Year in Review – 2017

img_0444Can you believe we’re almost into the year 2018? It’s like I blinked and suddenly my year was gone!

2017 was a flurry of activity for me, both in my writing life and in my personal life. However, as this is my writing blog, I will concentrate on my writing victories. My friend L.J. Cohen, author of some awesome YA Science fiction (Derelict is my favorite), got me started on this annual assessment of my writing time.

For those who don’t know the rules, this is where I look at what I projected to have done in 2017 and see what flopped and what managed to get finished. So! What did I say I wanted done in 2017?

1)  Final edits on Usurper – Not only was this done, I got it in to the publisher and it

UC front cover-sample-2
Cover Art by Richard Stroud

went through 2 more edits with in-house editors and is scheduled for release on February 1st.

 

2)  2nd Edit of Dead Weight – A big green check mark here.

3)  Begin Song of Swans – I am slowly making my way through this novel. It has been started and I am looking at a longer timeframe to get it completed in because the story is so big.

4) 1st Edit of Ashwood – Currently I am neck-deep in revisions for this novel. A lot is changing so this is the more intensive edit and I believe I will be working on it well into 2018.

5) Outline Inmate 87101 – Nope. Not a jot. Double Red XX Marks on this one. I didn’t even think about this novel.

OK… So 4 out of 5 of my goals were met. I’m going to call that a win.

What’s in store for 2018?

Well, in the Spring I am looking at a big move and once that happens I will be looking at a lot more writing time. With that in mind, I have big plans for 2018.

Big, intimidating plans.

Plans that might bite me in the batoosh before the year is over, but I will do my best to get them done.

1) Complete Ashwood edits 1-3 and begin shopping it around. This is my paranormal romance ghost story… thing. I wrote it for NaNoWriMo 2016 and enjoyed telling a love story amidst all that weird ghosty-mayhem.

Scorned2) Complete Dead Weight and release it the Fall. This is the sequel to Tapped. It follows our hodge-podge family of military deserters and religious refugees introduced in the first book.

Also, there will be a 2nd Edition of the original Tapped novel released sometime in the summer. My intention is to give a Fact vs. Fiction version that has some of the research for Pluto/Europa and our solar system in the back. This is purely for fun. Nothing major will change in the story.

3) First Draft – Song of Swans. I am calling this my long project because it is so big, but I hope to have it finished by the end of April.

4) First Draft – The 13th Month. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book. It has been simmering in the back of my head for a while now and I will begin it June.

5) First Draft – Inmate. This is the third installment of the Tapped Series. I will begin work on it in October and finish out the year with it.

Also! In relation to the Tapped Series, I have begun outlining and exploring books/novellas that will span the Galactic Wars and show our intrepid Tango Five in action. I’ll know more about these as I work.

Essentially, I’m looking at 3 first drafts and 3 completed novels, giving me a total of 6 projects done by the end of the year.

Bring it on, 2018.

 

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Year’s End

Well, after possibly the worst Christmas present ever – which was a 24 hour flu bug that gave me an absolutely miserable day – I’m finally getting around to my end-of-year post.

A friend of mine (L.J. Cohen, author of several YA novels that everyone should be reading) introduced me to the idea of posting writing goals and the like several years back and I’ve come to enjoy this little tradition.

So!

I wasn’t able to get to everything I wanted to do in 2015 writing-wise. I blame this on the re-write of Persona, which took several months more than anticipated. It is, however, finished and I have been shopping it around (another of my 2015 goals).

Tapped was released in January 2015 as my first ever self-published novel. I imagine I could do more marketing-wise for it but I think I’m going to stick to just writing the next book.

What’s next for 2016?

1)  Dead Weight – the sequel to Tapped is slated for work to begin starting January 1st. I’m terribly excited for this one and have been aching to get started.

2) Primal – This is a new-adult-paranormal-romance novel that I’ve been kicking around for years. I’ll begin work on it sometime in June, after I’ve completed the draft for Dead Weight.

3) Residual Haunting – Will be completed in 2016. ‘Nuff said.

4) Usurper – Is currently being edited. It may drag into the first two weeks of 2016, but not much further than that.

5) Persona – Is going to go onto Kindle Scout. We’ll see how that goes. And I’ll throw confetti and wave people toward it because … apparently that’s what I’m supposed to do?

I dunno, I’ve never done it before. We’ll have to see.

Beyond the writing …

I hope to enjoy many, many hours with my son, doing odd-ball things and having a blast.

That’s it … that’s my 2016. I hope everyone else had a couple of great holidays and that their new year is spectacular!

The Close of 2014 …

Yep, it’s that time of year again. The moment when I look back and take stock of what I did or didn’t manage to accomplish during the last 365 days. (It’s less than that, I know, but with Christmas and Residual Haunting posts I need to toss this post up sooner rather than later. Because my all-time favorite post is the one where I decide what I’m going to get done in 2015 and stuff.)

So … here are the things I said I wanted to get done in 2014 …

#1) Graduate.

Big check-mark there! Back in May I graduated from Northwest Nazarene University with my BA in Christian Ministry.

#2) Submit Persona to the ABNA contest in January.

Another big check-mark. I didn’t win, but they did send me an invitation to Kindle Scout, which I haven’t decided on yet.

#3) Implement edits from developmental editor (Yay, Gabriel Fitzpatrick!) on Tapped.

In spite of an epic failure coring an avocado that left me one-handed for several months I did manage to implement not only the edits from Gabriel Fitzpatrick, but suggestions from my Beta readers as well. Check, check, and check!

#4) Finish Residual Haunting.

Residual Haunting is almost finished. It is currently being posted as a serial novel on Wattpad and is updated every Wednesday morning. I’m going to put this one down as half a check-mark. (PSST. Wattpad means you can read the current chapters for free! Go check out my creepy sci-fi/horror thing!)

#5) Revamp the synopsis and query letters for the revised Tapped novel. And then Send. Out. Those. Queries.

Check. I did this. And then I decided I wanted to self-publish Tapped (and its entire series) because it gives me more creative freedom.

#6) Revise Persona and start formatting it for publication.

…. Um … nope. Due to the unforeseen incident with the avocado from Hades I spent most of my working time focused on revising Tapped. It was excruciatingly slow work given that I had two fingers I could not feel during the months of May through October.

#7) Participate in NaNoWriMo again.

I totally participated. And I totally lost. Again. I should give myself a negative check-mark for losing.

Is there such a thing as a negative check-mark?

#8) On December 2, 2014 Persona will be released as my first self-published novel.

………… Needless to say, this did not happen. Production on Persona was pushed back. It’s new publication date is set for April 2015. However, I will be sending this in to agents and traditional publishing houses first (as per my arbitrary agreement with myself for all my work) so that date might be pushed back again depending on what sort of response I get.

#9) I would really, really, really like it if I could climb a mountain.

I climbed through a canyon. It wasn’t a mountain, but it was climbing. Half a check-mark.

#10) If I can swing it, I would love to be a Secret Santa for someone next year. I’ve had one this year and it has been wonderful fun.

Check-mark.

So! I did relatively well in 2014. Bring on 2015!