Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reviewing 2009

This year I went a bit overboard with my goals, using 50 as my marker for, well, everything. Here’s what really happened.

Books read: 18

I could easily have read more if I stuck to YA and romance, but I had some fantasy to immerse myself in. Those aren’t quick reads, and I don’t want them to be. I learned that I do not read as much as I did back in school years. It’s not that I can’t read fast, it’s that too many activities interest me now. Scrapbooking, video games, parenting. I no longer have a desire to read every moment I have spare time. Which is fine. I can make more time to read though. My reading goal this year is 2 books a month.


Chapters written: 15

over various projects: Rt100D, TC, FwM, SS

could have done better. will do better.


Poems written: 20

14 color poems

at least they’re quality poems, if not quantity


Poems submitted: 51

1 published this year

7 submitted just today. cutting it close, I know.

Yay! One goal met!


Next year I’ll shoot for the moon rather than the stars. Next Tuesday Tally I’ll do a progress report on my projects and post my full list of new goals.


In January I started querying EotF. Did a couple revisions in between batches of queries. No bites yet, but not giving up. I think I finally have a strong query (not just a decent one), which I’ll start sending out next month.


Non-writing happenings in 2009: We bought a house. My son started kindergarten. Bought a kitten, who died six months later. Had many house problems and lots of adjusting as house owners. Lots of being sick, with kid in school full time and living in (now less so) cold house. I joined Twitter and Facebook. Got addicted to Zoo World. And got some wonderful new blog followers. Thank you to all of you that make this blog community so wonderful. See you next year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Setting Goals for 2010

The new year is almost here. My goals will come later (got some house issues to deal with), but here are some helpful and entertaining links on setting goals:

Goal Setting Debunked

Setting, Keeping, and Achieving Your Writing Goals in the New Year

December 25th, 2010 (a great example of evaluating your own goals rather than adopting someone else’s challenge)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Warm Tidings

Remember the cold times? They are getting better. Friday we had more attic insulation put in. What a difference!

Before: by the time air got to our family room from the furnace, it had lost all its heat. The portable heater would have to be on for an hour on high to go up ten degrees, and once it got to a good temp would drop if put on low. I had to constantly check and put it from low – med – high throughout the day to not waste too much energy but not get too cold.

After: The whole house actually gets warmer with the furnace going. It doesn’t get as cold at night, and warms faster. The portable heater goes on for an hour to boost lower temps in family room, then actually maintains that heat when put on low! Much more efficient heat and energy wise now that all the hot air isn’t escaping through the ceiling.

Still to come: Windows have been scheduled for installation! We’ll be getting the two on December 28. We need to get a quote for a third window (big front one, or our bedroom one), as a wonderful relative (love you!) has offered to help us buy another.

Christmas is almost here! My husband bought stocking stuffers yesterday, and all our presents have been wrapped and delivered. We are ready! Are you? In case I don’t blog again this week, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my blog readers, even the lurkers who don’t comment. Wishing you a wonderful season filled with the best parts for you, whether that be family, friends, or peace and quiet; snow or blue skies.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday Tally and The Best Blog Award

A little belated, but thank you to Courtney for the beautiful new award:

award best_blog

Here are the rules for the BBA:

  1. To accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link.
  2. Pass the award to other bloggers that you recently discovered and think are great! Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

I don’t always play along with these, but here are some more recently discovered blogs I have been enjoying.

  • Tamlyn Leigh’s blog write between the lines.  I met her at the Muse Online Writers Conference, and have been following her blog since.
  • Improv Everywhere is a fun group that stages scenes in public places. Much enjoyment to read and watch. I’d heard of them before, but recently discovered their missions page, which is quite a list of their past performances.
  • Who is Kai?, a science fiction story by elucian. I haven’t read much yet, but it is so far poetic, deep, symbolic. And I’m not one usually into SciFi.
  • Shooting Stars, a blog by some talented and entertaining sisters, Suzette Saxton and Bethany Wiggins, who are both newly agented writers.
  • Laurelyn Estes over on Romantic Musings, where she blogs about writing speculative fiction romance.


I’ve been making some progress on TC these last two weeks. We should be getting insulation before Christmas, and a couple new windows hopefully soon after. So I should be ready for some productivity in a warmer house come the new year.

In the meantime, I’m focusing more on submissions. I may not complete any of my other way out there goals for the year, but I’m so close on my poetry submitting!



  • submit a minimum six poems before Dec 31
  • prepare more queries for EotF, to send after Christmas


Ten days until Christmas! My favorite things about the season:

The decorated Christmas tree (looking at it, not so much the process), and watching my son's excitement over every little thing: the tree, snow, presents, the countdown. Do you know what he says when asked what he wants for Christmas? “Presents.” So easy to please.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Cold, Cold Winter

If you’re newer to the blog, this is our first winter in a house of our own. We are learning how much colder it is here than our prior apartment a mere thirty minutes away.

For one, we get more snow. Eleven inches over a couple days. The other factor is the house itself. The windows are old, and plastic covering only helps so much. We’d love to replace the windows through the entire house, but can only afford a couple right now. And we won’t bet getting those for a couple more weeks.

We replaced the filter in the furnace, which improved efficiency, but we can’t keep it running all the time. A portable heater in the family room has done wonders, but I still have a hard time keeping my hands warm.

Last week on the first cold-cold night, most of our hot water pipes froze. Saturday, my husband ventured into the scary attic. After discarding junk such as old pants, clothing gift boxes, old metal pipes, and empty shotgun shells, he found the naked pipes and covered them with the unopened(!) bag of insulation also discovered in the attic. We found a big reason it’s so cold here: the attic insulation is three inches at its thickest. It should be at least eight! No wonder we keep getting sick.

I know the cold contributed to my dwindling numbers during NaNoWriMo last month. Once the temperature dropped considerably, my fingers got cold, wrists stiff. Hard to type! Also, it’s harder to think when my body is focused on getting warm. I was planning to finish my NaNoWriMo novel Race to 100 Deaths by the end of the year, but between the cold and the Trinity Coven chapters I promised my husband (and of course Holidays!), I see the chance of that happening to be… well, very small.

Hopefully we can get this house in warm shape soon. In the meantime, my goal is to figure out the warmest time to write. Maybe just after lunch, after the heater has been on. I’ve been writing this in spurts, so my hands aren’t out of the blanket for too long.

Chores are so neglected… as I limit my visits to the colder rest of the house. Now I must venture into the cold to change laundry loads.

Wishing you all warmer weather. Or if you already have heat, you’re welcome to some of our snow!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday Tally: YA vs Adult

Goals for this week:

  • query more agents
  • dig back into TC
  • write a couple chapters for Rt100D


In the last Secret Agent contest hosted by Authoress, the agent said my opening of EotF felt fairy tale-esque, and that she wasn’t convinced the mood works well for adult fantasy. (My entry here) Sometime this last month, I read that a fantasy author of YA books said she wrote for adults, but publishers chose to call it YA. (I can’t for the life of me find the link again, so don’t want to say the author, as I could be remembering wrong and don’t want to misrepresent. If you know who might have said this, or where, feel free to speak up.)

These two things got me thinking. Should I try calling it Young Adult? Traditional fantasy doesn’t seem as strict on protagonist age for the label. Robin McKinley’s books are YA, and she’s always been one of my inspirations. But only one of my other stories (current and planned) have a teen protagonist, so there is a fear of debuting with a YA and following up with one that is not.

Here’s the breakdown for my other books. Title : Main Character(s) : age

  • Race to 100 Deaths : Tilara : 30 (maturity=20 human yrs)
  • Trinity Coven : Kaelin and Anton : 25 and 26
  • Fly With Me : Vincent : 20
  • Sienna’s Story : Sienna : 37
  • The Blazing Princess : Aurora : birth to 16 (most likely to fit YA)

In Emergence of the Fey, Marian starts at 14, and ends at 20. Barely out of teen range. The secondary POV, Jex, is five or six years older. There are some training years that I could speed up if I wanted to shorten the timeline and end with Marian still a teen.

I never considered EotF a young adult novel. Then again, I rarely think in those terms when it comes to fantasy. As long as I’ve been reading fantasy, I’ve been reading from whatever shelf I wanted. Even now, the only reason I care if a book is Teen or Adult is where in the store do I go to buy it?

I know in the end it’s not up to me, it’s up to the marketing department. Which may be a non-issue if EotF is never picked up. So the question now is what label will best hook an agent?