MAYbe I’ll get one of these done on time

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So, yeah, it’s May already and I can chalk up one more month where I’ve not made deadline on the Year of Creative Pursuits.

Let’s see how I managed while not thinking about my goals at all.

Goal: Finish 4 Books this year:

    • TCC
    • TBM
    • ADM
    • S&S Book 2

Goal: Finish 12 Short Stories this year:

  • JH
  • HHI
  • CN
  • UB

Goal: Finish the second edits of S&S for turn in… oh last weekend. DONE DONE and Coming out in 8 days (or so).

Goal: Earn enough outside of my day job to be able to support a brick and mortar location for IGB next year. — Not yet, my loves, but I’m working on it. 

Goal: Decrease the clutter in my office and life by selling at least 1 item per month. (12 items total) — Sold 1 scarf & a DVD, that makes this goal 7 more pieces. 

Goal: Put my art out as well as my writing by selling items on Etsy. (At least 6 items) — Finished 2 small canvases, but I haven’t listed them yet. 

Goal: Finish the stuffed cupcake. — Started working the bottom in wool x-stitch. We might actually do this this year.

Goal: Write 1 flash fiction piece for this blog each month (12 total).  Four months behind on this one. 

Goal: Set up Patreon — So, the account is set up, but I haven’t created the levels yet. I’ve started filling out the profile part. Hey, it’s a step forward. Sort of need to hit this one quickly before I drop out of “creator” status again.

Goal: Check in monthly on goals (make them more granular as necessary) —4 months down! 8 to go. This is working. At least I have a chance. 

Goal: Comment regularly on the blogs which I read. Not just my friends’ blogs either. — I’ve made a point of commenting on my friends’ blogs, but I haven’t managed to start commenting the blogs of people I don’t know regularly. Still.

So what have I been up to? Getting ready for AwesomeCon at the end of the month. Listing a bunch of things on eBay in an attempt to help out a friend and get more things out of my life. I’ve got some things up on Facebook as well. We’ll see if those sell.

I’ve finished the final edits and proofing of Sugar and Spice which comes out THIS MONTH!

I started working on promo for Codes by Briane Pagel which came out at the end of April and I love. (Need to put up my review on my other site.)

I recorded a couple of videos which I will link to from here and my other blog. (1 is a haul video the other is an unboxing.) This makes me super nervous, the we’ll see.

I’ve felt amazingly underwater for months now. I’m off to mainline some caffeine and see if I can’t get all of my work grouped up tonight.

You’re Fooling with me.

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Jesa Kest, it’s f’ing APRIL. I blinked and March was done. And now, we’re in the second week of April and I haven’t even looked at my goals for this year.

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that I didn’t finish any of them.

Goal: Finish 4 Books this year:

    • TCC
    • TBM
    • ADM
    • S&S Book 2

Goal: Finish 12 Short Stories this year:

  • JH
  • HHI
  • CN
  • UB

Goal: Finish the second edits of S&S for turn in… oh last weekend. So this was supposed to be done about a month ago. Sorry, JM. Sooo. Sooo sorry.

Goal: Earn enough outside of my day job to be able to support a brick and mortar location for IGB next year. — Not yet, my loves, but I’m working on it. 

Goal: Decrease the clutter in my office and life by selling at least 1 item per month. (12 items total) — Sold 2 more dolls, that makes this goal 9 more pieces. 

Goal: Put my art out as well as my writing by selling items on Etsy. (At least 6 items) — Finished 2 small canvases, but I haven’t listed them yet. 

Goal: Finish the stuffed cupcake. — Finished the top! Now I just need to stitch the bottom of it. Look! progress. 

Goal: Write 1 flash fiction piece for this blog each month (12 total).  — Three months behind on this one. 

Goal: Set up Patreon — So, the account is set up, but I haven’t created the levels yet. I’ve started filling out the profile part. Hey, it’s a step forward. 

Goal: Check in monthly on goals (make them more granular as necessary) —3 months down! 9 to go. This is working. At least I have a chance. 

Goal: Comment regularly on the blogs which I read. Not just my friends’ blogs either. — I’ve made a point of commenting on my friends’ blogs, but I haven’t managed to start commenting the blogs of people I don’t know regularly. 

So, what did I do this month? I had two productive shows for my bakery. Well, one and a half. I’ve signed up to do a comic-con for the publishing house that’s about… four days away at this point. I’ve gotten a new desk chair and I’m actually getting very close to finishing my S&S edits. (I’ve got a cover, so now I need to get the interior done.)

Maybe I’ll actually submit some stories to places other than the publishing house. It’ll help if I actually FINISH WRITING the many short stories I have started. Ah, well. To work!

Or, more honestly! TO SLEEP! Perchance to dream. But in such dreaming, I fear that I will reach too high and… wow. I need to sleep before I start channeling older writers or fall into iambic pentameter. (Which I swear I cannot do when I am sober and awake.)

Slowly I crawled

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This is my obligatory March goals post. Not necessarily illuminating, because I rarely share my actual brain’s twistings, but at least I can keep track of something.

Goal: Finish 4 Books this year:

    • TCC
    • TBM
    • ADM
    • Untitled S&S Book 2

Goal: Finish 12 Short Stories this year:

  • JH
  • HHI
  • CN
  • UB

Goal: Finish the second edits of S&S for turn in… oh last weekend. So, have to jump on this one.

Goal: Earn enough outside of my day job to be able to support a brick and mortar location for IGB next year. — Not yet, my loves, but I’m working on it. 

Goal: Decrease the clutter in my office and life by selling at least 1 item per month. (12 items total) — Sold a scarf. So now, 11 more items to go.

Goal: Put my art out as well as my writing by selling items on Etsy. (At least 6 items) — Finished 2 small canvases, but I haven’t listed them yet. 

Goal: Finish the stuffed cupcake. — Getting close to finishing the top. However, I seem to have miscounted, so I’ll be fixing it as I finish up. Then, I need to cross-stitch the bottom half. Before sewing it up. 

Goal: Write 1 flash fiction piece for this blog each month (12 total).  — Two months behind on this one. 

Goal: Set up Patreon — So, the account is set up, but I haven’t created the levels yet. It would help if I were more consistent in posting content/creating for it. 

Goal: Check in monthly on goals (make them more granular as necessary) —2 months down! 10 to go. 

Goal: Comment regularly on the blogs which I read. Not just my friends’ blogs either. — New Goal this month. 

So, it’s been a bit of a long month already. Did a little bit of business coaching. Determined the appropriate sacrifices to the weather elemental I seem to have pissed off about fifteen years ago. Finished two canvases and most of a third. I have managed to actually get things listed on ebay and on some Facebook groups. And I have focussing very closely on finishing at least one thing on my to do list a day. (One really would be surprised how much one gets done at one thing a day. From small steps to great journeys grow, or some such stupidity like that.)

February goals update

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Wow. That was a wonderfully descriptive title wasn’t it? Anyway, let’s review the goals as they stand for the year:

Goal: Finish 4 Books this year:

    • TCC
    • TBM
    • ADM
    • Untitled S&S Book 2

Goal: Finish 12 Short Stories this year:

  • JH
  • HHI
  • CN
  • UB

Goal: Edit S&S for turn-in in January  DONE! (In Feb. granted, but done, none the less.)

Goal: Earn enough outside of my day job to be able to support a brick and mortar location for IGB next year.

Goal: Decrease the clutter in my office and life by selling at least 1 item per month. (12 items total)

Goal: Put my art out as well as my writing by selling items on Etsy. (At least 6 items)

Goal: Finish the stuffed cupcake. — I’m about half-way through the top. Just have to finish that and the stitching on the base. Then, I can sew it all together and stuff it. Maybe in time for awesomecon? Who knows. 

Goal: Write 1 flash fiction piece for this blog each month (12 total).  Wow. a month behind on this one already. 

Goal: Set up Patreon — Set up the account. Now, I just have to come up with rewards and goals. That will be this month’s job, I think. 

Goal: Check in monthly on goals (make them more granular as necessary) — Hey, 1 month down! 

I’m getting there. Slowly, like turning a barge or a cruise ship. But every goal down is one more step to my larger goals. 🙂 

See you on the flip side!

2015 Goals

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I’m going to try this whole Year of Creative Pursuits goal setting again this year. I’m trying to make my goals very clearly defined and broken up into easy chunks for measurability and also my own peace of mind. I don’t have to break them up by months, I’m just going to keep goals for the entire year and add and subtract as necessary.

Goal: Finish 4 Books this year:

  • TCC
  • TBM
  • ADM
  • Untitled

Goal: Finish 12 Short Stories this year:

Goal: Edit S&S for turn-in in January

Goal: Earn enough outside of my day job to be able to support a brick and mortar location for IGB next year.

Goal: Decrease the clutter in my office and life by selling at least 1 item per month. (12 items total)

Goal: Put my art out as well as my writing by selling items on Etsy. (At least 6 items)

Goal: Finish the stuffed cupcake.

Goal: Write 1 flash fiction piece for this blog each month (12 total).

Goal: Set up Patreon

Goal: Check in monthly on goals (make them more granular as necessary)

October and November goals post

Well, I’ve certainly dropped the ball on this haven’t I?

Let’s see where I am on my goals.

Goals for the year:

  • 1 short story submitted each month – That’s 12 submissions this year. (7 done)
  • Finish a chapter a week on TBM. Currently on Chapter 16, though I’m thinking I need to double the size of Chapter 15. That’s what editing is for. (That’s a big old nope.)
  • Research and prep for my 1919 based “superhero” novel for November. (Not a darn thing on this one. Not only that, but I didn’t even work on that superhero novel. I worked on a completely different one that is due end of next year.)\

    Goals for September

  • Write 1 short story (No)
  • Write flash fiction 1 time per week (NOPE)
  • Get to chapter 16 of TCC (Erm…nope. I’m on 14)
  • Get to chapter 17 on TBM (Haven’t even opened the file this month)
  • Comment regularly on blogs and twitter (blogs OK. twitter, not so much.)
  • Blog regularly – defined as at least one post a week on each blog for the month.
  • Start Marketing for CBE (Doing this. Hand-selling, blogging and all)
  • Edit TCOA for GPF (Not done yet. This week. Promise.)
  • Edit FOWYA for GPF (Working on the 2nd edit on this now.)
  • Promote Halloween Tales Vol. 1 (done)
  • Have a successful Big Flea (done)
  • Hit the Whole Shebang and double profits from last time (HA. nope. Not going back.)
  • Make the Book Lover’s Bazaar a hit and line up the roster for next year. (It worked, but good lord, it nearly killed us.)

So, yeah, September.

MY GODS this year is just flying past me. I blinked and now it’s September and I haven’t done any… okay, so I’ve done a lot of stuff, but I’ve got so much to do from here until January that I can’t even think about it. (I’m looking forward to my vacation time in October because it means I don’t have to do my day job. It will make my life easier.)

Right now, I’m focusing on 3 major goals: The DC Big Flea for the bakery this weekend, the Book Lover’s Bazaar, and the Whole Shebang for the bakery the weekend after that.

In between those little goals, I have some other important goals. I need to start marketing for my book (date shifted right – December release now), edit 2 books for the press, edit 2 books for myself, finish my 3-Day (TCC), and I need to start the marketing plans for HalloWEEn Tales that releases in October.

Let’s see what my goals for August were.

Goals for the year:

  • 1 short story submitted each month – That’s 12 submissions this year. (7 done)
  • Finish a chapter a week on TBM. Currently on Chapter 16, though I’m thinking I need to double the size of Chapter 15. That’s what editing is for. (That’s a big old nope.)
  • Research and prep for my 1919 based “superhero” novel for November. (Not a darn thing on this one.)

Goals for August

  • Return the absolute final edits for layout and copy-editing on CBE (In process)
  • Write 1 Short Story – hope springs eternal
  • Write flash fiction1 time per week
  • Get three chapters of TCC done (hit this as my 3-day. I’m on ch. 13)
  • Blog regularly on all my blogs – defined as at least one post a week on each blog for the month. (um, not so much)
  • Comment regularly on blogs and twitter (still making this a habit. *grimaces*

Goals for September

  • Write 1 short story
  • Write flash fiction 1 time per week
  • Get to chapter 16 of TCC
  • Get to chapter 17 on TBM
  • Comment regularly on blogs and twitter
  • Blog regularly – defined as at least one post a week on each blog for the month.
  • Start Marketing for CBE
  • Edit TCOA for GPF
  • Edit FOWYA for GPF
  • Promote Halloween Tales Vol. 1
  • Have a successful Big Flea
  • Hit the Whole Shebang and double profits from last time
  • Make the Book Lover’s Bazaar a hit and line up the roster for next year.

 

Sweet Baby Bippy! It’s August Already?

So, yeah, glanced at the calendar and it’s August already. Don’t know where the rest of July ended up, but I’m going to assume that it’s somewhere in the ball of space time continuum that I can’t reach right now.

Started a Kickstarter with JM and GFP and I hope all of you can kick in at least a dollar to make this come through: Halloween Tales Vol. 1

So, it’s about time to check out those goals. They make me laugh harder every single time I see them.

Goals for the year:

  • 1 short story submitted each month – That’s 12 submissions this year. (7 done)
  • My short novel CBE will be submitted to a publisher. (CONTRACT SIGNED!)
  • Finish a chapter a week on TBM. Currently on Chapter 16, though I’m thinking I need to double the size of Chapter 15. That’s what editing is for. (That’s a big old nope.)
  • Research and prep for my 1919 based “superhero” novel for November. (Not a darn thing on this one.)

Goals for July:

  • Final turn in for CBE. 
  • Write 1 short story. (Nope)
  • Submit short story. (Nope)
  • Write flash fiction 3 times a week. (*hysterical laughter*)
  • Write TCC. (Nope.)
  • Blog regularly. (Yes, actually, just not on this blog. I’ve been trading out weeks with JM on the company blog.)

Goals for August

  • Return the absolute final edits for layout and copy-editing on CBE
  • Write 1 Short Story – hope springs eternal
  • Write flash fiction1 time per week
  • Get three chapters of TCC done
  • Blog regularly on all my blogs – defined as at least one post a week on each blog for the month.
  • Comment regularly on blogs and twitter

Writing from Prompts #19 Alley

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,

Another night, another alley. Princess Raspberry twisted her neck from side to side to relieve the pressure there. She stretched her arms and then settled down to wait. It wouldn’t be long before the usual prostitutes were walking the streets. Then, the real scum would follow. Not the men just looking for a night on the town. She didn’t give a damn about them.

No, she was waiting for the little fish of a drug dealer that would lead her up the chain. She’d been watching him carefully for almost a month now. He was going to be the thread that helped her unravel at least some of the tapestry of stupidity she saw every night. The first few prostitutes sauntered by. The oldest one, a ravaged addict gave her a wide-eyed stare, but kept walking. As long as she wasn’t horning in on anyone’s territory they were content to ignore her comings and goings.

Almost exactly twenty minutes later the wannabe gangsta with his bandana and velour jacket slunk by. He was still young, maybe twenty at the outside. He was a small fry, but he had a group of about six runners working for him now. Princess Raspberry stayed calm and waited for him to get about a block away. She knew where he was headed. She jumped up and accessed the fire escape that took her to the bank of roofs that lead toward his meeting spot. The buildings were jammed up against one another. She’d only had to set up a bridge on one of them. Hopefully, no one had taken it down overnight. She ghosted along the rooflines, out of sight of most of the security cameras and above the range of the streetlights.

The dealer, Ricky, kept his same swaggering pace. He was armed with a gun and a knife. He might even have more on him. But he wasn’t a trained fighter and he had a tendency to get too close with his weapons. She’d watched his tough-guy act with his runners. He’d be close to killing one of them and she’d nearly intervened, but she’d seen worse. Ricky had terrible gun control and never kept his grip steady. He liked the look of the turned weapon which meant his wrist was always canted when he had it out.

He swaggered his way past the townhouse she expected him to be going to. Raspberry’s attention sharpened. Her heart began to beat a bit faster. She scanned her surroundings. There were no signs of security. She stayed carefully in the shadows of the roofs as she moved from one to the next. There he was, turning into the last townhouse on the block. Shit, they owned more than one now. She only had enough equipment to properly watch one. He knocked on the door and waited, body jiggling with excitement. The door opened, there was a sharp pop, and he slumped to the ground. She focussed her binoculars on the scene and took as many shots of the men who stepped out to drag the body in as possible. Damn. Damn. and Double Damn. She had to find a new way into the organization.

Owning Genre

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Sparked off by Charles Stross’ excellent I’ve had a few ideas on genre and self-definition.

And so, I decided you get to hear me blather about them. It’s not a full essay in the way Charlie’s is. It’s more a scattering a thoughts in an attempt to clarify in my own brain what genre is, and what belonging is.

In a general way, my writing will always be genre. I’m more familiar with and comfortable with genre writing. I will write mysteries, science fiction, and horror. I will not write literary novels or romance. I might dip my toes into thrillers or crime novels.

But for all that, I don’t write in just one. I think that science fiction mystery novels are a thing. I believe that horror romance is possible. I think that there’s something more telling about forcing a novel to be one genre than just what it is. Creating that box and shoving a book in there–even cutting off a tentacle here or there to make it fit–means that somehow we’ve failed as a community to make room for all sorts of writing.

I prefer my writing to fall between the cracks. The Scar by China Mieville is a literary novel with all the trappings of a fantasy overlaid onto it. Is this a flaw? No, but it does mean that it would appeal to more than just one group of people. (Well, if people get over their instinctive dislike of things which are different than what they usually read.) The Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells could just as easily be marketed as a period heist novel–with a tinge of magic. Even Charlie Stross’ Laundry series could be just as easily slotted into Thriller as Sci-Fi or humor even.

So, when I say I am a genre writer, I don’t believe this means I have to follow the tropes of my genre. I don’t think that they should be ignored. I think that my mystery science fiction needs to have all the clues to solve the mystery and a good set of detectives, but it also needs to have technology that’s not in current use and a society that’s changed by being several hundred years in the future. (Also, we’ve taken to referring to is as not!steampunk because for all it’s classed society, it is definitely hard sci-fi at its core.) Writing between the cracks means taking the best of both worlds, even if, in the end, you don’t fit into one.

What I really want from my stories is action, and mystery, and characters I care about. Will I always prefer the company of SFF or mystery geeks? Probably, but that says a little more about me than what I write. Heck, I hang out with a damned good literary author on a regular basis. Our connection is writing and the insanity that brings.

So where do I belong? In the bar with other writers, staring out at those normal people who don’t have characters eating their brains, and making up stories about them.