Writer’s Bucket List, Revisited

A while ago I posted a writer’s bucket list for myself. I decided that for today’s post, I would revisit it and see how much progress I’m making.

  1. Publish 4 novels. I’ve got at least that many as WIPs currently, so this should be “easy” to do (nothing about writing is easy).
  2. Finish a short story. I have this habit of making stories too big, and for once I’d like to write an actual short story. If only one in my life. So this is definitely part of the list.
  3. Connect and make friends with fellow authors. I have a history of being a recluse and I’d like that to change. (A little bit. Not by much.)
  4. Attend a writing conference. My mother has been doing this for years and I should really start to as well — she has so many contacts and she has so much fun at the conferences, I wonder that I haven’t started to go to them yet.
  5. Attend a fandom conference as a guest. Something like DragonCon, though maybe not that big. I’m not sure — cons where sff writers are more than welcome. (I know they’re out there; I’m just at a loss for names right now.)
  6. Win NaNoWriMo. I have been doing this thing for years and I have yet to win the elusive bastard. This year (2011) is mine.
  7. Become semi-famous. At least well known in the SFF circuit. That is a fame unto itself, and the one that matters most to me as a writer and reader of SFF.
  8. Actually develop a technique, and learn what that technique is. I do have a technique, but if asked to talk about it I start babbling incoherently because I don’t know what it is.
  9. Get a blurb from one of my favourite authors. Ideally, Ursula K. LeGuin, but I have a short list of favourite authors in addition to her name.

Damn! 2 done already, and it’s only been 2 months. Not too shabby. As well, I currently am just shy of 20K words for NaNoWriMo 2011, and plan on making 25K by this Sunday. I expect to have 50K words written by the middle of the month. Just you wait!

(The short story I wrote has been entered into a contest and so is un-shareable at this time. However, I’ll know by January if it wins or not, at which point I’ll probably put it on the site.)

 

VIWF is here and it’s as awesome as I thought it would be

I have spent the past 2 days volunteering in the food service part of the Vancouver International Writer’s Festival (which I’ve blogged about previously). It has been awesome. Food service for events — doing prep work in the kitchen and working concession stands during intermission — is something I excel at, and as I never tire of having my ego stroked hearing that I’m wonderful from staff is, in a word, heaven.

Of course, my arms and legs are killing me because I worked harder in the past two days than I have in the past three months. Totally worth it.

One of the featured authors for the opening reception, which I worked, was Helen Oyeyemi. She’s 27, has put out 4 books, and was first a guest at VIWF when she was 20. I’m not going to lie, my first thoughts when I heard she was 5 years younger than I am now when she became a guest at VIWF were less than charitable, but her writing is very good, and I was very privileged to hear her read.

I’m still damn jealous that she got on it sooner than I did, however, and is a good writer. (I’m not jealous of all young writers, after all.) But that jealously more stems from self-loathing over not getting my shite done quick enough.

Maybe loathing is a strong word. Self-annoyance. I am annoyed at myself. And at the fact that being part of the 99% makes it so rent and food always come first, all the time, writing career be damned. (Won’t pay until I treat it like a career, can’t treat it like a career until it starts to pay. You know the trap.)

Anyway, I digress. I’m having a lovely time at the VIWF, as is my mom — she gets to pick up Russell Banks from the airport, which has her over the moon. He’s one of her favourite authors.

And I am keeping our last name held in high esteem with my awesome work. So the staff members say.

If I sound a little full of myself, well, it’s because I am — and it’s all true, anyway.

See you on Friday, maybe, if I can take 5 minutes to myself to write a post. And come up with a topic.

 

Writer Wednesday: Vancouver International Writer’s Festival (in which insanity descends upon Granville Island for a week in October)

Well, I’ve now been on hiatus for two weeks, instead of one, and I figure it’s about time I get back to this blog.

So for today’s Writer Wednesday I’m going to be talking about the Vancouver International Writer’s Festival, happening October 18th-23rd.

VIWF is something that my mother has been volunteering for for the past several years. Now that I have no school this semester (yay!) I’ve signed up to volunteer as well. VIWF is held on Granville Island and has 69 events over the 6 days that it’s held. It’s the largest literary festival in Canada. Writers from across the country and the world come to talk about their works, the writing process, the topics their writing covers, and much more. There are parties, get-togethers, and even a writing contest. They also have a bunch of morning events that are ideal for school groups — reaching out to youth about writing, reading, literacy, and the world of words.

This week-long event is a fantastic opportunity for networking. Granville Island is literally crawling with writers, pens in hand, insane glints in eyes. (All writers are insane. We admit this happily.) It’s also a fantastic opportunity to see your favourite writers speak: a few years ago mom scored us tickets to see Ursula K. LeGuin talk. She was amazing (as expected). I was hoping to see Michael Moore this year (there’s a special pre-festival event for part of his book tour) but the tickets are already sold out. Mom’s excited about Russell Banks coming and reading from his new book.

I’m hoping that next year I’ll be invited to the festival, as a debut author in British Columbia. I just need to prod my publishing company to submit my name for review.

If you’re in the area, you should definitely consider coming to the festival. It’s not too late to apply to be a volunteer, too — deadline is Sept. 26th for new volunteers — so that’s also an option. It’s an event you don’t want to miss.

Have you ever been to a writer’s festival, as a writer or a reader? What was it like? If you haven’t been, do you think you’d ever go to one? Why or why not?

Writer Wednesday: The Writer’s Bucket List

This post is inspired by Heather Simone’s August 8th blog post of her writer’s bucket list. I read it and thought “That would be a great WW post!” and, well, here we are.

Some of my list items will be the same as hers, because, well, we’re writers and many of us have similar goals. Not rocket science, that.

So without further ado, I present Katje van Loon’s Writer Bucket List.

  1. Publish 4 novels. I’ve got at least that many as WIPs currently, so this should be “easy” to do (nothing about writing is easy).
  2. Finish a short story. I have this habit of making stories too big, and for once I’d like to write an actual short story. If only one in my life. So this is definitely part of the list.
  3. Connect and make friends with fellow authors. I have a history of being a recluse and I’d like that to change. (A little bit. Not by much.)
  4. Attend a writing conference. My mother has been doing this for years and I should really start to as well — she has so many contacts and she has so much fun at the conferences, I wonder that I haven’t started to go to them yet.
  5. Attend a fandom conference as a guest. Something like DragonCon, though maybe not that big. I’m not sure — cons where sff writers are more than welcome. (I know they’re out there; I’m just at a loss for names right now.)
  6. Win NaNoWriMo. I have been doing this thing for years and I have yet to win the elusive bastard. This year (2011) is mine.
  7. Become semi-famous. At least well known in the SFF circuit. That is a fame unto itself, and the one that matters most to me as a writer and reader of SFF.
  8. Actually develop a technique, and learn what that technique is. I do have a technique, but if asked to talk about it I start babbling incoherently because I don’t know what it is.
  9. Get a blurb from one of my favourite authors. Ideally, Ursula K. LeGuin, but I have a short list of favourite authors in addition to her name.

Writer Wednesday: it’s like the future sneaked up behind me and shouted “Boo!”

I’ve just spent the past few hours reading about Twitter hashtags for writers, finding new and varied blogs about writing and the writing business, finding prompts and challenges for blogging, and finding out that self-publishing may be losing its bad rap sooner rather than later. Which is awesome, because legacy publishing is kind of B.S.-tastic. Holly Lisle is apparently now going the self-publishing route, after being published for over 30 books in the legacy publishing industry. She has some interesting things to say about it.

 

Apparently there’s been this techno-revolution in the world of writing and it’s still going strong. I only vaguely knew about these things; I had no idea it was so big.

I recently decided my blog is going to be my business platform. That’s why I revamped the site and why you’re seeing daily, if not more, posts from me.

All the new information bodes well for my career, because I’m planning on having not only a paperback version of Bellica out by January, but an ebook version as well. All I have to do between now and then is build up my online presence to semi-famous, and the book will sell like a hotcake.

Fewer than six months. I think I can do that. I’ll be on Twitter a whole hell of a lot, of course, and constantly searching for new ways to connect with other writers.

However, I could definitely use some help. Have any suggestions? Your own stories of reaching internet fame? What’s my next step?