Friday, January 31, 2014

January redux

This morning, we have about three inches of snow on the ground from a storm overnight, and there's another storm coming through this afternoon that will double that total. And we're expecting more snow next Tuesday. It's this time of year that I forget why it was a good idea to move to Colorado.

Anyway, as we're closing out the first month of 2014, this is a good time to look at how I'm doing on my writing and weight loss goals.

I feel like I've done a lot this month, but I don't have much to show for it. I've written three flashes for a Codex forum contest, and I'm not terribly happy with any of them. One I think I can submit as is. The second one will never see the light of day. The third one has a good premise, but I used that premise to write the wrong story, so I plan to write the right story sometime in the next few weeks. I've also written an outline and synopsis for a novel and about 600 words of a first chapter, and I'm working on a synopsis for a short story I'm going to co-write with a friend. All together, that's probably at least 5,000 words, but nothing that's completed and ready to submit. However, I did make five story submissions this month, which is on track for my goal of at least 50 for the year.

Weight loss
I started the month at 165 pounds. Technically, that's a healthy weight for a woman of my tall stature, but I want to lose 10 pounds to get back down to my college weight. This morning, I weighed in at 159. That's more than halfway to my goal, and I've accomplished it without straining myself. I've replaced chips and sugary desserts with fruits and vegetables, and I've been exercising every day. Some days, the exercise has been crunches and squats in the living room, and some mornings I've managed to get to the gym and do a couple miles on the treadmill. The running will get easier in a couple of months when we get to springtime.

My goals for February are much as they were in January. Keep writing, keep submitting, keep eating healthy and exercising.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

2014 Campbellian Anthology

The 2014 Campbellian Anthology is now available for download! I'll let editor M. David Blake give you the details:
M. David Blake’s magnum opus, the 2014 Campbellian Anthology, is now available for download! This book attempts to collect in one volume representative works by most of the writers eligible for this year’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. We don’t have them all—there were a few we couldn't get—but all the same, this book contains more than 860,000 words of fiction by 111 authors, and best of all, it’s not merely free, it's DRM-FREE.
So there you go. I am one of those 111 authors. This is my second year of eligibility for the Campbell Award. You can get more details on the anthology and download it FOR FREE right here. And then go forth to make a well-informed vote for the Campbell Award.

Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 off to a sickly start

I woke up on New Year's Day with a cold. A day or two after that I realized I had an eye infection (which I later learned I had picked up from my sister and niece over Christmas) and saw my doctor for eye drops. Now I'm mostly over the eye infection, but I'm pretty sure the cold has morphed into bronchitis. So I am still waiting for my first healthy day of 2014.

Thanks to the nasty way I've been feeling, I've yet to write a single word of fiction this month. I'll try to turn that around this weekend; my plan is to write a flash for a forum contest. I also plan to have a rough outline done for a novel by the end of January. I have two ideas for novels, one urban fantasy and one paranormal romance. I'm not sure yet which to tackle first.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Publication Day! at Every Day Fiction

My make-a-wish-with-a-twist story "Djinn Coin" is the story of the day at Every Day Fiction. Stories about magical creatures granting wishes isn't new by any stretch, but they tend to end in the wisher getting their comeuppance or cleverly outsmarting the creature to live happily ever after. Well, what if the wisher takes the gamble and loses ... but still wins? That was the idea behind this story, and I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Goals for 2014

Yesterday, I talked about how well I did on fulfilling my goals for 2013. Today I'm making some new goals for the new year.

1. Beat my submission total from 2013
Here's how my submission totals have gone for the past four years: 15 submissions in 2010; 28 in 2011; 39 in 2012; 45 in 2013. This year I want to beat 45. It would be great to hit 50, which averages out to a little more than four submissions per month.

2. Apply to a writers workshop
Last year I attended Launchpad, and it was awesome. This year, I have two workshops in mind: Orson Scott Card's Bootcamp (for which I was an alternate last year) and a Novel Writers Workshop taught by Kij Johnson. (Enrollment is already open for the latter workshop, so I better get my application together soon.)

3. Lose some weight
This is cliche, but oh well. My husband and I are embarking on weight-loss goal together. I hope we can keep each other on track. I need to lose 10 pounds to return to my college-days weight, so a healthier diet and more exercise are on the menu. After I lose the 10 pounds, I need to not gain it back.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goals for 2013 redux

Happy 2014. I woke up on the first day of this new year with a cold and, I think, pink eye. Delightful. I'll be opening my year (tomorrow) with a visit to my doctor. I'm a day late on this post, but it's time to take a look at my goals for 2013 and how well I did on reaching them.

1. Write a novel
Whoops, I totally didn't do this. I wrote a lot. My longest story was about 14,000 words (and that was a piece of fan fiction). So, no novel. Not even close. However, here's what I did accomplish:
  • 45 submissions, which beats last year's record of 39
  • 4 acceptances
  • 3 publications
  • Finalist in the Writers of the Futures contest. Finally.

2. Apply to a writers workshop
I applied to two workshops and attended one, which was a highlight of my year. I would highly recommend the Launchpad workshop to any science fiction writer who needs to brush up on their astronomy. Not only were the lessons fantastic, I also made some great friends.

3. Take better care of myself
As I said one year ago today, when you're a mother, you tend to put your own priorities and well-being last on the list. Starting in September, for the first time, all three of my children were in school full-time. (My youngest had previously been in half-day kindergarten.) That gave me a few hours every week to focus on me. I've been doing my writing a couple of times a week at my local Starbucks, which I enjoy. I saw a couple of movies in an actual movie theater. And in June, my husband and I celebrated our 10th anniversary with a week in San Diego. I'll call this goal a success.