Bring it on, 2014

I resolve to be true to myself.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to ramp up for a bright and shiny new year. This cold is going to get kicked to the curb and I am going to kick ass all over 2014.

At least for the first month.

Here are my resolutions, goals, whathaveyous, to keep me on track to accomplishing my dreams this year.

Resolutions

I resolve to be true to myself. This is the only resolution I feel comfortable making and it’s a tough one to keep, when I’ve spent so much of my life swaying to please other people. With this resolution, I promise that I will please other people only if it pleases me to do so; that I will think of my own well-being first and foremost; that I will not forget where I end and another person begins; that I will treat self-care as a primary goal, not something I tack on after everything else and then feel guilty about.

While I am a stronger supporter of the idea of a community of humanity over “self-made” and “bootstraps”, there is no way I can be a contributing member to ANY community if I am not taking care of myself first. I believe anything I give a community is worthless if I am being untrue to my deepest self.

Goals

Unlike resolutions, I have a lot of goals and they fit better into categories…and subcategories.

Writing

Word count:

  • Write 150,000 words in 2014. That’s 411 words a day. Things that count: fiction, poetry, blogging. Things that don’t count: worldbuilding, journaling (any writing I do at my Livejournal or Dreamwidth blogs are considered journaling, unless they’re cross-posted here — which very rarely happens). To help keep me accountable and on track, I’ve joined the communities getyourwordsout and inkingitout on Livejournal and Dreamwidth, respectively.
  • Reach 50,000 words in either Nanowrimo or one of the Camp Nanowrimos. I’m not sure if I’ll make this one or not — I embraced quitting Nano this year and that may be the start of a trend, or it may be a one-off event. I’m setting it as a goal mostly to see if last November was a one-off or the beginning of the end of my relationship with Nano.
  • Utilize the 750words site again. My word count goal every day to make 150,000 words in 2014 is 411. I’m going to try and top that every day by hitting 750, and the 750words site is a great way to do it. Also, there are some badges I want to attempt to get.

Projects:

  • Finish rewrites/edits for The Jade Star of Athering (book 2 in The Third Age).
  • Finish writing From the Ashes (book 2 in The Borderlands Saga).
  • Finish worldbuilding for Dead Transgressions.
  • Get halfway through Dead Transgressions (includes some necessary rewrites).
  • Assuming I find back the files, finish The Man of Bronze.
  • Start work on Anala, book 3 in The Third Age.
  • Start work on Book 4 in The Third Age, as of yet not titled, occurring at the same time as Anala. Outline is a must!
  • Start work on The Moonrunner (book 3, Borderlands).
  • Non-official goal: make real progress on my web serial, Dark Fascination.

Blogging:

  • Postaday: post here every day in 2014. (I am not going to be too harsh on myself if I miss a few days, but the idea here is to post consistently, not once or twice a month.)
  • Find back my blogging voice. This isn’t a goal that’s quantifiable, but it is something I want to work towards in 2014, so I’m listing it here.

Personal Stuff

Reading

  • Read 10 books for pleasure. For pleasure means they’re not for worldbuilding research or school or something similar.
  • Make a real dent in my To Be Read pile. Ideally this would mean reading 100 books; my TBR pile is massive. Instead of giving myself a number that I’ll feel worse about not getting any closer to as time goes on, however, I’m just going to leave the goal as is: make a real dent. I’ll know when I’ve done it.

Cooking and baking

  • Learn to bake bread. Seriously this time. I didn’t do it in 2013 even though I said I would. I WILL in 2014.
  • Start making more things from scratch. There are a lot of things we go out and purchase that I think may be better made in the house — both financially and health-wise. I’m not a huge fan of highly processed food and it seems more and more everyday we just…don’t know what we’re eating. (It also seems more and more that people want to put aspartame into the weirdest things, which means I have to read the ingredients on EVERYTHING or die.)
  • Figure out my kitchen rhythm. When the Ogre and I live together I will be doing the cooking during the week. I need to figure out a way to make that happen so we’re both eating good, home-cooked meals and I’m not bone-exhausted by noon.
  • Bake something once a week. I used to bake about that often, when I was in high school. I miss it, and I’d like to expand my skills and repertoire.
They are SO DELICIOUS #cupcakes #omnom #getinmymouth
I mean, there definitely needs to be more of THIS in my life.

Physical

  • Start physiotherapy again. This is dependent on funds being available, but I have hopes I’ll eventually be making enough money that I’ll be able to start doing physio again (and thus, able to function more normally — normally for me, at any rate).
  • Following that: find some sort of exercise that I can do daily that doesn’t strain my back and gives me a mild workout. Do said exercise.
  • Get my sleep schedule back on track and keep it there. No more of this switching to nights BS every weekend.

Mental

  • Work on finding a therapist. Not an easy thing, but therapy is a good thing for me and I haven’t been in far too long. I have some stuff I need to work through and I can’t fix all my problems via journaling.
  • Create a real manifestation board. I had one of these set up on my vanity mirror for a while, but had to take it down when we were showing the place to people. I’m going to set up one that can be moved from place to place and isn’t dependent on furniture.
  • Do another Good Things Jar for 2014. I did this in 2013 and it kept me going to see it full of pieces of paper, just covered in all the good things that had happened (even if they were as simple as “Still breathing”). I’m doing it again, and being more diligent with it.

Spiritual

  • Set up some sort of weekly practice, and blog more often at the spiritual blog. (The two things are related, as I need something to blog about at said blog.)
  • Spend more time with my dog. If you don’t think that’s a spiritual experience…you’ve never shared your life with a dog.

I think that’s a good list of goals for an entire year. Now to write them out and have them scattered around my house so I can see them as daily reminders of what I want to accomplish.

What are your goals for 2014?

Fiction Friday: in which I eat all of my mom’s Nutella

What are kids for, right?

This week I am not reading any fiction — all my reads are currently a) serious academic tomes or b) books on paganism and witchcraft. Or both.

However, I did write a short piece of fiction for Three Word Wednesday, now showing at live in demons and absent angels.  Go read that if you like dystopian stories. It’s about 750 words, give or take a few.

I’m also hard at work on The Jade Star of Athering. I may not finish it by the 5th, as I’m also filming a documentary this weekend, but I will finish it soon — never fear!

And my brain is just coughing up plot bunnies like it’s got a hairball problem. I seriously have more story ideas than I know what to do with right now. So I’m hoping that once I finish JSOA and let it sit before editing a bit I can sit down and work on some of these other ideas before they die from lack of attention.

Plot bunnies. So needy, I tell ya.

As well, Dead Transgressions will be getting my attention sometime this summer, and The Man of Bronze will also be tackled this year. So hopefully I’ll have more fodder for my Fiction Friday posts and will be actually, you know, writing them.

(And posting them the night before because that’s how I roll.)

 

SFFSat January 7th: Adra visits Harbourtown

From my Nanowrimo novel, Dead Transgressions.

Adrasteia, the half-Atherian, half-Ixilean hero, is currently visiting Harbourtown with Duke Leandros of Aeril, the brother of the woman she’s sworn to protect from a plot by the Children of IxChel, intent on reclaiming their people’s Jade Star. The Duke has taken Adra on a small tour of the countryside while she recovers from her wound. And by countryside, I mean various cities around Athering, as there are no wilds left.

Soon they reached Harbourtown, and Adra was glad for the chance to stretch her legs. The air smelled strongly of brine and seagulls rent the sky with their harsh cries. She and Leandros went down to the seawall, where they took a leisurely stroll, watching the waves come in and out. It was a sunny day but there was a chill in the air — each breath left Adra’s nostrils and lungs feeling awakened. She was glad she had her jacket with her; since her injury she found herself getting cold with more ease.

Harbourtown was a slow city. More a town, really — the streets were cobblestone, a throwback to a simpler time, and the buildings were still made of wood. Really old wood, she supposed; at some point they’d no doubt have to rebuild in stronger synthetic materials. Until that time came, however, Harbourtown clung to the past. It was almost quaint.

 

State of the Nano

As you can no doubt tell by the handy dandy widget to the right, I have 7K words to go before I win Nano. I won’t be done with the novel — hells, I’ll be lucky if I make it to the mid-plot point — but I will have won Nano.

Considering I’ve spent the past three days working on getting Bellica ready for print (and will spend the next few days getting it ready for ebook) and have not slept overmuch, this will be awesome and worth much cheering.

So I am off to write some exciting Nano story. Mostly with lots of sexual tension — it’s increased after the first kiss and “just friends” talk, you know. 😉

7K in 24 hours: GO.

 

of titles and word counts

It took me a while, but I finally decided on a title for my Nano-novel. Dead Transgressions.

Sounds pretty detective-y, right?

Anyway. I’m at 30K. My plan is to win Nano by Saturday the 12th. If I still need to finish the book, I’ll keep writing. If not, I’ll let it sit and focus on other things. Probably The Jade Star of Athering (which is sort of connected to Dead Transgressions, though I totally didn’t plan that at all as the two stories are almost 10,000 years apart).

Still working hard on the release of Bellica (which now has a Google+ page here, so you should go and check it out…for reasons that will become clear to me at some point, I’m sure). So far it’s going according to plan and you should see copies out and about on the 25th. If it’s late, it’s late. I’m not allowing myself to panic.

Yet.

*looks frantically for her towels*

 

Adra got shot and it was totally bad-ass

Well, my main character, Adrasteia deKarme, got shot in the last chapter I wrote. It was in the line of duty, and totally bad-ass. The skin around her shoulder got melted off and then rebuilt from scratch. Thank the Goddesses for very advanced medical technomancy.

She was very upset about her jacket being ruined, however. (Don’t worry; fashion technology is advanced as well. The jacket will survive. But it was touch and go there for a while.)

Whee. Nano is crazy.

 

SFFSat: Adrasteia practices her bad-ass Detective look

This is a detective story, but it’s in a fantasy setting. Magic and technology are sort of the same thing in this place.

She rummaged around in the top drawer for her gun holster. Something she hadn’t worn for a while now — she couldn’t afford ammo recharges, and she hadn’t been on any jobs that would require it.

If the Queen required her to start on her new job right away, well, she wanted to be prepared.

She slipped the leather straps over her shoulders and adjusted until the gun sat comfortably against her ribcage, under her right breast. A few times, for practice, she grabbed it quickly and aimed at an invisible assailant.

“Do you feel lucky? Do you, kid?” She grimaced. She may still have what it took to fire quickly, but she definitely needed to work on her one-liners.

This is from my 2011 Nanowrimo novel, currently untitled. Enjoy!

Make sure you check out the other awesome SFFSat posts here!

SFFSat: Adrasteia practices her bad-ass Detective look.

This is a detective story, but it’s in a fantasy setting. Magic and technology are sort of the same thing in this place.

She rummaged around in the top drawer for her gun holster. Something she hadn’t worn for a while now — she couldn’t afford ammo recharges, and she hadn’t been on any jobs that would require it.

If the Queen required her to start on her new job right away, well, she wanted to be prepared.

She slipped the leather straps over her shoulders and adjusted until the gun sat comfortably against her ribcage, under her right breast. A few times, for practice, she grabbed it quickly and aimed at an invisible assailant.

“Do you feel lucky? Do you, kid?” She grimaced. She may still have what it took to fire quickly, but she definitely needed to work on her one-liners.

This is from my 2011 Nanowrimo novel, currently untitled. Enjoy!

Make sure you check out the other awesome SFFSat posts here!

 

OH GODS I’M OUT OF FUDGEEOS

Seriously. This is an emergency of epic proportions. WHAT WILL I DO WITHOUT CHOCOLATE?

I may have to bake a chocolate cake. But that would take me away from Nano-ing. You see my dilemma.

Anyway, said Nano is going really well. I’m almost at 10K words. I plan on having a 10K day today, which would put me over 15K for the whole thing. Then tomorrow I can tone it down to about a 2K day, and do maybe 3K on Friday.

That’s the plan, anyway. It’ll be hard to do without FudgeeOs, but I’ll have to manage some how.

Good news for the week:

Fiction Friday is on, most likely with a character profile of one of the characters from my Nano novel. Not a full one, but enough to make you salivate for the whole story.

SFFSat: on again! I’ll be posting a snippet from the Nano novel, which is as of yet untitled. I really need a title.

Well, if I can’t think of one before Wednesday next week, I’ll just run around downtown naked until something comes to me.

 

Can’t stop now! This is Nano country!

As many of you may know, November is National Novel Writing Month: Thirty Days and Nights of Literary Abandon.

Some may say that phrase is quite literal, that we abandon literature. I’m sure there are NaNo novels for which that is true, but is is not true for mine, because I’m a damn good writer. (And a lot of other Wrimos are as well.)

This year, I actually planned. I wrote an outline. I figured out the First Plot Point, the Mid Plot Point, and the Second Plot Point. I wrote an overarching vision for my story. I came up with a partial Beat Sheet, outlining the scenes I would write and the missions they had. (Thanks to Larry Brooks at StoryFix.com for his 30 posts on how to outline your NaNo novel. I found many of his tips useful.)

A glazed Tim Hortons donut
This is exactly what I ordered, too.

At midnight on the first of November I started writing with my fellow Nanaimo-Wrimos at our Tim Horton’s kick-off party. In the two hours at Timmy’s and the three hours when I got home, I wrote 3,331 words of my novel. (I was planning on sleeping as soon as I got home, but someone at Timmy’s gave me a coffee instead of a hot chocolate.) I decided sleep was the better part of valor at that point, and when I woke up later that day I rounded off my day’s word count at 5,560. My goal today is 10K.

You know what happened? I followed my outline…loosely. I found as I wrote, other things cropped up, and I ended up adding them into the story quite nicely. My main character’s best friend showed up in Chapter 1, instead of Chapter 3 as I had planned. Which meant I had to actually figure out the right name for him before moving on. I had been tossing around name ideas (I’m a writer who can’t write main characters without the exact right names, because I believe your name is such an integral part of your being that to write a character without a name is like writing one without a soul) before starting, but had not been able to settle on anything. I figured, no big deal, I’m not introducing him till Chapter 3 or so, so I can figure out a name before then. Well, he had other ideas.

Continue reading “Can’t stop now! This is Nano country!”