And that’s another year over…

Wow. 2018. In many respects a very, very challenging year. But now it’s done, and I lived to tell the tale.

Here are my high points, some of which were pretty freaking high.

1. Publication dream come true

The Beast's Heart_finalI probably don’t need to go into detail on this one. But this dream has come so comprehensively true in so many ways. It’s actually a whole lot of dreams all bundled up together and tied with a giant bow.

Dream publisher, dream editor, dream cover.

And it’s still not over. February 12 will see TBH come out in the US, and while that’s obviously a 2019 thing waiting to happen, all the legwork for that happened this year. And again, another dream publisher, another dream editor and, oh my stars, another beautiful cover revealed.

2. Editing fun

AHOK_frontcover_medium_resolutionI didn’t have any of my own short fiction published in 2018, but that’s OK. Because I published a whole 19 pieces of other people’s short fiction! Along with the very lovely Chris Large, my co-editor for A Hand of Knaves, and with the backing of my wonderful writing community, the CSFG.

It was a big job, along with running the crowd funding campaign, and the learning curve was a big one. But we produced some really, really good fiction, and I love love love the art Shauna O’Meara created for us.

 

3. Figuring stuff out

Some stuff you just have to figure out for yourself. Like exactly how busy having a novel published is going to make you. This year has just been one giant learning curve for me, and central to that has been the age-old metaphor of the straw that broke the camel’s back. And it really has been a case of tiny things building up to form an intolerable burden. Which has been a hard thing to learn, because I like doing lots of stuff. But realising I have limits, and making some changes in my life to reduce my personal quotient of straw back to a manageable degree has been an important thing this year. I’ve been doing a bit of journalling (examples from my journal above) and this has helped me get my head around getting stuff done. And helps to remind me about what I’ve actually achieved as well!

4. Reading some great books

One of the consequences – and frankly, one of the warning signs – of being so busy this year is that I didn’t get anywhere near as much writing done as I wanted. And trying to rekindle the creative spark is almost impossible if you’re a bit burned out. So in October I gave myself a month off writing and just read. This worked a treat, and really reminded me of exactly why it is I write: because stories are wonderful. I also really got into audiobooks this year, which seriously helped me get through my TBR. So here are some of my best favourite books I read this year, in no particular order.

So charge your glasses and here’s to the end of 2018, and to all the possibilities and potential that lies ahead in 2019. Wishing you and yours the very best of all of it.

Bring on the fireworks!

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Bring on 2018!

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Well it’s farewell to the old year as we usher in the new. And if you’re reading this, I wish you happiness and love and peace and all things sweet and good for 2018.

There were many, many things that were pretty shit about 2017. But here are a few things that made me happy this year.

  1. I signed the contract with Hodder & Stoughton to publish my very first novel, The Beast’s Heart. I’ve definitely raved on enough about this, so suffice to say everything about this particular journey has been awesome.
  2. I won an Aurealis Award for my story Pretty Jennie Greenteeth. Frankly, the nomination alone would have made it to second place on this list. I did not expect to win, so again: off the scale awesome.
  3. I got to meet one of my heroes of the publishing world, Ellen Datlow. *swoon*
  4. Finally, FINALLY, Australia legislated to legalise same-sex marriage. I remain strongly critical of what it took to get there, but there is no question the end result in itself remains a good, sweet thing.
  5. I was part of the creative production team on TWO writing festivals/conventions, and attended a further three.
  6. I got to go to Dark MOFO in Hobart. A. May. Zing. I never knew there were so many delicious varieties of hot alcohol. And the art. Holy fuck. It blew my tiny mind.

Those are the high points. There are a million other things that made me happy over the last 12 months, including that my family are happy and healthy and here with me and this remains a state of awesome that underlies every other awesome thing in my life. I’m lucky to be surrounded by amazing people in my personal and professional life. And I’ve read some fantastic books (many of which were written by friends) and eaten some spectacular food this year (I don’t want to understate the pleasure eating delicious things brings me, or the gratitude I feel that I’m in a position to do so.)

I’ve got a few plans for 2018… But for now, I hope you have a fab time seeing off the old year, and that 2018 brings you all kinds of wonderful.

xoxo

 

 

Reflections on 2014

Happy new year! I hope 2014 was a good year for you, or at least had good bits. And here’s to 2015 being even better.

Here’s what I achieved in 2014:

I made 15 story submissions (which didn’t meet my target of 25, but I have a good excuse for that.)

I sold 5 stories! This beat my previous pattern of selling one per year, so I’m pretty chuffed. Three of them sold to the first place I subbed them to, which I’m also pretty chuffed about. And that’s my excuse for not making my target of 25 submissions. I ran out of stories to submit.

I made my first sale to a pro market.

I also got my first review! (And my second, and my third.)

I got an Honourable Mention for one of the stories I subbed to the Writers of the Future Competition.

I finally got Novel Project #1 into a state to start sending out to agents, and I wrote a synopsis (which I consider equivalent to having gained a new skill).

So what’s on the cards for 2015?

Find an agent for Novel Project #1.

Write (and sell!!) more short stories. I’m going to aim for 15 submissions this year. That’s a bit low, but my trunk is basically empty at the moment, so I’m going to have to write some before I can submit them. I think 15 is probably going to be a stretch.

Let’s aim high: I’d like to finish a first draft of Novel Project #3 or #4, and do substantial work on the other one.

Finish and polish up a few half-written stories and first drafts of novellas I have sitting in the trunk.

And here’s a couple of castle-in-the-air goals:

Win a writing competition.

Make another pro sale.

I’m also going to have a stab at learning another language. I’m going to try French!

Here’s hoping that 2015 will be a good year! I wish you every happiness and success with all your goals in the coming months.

Happy New Year 2015 by franky242, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Happy New Year 2015 by franky242, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net