderson. My novels are too darn long most of the time. Anyway, I was happy to finally finish this on March 14, 2013. It needs an immense amount of work before I’ll let anyone even see it, but there’ potential there. I should also mention that I did my NaNoWriMo with this, but I actually started this story on July 12, 2012.
Beyond the Waterfall
Beyond the Waterfall was my original entry to the OC Writer’s Anthology (which is eventually coming out, I promise!). However, the story I wanted to tell refused to fit into the guidelines provided. In fact, it was my story that stretched them quite a bit. In the end, I decided to finish this story as it was and write an entirely different story in the space of a couple weeks. I always felt this was a stronger story, but at 9,000 words, it definitely wouldn’t fit under the 4,000 word limit. I also enjoyed pouring my own burgeoning issues with my interest in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic into the main character.
My second attempt at the OC Writer’s Anthology, it still ended up around 5,000 words, but managed to pass. This one happens six months before the events in Beyond the Waterfall, both of which are loosely tied with the Taylin world. I haven’t decided if they’re “canon” or not, but that’s a decision I can make some other time. But it’s another accomplishment, especially since I did both stories while working at another Apple Store.
A Secret Project
I also did one other short story this year that you don’t know about. And I have no intention of sharing. So ha! But it’s another one I can add to my list of accomplishments.
This is what I worked on during summer, hoping to create a full novel out of this. I got about 1/3 of the way into the revision before my time was demanded elsewhere.
The rest of July-August was spent working on “Glimmer” and another story I can’t quite remember trying to figure out which one to publish first. I worked endlessly on Glimmer to make it perfect.
Other Writing-Related Projects
Taylin Map: I had did a map of the entire Taylin world, including places that shouldn’t be spoken about for years in book time.
OC Writers: After getting some time away from work, I managed to start being able to attend the OC Writers Group every Thursday. This was a huge encouragement to me. The whole no-work thing also saved me in regards to National Novel Writing Month, giving me the time I needed to work on it.
-rks Blog: I got serious about the -rks blog, as you can see, doing posts almost every week for a good portion of this year.
OC Inklings: I’ve decided to take the initiative and launch the OC Inklings, which will be the OC Writers official online critique group. It’s launching January 2, 2014. And so far we have about 10 members. Which is probably all we can handle at the moment. I’ll admit I don’t have any idea what I’m really doing. I’ve ran an in-person writing group before, but never an online group. It should be interesting
Finish “Magic and Steam”: Obviously, this will be my main writing project for the time being. I’m also hoping that by finishing this, I’ll get the answers I need for “Solstice by Starlight.”
Publish “Beyond the Waterfall”: This little guy is begging to be published, which is why I’m offering it up to the critique group as a guinea pig.
Submit “Glimmer” to PodCastle: PodCastle is a great fantasy podcast that I used to listen to all the time. I don’t have the time anymore, but that was a huge influence on me several years ago. In fact, some of the ideas of Scribe came from “In the House of the Seven Librarians,” my favorite short story of all time, which I found on PodCastle. I’m hoping they might be interested in Glimmer. 🙂
There are plenty of other projects running around in the back of my mind, but right now, I want to focus on what’s achievable and doable. That’s important. Very important. And all four of those can be done before February, I think (except for maybe Magic and Steam…I’m not sure how long this one is going to be).
There’s more to life than just writing. And this year, life has been interesting to say the least.
We found out we were pregnant and were expecting on November 5, 2013! Of course, little Talissa didn’t wait that long and she arrived on October 31, 2013. Whoo! Caitlyn also turned 3 just a few weeks ago. Now that was an interesting event…a bit crazy, but fun nonetheless.
However, tragedy hit when Laura’s grandmother passed away and we were forced to fly all the way to Michigan during…April? That was an adventure and a half. But in the end, Laura got to show me a large part of her family and Caitlyn’s grandfather on Laura’s side finally got to meet Caitlyn, which honestly…didn’t look like it was ever going to happen. And it went fairly well.
Not only did I get my long-desired Genius promotion at my Apple Store shortly before the end of 2012, but I finally came into my own there too. I created a “Get To Know You” Project at work so everyone could actually learn about the other people on the team, which turned into a rousing success.
And of course, during the middle of April, I decided to take Caitlyn home and watch the first episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. And all of you know what that led to. A radical change in my perspective and a whole new kind of obsession.
Finally, we had the big one. The panic attacks that forced me to take time off of work and in combination with my Baby Bonding leave, I was gone from work from the middle of September and will continue to be gone until near the end of January.
I’ve read a lot of books, played a lot of games, written a lot of words.
You know, it’s common for me to look back at my life and think that I’m wasting it. But in truth, I would burn out if I really tried to write every minute of the day. If I didn’t take breaks for gaming and stuff…I would self-destruct. It would eventually kill me. It’s hard to remember sometimes. But when I write something like this…I realize that I have done a whole lot this year. Finally published, multiple stories on the way, networking with other authors, beaten games, introduced Laura to new authors and stories (Name of the Wind, anyone?) and so much more.
It’s been a crazy year.
I don’t expect my life to get any less crazy.
But God willing, maybe it’ll get a bit more focused.
And maybe you’ll be able to pick up one of my books off of a bookstore bookshelf this time next year.
After looking at all I did this year…it doesn’t seem like such a long-shot after all.
Now…what do put for New Year’s Eve PMV?
The first thing that came to mind is something powerful…something energetic…something ascendant.
So how about Ascension?
But then I realized there’s another one that’s even more beautiful…and it works so well with my writing, that I can’t help but put it in. Because there’s still one wish that hasn’t come true. Ironically, it’s the whole point of that show I’m so obsessed with.
I’m still lonely. And I still really need some true friends. And God, if I can have a real wish, I’d like some more friends this year. Real ones.
It’s been one hell of a year guys. And I hope you stick around for 2014. It’s going to get interesting. That I can promise you.
Until next time, good luck and have fun.
(PS Just not too much fun tonight 😉 )