New Year’s Resolutions 2020

Deep Water
Caution: lone people staring wistfully over the ocean.

It’s still January so I can still talk about this year’s resolutions, right?

Last year was a pretty good year for me. I started learning Turkish in April (for no particular reason). My short story “Glory Night,” which I’d sold in 2017, came out in July. I sold “No Mercy to the Rest” to Podcastle, which came out in December. I sold another short story to F&SF, due out this year. I made some laser-cut topographic maps of Cape Cod Bay and Mars. I went to Dublin for WorldCon in August. I refinished my back deck and grew some vegetables.

I find the weirdest things at work.

Here were last year’s goals:

  • Read 50 books. According to Goodreads, I read 52.
  • Finish 5 short stories. I think I finished 4. I started many more than that, and have a couple nearly completed, but my goal said “finish” and I did not finish 5.
  • At least one short story on submission at all times. Yup, did this.
  • Finish a novel. Did this too, and am currently in the middle of revisions.
  • Start one regular physical activity (such as jogging, rock climbing, an exercise class, or something new) that I stick with at least once per week for at least six months. I went regularly to a spin class, two barre classes, and a yoga class. Then all but the spin class were canceled, and I finally had to drop my Y membership because I couldn’t afford it anymore. However, I did also start gardening and doing some strenuous home improvements, which I’ll count as physical activity.
  • A SINGLE PULL UP. I did this! I DID THIS ONE! This has been on my list of resolutions for years and I! finally! did! it!


Temple Bar
The Temple Bar district in Dublin.

And now for this year’s goals:

  • Read 50 books – Might as well keep this up. So far I’ve read two.
  • Finish 12 short stories – I know this is a huge jump up, especially after not reaching my goal last year. But I’m hoping to do one per month. I have one nearly completed for January. I’ve also completed two flash stories, which I guess count? I plan to expand them both into longer stories, though.
  • One story on submission at all times – Always good to have this one.
  • Finish novel revisions and start querying agents
  • Start one regular physical activity – Ideally one I can do even when the weather is cold.
  • Blog about my various projects – I have lots of stuff planned this year (art, home improvements, gardening, etc) and I think it might be interesting to post about them.
  • TWO PULL UPS – Can’t rest on my laurels with this one.

Anybody else have New Year’s resolutions?

Resolutions 2016

My first published short story, “Smooth Stones and Empty Bones,” comes out in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction today! That’s my name, right there on the table of contents! And again on page 68! Go grab a copy and tell me what you think.

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 4.56.22 PM
And there’s all those words I wrote


Now, with that out of the way, happy New Year! I just glanced back at the resolutions post I made last January and had a little laugh. Oh, resolutions. How fleeting you are.

Continue reading “Resolutions 2016”

Nanowrimo and PitchWars

Looking at this picture makes me really want another macchiato and cookie.
Looking at this picture makes me really want another macchiato and cookie.

I’m having trouble with Nanowrimo this year, guys. Not with meeting my word count, per se, but with trying to figure out where this story starts and ends. When you find yourself googling “should I write flashbacks?” you know you’re in trouble. My novel outline has multiple points of view, some in the past and some in the present, and it’s just a complete mess. I know it’s not working, but I can’t figure out how to fix it, and it seems easier to give up.

On the other hand, I know that this happens every year around this time. More than once, I’ve debated whether to abandon a novel and start a new one at this point in Nanowrimo. I know it’s just my brain’s way of telling me that thinking is too hard. I’ve gotta keep going. If I stick with it long enough, I should start liking it again by next week…at least until I start hating it again.

In other news, I got a new day job, and finished Pitch Wars. I got a request for a full from an agent (woohoo!), and I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. Emmie Mears, my mentor, writes gritty urban fantasy and—is superhero fiction sci fi? I feel like it’s sci fi. Anyway, I bought their book, Shrike: The Masked Songbird, just before heading on the Writing Excuses cruise, and pretty much read the entire thing on the plane there. The best way to describe it is if The Devil Wears Prada was a superhero origin story. I highly recommend it, and look forward to reading the rest of their books.

If you want to check out my previous posts on Nanowrimo, you can find them under my Nanowrimo tag. To everyone else who’s doing it this month, good luck! Now I have to go finish my word count for the day.

Writing Excuses — at sea!

How long does it take you to recover from a cruise? Asking for a friend. A friend who has been taking three naps a day since she got back into port.

That's my ride
That’s my ride

For those of you who weren’t aware, the Writing Excuses podcast, purveyor of indispensable writing advice, puts on a workshop/retreat every year. Past retreats have been at Mary Robinette Kowal’s parents’ house, which can only house 24 people. This year they decided to do something a little different and have the retreat on a Royal Caribbean International cruise through the western Caribbean, which was big enough to house over 150 writers & family (plus the other 4000 or so cruise guests). I’d never been on a cruise before, and had never really been on a writing retreat either, so it sounded like a great opportunity to get my feet wet (har har). Warning: this will be long and image-heavy. Continue reading “Writing Excuses — at sea!”

Springing ahead, or something twee like that

Basically all of Ireland looks like this.
Basically all of Ireland looks like this.

Happy June! I got back from my trip a couple weeks ago, but I’ve been busy with various endeavors since then, including copy edits for my first professional short story sale. More on that as it develops.

Spring always brings out the self-improvement bug in me. Autumn does too–I think it’s the transitional nature of those seasons that makes it seem like things are happening and I have to get my act together or else get left behind. It’s possible my triumphant return to the world of caffeine has something to do with that as well. I’ve started arting again, and just outlined a brand new short story. (On a related note: if you want to do some figure drawing, check out this fabulous website. It can also give you practice with hands, feet, faces, and animals.) I also took up cross stitch, but sadly failed to take pictures of my projects before bestowing them on my friends. Maybe they’ll be nice and photograph them for me.

I'm trying to work on my art more.
I’m trying to work on my art more.

As for old work, I’ve only done 16,666 words on the novel since November, which is a bit of a disappointment but you know what, I’ll take it. I was hoping to get more writing done on the trip but lol no. I’m still happy with how the story is going and I’m hoping to have the first draft finished by August. I hope you all hold me to that promise.

The word count of the beast.
The word count of the beast.

How about you? Anyone have plans for the upcoming summer, creative or otherwise?