April Goals

How’d I do in March?

  • Separate IP from that work-for-hire project, which means a reread and LOTS of notes to write, and forms to fill out
  • Finish final round of substantive edits for Graveyard Mind (already done!)
  • Finish drafting a new short story
  • Submit a story to On Spec
  • Start arranging book launch and tour details for Graveyard Mind

I got some of my IP work done, but not all. The unwritten pitches are close to being ready to send in to the publisher, but the novel that was actually submitted needs to undergo a full rewrite stripping any of their IP before they’ll sign off on me being able to submit it elsewhere. I hadn’t really planned on revising that book this year, I wanted to finish the sequel to Graveyard Mind first, but I also really want this line item to be off my plate.

After I turned in the final round of substantive edits for Graveyard Mind, the proofreader notes showed up hot on their heels. I don’t know why those minor changes make me sweat more than dealing with the big stuff, but they do. Probably because each step brings me closer to not being able to make any changes. Shortly after those were done, ChiZine had Graveyard Mind laid out, so my page proofs arrived. Got those done too.

While I didn’t finish the new story, I did have one I haven’t submitted to On Spec yet, so I got something in to them, at least. I also booked Graveyard Mind launch dates in Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Calgary. More details to come soon, and hopefully more cities to add to the tour!

Over the last couple months I’ve been working on some gaming setting pitches for an open call. I narrowed those down to one I liked best, and sent it off. I also ended up doing a proofread for my story “All and Nothing” and finally getting a chapter of An Excuse for Whiskey to Sandra.

And for April:

  • Finish a new comic script
  • Get Midnight Man Magazine assembled for Prairie Comics Festival in May

 

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Read My Story “All and Nothing” Free at Abyss & Apex!

If you haven’t come across it yet, I have a new story online!

“All and Nothing” is set in the same world as “First They Came for the Pigs” (Fungi), “When the Gods Send You Rats” (Shared World), and “Red” (Shared World 2), although it’s far distant from the city of Khyber, and you don’t need to read any of those stories to enjoy it.

I’m so glad this story resonated with Abyss & Apex. “All and Nothing” is one of my favourite stories, so I’m glad it found a home. I also love the illustration they provided, and that all the scene breaks are little bones!

Enjoy some free weekend reading, friends!

Graveyard Mind Available For Preorder!

Graveyard Mind is available for preorder!

Order from Amazon, Chapters, Indiebound, and for the local folks, McNally Robinson Booksellers.

Check out this fucking wild cover by Erik Mohr! I love it!

This is my first book with ChiZine Publications, and one I hope will be the opener of an ongoing series. Only one way to ensure that: make it worth ChiZine’s while to publish more! And that means the book needs to find readers.

To sweeten the deal, I am offering a present for all you early adopters! I’ve written a short comic set in the world of Graveyard Mind which is being drawn now, and have commissioned an artist to do an illustration from the book! Email me at justonewick [AT] gmail.com and say I’ve pre-ordered Graveyard Mind! When the comic and illustration are done, I’ll email you a copy. Easy peasy.

What is Graveyard Mind about? Check it out:

In Winnipeg’s underworld, every mortician is on the take and every revenant of myth waits to claw their way out of their tombs.

 

The dead stay in the ground because of Winter Murray, a necromancer of the Compact. A victim of abduction and a criminal herself, Winter stalks Winnipeg’s Graveside, preventing larger, more heinous crimes from spilling over into the lives of the Sunsiders, no matter what laws of gods and men she must break to do so.

 

Winter is a chimera, sharing the genetic material of her own never-born fraternal twin sister. Her dead twin’s essence provides her a link to the Kingdom – the land of the dead – and a tie to a past she’s run from for thirteen years.

 

Winter struggles to find a redemption she doesn’t believe she deserves. The temptation of dirty deeds is everywhere: An animated skeleton with a penchant for wearing dead men’s clothes wants her on his payroll. Her deceased, but not gone, mentor still pushes her to take the easy way by being hard. A composite man assembled from soldiers who still puts boot to ass when Winter demands. A vampire that wants just a taste. Each pulls at Winter ensuring a normal life remains eternally out of reach, and the easy way is anything but.

 

Music Monday: Liquor Beer and Wine by The Reverend Horton Heat

One of my favourite bands will be returning to Winnipeg neatly (mostly) coinciding with the day the marks me having spent another year rolling around the sun.

I have tons of memories wrapped up in this group, from being in the mosh pit when they opened for Soundgarden and losing a hat and a shoe (found the shoe, my LSU Tigers hat was gone for good), sharing a smoke with Jimbo when he randomly stepped off the tour bus right when I was on my way to buy tickets from the West End Cultural Centre, to the time the band sang Happy Birthday to my at the time current, now-ex girlfriend (despite many drinks that night, I remember the song to this day: “Happy Birthday, [NAME REDACTED], fuck you, [NAME REDACTED], FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT BEER.”)

It’s been a while since I’ve seen them live, and while I’m probably too old to have a proper psychobilly freakout, I can’t wait to see the man with the big red guitar!

I look up to the heaven’s
For a ray of hope
to shine
And there it is in neon,
Liquor beer and wine

March 2018 Goals

Well. Once I again, I forgot that February is a short month; made shorter this time by the ghost of a Christmas cold past returning with a vengeance.

My February Goals:

  • Separate IP from that work-for-hire project, which means a reread and LOTS of notes to write, and forms to fill out
  • Work on something fun and super secret
  • Write a chapter for An Excuse for Whiskey
  • Finish polishing one of my comic scripts and send it to my editor
  • Finish edits on my story “Midnight Man versus Frankie Flame”

I still feel pretty good about what I got accomplished (including finishing my goals post in a relatively timely manner this month)! Separating my IP was never going to be fun, so I’m not surprised it got dropped, especially given a short month and week-long illness.

The super fun and super secret thing is moving along, I hope to make more progress soon, and have more news soon. I didn’t get my Excuse for Whiskey chapter to Sandra when I’d hoped to, but I did write it. A few things weren’t hanging together, but it’s close to me being willing to share it with Sandra. I reread the previous fifty pages of the story and some of our notes before I got started up again, but that wasn’t quite enough after a long (too long) vacation from working on the book.

My comic script has been edited, revised, and is in the hands of the artist. This will be the first Midnight Man comic story, and I’m really excited to see the finished piece. If all goes according to plan, you’ll be able to get this story at Prairie Comics Festival in May. Also in Midnight Man news, “Midnight Man versus Frankie Flame” was revised and returned to Rhonda Parrish for her Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinn anthology. I had a ton of fun writing this story, and I’m stoked for people to read it.

And what’s on deck for March:

  • Separate IP from that work-for-hire project, which means a reread and LOTS of notes to write, and forms to fill out
  • Finish final round of substantive edits for Graveyard Mind (already done!)
  • Finish drafting a new short story
  • Submit a story to On Spec
  • Start arranging book launch and tour details for Graveyard Mind

That’s more than enough, I think!

New Year, New Goals 2018 Edition

Well 2017 was certainly something.

Now…what did I hope to accomplish for 2017?

  • Write, revise, and submit a book within the 2017 calendar year.
  • Keep my short fiction out on submission.
  • Complete first draft of An Excuse for Whiskey.
  • Systematic finishing of the short stories I’ve started writing but not finished. I would like to get at least six new stories out the door this year.
  • Plan out a sequel to Graveyard Mind.

Stretch Goals for 2017:

  • Edit one of my fallow novel first drafts.
  • Participate in NaNoWriMo.
  • Write a few comic scripts.

How’d I do?

Not only was 2017 a bad year for achieving goals, it was also a bad year for writing about them. Somewhere along the line, I gave up on posting about my monthly goals (even this post is late! I got sick end of 2017, and then novel edits dropped right after New Year’s). Largely, because not much was happening for me on the writing front. I spent way too much energy following U.S. politics, which was something I was probably not alone in doing.

Novel work definitely took most of the brunt of this inaction. I didn’t write, revise, and submit a new novel in 2017. I think I only managed to add one chapter to An Excuse for Whiskey. I got about three chapters into revisions on an old novel manuscript before deciding to trunk it (at least for now). I pursued NaNoWriMo only because of how few words I’d produced in 2017, and I hoped the mutual energy of the event would give me a kick in the ass to start typing again–and it did! I knocked out a little more than 50000 words of a followup to the forthcoming Graveyard Mind. This sequel was not the book I’d planned on writing, but then, Graveyard Mind had been a NaNoWriMo book too, and it’d also displaced the one I’d planned on writing, so it was sort of fitting its sequel would do the same.

Short fiction fared the best in 2017. I kept my unsold short stories out on submission for the first half of the year, until they either sold, or I’d expended their potential markets. 2017 was also my best year for short fiction sales, with four stories sold! One of those I was convinced I would have to trunk despite it garnering a couple personalized rejections along the way, so that was a nice surprise. Two stories sold (Eating of the Tree and Midnight Man versus Frankie Flame) were among my stories that’d been started and not finished previously, both of which I finally got back to when a likely anthology for them opened to submissions. The final sale, to Equus, “Scatter the Foals to the Wind,” I wrote new in November 2016 and sold early in 2017. I also self-published two new Thunder Road stories in a short collection, Wolf and Wing, bringing my new stories finished in 2017 to four. Not bad, despite not making my goal.

I wrote one six page comic script, which is mostly polished, and outlined two more. Hopefully they will see the light of day this year. There’s at least one more script I’ve been noodling on, we’ll see what happens with that one.

Here’s what I want to do in 2018:

  • Finish drafting and revising Graveyard Mind 2
  • Finish drafting An Excuse for Whiskey
  • Keep my short fiction on submission
  • Systematic finishing of the short stories I’ve started writing but not finished. I would like to get at least six new stories out the door this year
  • Separating my IP from a work-for-hire project that didn’t pan out
  • Finish a draft of a secret project me and a buddy are collaborating on
  • Finish two comic scripts

Stretch Goals

  • Start writing a new book

And January specifically:

  • Revisions for Graveyard Mind

And since I spent most of January fixing Graveyard Mind, here’s my goals for February:

  • Separate IP from that work-for-hire project, which means a reread and LOTS of notes to write, and forms to fill out
  • Work on something fun and super secret
  • Write a chapter for An Excuse for Whiskey
  • Finish polishing one of my comic scripts and send it to my editor
  • Finish edits on my story “Midnight Man versus Frankie Flame”