New Year, New Projects, New Goals

As we prepare to welcome 2019, it’s time to sit down and take stock of 2018, and look ahead to what the new year could hold.

2018 was full of turmoil for me. For those who don’t already know, I decided to close Schreyer Ink Publishing a the end of this year. All of our anthologies are going out of print. We will not be accepting anything new. The blog and email will close as well.

I took a chance on a lot of new shows and learned a lot about the market, and about different show organizers.

I learned a lot, about myself, about my desires, about running a business. I learned that I have a bad habit of undervaluing my time, my services, and my product. I learned that I have a few amazing friends who will come through for me every time and I hope that I can be there for them as consistently as they are for me. I learned that stretching myself too thin was a good way to fail at everything. I learned just how important my husband, marriage, and family are to me – and that my mental and emotional health, and the health of my family relationships, need to come first.

2019 is going to look very different. It has to, in the face of so many changes.

For one thing, I will not have to put aside time for reading submissions. Part of me is saddened by this as I really enjoyed all the stories that came my way. I don’t have to put aside time for layout, design, and marketing either, not for the anthologies. I can just focus on my own works.

I sadly underestimated my goals in 2018 so I’m upping the bar for 2019 and I hope I’ve landed on a good solid basis for my writing – one that challenges me without being so hard to achieve that I burn out.

This is my tentative schedule for 2019:

C4 Winnipeg Horror and Sci-Fi Convention in February – probably

Spring Craft Sales – I’ll only do 2 or 3 and only with a few trusted and liked organizers

C4 Winnipeg “Manitoba Comic Con” in April – maybe

KeyCon over May Long Weekend – already booked

Summer Street Fairs – Only doing 1 in Steinbach, and possibly 1 in Ste Pierre

C4 Winnipeg in October – probably

Christmas craft events – I’ll do half a dozen or so in November and early December, again, sticking to events with good organizers in good locations.

And, here are my writing goals for 2019:

Total Word Count Goal for the Year: 520,000 words (the equivalent of 10,000 words per week, or 2,000 words per day for 5 days each week)

Rose Garden: Book 4 is done. I need to finish book 5, get everything on the shelf, and host a massive series launch at the Jake Epp Library in the spring. (Approximately 65,000 words)

Underground: I need to write books 6 & 7 to finish off the series. There is also a spin-off book that needs to be written. (Approximately 24,000 words per book, or 72,000 words)

Underground Graphic Novels: I have an artist (I hope). Now I need to collect my thoughts for what I’m looking for in a graphic novel and sit down with the potential artist to get this project rolling.

Contract work: I have 56,000 words outstanding on a contract. When it’s done, I’m done. I will not be doing any further ghostwriting.

So far that’s 193,000 words, or roughly 19.5 weeks of work. (That only takes me to mid-May).

After that I will start on a massive 4-book project, my baby, my long-time backburner project, the one I’ve been dying to write for years. I’m looking at 350,000 words over four books (which takes me over my 520,000 word goal by about 25,000 words). My plan is to finish the four books by the end of January 2020 and then attempt to find an agent and a traditional publisher for them.

After that? Well, that’s 9 entire books in a single year (though I’ll only be publishing 4 of them) plus the graphic novels. I don’t think I want to plan past that point, or commit to anything past that point. But there are ideas. Lots and lots of ideas.

There will never be a shortage of things to write.

Happy New Year

So, 2015 has finally rolled around to my corner of the world. 2014 was a good year, and 2015 looks to be, well, busier, at least. Better will have to wait until the end of 2015 to be decided on.

2014 marked one year in my own house, we had my niece’s first birthday, my sister-in-law got married and announced her pregnancy, my son started kindergarten, I went back to work (and quit), I published a book, my cousin attempted suicide but is 5 months clean from cutting, my husband passed his first set of courses with his apprenticeship … yes, it was a good year.

2015 will mark my fifth wedding anniversary, my second year in my own home, the birth of my second niece or my first nephew, the publishing of two more novels (I hope) plus a collection of stories and poems and some workbooks on bullying … and who knows what surprises are waiting for me.

My list of writing resolutions, with a publishing timeline can be found here:

Personal Resolutions:

* yell at my kids less
* get back in shape
* rediscover my silly side

So, whatever you have planned for 2015, I wish you the best of years. May the year be full of silver linings, rays of hope, helping hands, laughter and love, and the beginnings of peace between us all.

Writing Resolutions 2015

I’m a few days early, I know, but a post on Facebook prompted me to get my writing priorities in order. So here are my writing resolutions, and tentative publishing schedule, for 2015.

REIMAGINED – a collection of poems and short stories, most previously published in A Spark of Words and Words in the Mist (both no longer available for sale). I’m doing some serious edits to this and it will be available February 1st.

Writers’ Fair – the Jake Epp Library in Steinbach MB will be holding a local writers’ fair/conference where writers will be able to connect with readers. I am hoping to have a table in the teen section with Nothing Everything Nothing and Reimagined available for sale.

A ROSE IN THE DARK – This is book #1 in the Rose Garden series. It is 90% written, but by hand. That means a lot of typing and finishing the last bit of the book. If I can have Reimagined edited by January 15th I can focus on typing this. With any luck I can have it available by the end of February in time for …

Author Reading – the Jake Epp Library in Steinbach MB is hosting me as a guest author on MARCH 3rd. I will be reading from Nothing Everything Nothing, Reimagined, A Rose in the Dark, and Pieces. IF A Rose in the Dark is not ready on time it will be available for pre-order at this event.

The Anthology on Race that is advertised on this blog has its cut-off date set at February 28th and the publication date late in April. This will only go ahead if there are enough entries.

SHORT COMPANION STORIES to Nothing Everything Nothing – These will be released in May, June, and October and will be free on Smashwords.

THE PARENT HANDBOOK TO BULLYING, THE TEACHER HANDBOOK TO BULLYING, and THE STUDENT BULLYING WORKBOOK will all be available mid August. These are non-fiction books I’m putting together on bullying, cyber bullying, abuse, and everything a parent needs to know about dealing with it. The Teacher and Student books work together, the Teacher books as a lesson guide and discussion guide, the Student book is full of stories, writing prompts, and questions.

PIECES has been pushed back to September because of the amount of work still needed, and because other projects can be completed faster.

November I am leaving open in case I choose to do NANO or in case another project comes up. I also hope to be speaking in schools for anti-bullying week.

December is spent organizing, editing, and celebrating the holidays with family so I will be making no solid plans for that month either.

This means over 200,000 words in 2015. This is ambitious and leaves no room for new plot bunnies or projects. But I have to complete these before I move on and maybe by putting this out there I can hold myself accountable to this schedule.

It’s also written on paper and is hanging over my desk with titles highlighted in green and dates high lighted in yellow.

Wish me luck. And have a happy New Year!