Blog No. 318

Higher_and_Higher.pngSo, this is the blog post where I look towards the next year and pretend that all my plans and hopes are within reach and not just the fever dream of a regretful writer who not only fell off the goals he set for himself this time last year, but is constantly and consistently slipping farther behind every week (for the last six or so years). If you’ve been reading this weekly blog post since the beginning (thanks mom and dad) you’ll know that I do my recap post in January as I started weekly writing on January 10th, 2013. (That’s a long time). But the future holds big possibilities. All I have to do is reach out and grab them (and finish a novel for fun’s sake).

I still have some meetings scheduled with Christian for the next couple of weeks. We are planning our events through May right now and looking for some places we haven’t been yet (or haven’t been in a while). That last Kitchener even wasn’t so great, but we’ve been lucky enough to break even at the majority of the events we do (if you consider that a lot of them are local and don’t cost a lot to attend). We have our first workshop coming in January (which is exciting and a bit scary). Thankfully we have the core of it planned and just have to flush out the topics into teachable components (rather than the amalgamous ideas they currently resemble). We have a lot to cover, so I’m not worried about filling the three hours. I just want to make sure people are satisfied with the method and get to feel like they learned (and practiced) something. It’s at Gertrude’s Writing Room, hosted by our friend Vanessa Shields. She’s been putting on a bunch of workshops, so if ours isn’t to your liking, there may be something else that you are more interested in.

Poster 2After that, we have plans for another reading at Biblioasis. The one we did earlier in the year was pretty good, so why not do anther one. We have some friends in mind for the event, but no one is confirmed yet. It will likely be in February, so there is time to get it all scheduled. I do know that Elly Blake has expressed interest in taking part. (She is the young adult author who graced the ChiSeries stage in September. Christian and I have been having some writing sessions with her in Amherstburg and she said she would be down for some of our events this year. That’s all still in the air though. Unlike the Sarnia Pop Culture Festival (which we missed last year). I see it as a triumphant return since we have at least two new books to sell this year. Since it’s in April, I may have The Neon Heart ready in time too.

That leaves a big break from February to April, but I have no doubt we will find some stuff to do in there. Likely a Chapters signing (or Indigo now). Maybe in another city for once. We are also planning another retreat (which we didn’t get to do this year). I missed the burst of productivity and camaraderie. Christian had an idea to open it up to a bunch more people this time. I’m slightly weary of that (mostly because of the logistics) but it could be a really cool thing for a bunch of local authors to do. We’ll see when we get there. I have way too much to worry about from now to then. (Like finishing The Neon Heart and getting the novel going in any real way).

giphyLast year I thought about doing a newsletter, but I didn’t. I was talked out of it and I think that was for the best. It would be a time sink and possibly split the views I get on this blog. I came just short of my goals on here this year (which I will get more into in the look-back post in January). I think focusing on boosting my views here makes more sense. I’m thinking about adding an extra post a month. Something different than the weekly rambles like a review that will give more content while not draining the pool of what-the-hell-to-write-each-week. I’m not sure what it will look like, but I’ll stumble my way though it the first time and come out with a template on the other side. I’m concerned with making it value-added content, but I think a review can do that and still allow me to get my regular posts done.

I still have audio books and ebooks to do. I’m more focused on getting a ebooks sorted this year. It’s a big hole I have left open for too long. I think I may have solved the initial issue I had when No Light came out. If that’s the case, I will push to get Streets and Thinking Machine done in the first couple months of 2019. If I haven’t fixed the problem, Arvin promised to help me with the programming issue. I’ll worry about the audio books after that. I have been hung up on some rough patches in Thinking Machine that I think will be uncomfortable to read. I have to figure out a good way of doing that, then get way better at editing and adding in sound and music cues. I was supposed to get good at that with the podcast, but that was a failure this year. Arvin and I are still working on Season Two with a final project in the works. I’ll be honest, the last month I’ve really slacked off on that with a novella to edit and doing a beta read (more like a review) of a book for a friend. I’ll have to (yet again) reprioritize my time and make the podcast more of a focus to get back on track. I’ve tried to make this last project easier to podcast, but I still haven’t done the work.

ghWC3JvWow, this is getting long. What else is there? I’m still planning on getting a novel written in 2019. It’s time I set my sights higher than self-publishing and selling by hand. I’ve attempted the novel before and have been left with various unfinished projects (but the first draft of Pilot is still waiting to be pressed). With the release of Thinking Machine and the much larger Neon Heart getting closer to release, I think I can do it, The key will be getting the first draft done in a reasonable time and really working on getting the book in a place where I am happy with it and it can sell. If I hope to keep the novella series going as planned, I will need to speed up my first drafts considerably. I managed to get my story for Streets done in a month, so two months for a 30-40 thousand word book should be possible. Six month for a full novel is just an extension of those numbers. The key will be keeping the word count climbing in the middle of the year when I traditionally falter. I’m certainly going to have my hands full in the new year. There will definitely be some fun times, and likely a few struggles. I just have to do better than this year. Hopefully you had a good Christmas (or other holiday) and will have a Happy New Year. I’m not working that night, so I know I will. See you in 2019!

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