Saturday, 31 December 2011


At the end of 2010, I started to write a post about my non-resolutions for 2011, but never published it. As 2011 draws to a close and I'm clearing out drafts of blog posts that never 'made it', I came across my aims for the year just past. It made for interesting reading, in terms of what I'd achieved, so I thought I'd share. :)

Plans - I already had two book reviews to write, was awaiting feedback from my two critique partners on my unpublished SFR (Keir) before doing a final edit and polish, and needed to write a blurb, synopsis and query letters for submission. I'd signed up for a university course to start in the October and run through to February 2011. I had ideas for a dark fantasy, and wanted to write a scifi novella. I also had two sequels written to Keir badly in need of editing, another sequel half written with vague ideas for a fifth, and a promise to edit a fellow author's second book.

Results - The book reviews weren't completed until February/March time, but they were done and more besides over the year. The edits on Keir took longer than expected, and then the whole submission was delayed because I submitted the first 500 words to a critique contest and had it ripped to shreds. My confidence was destroyed, and so I didn't submit Keir until June. In the meantime I managed to write and self-publish a scifi short story on Smashwords - The Bones of the Sea - tied into the same universe as Keir. I was also asked to guest post about my short by Laurie A. Green on the Spacefreighters Lounge blog.

I passed my university course in March. I wrote and edited my first scifi novella - Gethyon - and had it ready to submit at the same time as Keir. I finished the dark fantasy - No Mercy - and submitted it for a short story competition in June, after which time I had further ideas to expand the 5K short into a novella at a later date. I read, critiqued and proof-read my friend's book which came out in July - Blowing Embers, a paranormal/fantasy romance by Lauri J Owen.

Keir received the offer of a contract from Lyrical Press Inc (squeeee!) in June, with a projected publishing date of May 2012, and I finished my first round of edits in time for the 12th August deadline. Gethyon received a revise and resubmit request (another squeee!), and work on that took me into mid-August, with a promise for feedback from a fellow author in September. In partnership with Lauri, we took it upon ourselves to compile and maintain a list of book reviewers, now over 170 strong.

My second university course was due to start in October, a far more intensive one than the previous which would have taken me into June 2012. However, as the study material arrived I discovered that the diploma I had been aiming for was being replaced by another that not only required twice as many credits, but also in different subjects to those I'd chosen to study. As a consequence I quit the course. In September, I FINALLY began to edit Keir's sequel - Lost Serenity - despite struggling with the MS for some time. I had one of those eureka moments, where I could see how to change a major element of the story and improve the whole. Book Three - Shadowcast - still awaits edits, and Book Four - Seekers of the Nine - is still incomplete. However, I have made inroads into rewriting the very original prequel to the Traveller Series, including a new title, and started one scifi novella and another short chronicling Quin's early travels.

My edits arrived from my editor at the start of November and WOW was there a lot to do! I was given two weeks but eventually had to ask for three to complete it. It also raised huge doubts over doing any further work on the series.Thank goodness I wasn't doing my course though! Gethyon got a rejection but went out on submission again. If all else fails, I'm thinking of self-publishing it. My fantasy short didn't get placed in the competition and has been put aside for future work - again, I may expand it to novella length and either submit or self-publish.I've just finished and submitted an SFR short for a fellow author's anthology. I've also worked on a scifi short to self-pub in the New Year - Samaritan - and even have the cover half done. A fellow scifi author has offered to trade tweaking the cover for a beta read. :D Keir now has cover art and a release date of 7th May 2012.

In summary - I hadn't set myself very much for the year. I'm not sure if that was because of time constraints - I have three young children on top of writing and studies - or because I had such little confidence in what I could physically complete. I don't think I always make the best use of my time, but going by how much I did actually get done this year, I'm pretty impressed with myself. Of course now I'll have an inflated idea of what might be accomplished next year. :(

So how did you do on your goals for the year? Do you believe is setting yourself resolutions, or letting Fate have her way? :)

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