2013: In which I actually submitted things.

Okay. So I think I’m not alone in saying ‘holy hell 2013 you’re a mean drunk’. After seeing someone summarize their year when it comes to writing on a forum I frequent, I thought it’d be a good way to see where I started and where I am now. Especially since I’ve been struggling a bit in the last couple months (yay Plague!)

The Good

Smiling Shark

Technically I submitted my first story in 2012 to The Hero Comes Home 2. But I also submitted it on Dec 31st, so I’m counting that as 2013 regardless.

Before 2013 I’d never thought I could submit anything and have it considered being close to ‘good’. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a long way to go before I am considered ‘good’, but there was this weird invisible fence that I’d made up that kept me back from trying to get published.

Then this dude came up to me and tried to sell me this lady‘s book, and got all pushy about joining this writing thing called Nanowrimo. So I went and met a whole bunch of lovely people, who told me about markets and I joined the facebook groups and learned about what kind of markets look for what kind of stories.

I’d started writing a horror story about pomegranates when the Hero Comes Home 2 crossed my inbox and so I sat down and wrote, edited and sent off the story in 5 days. #thatshowIroll. Totally expected it to get sent back with a ‘definitely not. never. ever.’ in red text. Instead I got a personal rejection.

The pomegranate story received an offer, which I can tell you was even more surprising.

Call it beginner’s luck, or call it 15 years of writing in my basement and on RP sites finally paying off, but I’ve had a number of personal rejections this year that are crazy elating.

Cons Attended: Ad Astra, WorldCon, CanCon [panelist]
Total Submissions:
23
Form Rejections: 13
Personal Rejections: 6 (including 2 ‘you made it to the final cut’ heartbreakers)
WOTF: Q3 – Honourable Mention, Q4 – SEMI FINALIST
Pending: 2
Sales: 1!!

The Bad

So like I said at the top of the post, 2013 was a mean drunk. I lost a total of 4 family members in the first half of the year alone, including my grandfather and an aunt. To say that I was emotionally exhausted would be a bit of an understatement. While at first I kept writing, I realised that grief was taking a toll on the tone in my stories, so I set it aside for a while.

Sad Cat

I didn’t want to ruin work that had potential by infusing it with a sadness when the story didn’t warrant it. I think that this was the right decision, although it did set off a cascade of missed writing goals in the last quarter of the year. Continue reading

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Nano-Nuggets

Hello fine people! Who’s participating in Nanowrimo this year? Great! We can be writing buddies. Although I have to warn you, this year I’m going to be a cheater.

A dirty, dirty cheater. Why? Because I’m using Nano to re-write my novel:

The God Artifact

Working title that doesn’t quite fit.  Also, photoshop is AWESOME.

And while this will be a topic for another post: COVERS MATTER GUYS. Not for Nano, but y’know, selling.

Now I’m no pro (see Newbie Guide) but I have managed to win Nanowrimo last year while working full time.

Nano winner

Proof! Also add me plskthnx

But I’ve learned that winning Nano is kind of arbitrary and doesn’t actually help much with writing a novel.  It serves more as the spring thaw to get those creative juices flowing so you can hammer a spigot into your head and pour out all the stuff in there onto a page.

Which is why this year I’m cheating.

How to Nanowrimo for Newbies

Also known as OHGODWHY.

1. Consider it practice

What you write in Nano is in no way, shape, or form, ready to be published. Unless you’re a god of writing, but hey, we’re all humble mortals here right? *squints at you* RIGHT?

Anyways, some people say to consider it Draft 0. The ‘shit’ draft. While the programmer in me appreciates the proper count increment, Draft 0 sounds like it’s utterly worthless. And it’s not, it’s just a mess and full of useless paragraphs describing things that don’t need to be described because HEY WORDCOUNT.
Continue reading

Monday Madness

Hello all you fine people. As this is a Post-con Monday, I’m going to leave you with a link and plug for a guest post I wrote on The Fictorians blog.

It’s all about websites: why writers should have one, and how to go about setting one up for non coders.

Here’s a quick blurb below, but for web-enlightenment, check out the full article.

Okay, all you writer-types out there, I want you to take a deep breath. We’re about to get into some heavy stuff: Websites. If you aren’t familiar with the Oatmeal’s commentary on web design I suggest you go look at that now. It’ll come in handy later.

This post will run you through the pros and cons of having a writer’s website for yourself and your work, as well as taking a look at how best to approach the strange beast that is a ‘successful website’, even if you’ve never written a line of code in your life.

Contober – Round 1

Tonight begins Can-Con, which I’ve been blabbering about for the last week and a bit. I’m part of my first panel ever this evening: “So this is your first [Lit] Con” at 7pm. I would invite all two of my readers to come, but Mom’s already got plans (HI MOM).

Friday

 I’ll mostly be putting around after my panel and saying hi to folks I haven’t seen in a while, as well as then kicking off the unofficially official “Beers with Writers/Fans/Hockey Enthusiasts” at the Royal Oak on Kent at Slater. Then there’s the Chizine party before I stumble home, exhaused.

Saturday

Saturday morning I’ve got some panels I want to hit up, as well as the local Bridgehead for my fix of caffeine water.  quantum

The schedule currently says I’ll be in two places at once at 5pm. I would if I could, but unfortunately I’m still working out the kinks of quantum vibration. Luckily my friend (and lovely critique group member) Mary Pletsch has taken over my spot so I can do the Multiculturalism panel. YAY MARY. I’D LINK IF YOU HAD A WEBSITE. GO MAKE ONE.

After that I thought I was scot-free, able to run amok through the con as usual. But no.

You may have read about the impending Doom on my friend Marie Bilodeau’s page about deaths by a thousand papercuts to the eyes, dervishes of sharply folded general use paper, or college rule.

Oh, the Calamity! Oh the humanity! (although if a paper airplane combusts into a large fireball I’m not sure if I’d be more impressed, or concerned).

Sunday

Probably wander in a zombie-like state, muttering about NYCC.

Shit. So much to sew.

PS –

MARIE YOUR SITE KEEPS RANDOMLY OPENING WINDOWS ON ME. WTF IS THIS BLACK MAGIC?

marie

 

Good News Everyone!

Awesome stuff has been happening over the last week and I thought I’d share with you fine folk. As well, there’s Can-Con coming up which will be equally awesome and you can find my schedule (such as it is) below.

Writers of the Future – Q3 Hono[u]rable Mention!

I’m pretty happy about this. I mean, it’s still my first year being ‘out’ as a writer, writing stories for submission and going out and meeting other writers like a big girl. But… I’ve put in hours. I’ve been a writer in the real sense of ‘I write’ since before I knew how to actually make my letters. (Sorry mom.) 

But in all seriousness, I have been writing for hours every day for nearly the last ten years. It’s kind of exciting to see that I’ve wound up at a place where the stories I write and how I write them are fairly interesting to other people.

So yeah, I’m pretty pleased.

ALSO.

Can-Con.

I’m going to be a panelist, awh yeah!

Friday at 7pm – “So this is your first [Lit] Con!” with Kate Heartfield, Geoff Gander, Nicole Lavigne and Natasha Bertrand. Look out for comparisons to the popular Comic Cons and Anime Cons and me wondering often what the hell is with the ribbons. I still don’t get it.

Saturday at 5pm – “Multiculturalism in Science Fiction” with Matthew Johsnon, Yves Menard, David Hartwell (!!!) and Jean-Lousis Trudel. 

Saturday ALSO at 5pm – Critiquing Groups. This is a lie, I actually have a good friend Mary Pletsch taking my place who writes awesome things and puts up with my poop jokes and ‘dumb reader’ moments in our own crit group. She’s pretty awesome and if it wasn’t ast the exact same time as my Multicultural panel I’d totally encourage you to go see her. But it is. So come to the Multicultural panel instead.

DO IT.

Also! Whenever people are bored, looking for food, or between events, check out the Royal Oak that’s just on the same block as the Minto Suites Hotel. There’s an informal ‘beers with writers” going on all weekend because as much as I’d like to arrange something all official-like I just don’t have the time this year. Next year. 

Saturday at 8pm – I will somehow be involved with Marie Bilodeau’s Paper airplanes. I don’t know how yet but the word ‘goon’ was mentioned.

Sunday – Recovery and trying to sober catch up on sleep in vain before work Monday.