In case you didn’t notice, I was mostly absent from this website in 2016 and 2017. My mom once told me people don’t notice things about us the way we think they do. Unless we have a button unbuttoned, a zipper unzipped, or broccoli in our teeth. But if I point out an imperfection – “Look how this mirror brings out my grey hair,” or, “Does this pimple look really bad?” – then it becomes obvious. So now that I’ve drawn attention to myself, I thank you if you noticed my absence (and also if you didn’t).
I wasn’t completely absent from the internet, though. I posted 2-3 interviews a month on the SouthWest Writers’ website (28 in 2017, for a total of 71 in the last three years). This group, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is full of wonderful, encouraging writers who meet twice a month to network and learn from others who’ve been in the trenches. Check out their video presentations on YouTube.
Way back in 2016, I said I was holding my breath for a response from an agent who requested the manuscript of the first book in my fantasy trilogy. I didn’t do a follow up to that – Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media Group actually offered me representation! Much of 2016 was a blur as I worked like a fiend to complete a self-edit of the book while I waited on word of a sale. My perfectionism went into overdrive in 2017 as I continued to revise that first novel. I’ve since moved on to book two with 20,000 words towards a first draft. I’m still waiting on the sale of book one and, as always, I’m enjoying torturing my characters in their continuing quest.
My goal of selling one or more short stories last year was a bust. I’m still writing, revising, and submitting as well as entering stories in competitions. I did find a great editor (Bethany Kaczmarek) who worked with me on one of the shorts, as well as the first chapter of book one. For me this is a necessary part of the process of polishing my writing. I do participate in two critique groups, but their valuable input can’t take the place of a good developmental edit.
New for 2018:
- Actually sticking to a blog schedule – once a week on Wednesdays with the occasional Friday thrown in.
- A fun project working with my teenage granddaughter who, if you’ll pardon my bias, is an awesome artist. She’ll be helping me develop a comic strip inspired by popular movies and television programs that you may or may not recognize.
- Sharing my work in the form of serialized short stories and snippets of longer works. This is a huge step for me (and my perfectionism), but one I need to take or continue in an eternal edit of everything.
- Posting advice from writers regarding character development, setting, tone, tension, etc., as well as interviews with speculative fiction authors. I’m also hoping to include guest posts from writers who’ll share their knowledge and creative process.
That’s it for me. What have you been up to in the last few years? Any goals you’d like to share?