Sunday, February 7, 2016

What's Up With Words in 2016?

When I was typing this post, I wrote 2014 in the title....

My first resolution is to stop write the date from two years ago.  To write at least 2015.

Beyond that....

This post is extremely late.  It is FEBRUARY ALREADY.

Oh well.  In my writing club last week we talked about writing related goals (as well as said farewell-for-now to a dear friend, Sophia) and I thought it be a great time to belatedly link up to Cait's blog, Paper Fury and Sky's, Further Up and Further In!  They host the Beautiful People meme every month.

Without further ado...some things I wish to do.

(other than rhyming my headings)

1. What were your writing achievements last year? 
This is a great questions, and something we don't always appreciate enough.  It's always - "what am I going to do this year?" - but we gotta remember to focus on the amazing things we did last year too!  In 2015, I published an anthology written by my amazing writing club!  I started handwriting a novel.  I presented at BreadKC!  with the wonderful Vanessa for a grant for said writing club, and even though we didn't win, it was still a powerful and fun experience (as well as nerve-wracking).  I took a few writerly friends to the Midwest Parent Educator's conference (resources, curriculum, and books for homeschoolers!) and sold our anthology and other tree slabs. :)  OH.  I keep forgetting, but my article on the importance of the arts in schools was published by the Kansas City Star (the main local newspaper)!!!  That was huge for me - the first writing of mine that has been published (apart from self-publishing).  As much as I was busy and neglected writing/blogging/reading/basically everything, I can't say I did nothing in 2015, and that's always good to remember.

2. Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?
LABYRINTH!  I started handwriting this novel (more on that later) at the very end of the year, and made it my goal to write the whole thing in 2016.  LABYRINTH is (to put it simply)...words.  To put it complexly, it's an alternate history of a Greek myth, with elements of dystopia and high fantasy.  

3. List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.
  • Blogging, for sure.  In the 6+ years I've had this blog, I've never been able to get into a good rhythym of posting consistently. Hopefully this changes. (I'm optimistic, because this is the second post in 2 weeks, keeping on track with a-post-a-week.) xD
  • Editing!  Go East on No Road was finished 2 years ago and Olivia and I never really got into editing it. I'd love to finish that.  Also, just editing my work in general. I do a lot of editing for other people, but I find it hard to edit my own stuff.
  • Submitting to literary journals, etc.  I want to get something pieces polished up and sent out to be seen!
  • Character development.  Ugh.  I struggle a lot with knowing who my characters really are.  A lot of times, I'll have good, rounded side characters, but totally forget that my main characters are people too...if you have a life-changing or even semi-helpful post on this, PLEASE COMMENT.
  • Learning more about the writing craft.  I want to read more books, articles and posts about writing tips, and just bring more of the writing life into my own.  (Again, if you have or know of posts like these, comment shamelessly!)
4. Are you participating in any writing challenges?
I'm doing the Year-Long Writing challenge start by Will Cloud, challenging us to write 400 words (a page) a day, although I'm only following it loosely.  Mainly, I've challenged myself to write every single morning.  Even if it's only 10 measly words.  I just want to try and stay in my story-world and even when I'm busy, not forget about my babies. 

5. What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?
I've never really been a beta reader for any books, until now!  I'm currently a beta for Sierra Abrams' "The Color Project", Kara Swanson's "The Girl Who Could See", and Savannah DeBudge's "A Warning to All Writers".  This is an exciting new adventure for me.  At the moment, I'm not going to take on any more WIPs, but I probably will later on this year.  No one is currently a beta for my work, because there is nothing polished to that point.......soon though, hopefully!

6. Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?
I don't have any specifics (comment if you do!), but I definitely want to start reading some more writing-related books.  One book I read last year, "Dancing On the Head of Pen", by Robert Benson (I'll post a review of this later), was PHENOMENAL and totally inspired me in so many ways.  I would absolutely recommend it for any artist, not just writers.

7. Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?
This would be my main character in Labyrinth, Kaura.  Doing some character chats would probably be smart, as well as stalking Pinterest boards and making lists.  Also, paying attention to what she's thinking as I write, and maybe doing some 1st person scenes with her on the side.

8. Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?
Gonna try to edit Go East.  Possibly query some short stories - at the very least, submit some flashfics.

9. Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?
I'd like to see more inspiring books, book that make me want to jump up and do something, whether it's by the beauty of the writing, or the content therein.  Also - wildly creative books - ideas that make you just stand there and attempt to pick your jaw up off the ground.  So...I'll be working on that. ;)

10. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?
I want to have the first draft Labyrinth finished and (fingers crossed) edited!  Then maybe I can get some betas...  I also want to finish editing the first draft of Go East.  Finally, I hope to have at least one thing accepted for publication somewhere, whether it be a flashfic, short story, poem, etc.

(I didn't actually expect to answer all 10 questions) *pats self on back* 

Well, after that post, I think I am quite /resolved/.  

What are your resolutions for 2016?  Share your most proud accomplishment from 2015!  Who's helped inspire you this past year?  


  1. Wow! That's a lot of goals. I hope you accomplish them all.



  3. It sounds like you had a productive year last year and lots of good goals for this year! Character chats are great and character interviews are as well! I do those once a month on my blog. :) I usually put out a call for questions then give my readers a few weeks submit some then I do a post with my character answering them. :) This is my latest one: I've noticed when I use the google form I get more questions.