A year has passed since I’ve started this website in the form in which it now exists. It’s been a good year. I’ve met and connected with an awesome community of indie authors and I’ve managed to gain a little bit of exposure for my book and make some sales in the process. I procured a few interviews with interesting and prolific indie authors and artists, landed multiple guests post for this site, and have written a few for others as well, learned a bit about self-promotion, and wrote multiple book reviews. I am also active on Goodreads. Starla Huchton did and incredible job redesigning my book cover, and I joined Amazon’s KDP Select program.
I joined two anthologies over the past year. Grim5Next Worlds Undone anthology is a spectacular idea conceived by Lyn Midnight wherein 36 writers collaborate to create twelves stories written in three parts about the apocalypse. The collaboration eventually went on to include artists and musicians and even a children’s project. Unfortunately, the project became too large and unwieldy for our lovely editor and it eventually fizzled out. As of late however, it appears that Worlds Undone may be making a comeback. I’m hoping it will.
The other anthology that I am involved with is more personal and dear to me. It started from a comment that I left on a fellow indie author Matt Williams’ site. We discussed the idea of going to space and that discussion turned into an anthology entitled Yuva.
Me: Four nerds verging on geeks live in my house, of which I am one. One of our nerdiest but fun conversations centered around the question “Would you rather go to space or the bottom of the ocean?” Hands down the answer was space.I once dreamed that my son, now 21, would one day go to space and walk on Mars. He is no longer a child who dreams of space, although it still intrigues, and space seems a distant childhood dream of his. But even for myself, at the ripe old age of 41, the idea of going to space is a bright hope, even though I know it is unattainable and unrealistic. But, given the chance, I would go. This post reminds me of the awesomeness of our great universe, of the chaotic randomness, of the beauty of this world and the things we have to be grateful for, and of how utterly minuscule we people really are in the grand scheme of things
Matt: Okay, you need to write this down. I foresee you doing a story where a family does go into space. Ho boy, I smell another anthology here!
Me: An anthology about space, going to space or anything related sounds awesome. I vote for you to be the editor. What do we need to do to get started?”
Yuva, still in the works, will consist of twelve stories of which mine will be first. We’ve managed to fill about eight of the spots, so if anyone out there would like to contribute to a space and colonization anthology, shoot me a message.
Over the course of the last few months I realized that I had a bit of an unintentional theme going, that of time management. I wrote quite a bit about the subject and several fellow indie authors contributed some really amazing posts about how they manage their writing time. As time is such a difficult thing for me to wrangle I think I was subconsciously looking for a way to reconcile my lack of time with my desire to be more prolific. I’m still struggling with that one but one thing’s for certain, if you want to produce, you just have to do it.
Apart from the issue of time management, I didn’t have much of a plan as regards what I’d talk about here, which quite frankly was very much counter to my goal.
Over the past year I’ve read many posts about creating a unique author brand. I don’t think that I’ve done that successfully as regards this blog. I blog about the things I like, an eclectic mishmosh of “stuff”, for lack of a better word. For many reasons I’ve purposely stayed away from more challenging controversial topics. I either feel under informed, unqualified, or quite honestly afraid to engage in these challenging discussions out of fear of alienating readers but as I have so few, (hahahaha) it’s pretty much a moot point.
Keeping with the idea of a theme I’ve decided to choose another topic to give special focus this coming year. I’ve been giving this considerable thought this past month and have decided on critical analysis/reviews of SFF books written by women. This will certainly not be to the exclusion of other post ideas and I hope will be interesting for readers as well as a learning experience for me. I never feel as if I am well read enough. I plan to read and listen to books. The first review will be of Bujold’s Free Falling which is already quite interesting. I plan to read more by Bujold, in addition to Leguin, Butler, Zimmer Bradley, and McCaffrey among others. If anyone has suggestions of authors I should check out, fire away.
I’d hoped to have completed the outline of Honor&Truth by June, but that didn’t happen. Then I got caught up working on my anthology stories, hit a writing slump that seems to happen to me every year around September, got distracted with children, life, work (which has been a beast!), the internet and attempts to promote An Unproductive Woman. So, my efforts are renewed and I’m back at it.
Honor&Truth is a serial novel blog that I worked on for about a year and a half. I finally stopped more than thirty chapters in. I didn’t want to but felt compelled as I’d never so much as outlined a single chapter and my story, written by the skin of my teeth and posted every two weeks, had so many plot holes I couldn’t keep up with them. I stopped the blog in order to regroup, merge H&T with another story that kept spinning in my head, and begin a serious rewrite. Months have passed and on that account, I’ve failed. Fortunately, I love the story and the characters enough to keep pressing. And even better and heartening, the characters Bilqis, Honor, Araminta (Old Mother), Siti and many of the others talk to me everyday. Loudly.
Honor&Truth has a new name. As Truth does not exist in the current outline, it wouldn’t make much sense. As it stands the story of Honor exists as the second tale in the Hinterland Chronicles. But don’t hold me to it. As I am still in the outlining phase, this could still change.
I’ve been nominated for a few blog awards, the last and most important of which is the Blog of the Year Award. This honor was conveyed upon me by Matt Williams, to whom I am grateful. A complete post about is soon to come.
My greatest work for this coming year will be continued simplification. In other words, weaning out the unnecessary to replace with what I value. I value my relationship with God, my family, my writing, and my health. So this coming year will include renewed efforts to create peace and productivity with regard to those things I deem as most important to me. Why is life such hard work? Forget I asked that.
What have you accomplished this past year? Toot your horn! Tell me about your successes and failures. Tell me what you have planned for 2013.