2020 Awards Eligibility Post and End of year wrap up

Today is the 28th, just a few days until we leave 2020 behind and hopefully 2021 brings us some joy.

First, in case it’s all you’re here for I only have one thing that is eligible for awards and that is Stone and Steel, my novella from Neon Hemlock. It came out September 5, 2020 so should be eligible for any novella award for 2020.

Now! On to the reflections!

I still have a few days left and I am a believe in pushing hard to the end. This year I wrote or finished writing three novel projects: The Vampire’s Wife, Lycanthropy and Starbringers. I’m happy with that and at the same time when looking at my word count for the year I know this was a struggle. I think I could have gotten more done but given it was 2020, I’ll take it. I also did finish Nano and even had a couple days to spare which I was happy with. In 2021, the game plan is to do some editing. I want to edit Harkemans, a novel project I queried in 2019 and got some feedback on. I’d like to get the book back out and edit at least one other project. I’m glad to have three other things to look at.

I only wrote 3 new short stories this year. Which sucks. I also only edited a couple of stories and I only sent one story out to short story markets. I appreciate the efficiency of short stories, novelettes and novellas and I’d like to try to write some more of them in 2021. Maybe I’ll submit some more as well. We’ll see. A bunch of venues I’m thinking about.

Reading wise I am two books shy of getting by 75 book goal completed. Feeling good about that. I think I can finish it up in these next couple of days but even if I don’t it was not a bad reading year. Again, considering it was 2020 I did good. In 2021, I’m planning to read more new releases or recent releases to understand the market better and stay on top of whats coming out. In additional I’m only adding 25 books to read as my goal for the year, mainly because I want to be better about learning from what I’m reading as well as enjoying it and focus on joy rather than ticking the box.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about my growth as a writer this year and acknowledging this fear I have that I’m not growing and just sort of stuck in the same place. My hope is to see some more improvement in my craft in 2021. As well as working on appreciating my growth more. Looking for signs that things have changed.

How has your 2020 gone? What did you achieve? What are you looking to do in the new year?

NaNoWriMo 2020 Update

So we’re a little more than half way through the month! I hope your NaNo is going well. Here’s a little update on mine.

Before I get into it, I want to say that I’m sharing this update because I want to engage with you, not because i want to compare. Remember that my experience is just mine and yours is just yours and neither is better or more valid or more right than any other. We’re each on our own paths.

Ok? Ok. Ok!

So as of today 11/19 I have written 36,459 words. The Nano site is saying i should get to 50k by the 26th but I’m not really worried about that. I really wanted to get into Nano and a new project because I wanted to try to set some new routines for myself. Get up and use my scheduled time to write. Rebuild the discipline I used to have and look for things that help me to write :). So far this is going really well.

I wake up most days and write from about 6:10AM to about 7AM (that’s when I start work) and then depending on how much I got done I will do more writing later in the day. I’ve mostly done this with sprints, though in the last few days I’ve also been doing Writer’s Hour which is essentially a group of writers from across the world meeting and writing together for 50 minutes. I think I like it because writing with others makes me feel more accountable. Yes, I may get distracted by the links I left open from last night but then I glance at the zoom and see everyone else is working and I turn back to scrivener.

The other thing I learned (well really re-learned) is that I can’t write to podcasts. Well I can, but my words just don’t flow as easily. I need music. The music can have words but I’ve also found its better for me to listen to music that i have heard a bunch of times. Then it falls away into the background where as new music (or music I haven’t listened to in a while) tends to stand in the foreground. I’m dancing more! I’m singing along! Where did those five minutes go?

Another thing that I have found is helpful is thinking through the next scene at some point the day before. This is the part of writing that is the hardest to quantify and makes me feel like I’m not really working but I’ve found is the most critical to getting in flow. I don’t write an outline when I begin, and I told ya’ll I was cheating a little bit with this because I’ve written a similar story before (though I went off the deep end, don’t look at me like that), do looking a little bit a head helps me understand what comes next. It’s literally a scene or two. Anymore than that and I find I have a hard time actually writing the bit that needs to come next. And if I underthink it, I can usually figure out what should come next live but having nothing to start with is just more of a struggle. For me this sort of pre-planning/headlighting isn’t just thinking about the scene or the set up, its sort of play acting the scene with myself? Figuring out what needs to be said etc. It feels a little bit like a little kid playing with her dolls but when I’ve done it I find that I fall into flow.

And hunny, flow is the goal.

That moment when you forget about the clock and your fingers are just moving across the keyboard and you’re in your world. Flow is a beautiful place that makes all the other bullshit worth it.


I hope to be back there soon.

So tell me, how is NaNo going for you? What are you learning about your writing process? Are you finding flow? Share with me please!

NaNoWriMo 2020

It’s been ages since I’ve posted anything and not just done some minor tinkering on my about page (I hope you’re paying attention to them) and I decided this seemed like a great way to engage a little bit more.

I’m a writer, even when I’m only getting a few words done and 2020 has been a year where I feel like I have tracked more zero days than I have just a few words. So to get a little more work done, I’m going to be participating in NaNoWriMo with a crew of folks from one of my writing groups.

What’s NaNoWriMo you’re asking? NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month which is held every November. It started back in 1999 and it’s an opportunity to commit to writing 50,000 words in a month. You can get those 50,000 words however you like, though I have generally tried to get about 1700 words per day and use weekends to get that plus any catch up I need. The event has expanded to have whats known as Camp NaNoWriMo during other points of the year but Nano is an institution in November.

Nano is not about getting the words perfect, which can be hard for some folks. It’s more about hitting the words and committing to editing and making the words beautiful on the other side (I mean this last part, don’t just send the unedited words to everyone you know and some you don’t). It can be fun if you’re doing it with others and its just nice to have something to be accountable to.

So I am going to be accountable for November 2020 and try to get 50k done on a project I’ve been thinking about rewriting for a while. It’s a novel called, for lack of a better project title, Lycanthropy though it is more about gods and godhood.

Lycanthropy follows River, adopted wolf and …something else, as she tries to stay one step ahead of her former pack and becoming a sacrifice that will open the boundaries between the gods world and our own. Trying to help protect her is her new pack, and the woman she’s pretty sure she’s going to spend the rest of her life with.

I’ve written a few versions of Lycanthropy before but I’m looking forward to this round. I’m a different writer than I was years ago. As part of my accountability I’m going to do a weekly post about the process and how things are going. Hopefully its useful to you but also useful to me. I’m generally a pantser, verging on plantser meaning that I don’t plan what I’m going to do exactly or have an outline together to start. I know this world a bit but it always expands in my brain. I say I’m a planster because I have some thoughts about where I want to start and where I want to go but I haven’t written anything down and I like discovering how we’re going to get there.

Anyways, more to come in November. Hope you’re looking forward to it. If you’re doing Nano drop me a line and check in with me. We can be accountability buddies.