New Year, New Goals

*shakes off the dust and clingy shittiness of 2013*

Right! New Year, New Goals. I was going to write this post anyways, but saw that David Farland had a post up about Writing Goals, so I modified my original idea to break it down into lists. (yay organization!)

Editor cat


Novel 2 – The Novelling Deepens

Research into necessary historical issues: societal, military, organizational and scientific practices.

World Build the nations, economy, conflicts and societies where the story takes place.

Develop the Characters who live in this world: who they are, who they want to be and what’s stopping them from being that.

Outline the major plot points and then work from large to small: breaking down the major events into arcs and then chapters.

Short stories

Research into medical proceedures, nanotechnology and medical complications.

World Build for 1) Gaslight Fantasy, 2) Sci Fi system, 3) Blood Curses.

Develop the Characters and their story arcs.

Outline the major plot points.



Style – Work on smoothing out style. Less jerkiness from topic to topic, unless it sylistically contributes to the scene/story at hand. Must be intentional.

Grammar – Break out the ol’ CP Stylebook and do a thourough comb-through of all stories and novels.

Story – Needs to be a story vs a situation. Characters need to have agency, rather than just react to events going on around them.


Novel – SpyFi 

Complete Draft 2.1 by Ad Astra (April 4th) [Essentially a full re-write] – 40%

Short stories to Finish

Water’s Way – 50%
Ghak the Great – 30%
Goetia – 30%
Rejection – 30%
The Cold Ones – 10%
Personal Demons – 10%
Rosie n’ Punt Make a Man – 10%
Hollow Girl – 0%
Don’t Know Jack – 0%
Homecoming Queen – 0%



Write between 500-1000 words per day.


Draft at least one short story per month.

Revise the previous month’s and submit it. 


Enter WotF until I’m ineligible (either through winning or sales, either would count as a success!)

Finish a draft of a novel. (likely revised drafts)

Editing & Rewriting

Novel – SpyFi

Have a version of the novel that is ready for submissions by Year’s end, either for Angry Robot’s Open Door, or to get an Agent.

Short stories

Use the following system for EVERY short story:

  1. Draft
  2. Story Pass
  3. Beta readers/Critiques
  4. Character Pass
  5. Dialogue
  6. Proof/Copy



TerribleMinds‘ Flash Fridays at least twice a month.

David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants

Critique Group(s)

 Continue to work with critique group(s)


Ad Astra – Attend as many relevant panels as possible and as many parties as possible and sleep… sometime.
Dragon*ConWriter’s Track (not sure about this website though, looks like it might be out of date)
Can-Con – hopefully be on some panels again, though not sure how I’m going to top last year’s dinner with Derek and David Hartwell. That was kind of awesome.


Dragon*con has some workshops listed, and if they’re offered again this year I’m hoping to make it out to some of them.


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:
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

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).


 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 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).


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

Shit. So much to sew.

PS –




Con Manners Matter

cancon-logoHey all!

Can-Con’s coming up in about 3 sleeps. YAY. Cons are amazing to meet other fans, writers and fellow Fandomers. And in order to make it the best Can-Con it can be I thought I’d review some Common Sense Con Manners Guidelines.

It’s a pretty short guideline. It’s pretty much just one rule, really.

DBAA  – Don’t Be An Asshole.

Let’s review in some role play situations:

  1. You feel like someone isn’t as big a fan of your fandom as you are? – DBAA. Ask how they got into the fandom, there’s probably common ground.
  2. Someone younger asks who Heinlein is? DBAA. Tell them he wrote Starship Troopers. Then, maybe, warn them about the incest thing.
  3. Someone older poo-poos Video Games? DBAA. Would you kindly tell them about how Video Games are telling interesting stories these days?
  4. Someone who is a visible minority mentions that they are upset about lack of diversity?DBAA. Listen to them. Especially if you are white and/or male.
  5. Someone gets a fact wrong? DBAA. Wait until they’ve finished speaking. Gently correct them, preferably not in front of an audience.
  6. You see a cosplayer? DBAA. Ask for a pcicture if you’d like to take one. Don’t comment on the body type, or any aspects other than to
    1. ask how they made it
    2. compliment them on how good it looks
    3. if they’re a child pretend they are the real character.
  7. You want to hug a lady who isn’t interested? – DBAA. Shake her hand instead. Then let go when she does.

And if someone is antagonizing you, remember not to feed the Trolls. Just go to a staff/volunteer/security and inform them what is happening and they will take care of it.

Happy Can-Con-ing! I’ll be talking more about how best to experience your con at my panel “So this is your first con” this weekend, Friday at 7pm.
Hope to see you there.

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.



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.


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.