Universal Mind series. Visually pleasing composition of human head and fractal clouds to serve as background in works on mind dreams thinking consciousness and imagination2015 was fairly spectacular for me. I went to Viable Paradise, which was not exactly what I set my heart for but was just as amazing as I hoped my workshop experience would be. I did not win Writers of the Future but I did get my first Silver Honorable Mention, which is apparently one step down from becoming a finalist. I don’t have agent representation yet, nor have I sold stories enough to be considered a pro by them which means that I’ll keep on trying this year.

My second novel is unfortunately nowhere near being ready for the submission stage. I’m more or less finished with the outline for the entirely redone second draft. Writing starts tomorrow, assuming I’ve finished with the translation of a short story I was asked to write for a Finnish SFF anthology.

As I mentioned, I’m not represented by an agent yet. I sent out 11 queries, received one outright rejection, one request for a partial followed by a rejection and one request for a full which is still out there. At this point I’m considering simply waiting while I get the next one to the query stage. I love the book but the rumor is that Urban Fantasy is a hard sell right now, I suspect it might need some editing and I’ve been moving on with other projects. If someone from the previously queried list does show interest, I’d love to do that work but the rejections I’ve gotten so far were for things that I can’t do anything about. Plus, look at this shiny new book, isn’t it pretty?

Man Hand writing "A goal without a plan is just a wish" black marker on visual screen. Business, technology, internet concept.So what of 2016? I’m not a huge fan of making resolutions, mostly because resolutions are things you forget by February because the heady sense of New Year, New You and all the possibility that entails tends to evaporate when the cold light of everyday life. Personally, these days at least, I prefer making plans instead of resolutions because I have a better chance of making plans come true than I do resolutions.

With that in mind, here’s what I’m planning to do in 2016:

  • Write at least the first drafts of two books.
    As I said, I finally have the outline done for my space opera book. It’s working title in this second draft is The Cold Burn Goodbye and even though the first draft was meant to be a thriller, and more or less was, the second draft will be more like a heist novel. The second novel is about a single mother working for a fairy godmother temp agency which I know pretty much nothing more about at this point. On the other hand, I’m planning to start writing it around the beginning of July so that should leave me plenty of time to get that down.
  • Survive The Fairytale workshop. Around the end of January, I’m starting on the Science Fiction Fairy Tales course from The Brainery. Basically every week you write stuff based on the thing being discussed in class. I need to have the first draft of The Cold Burn Goodbye done by the end of March which would make February and March pretty busy in terms of writing. I’m hoping to at least get some ideas for short stories from the course so that I’ll have stories to send out to Writers of the Future and of course any magazines that are suitable. At some point in my career I want to be published by Uncanny Magazine and I think the kind of stuff I might come up with on that course might be things that would go well into Uncanny. But we shall see.
  • Podcast! Two of my Viable Paradise classmates, Jay Wolf and Tim Boerger, and I are starting a podcast. It is called Mad Writers Union and we are getting the first episode out on the 10th. The plan is put out an episode twice a month and talk about things that are interesting and useful to us as writers who are not yet entirely professional but are none the less somewhat advanced in the career. First up in January is goals, the theory and practice of them. We’ll all be checking in on our writing practice throughout the year on the Mad Writers’ site. Which is also why there won’t be any of these accountability posts here at least for this year.
  • Get healthier. I’ve started to get up early before work to get some exercise in and write my morning pages plus a little fiction. My darling partner also got me a punching bag which I’ve been putting through its paces for ten minutes every morning. My plan is to continue with this this until it becomes an automatic habit. I also need to eat healthier and I know it.

That’s me for 2016. To quote Kameron Hurley “I want to be a better human before the time winds down, so it’s now or never.” What about you?