Vacation in the Mountains

I spent the past week on vacation in the mountains of North Carolina, soaking in a hot tub, playing in the snow, and generally revitalizing. It was so nice to be away from my day job and able to focus one hundred percent of my effort on enjoying life. Of course, I got some great writing done.

There was a project I stopped working on a few years back that has always been really dear to my heart. I call it the Mermaid Book (that is not the title but it’s as good a name as any) and spending so many days floating weightless in the scalding water under the blowing snow definitely brought it to mind. I can’t say that I have as great a connection to water as I’m sure many other people do, but I’ve always found the ocean fascinating and writing a story set at least partially in its depths is something that I still want to do. So while I did write a lot this week, not all of my word count went towards the WIP. I spent a lot of time sketching out a new novel idea, one that uses a lot of the elements of the Mermaid Book and re-imagines it into something that I like better. Who knows, it may be my next project!

I also wrote a few scenes for the third book in the Creation Saga, which also doesn’t count towards the DoM text’s word count. Basically I was struck by a lot of inspiration over my days of leisure! It was fun to meander between projects in my downtime and brainstorm new ideas.

Of course, back to the daily grind today, despite the foot of snow we received Friday. Here are some pictures to keep you entertained!

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A New Year

Happy New Year! (Belated, I know.) I’m spending the day getting settled back into work, where things move apace. This weekend, I got edits back from my lovely beta-readers, shot off some fireworks, ate lots of good food, and went on a hike. It was a good way to unwind from the tension of holiday deadlines. Here’s a picture from the mountains!

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Anyway, I also managed to get a little bit of writing done for the first time in two weeks, so I was pretty excited about that. With all the chaos of yuletide, I was pretty distracted on the whole writing end of things. I managed a tentative outline of the current work-in-progress, DoM, around the time of my last blogpost. I’ve written a couple of scenes since, but mostly in notebooks. But around the 20th or so everything got crazy with family in town and explosions of work during the dayjob. It was chaos.

Happily, chaos is over, sort of, and we can go back to the routine now. Which is the point of the post. It’s time to set my goals for the new year.

First, a recap. In 2015, I didn’t accomplish a whole lot in the way of writing goals, mostly because I was busy graduating from graduate school. I did finish Storm and Thorn, a novella project I had been working on whose title may yet change (and which may yet become a single, standalone novel. It is very much a work in progress in that regard, but I’m letting it rest for now). I wrote a few short stories, and spent a good amount of time editing The Zombie Book, another project which is a completed novel that has gone through a couple of rounds of edits at this point. Lastly, I finally started the sequel to Mother of Creation, currently going by DoM since I’m not ready for the title reveal as yet. I’ve managed to write about 24,000 words on that so far since September, averaging me about 1,400 words per week, a little lower than my goal of 2,000 per week. So I have been productive, despite life’s upheavals, if not as productive as I may have hoped.

With that in mind, here are my writing goals for 2016.

  1. Finish the first draft of DoM. I figure that if I can bring my wordcount back up to 2,000/week, it will take me approximately 33 weeks to finish the draft (assuming 100,000 words, give or take a few). That still leaves me on track to finish by August, so August is the goal!
  2. Be more proactive in marketing. I’ve learned a lot about new or better marketing ideas in the past months. This blog, hopefully someday to be a website in truth, actually came about because of my goal to be proactive in marketing, so rolling that into the new year seems a natural decision.
  3. Hire someone to fix this website. This pretty much speaks for itself.
  4. Query The Zombie Book. Still have to incorporate edits, but the goal for this book is potentially to go along a traditional publishing route. Which means we need an agent! Querying will ensue.
  5. Attend a conference or two. I’m already planning on attending the local MystiCon, and I am hopeful that I can also make it to World Fantasy Convention in Columbus this year. We shall see.

There are some other things I hope to accomplish this year, of course, but I think it’s important to keep lists small. In any rate, this gives you an idea of my coming projects. What are your resolutions?