Thinking about annual goals is difficult for me. I hate setting wildly optimistic ones but later having to admit, that life and the day job got in the way of the creative writing.
Maybe the best thing for me in 2023 is to have a few key phrases to stand in for formal goals:
Do the writing
Get to a conference or a film market
I think many writers put undue pressure on ourselves I regards to performance goals.. Every screenwriter thinks they should output more. Every novelist is in awe of someone who writes more novels per year than they do. I believe the key is still balance. Those who sacrifice quality of writing for quantity of words don’t keep their audiences. Balance is key, write as much as you can write well.
It’s been a very busy couple of weeks. After the balcony redo, we traveled to Whistler, BC for the Peak Invitational Dance Competition. My daughter competed and, for the first time, had her own students in the competition. It was great! She did well and we really enjoyed it.
I used the vacation as a way to de-stress. I was hoping to get further in my projects and I did, but in unusual ways.
I walked the mountain trails and thought of my father, who loved the mountains so much. It is sad he isn’t around anymore, and even sadder that his last decades split much of my remaining family up, so that we aren’t close. But walking the mountains gave me a sort of new serenity with it all, which was calming. The mountains are holy places, for certain.
I rested and hot-tubbed enough that my body felt wonderful after two days or so. Also, I walked about twice as much as I usually do! My ‘steps’ were very high! We ate well and sometimes splurged, but it was our holiday!
I brainstormed on my upcoming publication of my collection of published short stories. For my novel, I will send it to agents, but collections of published short stories are not something that traditional publishers want. My short story collection will be made up of the stories & poems I’ve sold, gathered into one ebook. I will also include a new story or novella as well.
I need a presentation format for producers who could option these stories.
Also, I want an ebook for relatives and friends who might want a collected version. Even my best friend, who has been around since the (ahem) 80s, isn’t as familiar with all my work as he wants to be.
I’m experimenting with brands, realizing from my Film Gals work, that I need a name for the collection of short stories but also, for Draft2Digital.com a publisher name & logo.
It was easy with the film one but harder for short stories in science fiction and fantasy. I’ve done a couple and I think using “Cat” in the name is good. Also it has to be science fiction and fantasy focused. Plus, it should be high contrast really.
I made the following on Canva.com using one of their free logo templates. I’ve done something similar on Looka.com but can’t download until I pay for it. It has a different cat image.
So, the search for a name and logo continues. There was a series in the 1950s about a Space Cat and so this is not a good, unique name. Sigh.
I’ve decided to do Camp NaNo this month- to get some distance on my short story projects.
My top goal is 20,000 words, not fifty thousand because, with my schedule, it is very hard to get to 50k. I have about 4 stories to work on. One of them is very English – with a manor Dragon and a little girl. One is all space opera and cats. Another is based on a fairy tale, which I used, then, just lately realized that the original tale changes lead characters halfway through… so that will have to be fixed.
UPDATE: I’m on April 9th and now about 5 thousand words in. Part of this is my really extended Dragon story. I’m just letting this story unwind as it goes. I’m enjoying it which is terrific. It’s too long already to be sent to most short story markets though, so it will have to go to a novella market or be personally published. I could do a D2D publication again, but promote this one more? I don’t know. I’d like to get some beta readers before I go too far with publication on my own. I’ve read some very bad self-published books by other Canadian authors in SF.
The photos below are from close to my daughter’s high school. It was an astounding day and I got some lovely shots. I met the very elderly woman who planted that thirty foot magnolia when it was just a little twig.
Below, I’m using a new photo from Unsplash, which is a great free photo resource.