One New Story And Two New Gigs: Three Fun Things Make A New Blog

So a few new things have been happening lately:

I’m leading ACI Manitoba‘s Teen Writing Workshop as part of their 16-19 year old mentorship program. I’ve been a guest speaker at the program twice, once as an author and once as a bookseller and it’s an honour to be taking it over from Anita Daher. I’ll be editing an anthology of their stories, and at the end of the program the students will be doing a public reading of their work. We’ve had one class so far and I’m enjoying it a lot. My students (it’s very weird to think that I have students!) are very keen and I’m looking forward to reading what they produce.

Also on the teaching front, I’ll be leading a fantasy writing workshop in Thompson, Manitoba in March. Details are still being firmed up, but I’ll post them as soon as I have them. I had a great time the last time I visited northern Manitoba (to do research for Thunder Road) and I’m very much looking forward to checking out a different corner of the north. Here’s hoping the weather co-operates!

Finally, my publisher asked for a blog post about Ted Callan’s resolutions for the coming year. Somehow, instead of a blog post, I ended up with a 600 word short story instead. It went live today, and I hope you’ll enjoy New Year’s Eve. (For those concerned about such things, there are maybe a couple small spoilers for Tombstone Blues in this one)

Write on!

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New Year, New Goals (And A Few Old Ones)

Happy New Year, everyone!

2013 was a busy year for me, and a year of many changes. When I set my goals last January, I had no idea those changes were coming, or how they would affect my life and year–but then one never does, I suppose.

Throughout the year I posted my monthly writing goals, so let’s clear the deck for 2013, shall we?

For those who were following along at home, my December goals were:

  • Reread the completed Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues novels and make some notes before diving back into Book 3.
  • Reread everything I’ve already written for Book 3 so I’m ready to start drafting again in the new year.
  • Write a story for Tesseracts 18
  • Get a rewrite request on a short story done for On Spec (and maybe get a new story in to them too).
  • Clean my office before all the loose papers and teetering stacks of books come for me in the night and I’m never seen again.

Not great, I’ll admit. But I’ll admit, it feels pretty good to get some of the clutter cleared up. I was tempted to cross off the Tesseracts 18 story, as I did, indeed, write it, and revise it through a couple drafts, but I didn’t submit the story, as it wasn’t quite ready, which was the entire point of that goal.

And as for my goals for the year of 2013:

  • Finish Tombstone Blues
  • Start writing the as-yet nebulously titled book 3 in the Thunder Road Trilogy (I’m thinking this will be a good year to return to NaNoWriMo).
  • Attend at least one SF&F convention in a city that I’ve never been to.
  • Revise at least one of the three drafted novel manuscripts I’ve been letting lie fallow until it is in submission shape and then send it out.
  • Start a new writing project, just for the fun of it.

Didn’t quite get through everything here either, but I did make it through about a third of one of those three novel drafts in December. I was hoping for a more productive month, given that I actually had some time off this year, but it was quickly absorbed in gift wrapping, shopping, travel, a wedding, feeling the need to read a bit for fun for a change, my desktop computer dying and a bit too much fun on New Year’s Eve. Still, I am certain that I managed more this December than I have in any other since I’ve started writing–my usual tendency was to shut down and just watch Futurama.

Enough looking backwards! What about 2014?

January goals:

  • Reread the completed Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues novels and make some notes before diving back into Book 3.
  • Reread everything I’ve already written for Book 3.
  • Reorganize my research notes and the scenes that were written while the book was resting, and insert them into the manuscript.
  • Start writing Book 3 again.

That’s it. I won’t say finish a draft of Book 3 yet, because I think that would require another NaNoWriMo expenditure of effort, and I’m already four days behind that pace.

As for the rest of 2014?

  • Turn in Book 3 of the Thunder Road trilogy to Ravenstone.
  • Attend at least one SF&F convention in a city that I’ve never been to.
  • Revise at least one of the three four (after NaNoWriMo) drafted novel manuscripts I’ve been letting lie fallow until it is in submission shape and then send it out.
  • Participate in NaNoWriMo again (I’ve already started outlining the new project!).
  • Be more diligent about keeping my short fiction on submission.
  • I have at least eight short stories in various stages of readiness to submit, I’d like all of those to be out the door in 2014, and say write and submit at least two more for a total of ten new stories in the mix.
  • Turn in two comic scripts (Sekkrit projects, yo.).

Ambitious, perhaps. But I did get a lot done this year, even if it wasn’t as much as I’d hoped for.

Write on!